A bunch of anime titles have been rescued from out-of-print status over the past week. The most exciting is Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, Gainax’s first TV series from 1990. The show was based on concepts by Jules Verne and created by Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by Hideaki Anno, so it’s got some pedigree. Granted, there’s a solid string of ten really bad episodes in the middle of the otherwise solid 39-episode show, but that still leaves enough goodness that one can be glad that Sentai Filmworks rescued it (of course, it was previously released by ADV, so this is really sort of a rescued-from-itself case, like Gatchaman).
Discotek also announced a host of license rescues, the biggest of which is DNA^2, a TV series and OVA based on Masakazu Katsura’s manga. The premise is of a time-traveling agent sent back to prevent overpopulation by changing the DNA of a future “mega playboy”, but she accidentally ends up triggering the process. The result is a zany split-personality comedy, and perhaps the best fusion of Katsura’s trademark fan-service-laden romances with his penchant for over-the-top superhero battles.
Discotek grabbed the rights to Dragon Half, too. This moderately insane tongue-in-cheek parody OVA of the sword & sorcery genre didn’t do too hot in Japan, but became a minor cult classic in the US, prompting rumors that persist to this day that it was cancelled due to cocaine possession instead of low sales (I haven’t found any official evidence to back that up).
Discotek’s other rescues include the Fatal Fury OVAs and Lupin III: Bye Bye Liberty. Truly, they have great taste, but I’d like to see them put out some more stuff that’s never been released in English before.