The Hiyao Miyazaki-penned and directed Castle In the Sky (released here previously as Laputa: Castle In the Sky) is the quintessential version of the master animator's adventure-minded films (versus the quieter or at least less action-packed fantasies in his filmography). Between this, Nausicaa, and Princess Mononoke (both of which need Blu releases here immediately), you couldn't ask for a better animated triple feature of smart, thematically rich animated films out of Japan.

Taking place in a world of massive flying machines, Castle In the Sky follows Sheeta, a little girl with a necklace that allows her to defy gravity, and Pazu, a boy from a small mining community obsessed with finding the fabled floating city of Laputa. Both pirates led by Dola and the Army under the mysterious, possibly unbalanced Muska want to find Laputa and the treasures that are rumored to be contained there. This plot takes Castle In the Sky's action from beneath the ground to the skies in a gorgeously-rendered adventure.

Now here's why it's so good.
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Toonami gets a double dose of action sci-fi with two FUNimation series.
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The mid-90's space-faring comedy anime is coming to DVD in a 7-disc set from Nozomi Entertainment on September 4th.
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Plus, live-action sexy ninjas, and legendary lady warriors from Japan.
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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!

It's been a long road to this point, after 64 competitors, over 429,000 total votes, 3,000 tweets, countless Facebook comments, stunning international support (including a crazy amount of Brazilian fans turning up!), one very aggressive Lizard and some very, very tight races (and some not so tight), you've decided on the winner of the grand first annual Battle Arena Otaku. In our final matchup between Luffy from One Piece and Voltron, the winner is...
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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!

This is it! The final matchup that you've decided! The rubbery, island-hopping pirate Luffy against the very metal giant robot Voltron! Who will win this contest?!
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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!

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With the distance of a few days behind me, my feelings on Madhouse's X-Men anime have soured more than during the initial viewing. Even though it specifically called out surface elements from the series, populated the show with characters bearing the names of familiar heroes and villains, and even borrowed heavily from classic stories like "The Phoenix Saga," Marvel Anime: X-Men still failed to feel like anything more than some generic anime script with Marvel dressing. Actually, it took Madhouse's very solid take on Iron Man to realize how much of a wash their previous effort was: where the latter was concerned with name-checking as many familiar X-Men elements as possible, Marvel Anime: Iron Man is a decidedly more specific vision of its character. And while it's not exactly a 1:1 take on the Tony Stark we all know and love (and sometimes roll our eyes at), it's a far more successful adaptation which looks to get to the heart of the character.
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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!

We're near the end, fight fans, with the final two matchups taking place between the four challengers that you chose. And it's an interesting mix: a pilot and a pirate, and two giants. What's that all about? While we're still crunching the numbers to understand this recent round of choices, analyzing the data and getting it out to top men in their field—top men, we say—we've still got these last two contests.

Ladies and gentlemen, YOUR FINAL FOUR!
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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? Sailor Moon? Godzilla? Hello Kitty? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!


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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? Sailor Moon? Godzilla? Hello Kitty? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!

It's the redhead vs. the rubber-head, the giant vs. the genius in this latest round of Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight!

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Fairly early in the 12 episodes which comprise the Marvel Anime: X-Men: The Complete Series set, the viewer like myself who has the kind of "deep in the weeds" knowledge of the X-Men will be struck by the sheer familiarity of it all. The story draws on everything from "Days of Future Past," to Professor Xavier's sometimes estranged son Legion, to the modern Astonishing X-Men lineup, to that series' first story arc involving Dr. Kavita Rao. The villains alternately between the mutant vivisecting U-Men to the Hellfire Club (here down a few members and simply dubbed "The Inner Circle"). The second thing that knowledgeable viewer will be struck by—right along with the casual or new fan—is how very thin the story is, stretched out over 287 minutes of TV.

It's not precisely bad (although it does rely on the X-Men to be a little more dense than one might be used to), the X-Men's first foray into anime is equal parts clever reinvention and missed opportunity.

In the mountainous countryside of Japan, young mutant Hisako Ichiki is kidnapped by a person or persons unknown. Her parents reach out to Professor Xavier (Cam Clarke) for help. He reassembles his team of mutants including Storm (Danielle Nicolette), Cyclops (Scott Porter), Beast (Fred Tatasciore), and of course, Wolverine (Steve Blum) to investigate the abduction, although they're still reeling from the death of Jean Grey in her third onscreen Phoenix death. What they find in Japan is an outbreak of sudden power surges by young mutants along with new recruit Ichiki (who takes on codename Armor) and Emma Frost (Alli Hillis). From there, the series juggles the induction of their newest team member along with the mysteries surrounding the local mutant population.
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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? Sailor Moon? Godzilla? Hello Kitty? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!


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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? Sailor Moon? Godzilla? Hello Kitty? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!


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This is MTV Geek's Battle Arena Otaku Fight! Fight! A tournament-style, knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all, battle royale featuring your favorite anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture characters! Each arena match-up will be posted and voted on by you, the MTV Geek reader, and each winner will advance closer and closer to becoming the supreme reigning champion of the Battle Arena Otaku! Who will take the top spot? Sailor Moon? Godzilla? Hello Kitty? There's only way to find out…FIGHT! FIGHT!

Will it be the lunar heroine or the bug? That's the choice you'll be making as Sailor Moon and Kamen Rider face off in this first matchup. Really, it all comes down to what you like more: happy-go-lucky heroines with sparkles and light and magic and a mysterious dude in a tuxedo. Or, are you leaning towards big science action heroes, cool bikes, and grotesque enemies that need to be chopped into oblivion?
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