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<I>Angels</I> and a <I>Saint</I> Coming From ADV

7 Sep, 2003 By: Edwin De La Cruz

ADV Films Oct. 14 will unveil the first volume of “Angelic Layer: Divine Inspiration,” priced at $29.98 DVD, $39.98 for a collector's edition DVD with box to hold future volumes. U.S. fans are eagerly anticipating “Angelic Layer.”

“A big part of the appeal is the studio that created it, the all-woman artist collective CLAMP, and this, their first release, is aimed at a young male demographic,” said Andrew Nelson, spokesman for ADV Films. CLAMP has scored notable success with such anime titles as X and Chobits.

“Angelic Layer” is about a high-tech, fast-paced game where dolls called ‘Angels' are controlled by the thoughts of their operators. It has quickly gained a cult following due to its well-animated action sequences, despite the fact that the program was originally geared for a younger audience.

But for the Houston-based publisher ADV, Oct. 28 is when things really heat up, with the release of two more key anime titles: Saint Seiya: The Power of the Cosmos Lies Within and Final Fantasy: Unlimited -- Phase 1.

“Saint Seiya,” an adventure/fantasy anime that combines Greek and Norse mythology and astronomical characteristics (the armored characters each represent a star constellation, like Pegasus, Cygnus and the Signs of the Zodiac), tells the story of five young armored “saints” who are called on to protect Athena, the goddess of peace. The series dominated TV ratings in Japan and caused a merchandise craze that is still active even today -- 13 years since the program originally aired.

“It's a thrilling story, enduring quality,” said Nelson. “The show's been a huge hit everywhere it's been released, and we're expecting an excellent response in North America as well.”

Just as with Angelic Layer, ADV Films will release the entire first volume of “Saint Seiya” as a single DVD ($29.98) and as a collector's edition, which includes the DVD and a custom series art box designed to hold other volumes of the series ($39.98).

Looking to top even these releases, ADV is preparing an anime release of the world's most popular video game franchise. Final Fantasy: Unlimited -- Phase 1 is an anime fan's dream come true. The series is directed by Mahiro Maeda, who directed two of the shorts in The Animatrix.

The “Final Fantasy” video game series alone has sold over 45 million units worldwide, according to Square Enix, “Final Fantasy's” publisher.

“The connection to the video game is definitely important, in terms of title recognition,” said Nelson. “The ‘Final Fantasy' game franchise is a highly successful one, and this anime tie-in is strong in its own right.”

Final Fantasy: Unlimited -- Phase 1 will be available as a DVD in its standard case ($24.98), or as a collector's edition, which includes the DVD, a custom series art box and a free T-shirt offer ($39.98).

“We're anticipating an excellent response from the anime fan community, and from legions of curious video gamers as well,” said Nelson.

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