The magazine had a big revamp this issue. Now square bound and with more colour, it also saw the return of some features that had been absent during the Dark Horse to Manga Entertainment upheaval (the UK anime charts, Sumo Family). There was also the addition of Jon Courtney-Grimwood‘s Cyberdrome column which foresaw all those hi-tech gadgets we take for granted now, like cyber spectacles, cyber vests, and helmet monitors… Paleofuture-style mispredictions aside, there was also mention of an electronic version of Generation X issue 1 that Marvel had put online, which makes you wonder why it took so long for them to embrace it more fully.
Let’s have a look at that chart to give you an idea of how the anime market differed back then.
As much as people liked to bemoan the UK anime market being dominated by “tits and tentacles” material, it’s clear what people were actually interested in. The Guyver. Possibly the smartest anime release ever, 12 OAVs released monthly at £5.99 a pop, it was cheap and cheerful violent sci-fi action with broad appeal. There was a couple of attempts to emulate the success (Giant Robo & Armitage), but they kind of failed due to not have the monthly release schedule Guyver had. Guyver was the nearest we had to a successful “video comic”. Though I see Hachette Partworks are still releasing Manga Force to subscribers, so I guess that’s been similarly successful.
Articles included a translated interview from Kappa Magazine’s Monica Piovan with Kenichi Sonoda. Trish Ledoux was discussing cartoon breasts (namely those found in Tenchi, Ranma, Dirty Pair and Plastic Little). Jim Swallow discussed Wings of Honneamise. Peter J Evans looked at the history of Robotech, while Jeremy Clarke interviewed Carl Macek and his mustache (I always forget Macek was involved with Spumco early on).
From Manga Video: Cyber City Oedo 808 volumes 2 & 3, AD Police vol. 1, Genocyber vol. 1, Guyver Vol. 8
From Kiseki Films: Return of the Overfiend boxed set, Robotech Vol. 2, Starblazers Vol. 2.
From Boxtree books: Ranma 1/2 Volumes 1 & 2.
From Anime Projects: Bubblegum Crisis pewter miniatures (Knight Sabers and Boomers), Genesis Survivor Gaiarth Vol. 3, Urusei Yatsura Vol. 4.
Crusader Video were reported as having ceased trading in August 1994.
Jan de Bont was the current occupier of the Godzilla director chair.
From AD Vision: Legend of Lyon: Flare
From Streamline: Crying Freeman Vol. 3, Great Conquest: The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Robotech Collections
From US Manga Corps: Project A-Ko vs Battle 2: Blue Side Video, Urotsukidoji III, Urotsukidoji CD-ROM collection (what exactly was this? Apart from $79.95).
From Viz: Ranma 1/2: Akane and Her Sisters
Notable manga launches were Dodekain (notable only for appearing in the short lived UK magazine J-Fan) and James Hudnell’s Macross II comic.
Macross 7 was on it’s way.