Excel Saga 27 – It’s taken almost ten years, but the final volume of Excel Saga arrives in January. More people are familiar with the hijinks of the parody-laden anime, but the original manga is a very different creature. With a stronger satirical bite, its increasingly cynical cast pour jaded bile over the ongoing story. It had quite a rocky release schedule so I dread to think of how many times it came near to being cancelled. I’m very happy and grateful to Viz Media for sticking with this one to the end.
Evangelion 3.33 – Out in March to own is the next instalment of the Neon Genesis Evanglion reboot. General reactions I’ve heard so far have been mixed, whereas the last one got a lot more praise. It wouldn’t be Evangelion if it wasn’t controversial, any anyone who’s come this far with the franchise isn’t about the quit now.
Furari – For my money anything by Jiro Taniguchi is worth a look, so I’ll be looking in on this one by default. Also look out for a new edition of The Walking Man as it’s been unavailable for quite a while now.
Space Dandy – Everyone loves Cowboy Bebop, and quite a lot like Kids on the Slope as well. Any new anime from director Shinichiro Watanabe is worth checking out. It’s also apparently taken American money to help fund its production, so hopefully this will be a bit special with a nice juicy budget to back it up.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – The first film’s popularity grew steadily over time by word of mouth, and now How to Train Your Dragon is sustaining its demanding public us with toys and a TV series. People are expecting big things from its sequel. A third film is already confirmed in any case, and it can’t be as bad as more Shrek. Also of interest is that Dreamworks will be releasing 3 animated films in 2014 against Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Pixar delaying The Good Dinosaur until 2015. Quantity over quality is of course a concern, but otherwise this could be a big year for the company.
Monster: Perfect Edition – Naoki Urasawa’s 18-volume thriller has been notoriously out of print for a while now, commanding extreme prices in the second-hand market to desperate readers. This new edition will throw in 2 volumes per book and allow everyone another chance to own this great series.
Attack on Titan – This year was a big year for Attack on Titan, and next year promises to be even bigger as the spinoffs start to hit. Side story manga, light novels and the already successful anime will all be hitting retail in 2014. It will be interesting to see just how far it can go without risking outstaying its welcome.
Mysterious Cities of Gold Season 2 – Anyone who’s been following this blog for any length of time will know how eager I am to finally see this. It’s currently airing in the UK on a channel that sadly isn’t free to air, but is due out on DVD and Blu-ray in February. We’ve waited 30 years to see what happens next in Esteban, Zia and Tao’s adventure. Not long now!
Dragonball – Before Super Saiyans, Planet Namek and the ‘Z’ at the end of the title, Dragonball was a sturdy comedy series about an odd little boy with a tail who practised martial arts. In a somewhat backwards release schedule after both Z and GT, the UK will finally get the original series on DVD. It should be a real treat, and keep an eye on the US for the Dr. Slump Movie Collection while you’re at it.
Ghibli Omnibus – With a little luck (or just waiting for distributors to pull their thumb out), 2014 should be a very good year for Ghibli followers. Hayao Miyazaki’s latest, and reportedly last, film The Wind Rises is all but ready for western markets. The dub has been recorded and will hit the US in February screens, so hopefully a summer release for the UK is a possibility. Less has been said about The Tale of Princess Kaguya, but it’s surely just a matter of time. Isao Takahata’s output is quite varied, so should be worth the wait. The just-announced When Marnie Was There will probably have to wait for another year, but that we’re due a batch of new Ghibli films is always an exciting prospect.