The issue picks up on the growing popularity of anime and its comic counterpart, manga, thanks partly to the cult success of movies like 'Akira' and the international recognition of 'Spirited Away', which beat Disney to win the Best Animated Film Oscar in 2003.
SFX interviews two major anime directors, Goro Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon, as well as previewing their upcoming films, 'Tales from Earthsea' and 'Paprika'. The magazine also publishes its guide to essential anime viewing in a top 25 list that acts as an introduction to the genre for newcomers, as well as an guide to the best movies and TV series that hardcore anime fans may have missed.
Inside this month's 132-page magazine, SFX takes a retrospective look at the Oscar-winning Studio Ghibli, the anime outfit responsible for 'Spirited Away', and publishes the first chapter of 'The Sunwell Trilogy', Tokyopop's new manga series based on 'World of Warcraft'.
In addition, the SFX anime special comes with a free DVD from ADV films, including an episode of top-rated anime series 'Samurai Gun', as well as exclusive preview material for the guns-and-swords-based Nintendo Wii game, 'Red Steel'. The package is completed with a free double-sided A2 poster, featuring Manga Entertainment's Naruto on one side and exclusive Final Fantasy XII artwork from Square Enix on the other.
Dave Golder, acting editor of SFX, said: "Anime is a real cultural phenomenon. Once animation meant Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh, but over the years we've seen anime becoming significant on a global level, especially with Oscar-winning movies like 'Spirited Away'. More and more people are becoming interested in the detailed stories and lovingly crafted animation - aimed at both families and adults."
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