Section23's Maiden Japan is on a very Discotek-ish role lately, what with the addition of Black Magic M-66 and, announced today, the Ruin Explorers OVA series and the Mobile Police Patlabor TV anime.
Written and directed by Takeshi Mori (Gunsmith Cats, Vandread), and based on the manga by Kunihiko Tanaka, Ruin Explorers is a four-episode OVA series that was originally released in 1995. It seems kind of forgotten now, but I remember this as a series I would regularly rent at a local comic store as volumes were released by ADV Films. Is it any good? I don't know, I can't remember or trust my original opinion.
Maiden Japan sums it up via the press release:
Ancient curses, enchanted artifacts and plain old fashioned dungeon diving: that’s what Fam and Ihrie do for a living - whenever these lovely young ladies can get someone to pay them for it, that is. As two highly trained magic users with slightly faulty spelling abilities (Fam can’t do anything destructive and Ihrie keeps turning into a mouse,) they’re off on a quest for the “Ultimate Power.” All they have to do is find three artifacts: the Proof Of Royalty, the Sword of Sargus and the Mirror of Truth. So how hard can it be? Unfortunately, Sorceress Rasha and her muscle-headed partner Migel are on the same quest, as are the mysterious Prince Lyle, the anything for a buck merchant Galuff with his dog Gil, and the sinister magician Rugudurol! And to make this epic odyssey even more odd and complex, it’s not really clear as to exactly which ones are the bad guys! Hold onto your talismans and amulets, because the road to high adventure is about to have a multi-mage pileup, and the fate of all humanity may just be in the hands of two underpaid young women trying to make a living as RUIN EXPLORERS!
Ruin Explorers is scheduled to arrive digitally and on bilingual DVD on July 2.
And then comes a whopper for fans of the classics. Previously released via U.S. Manga Corps, Maiden Japan picked up the license to the Mobile Police Patlabor TV anime. The 47-episode series originally ran from 1989-1990, and is directed by Naoyuki Yoshinaga (Maison Ikkoku, Irresponsible Captain Tylor). Akemi Takada (Urusei Yatsura) provides character designs, with Yoshinori Sayama (RahXephon, Gundam: Char's Counterattack) and Yutaka Izubuchi (Gasaraki, Toward the Terra) on mechanical designs.
Giant Robots, sociopaths, madmen waving guns: these aren’t just the problems the Mobile Police have to deal with every day, these ARE the Mobile Police! But in a world where giant robots called Labors are frequently used for criminal purposes, the boys and girls in blue have to face things that are even bigger and scarier! So when police cadet Noa Izumi comes in to take a pilot aptitude test and instead initiates a high speed chase after a stolen Police Labor, it’s clear that she’s got exactly the right combination of guts, brains and just plain crazy that the Second Special Vehicles Division desperately needs. But fitting into the frequently insane lifestyle of SV2 won’t be easy. She’ll have rivals for the pilot seat of the mech that’s stolen Noa’s heart, and her patrol duties will include herding whales, exorcising hauntings and fighting rogue military units on top of the usual terrorists. On the other hand, she gets to carry the biggest handgun EVER. The wheels of justice keep turning (or, in this case, running on giant metal legs,) as SV2 hits the street in MOBILE POLICE PATLABOR TV!
Mobile Suit Patlabor is scheduled to start hitting digital outlets along with bilingual Blu-ray and DVD on July 16. As announced back in January, they'll also be releasing the Patlabor OVAs.