Have you ever been in this kind of scenario? You go to a hobby store (or bookstore or whatever) and find an anime and manga magazine. Thrilled, you immediately shell out the $4.95 to purchase the magazine and go straight to your dorm or apartment and read the magazine from cover to cover. After reading it, you put it down and say, "Wow. That was a waste of $4.95 and my time!"
If this has ever happened to you, then I suggest that you check out Protoculture Addicts. This is a bi-monthly Canadian-based magazine that gives you anime in almost sixty pages per issue. It's got everything you could ever look for in a magazine: anime and manga news, new releases, anime reviews, and model reviews. It's also got release dates for videos, manga, and other products in North America and even a section for releases in Japan. If you want to know the website addresses for your favorite anime companies, you can find them here too, as well as fan pages.
My favorite feature in the magazine is their regular Spotlight section. Every issue they go through a major work (i.e. Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Vision of Escaflowne, Patlabor, etc.). They begin with a brief overview of the series. Then they give descriptions of each character, major and minor, and also give plot synopses of the series (or part of the series depending on its length). They list each episode and give you its title and the important events in it. If a series has mecha or mecha-like constructions or unusual vehicles, they'll give sketches and give you different looks at them.
For example, in issue 43, the Spotlight series is The Vision of Escaflowne. They give an overview of the story and then give descriptions of everyone from Van and Hitomi down to the Mole Man. They also have sketches of all the Guymelefs (including Zaibach's) as well as the melefs, and even sketches of Zaibach's Floating Base and Allen Schezar's ship, the Crusade. Then they move on to the synopses, and they include pictures from the episodes so that you can see what The Vision of Escaflowne is like. (By the way, if you've never seen The Vision of Escaflowne before, then what are you watching here at CJAS? Watch it!) After their look at the series, they try to mention something about related merchandise such as models, manga, and soundtracks. The Eva and Escaflowne models look superb.
Protoculture Addicts reviews all kinds of anime: comedies, dramas, action, and even hentai for you naughty hentai lovers (although the hentai very rarely get decent reviews). Each tape (or set of tapes) is reviewed based on Character Designs, Animation, Soundtrack, Story, and Translation. They also inform the reader of whether the dubbed versions are actually worth checking out and which ones are just plain crummy. Also included in the review are stuff like the company, whether it's a sub/dub, the length, and the price, and it also informs the reader about things such as nudity, violence, and explicit language.
Of course, as with many magazines, you (the reader and hopefully subscriber) can write to the editors and give your opinions about any anime-related topic or even respond to the comments from previous articles and letters. Overall, I think that this magazine is worth checking out. If you want to know more about Protoculture Addicts, you can visit their website at http://www.protoculture.qc.ca/, or you can just talk to me and I can show you what the magazine is like. I can also give you subscription info. Just look for me around campus, at CJAS or wherever, or e-mail me at MihoKiyo2@aol.com.