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Added on: 8/7/2013 15:21
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    Anime Review Roundup

    Streaming Tidbits

    I’m currently sweltering in front of my keyboard... You realise what that means, of course? Summer is finally, finally here, and that’s no less true in the world of online streaming. There’s been no word from Anime on Demand as yet for this season, which quite frankly is no surprise at this point, but new kids on the global streaming block Daisuki are chugging away quite well, sorting out the little niggles with their site (they’ve now organised their site by series instead of just dropping streams on a page willy-nilly), and they’ve announced their first exclusive simulcast, the new Monogatari series.

    On the other hand, Crunchyroll are on a licensing spree, far too many new anime to list here, although this page has a list of their new licenses. Personally, I’m getting all excited for the new series of Genshiken six years after the last (already picked up for home media release by NISA in the US), as well as the new series of The World God Only Knows, the first two of which have been released here in the UK by Manga. In terms of back catalogue, I’ll be making some room in my schedule for Kaiji.

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    I’ve been on something of a review spree myself, which isn’t surprising given the number of new releases in July. I started however with something from the back catalogue, a little something that has been languishing on my to-watch pile for the last year. Long ago released by ADV, Dirty Pair Flash: The Complete Collection was picked up for re-release by Nozomi Entertainment, and they gave it the full spring-clean, with cleaned up visuals and a maxed out bitrate stereo track. But while the show may be all shiny now, will the 90’s OVA still hold up as well today? Dirty Pair Flash is a futuristic Charlie’s Angels premise, with the Dirty Pair a duo of unlikely special agents, tasked with dealing with crime in the galaxy. Sci-fi comedy action is just my cup of tea, but does it still taste as good as when I first partook?

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    I remained with the back catalogue for my second review, with Iria: The Complete Series, a.k.a. Iria: Zeiram The Animation. This anime OVA series was created as a prequel to a couple of live action sci-fi movies, but you’ll be reminded of a wholly different sci-fi movie when you watch its tale of a young female bounty hunter locked in a destructive and far reaching battle with a powerful alien. OVAs, especially OVA series from the nineties were renowned for higher quality production values than regular TV series. They were often like mini-movies in that respect, and there’s no denying that Iria looks great. Click on the review to see how the story holds up.

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    Things got a little more recent with my next review, although we stick with aliens once more. When it comes to the aliens in Cat Planet Cuties: Complete Series Collection however, I’d be more than willing for a Close Encounter, of any kind... Mixing and matching genres as always, Cat Planet Cuties is a sci-fi, action, harem comedy, with the emphasis on the harem. It’s typical of the genre in many ways, but beneath all the clichés and fan service, there’s an undercurrent of heart, hope and optimism that makes this show stand out above its peers. Click on the review to see why it was more than just the big breasted girl with cat ears and tail that melted my heart.

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    Is Kids on the Slope, the Best Anime Evah!?!? Well... no, but it’s pretty darned close. I’m a little late with this review, but having seen it on Crunchyroll, I had already fallen for its charms, and I eschewed the DVD review discs for buying the Blu-ray instead. Wouldn’t you? After all Cowboy Bebop’s Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno reunite on the show, a period coming of age drama set in the sixties about three friends brought together by a mutual love of jazz. For one thing, how many anime like that have you seen? For another thing, the music is amazing. For another... y’know, forget the things. Forget clicking on my review. Just save time and buy Kids on the Slope Collection on Blu-ray. You’ll thank for me for it.

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    Of course if I was evil, I would say the same thing about Aria The Scarlet Ammo. Two sci-fi action harem comedies in one week? You’d think we were being spoiled, but we really aren’t. A boy in a detective school has his deductive abilities enhanced when he’s turned on. The detectives in this school have to be armed at all times, protect themselves, as the criminal fraternity would much rather get rid of them before they graduate, rather than wait for them to become world class dicks. And that is the limit of this show’s originality. For the rest of it, the creators picked a bunch of books at random, threw some classic literature in a blender, and poured the resulting smoothie straight into this reviewer’s eyes. Click on the review for spoilers, as that is the only way that I could convey my agony.

    Nozomi Entertainment released Dirty Pair Flash Complete Collection last year on DVD. You’ll have to import it from the US, if you can’t find the final few ADV discs out there that have long since been deleted. Iria: The Complete Series was released last Monday, while Kids on the Slope was released the week before that on the 26th of June, and both of them by MVM. Manga Entertainment release both Cat Planet Cuties and Aria The Scarlet Ammo today. Go for the one with the cats!

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