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Added on: 1/6/2015 17:34
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    Anime Review Roundup

    Total Parasyte Infestation

    Following an MCM Comicon, it’s not uncommon for the odd license announcement to trickle out after the event, and this last week, it was Animatsu that had more goodies to add to the pile that they had already announced. They had mentioned that they were bringing the Parasyte the Maxim anime to the UK, and last week they also added that they had the first Parasyte live action feature film, which will get an airing at the Edinburgh International Film festival before probably going on to home video release.

    News from UK Anime Network

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    My first review last week was for One Piece Film: Z, the twelfth feature film spin-off in that long running anime franchise, and to date the most recent. With the release of that film, we’re almost caught up with the One Piece feature films in the UK, missing out only on the half hour 3D movie, Straw Hat Chase. For fans of Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates, you’ll have to make a couple of allowances, given that Film Z is set way past where we are with the television series. But when I tell you that the film’s plot boils down to world-threatening villain shows up, gives our heroes a beating, before they work themselves up to a rematch for the film’s conclusion, you’ll be safe in expecting the same sort of movie as every other shonen property spin-off. One Piece Film: Z is still fun though.

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    I concluded my week of anime with a quick double dip review of RideBack Complete Series as I went from DVD to Blu-ray. The show is definitely worth it, one of the better, more thought-provoking anime of recent years. The central conceit is one of a future world where a technically superior group has taken over the world governments, and an interesting spin-off technology is the RideBack, a hybrid mix of motorbike and robot. An injured ballerina finds a new way to ‘dance’ at the controls of a RideBack, but really the show is about governments, power, corruption and control, and the ethics of resisting such control when it erodes civil liberties. The series is one of my favourites, so click on the review to see if the Blu-ray is worth the upgrade.

    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    Trinity Blood. After last week’s somewhat highbrow House of Five Leaves, Trinity Blood could be considered slumming it somewhat. After all it is a Gonzo future sci-fi horror action comedy joint, the kind of show that they’d churn off a conveyer belt when they were at their height. A bit of mystery, a bit of conspiracy, no little fan service, and a ‘throw everything at the screen and hope it sticks’ finale, replete with explosions and eye-candy. Shows like this were usually adapted from ongoing manga, but Gonzo always reached the end of their anime production before the author could complete the manga, so it was very rare that a Gonzo show had a satisfying conclusion, and Trinity Blood’s conclusion is one of the worst, not helped by the mangaka actually dying before the story could be finished. It’s an interesting story to begin with though, despite the protagonist Abel Nightroad being a blatant homage to Vash the Stampede. This post-apocalyptic world now boasts two societies barely co-existing, of vampires and humans, with the human world ruled by the Vatican. There’s a third group trying to bring about the end of the world by pitting the two sides against each other in a war. It’s pretty much an average Gonzo show, but what makes it fun is the Japanese take on the Catholic church. Bad-ass gun slinging android priests, bare-chested, foul-mouthed bad-ass priests, a priest that’s a vampire that preys on vampires (bad-ass quite naturally), and nuns with some serious cleavage and sinful red lipstick flirting with said bad-ass priests...

    I first reviewed this show when it was being released in single volume format, and here’s my review of volume 5, back when I was still discovering the show, and had no idea what volume 6 was about to deliver. Downhill is an understatement. It was subsequently re-released in boxset form, and for the sake of contrast, here’s David Beckett’s review of the boxset. That boxset is still readily available in the UK if you feel like giving the show a try, while Funimation even gave it an up-scaled Blu-ray release in the US, apparently Region B compatible.

    One Piece Film: Z was released on DVD and Blu-ray last week by Manga Entertainment. Funimation’s RideBack Blu-ray DVD combo came out back in 2011.

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