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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 5/10/2015 16:01
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    Anime Review Roundup

    Hmm, Upgrades...

    A few months ago when Copellion and World Conquest Zvezda Plot were announced for the UK, coming from Kazé Entertainment, I had a bit of a grump at the revelation that they would be DVD only. That was half rectified last week, when Manga Entertainment confirmed that World Conquest Zvezda Plot would indeed be also coming out on Blu-ray. No word about Copellion yet, the show which really needs HD to do its visuals justice. Like Magi, Zvezda will only get an English territory Blu-ray release in the UK. The US has to make do with DVD.

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    A bumper collection of reviews last week, beginning with a belated look at The Comic Artist & His Assistants. It’s a rare, short form anime that gets a release on home video, ten minute shorts that follow the life of a perverted manga artist, and his put upon female assistants. It’s a format that is ideal for comedy, especially the four panel gag manga which usually consists of a quick set-up and a punchline. The Comic Artist & His Assistants isn’t the most notable exemplar of the medium, but it is a solid, and more importantly funny show. Click on the review to read more.

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    Then it was the turn of more meaningful fare, as Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie – Rebellion made its debut in the UK. You might have thought that the series ended on a pretty final note. Madoka Magica reinvented the magical girl genre of anime with a post-modern darkness and tragic edge, in the same way that Evangelion transformed giant robot anime some twenty years ago. But the show apparently ended with a resounding full-stop. But you don’t let go of a lucrative title just like that. What’s impressive is that this is a genuine sequel, one that manages to expand upon, and reinvent the story once more, without ever feeling like a cash-in. It may not be to all tastes though.

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    Who’s your favourite Captain? Is it Kirk, Scarlet, Jack, Hornblower, or Caveman? After reviewing Captain Earth Part 2, I know who isn’t... It’s not for want of interesting characters though, as Captain Earth’s central quartet of heroes are very likeable. It’s just that when I reviewed Part 1, I was left with the impression of a show that was squandering its premise, trying to tell too much story in too little time. Part 2 had the chance to reprieve the show, but alas, it continues on its merry way, over-egging the pudding. What are left are some likeable characters, and some very pretty animation. The review goes into more detail.

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    No such worries about my final review of the week, as I practically devoured Tokyo Ghoul Season 1. In an industry that conforms to the current Zeitgeist, caters to audience sensibilities and fashions, it’s nice to find a show that does something different. In terms of graphic violence, blood and gore, Tokyo Ghoul harks back to the good old days of 18-rated anime from Manga Video, but the quality of its writing, its characterisations is very much of the modern day. It presents a city where some ghouls are trying to live unobtrusively alongside humans, but there turn out to be monsters on both sides, and for one human transformed into a ghoul following an accident, he has to live in both worlds.

    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    Inuyasha. Rumiko Takahashi may be one of the biggest mangaka in Japan, but when it comes to anime based on her stories, we in the UK tend to miss out. Urusei Yatsura’s series remained US only, but we did get five movies and the OVAs. The US got to see Maison Ikkoku, we didn’t. And of Ranma½, we only saw two movies, whereas the US is currently getting the series on Blu-ray. Inuyasha is the most shonen oriented of the series that she has created, with a modern day girl travelling back in time to the Feudal States Era, where she meets a half demon named Inuyasha. In between the romantic elements, they go about trying to retrieve the fragments of a mystic jewel that promise ultimate power, facing all sorts of enemies in the process. It’s still got that typical Rumiko Takahashi humour, with the perverted old guy (Happosai, Cherry) smaller than ever. He’s a flea in this one. And unlike the other shows, this one actually got a release in the UK... one volume. 12 episodes of a 193 episode series offers a glimpse of what could have been. But of all the long-running shonen shows out there, Inuyasha is entertaining and broad enough to deserve a second chance.

    It was Fabulous Films who dipped their toes into anime back in 2007, releasing the two disc collection on DVD. The water was a little cold for them, and that was as far as it went. They did go on to release Mysterious Cities of Gold, so they aren’t all bad. You can click on my review of Inuyasha: Season 1 Episodes 1-12 to read more. Perhaps justifying Fabulous Films decision not to continue, you can still buy their release for new on e-tailer websites, even after eight years!

    The Comic Artist & His Assistants was released by Animatsu on DVD and Blu-ray on the 14th of September. Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie – Rebellion came out on DVD and on Blu-ray last Monday from Manga Entertainment. MVM release Captain Earth on DVD and on Blu-ray today, and All the Anime release Tokyo Ghoul Season 1 Collector’s Edition Blu-ray today. Their DVD release will be out in a few weeks.

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