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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 25/6/2018 15:37
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    Anime Review Roundup

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    I love cyberpunk, especially cyberpunk anime. The only problem is that it didn’t take me long before I watched Ghost in the Shell, and its spin-off Stand Alone Complex. Once you’ve seen those, there isn’t a lot of anime that can compare. One show that did stand up well against GITSSAC was Psycho Pass, anime’s own take on “Pre-crime”, presenting a world where a person’s psychological state can be measured, and their propensity to commit crime determined. Latent criminals get removed from society (or set to work policing it), while the rest of the population spend their time trying to keep their Psycho Pass clear. Psycho Pass Season 1 was released in the UK by Manga Entertainment and their home-authored discs had a few issues. For my second time around, I’ve taken a look at the US Blu-rays released by Funimation...

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    For someone lauded as the father of anime and manga, we haven’t had a lot of Osamu Tezuka titles released in the UK, at least not anime that he worked on directly. To my knowledge, only Astroboy has had a release here. Well, thanks to Third Window Films, that number has just tripled, as they release Animerama: 1001 Nights / Cleopatra Limited Edition, the first two features in the Animerama trilogy (Last year All the Anime released Belladonna of Sadness, the final film in the trilogy, made after Tezuka’s departure from the Mushi Pro studio). These two films were made in his desire to create anime to appeal to adult audiences, with more mature stories, and with sex and violence. A Thousand and One Nights is based on the Arabian Nights stories, and features Aladdin as the main character, sowing his wild oats as he climbs his way up the social ladder. Cleopatra has more of a historical grounding (despite the time-travellers), as the famous queen of Egypt uses her sexuality to protect her nation from the might of the Roman Empire. Click on the review to read more.

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    My next review was for Hyouka Part 2. It’s been a good while since the first half of this slice-of-life detective series made its UK debut. It’s a high school anime, where the protagonist, intent on living an easy, no energy lifestyle chose to join an almost defunct Literature Club. The problem is that the other member is a high-energy girl who just loves mysteries, especially solving them, and our protagonist is a veritable high school Sherlock when he’s so motivated. And she knows just how to motivate him.

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    There was a brief moment there that I thought I would never review One Piece Collection 17, at least not without importing it. But after a lengthy hiatus, Manga Entertainment are resuming the release of this piratical long form anime series. This collection of 25 episodes takes us to around episode 420! An important story arc comes to an end in this collection as the Straw Hat Pirates finally come up against a foe they can’t defeat, and wind up cast to all four directions of the compass, separated and in all manner of trouble. Luffy’s elastic charms hit the right note with a misandric pirate queen.

    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    K-On! Talk about hitting the right note! I was just in the mood for a feel-good anime, and K-On! is always at the top of that list. This first, 14 episode series is just about perfect, encapsulating 2 years of the Light Music Club into the run time, a year of Yui, Ritsu, Mio and Mugi as they begin to gel as a band, and a year subsequently with their junior, Azusa joining them. The second season has more fun with the gang, but just a teensy bit of bloat. You get none of that in the first season. K-On! is simply fun, cute girls doing cute things in the best sense of the phrase, and it has some catchy music as well. They’re friends that you want to hang with.

    Manga Entertainment released Season 1 of K-On! on 4 DVD volumes in 2011, followed by a complete series collection which is still available today. Alas, the planned Blu-ray release fell through, and this is a show that works best in high definition. The first US release was from Bandai Entertainment, locked to Region A, but Madman Entertainment released clones of those discs in Australia, and here’s my review of volume 1. You can get a complete Blu-ray Collection of Season 1 from Australia still. The problem with those Bandai discs is that of lossy audio, a problem rectified by a recent re-release in the US from Sentai Filmworks, but again, that release is locked to Region A.

    I’ll be falling behind with my reviews again, as the congestion of summer anime releases hits. Third Window Films released Animerama: 1001 Nights / Cleopatra Limited Edition on Blu-ray and DVD last Monday. All the Anime release Hyouka: Part 2 on Collector’s Edition Blu-ray and standard DVD today. Manga Entertainment release One Piece Collection 17 on DVD today as well. Funimation initially released Psycho Pass: Season 1 in two halves, but this Complete Series release came out as a BD/DVD combo in 2016.

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