Anime Review Roundup

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Another week, another batch of reviews, beginning with Darling in the Franxx Part Two. This is great example of not paying attention to prevailing opinion. It’s easy to just go with the flock sometimes, just click on a show and gather the majority opinion to see whether it’s worth watching or not. But that puts to one side the fact that we are all different, and what one person might loathe, another might love. There were a whole lot of negative opinions about the end of Darling in the Franxx, so much so that I was expecting the second half of this giant robot show to tank. Many of the criticisms made about this show are justified; certainly as it barrels towards its ending, it gets more and more bizarre, but it’s because of this that I actually wound up enjoying Darling in the Franxx. Click on the review to read more.

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I had another look at Maid Sama last week, as I upgraded the series to high definition. The show about an upstanding girl, prominent member of the student council, stickler to rules, and protector of all school girls from all grubby school boys, who secretly works as a maid in a novelty cafe to make ends meet, certainly looks and sounds better in high definition as you’d expect. But this second time around, I couldn’t quite appreciate the humour that ensued as much, when the most annoying boy in school finds out her secret. It’s one of those background anime shows, where you don’t really need to be present to watch it, so predictable and staid it is.

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I then took a look at RVBX: Ten Years of Red vs. Blue. Actually I posted the review, taking a look at 14, indeed 15 discs of content took substantially more time. Red vs. Blue is the machinima series from Rooster Teeth, which fashions a long running narrative using characters in the Halo videogame. Manga Entertainment started releasing it here with Season 11, and have got as far as Season 14, but they never looked at the first ten seasons. It took a little work to find but I managed to get the Blu-ray release, and there’s a reason that the show keeps running after all these years. The story is good, and it’s a lot funnier than a videogame has any right to be. Here’s a trailer for Season 10, and be warned that it’s not safe for work.

This Week I Have Been Mostly Rewatching...

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Arcana Famiglia. Normally when I come to the rewatch bit of this column, I focus on something I’m watching for the third time or more, as by that time it might have become something of a forgotten classic, or maybe a show that you haven’t heard of, having missed it the first time around. But this is only the second time I’ve watched Arcana Famiglia. It’s also the last time I’ll watch it, so if it doesn’t get a mention now, it never will. Arcana Famiglia isn’t bad, it’s just dull. Its premise is that of a ‘mafia’ family on an island in the Mediterranean having been gifted special powers according to a tarot deck. They use these powers to protect their community on the island. And one day Papa declares that there will be a duel among the family to see who will succeed him, with power holders fighting for the position, and the hand of his daughter in marriage. She’s opposed to the idea, so she enters the tournament herself to win.

Arcana Famiglia just is. You’re introduced to these characters, they interact in the usual slice-of-life way, little stories that don’t really go anywhere, and you don’t even get the point of the show until the last two episodes. There’s no drama, no suspense, no real point to the show. It’s just there, marginally entertaining while you watch it, but completely forgotten the instant you switch it off. Here’s my review. MVM released Arcana Famiglia on Blu-ray and DVD, and it is readily available if my thrilling review inspires you.

Manga Entertainment released Darling in the Franxx – Part Two on Blu-ray and DVD on July 22nd. MVM released Maid Sama: Complete Series on Blu-ray in 2016. There was an earlier DVD release in 2 parts, but the complete DVD collection only came out this year. Hanabee released RVBX: Ten Years of Red vs. Blue on Blu-ray in 2012 in Australia, but it is deleted now. You might have a better chance of finding the identical US release from Rooster Teeth,

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