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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 26/1/2009 14:59
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    Anime Review Roundup (Updated)

    The Recession Bites

    20-20 hindsight comes into effect here, as it's usually the niche industries with low profit margins and product volume that get hit first, and much as I embrace the popularity of anime, it's still not a patch on that of mainstream cinema. You could say that the Geneon withdrawal from distribution in 2007, and the ADV implosion of early 2008 were just signs of what was to come later. Of course if there were no recession, then they would just be counted as statistics. The past couple of weeks have shown that even the prosperous and market-leading anime companies are having to tighten their belts, with job losses at both Bandai and Funimation. News sourced from Anime News Network.

    Locally, the first casualty of 2009 hasn't been anime, rather manga. Tanoshimi Press brought titles like Negima, Tsubasa, xxxHolic, and School Rumble to UK bookshop shelves, but last week they announced that they would cease publication of manga in the UK with immediate effect. UK Anime Net has more details, but if you want to complete your manga collections, you'll have to source the US publications instead.

    Get Your Punk On!

    It's been a long time in coming, but Desert Punk finally reaches UK shores this February. The PR states…

    "Based on the manga series written and illustrated by Usune Masatoshi (Eater), the profane and highly irreverent, post-apocalyptic anime comedy DESERT PUNK comes to DVD in DESERT PUNK VOLUME 1, featuring the first four episodes of the 24-episode series.

    Directed by Takayuki Inagaki (Black Cat), with character designs by Takahiro Yoshimatsu (Ninja Scroll; Slayers; Trigun), the series is a bombastically comic celebration of juvenilia, filled as it is with sarcastic put-downs, explosive action and, naturally, plenty of lechery and lewdness."

    Which is right up my alley.

    MVM have also unleashed some clips of the show to let you know just what you're letting yourself in for.

    Clip 1
    Clip 2
    Clip 3
    Clip 4

    Spiral Slips

    Revelation have been in touch to inform us that the Spiral Complete Series boxset that was due in February has been unforseen circumstanced. It will instead be due on the 9th of March. Make a note in your anime diaries accordingly...

    What do you mean you don't have anime diaries!

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    We had a rollover two weeks ago, with a lack of news and just one single review to be getting on with. MAR: Volume 4 was the review, and I didn't let missing volumes 2 & 3 faze me. With Wikipedia at hand to fill me in on what I missed, I dived right into the fourth volume of this fairy tale fantasy animation, only to find that somewhere down the road it had metamorphosed into a tournament combat show. See if my initial indifference metamorphoses into genuine appreciation by clicking the link.

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    Last week's anime reviews began with Manga Entertainment's OVA release of Baldr Force EXE. Getting back to what they do best, Baldr Force is a cyberpunk title with lots of violence, profanity and a bit of sex. I almost feel like I'm back in the mid-nineties. It also takes bits of The Matrix, Tron, Ghost in the Shell, and Akira to create something a little clichéd and familiar. But not all clichés are bad, and originality can be overrated, as I found out when I put the disc in my player. Read more of my review to see what I really thought.

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    This is one title that got stuck in traffic on the way to the UK. ADV managed to release just one volume of Ah My Goddess' second season before hitting the buffers, and the title has remained in limbo here ever since. Not so the US, where Funimation picked up the licenses that ADV had lost, and started releasing boxsets. I pushed the import button when there was $1.60 to the pound, and received it at about 10 cents less. Now that there's about $1.30 to the pound, you may be put off the idea of importing. But Ah My Goddess: Flights Of Fancy is the second season of one of the sweetest, most heart-warming stories to have been animated, and I'd defy anyone not to melt in the presence of the divine Belldandy. Read the review and be convinced to part with more of your hard earned cash than you would have six months ago.

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    Back to the UK for my final review of the week, and Hellsing Ultimate Volume 3 lands in my in-tray. We're into uncharted anime territory now, as this is the point where the OVA diverges from the original series animation. Yet for fans of blood, guts, gore, vampires, action, atmospheric visuals, moody music, dark comedy, wry wit and sheer animated nastiness, you won't get much better than this release. And it has Nazis in. It practically sells itself.

    Manga Entertainment released MAR: Volume 4 last Monday 19th, while they unleash Baldr Force EXE and Hellsing: Volume 3 on an unsuspecting public today. Funimation released the Complete Season 2 of Ah My Goddess: Flights Of Fancy last December, and is available from all good importers.

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