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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 20/4/2009 14:13
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    Anime Review Roundup

    Crunchyroll's Next New Series Is…

    It was a news-lite week last week, which certainly saves me wearing the fingerprints off the end of my fingers. But you can't derail the Crunchyroll express, which continues regardless. This week's new series is Glass Mask, a drama about an aspiring actress and her mentor. You can read all about it at Anime News Network. Crunchyroll also put up Code Geass and a couple of live action j-horror movies, but since we can't access them from the UK, I'm not going to bother telling you about them… D'Oh!

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    Last week, I was in a retro frame of mind once more, as I took a look at one of ADV's older series. Area 88 was a manga and OVA series from the mid-eighties that even got an arcade game spin-off. You may recall U.N. Squadron on your home micros once upon a time. Twenty years on, this classic action series was revisited, and received a CGI lick of paint. It's all about mercenaries flying and fighting in a middle east war, with a particular focus on heroic pilot Shin Kazama, who was tricked into signing away his life as a mercenary, and harshly torn from his promising career and fiancée. Area 88: Volume 1 and then Area 88: Volume 2 took me to the halfway point of the series, and you can see what I think so far by clicking you know what to go you know where.

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    Bringing us back to today, I then got my greedy mitts on 20th Century Boys. This is a live action adaptation of the best-selling manga series, and the first in a trilogy of films. Back in the seventies, a gang of children had great fun imagining what exploits they would have when they grew up, and they wrote these stories down in a Book of Prophecies. Flash forward to the turn of the millennium, and the prophecies have started to come true. Now the gang are grown up, living mundane and hardworking lives, they have to come together and unravel the mystery of how their childhood fantasies are coming real, and they have to do it before the final page of the Book of Prophecies, where they once wrote about the end of the world.

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    You're probably wondering where the new anime is… Well it's here, half a season worth in one juicy boxset. Ghost Hunt is the new supernatural mystery series from Manga Entertainment, one of their acquisitions from Funimation, and in it, an unsuspecting high school girl is drawn into a world of spooks, spectres, and paranormal abilities, as she joins the Shibuya Psychic Research group, investigating strange occurrences with an unconventional team consisting of a priest, a monk, a shrine maiden, a psychic medium, and a narcissist. You can read the review of Ghost Hunt: Series 1 Part 1 by… well, you know.

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    Latterly, it was Stuart McLean's turn at the anime rock face, as he chiselled away at Jyu-Oh-Sei: Planet of the Beast King. It's another of Manga's Funimation shows, and once again it comes in a juicy two-disc set. This time however, you get the whole series in one go, no mess, no waiting, just eleven episodes of futuristic sci-fi action in one handy collection. See if it's worth collecting by reading Stuart's review.

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    A little tidbit you may be interested in… Samurai Champloo fans may recall a minor character in that show called Manzou the Saw, an unconventional police investigator who encountered the heroes on more than one occasion. Well, Manzou the Saw was inspired by Hanzo the Razor, the star of some quintessential Japanese seventies exploitation flicks. Stuart also took a look at the outrageous boxset last week, and his review is well worth a click. It's out to buy now, courtesy of Eureka Films, while ADV's Area 88 discs have been out for years. Manga Entertainment release Ghost Hunt Series 1 part 1 on the 4th of May, the same day that 4Digital Asia release 20th Century Boys, and Manga also release Jyu-Oh-Sei on the 27th of April.

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