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    Anime Review Roundup (Updated)

    Festival Season Is Here


    The UK's premier annual Asian film festival, the Terracotta Far East Film Festival, will be held over four days this year at London's Prince Charles Cinema from Thursday 21st May to Sunday 24th May. Presented by Terracotta Entertainment Group, the festival will feature 13 handpicked films representing the very best of contemporary Far East cinema, including titles from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea.

    Opening the festival is the UK premiere of 'Eye For An Eye', the eagerly awaited crime-thriller from directors Ahn Kwon-tae (My Brother) and KT Kwak (Typhoon). Starring Han Suk-kyu (A Bloody Aria; The President's Last Bang) and Cha Seung-won (Small Town Rivals; Ghost House), this "Heat"-style thriller concerns a soon-to-retire police detective who is drawn into an elaborate plot of robbery and revenge when he begins to investigate a heist during which one of the perpetrators impersonated him in order to pull off the crime.

    Among the festival's many highlights are: 'The Detective', the latest mystery-thriller from co-writer and director Oxide Pang Chun (The Eye trilogy; Bangkok Dangerous; The Messengers; The Tesseract); director Johnnie To's (Mad Detective; Election; Triangle; PTU); 'Sparrow', starring Simon Yam and Kelly Lin; the Malaysian horror-comedy, 'Zombies From Banana Village'; and the martial arts action-thriller 'Legendary Assassin', which marks the co-directorial debuts of star Jacky Wu (Fatal Contact; The Legend of Zu; Drunken Monkey) Jackie Chan's longtime stunt coordinator Chung Chi Li. The festival's programme will also include the films 'Muay Thai Chaya', Kim Ki-duk's 'Dream', 'Keeping Watch', 'Ghost In The Shell 2.0', 'Me.... Myself', 'After School' and 'God Man Dog', the winner of the "Tagesspiegel" Readers' Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.

    Full details of the Terracotta Far East Film Festival can be found at the festival's official website - http://www.terracottafestival.com."

    Note the showing of Ghost In The Shell 2.0 making it relevant for the Anime content.

    Convention Season Is Here Too

    It's already been a year! The MCM Expo is upon us again, taking place over the weekend of 23rd and 24th May. As usual, it will be a nightmare to get to, as otaku-hating bureaucrats have decided that London's transport network can only be repaired on that weekend. Soldier on regardless though, as all the usual suspects will be there, Manga, Beez, MVM, ADV, and Revelation, special guests will be forthcoming, and announcements aplenty will be made.

    It's early days as yet, but Beez have already issued a press release,

    "Beez Entertainment is proud to celebrate our upcoming shift to a new release model of 3 part releases for series instead of individual DVDs with fans at London Expo in May. For a limited time only we will be clearing out as much old stock as we can over the weekend. So we're inviting fans to join in for some amazing offers that make many of your favourite anime series affordable during the recession!

    We're going to be selling the following single DVDs for the low price of £5 a volume at the event (with special deals on top of that!):

    * .hack//SIGN

    * .hack//Legend of the Twilight

    * Crest of the Stars

    * Eureka Seven

    * Fantastic Children

    * Gundam Seed

    * Gundam Seed Destiny

    * Gundam Movies 1-3

    * Gundam F91, 0083 etc

    * My Hime

    * Panda-Z

    * Patlabor the Movie

    * Patlabor 2 the Movie

    * Planetes

    * s-CRY-ed

    * Stratos 4

    * Witch Hunter Robin

    * Yukikaze

    All other single DVDs will be £10 maximum, expect boxsets to be at prices as low as 1 for £15 and 2 for £25 as well. If you ever wanted Beez products at through the floor prices here's your chance!

    We're not just clearing old stuff out. All going well in the world of cross-channel shipping we'll also have Volume 1 of Gurren Lagann both in regular and limited editions at the event fresh off the production line! We have 250 A3 Gurren Lagann posters to give away to people making purchases of over £30 or who buy Gurren Lagann Volume 1 at London Expo, so best come early...

    There will also be new title announcements as well as details about our forthcoming releases such as Gundam 00, Gurren Lagann and Sword of the Stranger too, so watch this space. "

    That was shamelessly lifted from Anime UK News. You can expect more news and announcements, as the weekend gets closer.

    Update: MVM have licensed Gunparade March

    It's almost a tradition that certain release news will be leaked prior to the Expo, but this time it's MVM's own retail website that had put up the details of Gunparade March: Volume 1, due this August, and spotted by an eagle-eyed forum member at Eyeonanime. It's one of those 'teenagers piloting giant robots against all-powerful menaces' show, but there's more detail about this 12 episode show in this blurb from ANN...

    "In 1945, World War II abruptly ended when an alien race appeared on Earth and began to slaughter the human population. The year is 1999 - 54 years later, mankind is still fighting to survive against the alien forces. Earth forces now use advanced mecha called Humanoid Walking Tanks (HWTs) to combat the invaders, but throughout the ordeal, far too many pilots have been killed in action. As a result, high school students are now recruited to become HWT pilots. Gunparade March follows the lives of the 5121st Platoon, who have just added a mysterious girl named Mai Shibamura to their ranks."

    Inline Image
    Another week comparatively light on anime reviews, but there's enough to keep you occupied. I began with a look at the second volume of Solty Rei, which boldly goes where Gonzo has already been. It's a cyberpunk vision of the future with a film noir veneer. It isn't exactly Blade Runner though, as its replicant is a cute green-haired girl, the sort that makes you get all paternal when she isn't punching through brick walls. Four more episodes of light sci-fi comedy drama passed my critical gaze, and I've reported my findings in the clickable review.

    Inline Image
    My second and final offering came with Suzuka: Volume 5. Don't go rushing to you local anime emporium just yet, as this is the Region 1 release, which I imported for the purposes of sating my impatience. Well, you can't leave a relationship hanging in the lurch, and Suzuka and Yamato's relationship had so many ups and downs that it was emotionally frazzling, for the viewer and the participants. Volume 4 left things at a down point, which necessitated the import. I'm a sucker for a happy ending. See if we get one with volume 5, or whether we'll have to wait for volume 6 as well.

    MVM release Solty Rei: Volume 2 in the UK today, while Funimation released Suzuka Volume 5 in America back in 2007.

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