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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 15/6/2009 12:02
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    Anime Review Roundup

    The Funimation Video Portal Is Back, With a Padlock

    Following the previous week's security breaches, the Funimation Video Portal, which streams a whole host of their shows, and the shows of their partners to the world, was down for essential maintenance for several days. Stressed fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as it's now back up, more or less, with all its shows intact. That's with the exception of One Piece, the show that set off all this palaver. It's also lacking the most recent FMA and Phantom episodes, but give them time. One thing to note is that they truly have upgraded their security, making it beyond the ken of the average Joe to simply rip an FLV from the Funimation servers to their local hard drives. Frankly, when you're trying to sell these shows on DVD and especially as downloads, stopping people from ripping Flash Video streams is the first thing you do, and it's about time Funimation caught up really.

    EDIT: And it's down again. At the time of posting anyway.

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    Yup, slow news week. Fortunately it hasn't been a slow anime week. It began with Bleach: Series 3 Part 2. Bleach is one those shows aimed at teen male audiences, very much in the Naruto mould, with a large cast of characters, an extensive back-story, and plenty of battles that last for episodes on end. Bleach adds spooks and spectres into the mix, with the main character a Shinigami whose duty it is to shepherd lost souls to the other side, protecting them and the general populace from terrifying Hollows. It was a great premise, a sort of Samurai Ghostbusters that really appealed to me in the first season, and then all of that fell by the wayside as the series went off into the Shinigami realm and an epic tangent. My interest waned as two whole seasons of it passed by, but the two discs here conclude that arc, and if this were a clichéd movie world, this would be where I would eat my words, as I finally understand what that diversion led up to… Guess what…

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    Then it was back catalogue time, courtesy of a US import or four, as I finally got the missing piece of Yoshitoshi ABe puzzle. He's the visionary artist whose name has been behind such amazing pieces as Serial Experiment Lain, Texhnolyze, and Haibane Renmei. Only recently, he has announced a new anime after a lengthy hiatus, and I have been giddy about Despera twice already in the previous weeks' news. The one series that hasn't made it to the UK in any form has been NieA under 7. It's a comedy, a sitcom where humans and aliens coexist, and it follows the story of hard-up student Mayuko, who finds a mooching, freeloading alien named NieA in her cupboard. Of course this being an ABe series, there's more to it than just yanking at the funny bone. I reviewed NieA under 7: Volume 1 last week.

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    My final contribution of the week was the review of Ouran High School Host Club Part 2, an unlikely offering from Manga Entertainment, who are more associated with action, sex and violence in their anime. But it turned out that Part 1 was the best selling Shojo anime in the UK. Shojo is anime for a teenaged female audience. Well, I'm a guy, and I'm standing up loud and proud. I love Ouran High School Host Club, and if there's something wrong with a guy liking a show about a cross-dressing schoolgirl, pretending to be a boy so she can entertain other girls, in a club devoted to the hedonistic appreciation of the fairer sex, then I don't want to be right.

    Manga Entertainment release Bleach 3:2 and Ouran High School Host Club Part 2 today. NieA under 7: Volume 1 was released by Pioneer (later Geneon), nearly ten years ago. It is deleted. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find a copy still for sale. They are still out there, somewhere.

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