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Unique ID Code: 0000122798
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 2/11/2009 14:55
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    Anime Review Roundup

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    I got an early start on Christmas last week, as I began by taking a look at the long delayed Always My Santa. This should have been here last Christmas, but through circumstances beyond Manga's control, it had to come out this year instead. It's just the sort of thing you're looking for if you have an appreciation for all things Ken Akamatsu. If you enjoy Love Hina or Negima, then this tale of a hapless, downtrodden teen finding love in the unlikeliest place will appeal. The poor kid was named Santa because he was born on the 24th of December, and has resolutely refused to believe in Father Christmas ever since. Then one Christmas, Santa (the gift giving, wish granting Santa and not the boy named Santa previously described) shows up and asks to spend the night with him. Fortunately, in this case Santa is a cute girl. The words 'Ho! Ho! Ho!' have never been more terrifying.

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    Speaking of terrifying, David Beckett took a look at the Blu-ray release of Blood The Last Vampire. Blood The Last Vampire has a special place in anime history, the first digitally animated production, and it has Production IG written all over it. Samurai swords, vampires, oodles of action and puddles of blood, and with a cute girl where you would normally expect Wesley Snipes, this looks just as stylish as it did when it was released, except in high definition. The disc comes with a nice bunch of extras, including the original Telecine version of the film. See how our resident connoisseur of all things horror rated it by clicking on his review.

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    Ever willing to show my versatility as a reviewer, I switched off the television, and opened a book instead, The Art of Osamu Tezuka - God of Manga to be exact. Osamu Tezuka was the iconic figure that played a major role in shaping anime and manga into the global industries they are today. Anime and manga expert Helen McCarthy has created something quite special here, a biography, a bibliography, a filmography all rolled into one, and filled from cover to cover with Tezuka's singular artwork. Then I turned on the television again and had a look at the bonus documentary DVD that comes with the book. Find out why this tome will be at home on all bookshelves by clicking on my review.

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    And then it was time to partake of my next instalment of Speed Grapher. It's a curious blend, with a story that is edgy, darker, and wanders into uncomfortable territory indeed, examining the seedier side of human nature, the baser instincts, and the lack of self control and loss of ethics that come with opulent riches and power. That's set against the fact that it is a Gonzo animation, a company which more than most can be considered a production line, with a distinct and recognisable flavour to all the shows that they produce. It means that Speed Grapher is unlike anything you've seen before, and at the same time similar to everything you've seen before. See if Speed Grapher: Volume 3 can reconcile that.

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    Then came a much-delayed review for the much-delayed Darker Than Black: Volumes 3 & 4. What should have been here back in September now arrives some six weeks late, and given my slightly non-committal appraisal of the first instalment, I was hoping for big things from this one. It's a cyberpunk future, where the sky has vanished, and where Contractors have super powers that they pay for in odd ways. Centre of the global weirdness, Tokyo has become the target for all interest, and now super powered spy teams from all nations vie for power, influence, and information in the Japanese capital. Strange things really start to happen in this second two-disc set, and you can find out if I've become enthusiastic about this show by clicking on the review.

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    Finally, it was Stuart McLean's turn to review the Boobies Boxset… I mean the Witchblade Boxset. Witchblade was originally a graphic novel from Top Cow Comics, but through a Gonzo collaboration, the action was shifted into the future, with all new characters and an all new story, that saw the Witchblade winding up on Japanese soil, and in the possession of single mother Masane Amaha. Of course Gonzo being Gonzo, there was oodles of fan service. The question is, could Stuart see beneath the surface of boobies and ridiculously brief costumes, to learn if a story lurked beneath? Read his review to find out.

    Darker Than Black: Volumes 3 & 4, Always My Santa, and Blood the Last Vampire are all released by Manga Entertainment today. Ilex Press release The Art Of Osamu Tezuka - God of Manga this week, although early copies are already in bookstores, and in stock online. Speed Grapher was MVM's baby from a couple of years ago, but now has grown into a bargain basement toddler, and MVM release Witchblade on the 9th of November.

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