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Added on: 2/8/2010 13:58
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    Anime Review Roundup

    Otakon News

    There was another anime convention in the US this weekend, and as usual, all eyes were on what new licence announcements there were. It's of interest to us in the UK, because what gets licensed in the US, may just eventually make its way over here as well. Japanese producer Aniplex is a new player on the US block, distributing their titles directly to the US fanbase. Their big announcement this weekend was the Blu-ray box of Read or Die, which collects the 26 episode TV series and the 3 episode OVA onto 5 Blu-ray discs in hi-def juiciness. It's enough to make me whimper. But it's hard enough for US fans to find Aniplex titles (they distribute directly, or through Bandai's website). It's nigh on impossible for importers to get hold of this stuff, although some Aniplex titles have shown up at Right Stuf.

    Speaking of Bandai, they have, among other things, licensed The Girl Who Leapt Through Space. Now I know nothing of this title, except the name sounds remarkably similar to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which is reason enough for me to keep an eye out for this television series.

    As usual, it was Funimation that was the fount of all things anime, and they had plenty to announce at Otakon. What will be of direct relevance to us are the most poorly kept secrets in the anime business. Funimation have licensed the second Evangelion movie, Evangelion 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance, and they have also licensed Summer Wars. Given that Manga Entertainment have been promising UK fans both of these titles, it's nice to have the confirmation that dubs will be forthcoming. And both of these titles can't come soon enough. The problem is that we in the UK usually have to wait on the US before we get to see them. Summer Wars was initially positioned for this year, but eventually got pushed back to February 2011. Funimation's announcement adds that Summer Wars will get a theatrical run this year, and the home video release next year. Depending on what Funimation mean by 'next year', the Manga UK release may be delayed even further.

    More news at Anime News Network

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    It was a week of conclusions from MVM, and as so often happens when anime series come to the end of their runs, I was left feeling ambivalent about it all. Take Mahoromatic - Something More Beautiful: Volume 3 for example, which concluded the tale of the android maid and the teenage boy that she serves. It's been a series about saucy comedy, random female nudity, and general silliness. But come the final volume, it gets a little more serious, with a secret war between humans and aliens determining the fate of the planet, and the shattering of a pleasant summer daydream. That's not usually the sort of reversal I take to, and see how I reacted to this one by clicking on the review.

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    Fortunately, I had a breather from that, when I looked at 009-1: Volume1. This was released in the UK by ADV, but those discs are getting pretty scarce now. I wound up importing this from the US, in a metal briefcase. It's retro-futurism at its most appealing, focusing as it does on Cold War spy versus spy antics, transplanted some hundred years into the future, where the main protagonist is a secret agent cyborg named Mylene Hoffman, who has machine guns built into her breasts. Tacky? Click the review to see just how tacky…

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    It was back to the week of ambivalent conclusions next with Rozen Maiden - Traumend: Volume 2. This was a show about animated porcelain dolls with cute and annoying personalities, coming into the life of a reclusive teenaged boy and wreaking havoc on his life. Of course there was a bigger storyline about the Alice Game, with the dolls battling, like cuddly diminutive Highlanders, fighting to be the last one standing and becoming the one true Alice. Don't worry, it all means something. Rozen Maiden - Traumend's ending tries to have its cake and eat it. But you know something? I think it manages it.

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    Finally it was a beginning and an ending all rolled into one, as I took a look at the Pet Shop Of Horrors OVA. The Pet Shop Of Horrors manga is a spooky anthology series that has attracted a fair fan following, with its eerie tales of mystery and creepiness. But a popular manga like that somehow only warranted a 4-episode OVA run. So Pet Shop Of Horrors gets just one disc, 90 minutes to distil all that is best about the manga into four neatly told stories. It's also a vintage anime show, over ten years old now, and it may look a little long in the tooth. But there is a reason why fans keep citing this show as one of their favourites, and there is a reason why it keeps getting released. Click on my review to see why.

    ADV released 009-1: Volume 1 in the US back in 2007, while MVM release Mahoromatic - Something More Beautiful: Volume 3, Rozen Maiden - Traumend: Volume 2, and Pet Shop Of Horrors, to UK audiences today.

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