Anime Review Roundup

Inline Image
After last week’s Comicon news-dump, it’s straight into the reviews this week, beginning with a double dip. Fate/Zero was pretty good on DVD when I originally reviewed it, but its visuals from Studio ufotable were of the calibre that warranted HD, so I began by taking a look at Fate/Zero Part 1 on Blu-ray. It was also a surprise for me, the Type Moon adaptation that serves as a prequel to Fate/Stay Night, the show about teenaged mages and their summoned spirits doing battle for the Holy Grail. The first incarnation of Fate/Stay Night was pretty unimpressive, but Fate/Zero changes things up by casting more mature characters, and paying a lot more attention to motivation and narrative. This is a smart show that doesn’t pander, instead making the audience work for the story, and it’s all the better for it.

Inline Image
Speaking of double dips, we’re going back to the Dragon Ball Z well again (it’s only the second time for us, Funimation keep on re-releasing it in the US). This time we’re getting Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season 1. Kai is the anniversary re-edit of the series, which strips out all of the filler, the recaps and the flashbacks, and instead tells the story in short, sharp bursts of episodic action, cutting the overall length of the series by almost a half. It now is pretty much faithful to the original manga from Akira Toriyama. What’s more, we’re now getting it on Blu-ray, and in the original aspect ratio. Click on the review to see if this incarnation is the Dragon’s balls, or just a drag...

Inline Image
To round off the week, I took a look at Captain Earth: Part 1, which to my slight disappointment was not a superhero anime. It is instead another giant robot show from Studio Bones, the creators of Rahxephon and Eureka Seven, so it’s got a fair bit of mecha pedigree to it. It’s your usual ‘teenager stumbles into a giant robot by accident and winds up fighting to save the world’ plotline, but Captain Earth has the benefit of some excellent visuals and animation, as well as some very likeable characters, and it does just enough different from its peers to warrant further attention. It isn’t perfect though. Click on the review to read why.

This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

Inline Image
Gantz. From last week’s sublime Gungrave, to the ridiculous alien hunting anime this week. Most anime shows remain on an even level with me with each re-watch. My first impressions usually hold true. Some shows I’m lucky with, in that they get better with each new viewing, but there are the odd shows that just get worse time after time. Gantz is one of those shows, which superficially impressed with its gritty and bloody storyline when I first watched it, reminiscent of the Manga Video OVAs that first got me into the medium, with no little sex, and plenty of gory violence. It has an interesting premise, with the recently departed resurrected by a mysterious black ball, and sent time and again to do secret battle with aliens in the city using bizarre weapons, the aim to accumulate 100 points, or die for a permanent second time. But in execution it was terrible, unevenly paced, cast with a group of odious characters with no redeeming features, and apt to pause in the middle of some life-threatening alien fighting action so that the cast can have a conversation, or just overact for a bit. In the end it commits the cardinal sin in many fans’ eyes of straying from the source manga, but that is the least of Gantz’ issues.

Here’s the review for what was then the penultimate volume, and I can see that even then Gantz wasn’t my favourite show of that year. If you want to give Gantz a try after my enthusiastic endorsement... the single volumes are long since deleted and consigned to the second hand market, but MVM’s complete collection DVD release is still available brand new from e-tailers.

MVM release Captain Earth: Part 1 next Monday, August 10th on DVD and on Blu-ray. They released Fate Zero on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014. Manga Entertainment release Dragon Ball Kai: Season 1 on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Your Opinions and Comments

Be the first to post a comment!