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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 30/11/2015 15:25
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    Anime Review Roundup

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    My first review of the week was a particular joy as I took a look at The Eccentric Family. It’s one of those rare anime that do something completely different from the crowd. This one’s a modern day take on Japanese mythology, as it covers human, tanuki, and tengu societies interacting in modern day Kyoto. It’s comedy and drama, politics and mystery, and a whole lot of familial warmth as it follows the perspective of one particular tanuki family, and their third son. It very much is one of the best shows that I have seen in recent years, so much so that by the time I had finished with the check discs, my retail copy had been delivered, and it felt perfectly natural to watch it all over again straight away.

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    No such eagerness for Coppelion: The Complete Series, although it is a show that I have enjoyed both times that I have seen it. It’s set in a future where Tokyo has been laid waste by a nuclear accident, and after twenty years, high school students genetically engineered to be immune to radiation have been sent in to find and rescue the few survivors. Only not all of the survivors that they find welcome rescue, and there are some nefarious characters stalking the abandoned Tokyo streets. Coppelion looks fantastic, but some may find its comic tone jarring with its dystopian storyline. For me, it’s nothing less than a post-apocalyptic Looney Tunes cartoon; a whole lot of fun.

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    Things seemed to be on a downward trend with this week’s reviews by the time I got to Ghost in the Shell Arise: Borders 3 & 4. This is the conclusion to the Arise feature films, although they’ve since gone and turned it into a television series, splitting each Border into two episodes, and adding another Border. It’s a prequel re-imagining of the Ghost in the Shell universe, relating a story of how the Section 9 crew came together in the first place. Continuity hounds like myself will be disappointed that it’s nothing like the world of the movie or indeed Stand Alone Complex, but for me, a lack of continuity was the least of Arise’s problems. Click the review to read more.

    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    Azumanga Daioh. Thankfully for my equanimity, I’ve recently started rewatching this delightful high school comedy sketch show. There are countless high school comedy anime out there, along with all the high school dramas, fantasies, sci-fi and so on. Anime loves high school protagonists that the target audience can relate to. Azumanga Daioh is a simple show that follows six friends, their classmates, and their teachers through three years of high school. What makes this show so special is that it’s about the characters first and foremost; it shies away from fan service and the usual clichés, and instead delivers warm, gentle, heartfelt comedy. It’s relentlessly nice, and as an escape from the trials of the real world, there need to be more shows out there just like it.

    I reviewed the ADV boxset of Azumanga Daioh for the site back in 2008, and as you might expect, that release has long since vanished from shop shelves. The best chance for UK discs at this time is second hand, although some stray volumes might linger in e-tailer warehouses. Oddly enough, this show was never rescued in the US following ADV’s closure, and is even scarcer over there. Fortunately it is still available in complete collection form from Madman Entertainment in Australia, and it still retains the original on-disc extra features too.

    The Eccentric Family Series: Collector’s Edition comes out on Blu-ray today courtesy of MVM. The standard edition DVD will be out on the 21st of December. Kazé released Coppelion Complete Series on DVD last Monday, while Manga Entertainment release Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Borders 3 & 4 on DVD and on Blu-ray today.

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