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    Anime Review Roundup

    Familiar of Zero Season 4 is Confirmed

    The one problem with licensing long running anime franchises, is that you engender expectation in customers. If you get one part out, they expect the rest to follow suit. That isn’t always possible, with licensing rights, and even production companies shifting from season to season, and it isn’t unusual for different seasons to be released by different companies, or bits left out altogether. MVM were pretty solid when it came to the Familiar of Zero franchise, releasing the first season, and then following it up with the second and third seasons when they became available. But Season 4 seemed a little lost in the wind (it was released out of chronological order in the US). The wait is over, as The Familiar of Zero F will be released in the UK on the 9th of May on DVD and Blu-ray. The wait for Shakugan no Shana Season 3 continues...

    News from ANN.


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    Three anime reviews for you last week, beginning with Nyan Koi! Collection. Nyan is onomatopoeic Japanese for ‘Meow’ while Koi means love. You might be expecting a show about those batty, little old ladies that live with hundreds of cats, and wind up getting eaten by them when they die. Just me? This is actually a very comfortable entry into a well-worn genre, that of the harem comedy. One boy, lots of girls, plenty of laughs. The selling point in this series is that the romantic comedy is initiated when the boy is cursed. He’s allergic to cats to begin with, but he’ll turn into a cat if he doesn’t help a hundred cats. It seems that helping cats gets him noticed by girls. See if the show delivers on the laughs by clicking on the review.




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    Next it was the turn of Mirai Nikki: Future Diary Part 1. This long delayed show is finally here in the UK. It’s a blood and guts action show as a couple of kids get drawn into a supernatural survival game, where their diaries start telling them the future, and they have to use them to track down and kill their opponents before they do the same to them. It’s full of gory action, and it ventures into some dark places. The selling point is the crazy stalker girl who winds up teaming with the hapless teen male that she obsesses about.




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    I wound up the week with Love, Election and Chocolate Collection. It’s not about a Valentine’s day vote, although that could have been a whole other show. It’s a high school ‘bit of everything’ anime, which sees a beloved Food Research Club threatened with closure by the most likely candidate to win the next student council election. What else to do but to put up a candidate against her. This comedy drama romance may be messy and uncertain, but it has its moments. Click on the review to see if this is more your thing.



    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    Gravitation. There are those genres that are underserved in the UK, not surprising when you consider the size of the UK anime scene, and just how many people will buy into a genre. Gravitation is a BL anime, with BL standing for Boys’ Love. This isn’t what you think. This is not a gay title, despite the fact that it tells the story of two men who fall in love. This little anime niche is designed for women, those women who want to partake of a vicarious relationship as safely as possible. How better to do so than through two attractive males? I guess it’s the same rationale as lesbian porn appealing to heterosexual males, although Gravitation is hardly erotic. Its target audience apparently expects relationship melodrama, not sex. The resulting anime, a tale about a perky, childish rock star, and the moody, dark author he falls for is unbelievably unrealistic. It’s more like a relationship between an owner and puppy, culminating in the most joyless kisses ever animated.



    So why do I watch this, you may ask? Gravitation certainly falls into the so bad that it’s good category. But the real reason is that I like the music. Granted there are only three bands in the show, and they each only bring one song to the table, but it’s very eighties style pop-music, just my cup of tea. I’ve reviewed the individual discs on the site, but Stuart McLean has taken a look at the complete boxset released by MVM. And as you might expect from such a niche title, it is still readily available to buy even now.

    MVM released Nyan Koi! last Monday, while Love. Election and Chocolate comes out today, and both are out on DVD and on Blu-ray. Kazé Entertainment releases Mirai Nikki: Future Diary Part 1 on DVD and Blu-ray today.

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