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    MCM Comicon News and Anime Review Roundup

    The New Licenses and Just the New Licenses

    The MCM Comicon machine trundled down to the big smoke again this weekend just past, and pretty much all of the UK anime scene was represented, bar Universal. As always, I was glued to the Internet, letting other people do the work on Twitter and the anime forums, so I could easily snaffle the news to copy and paste to this article. You can see the direction in which the UK anime industry is shifting with the distribution of new licenses, although it doesn’t take into account the backlog of unreleased titles. But even still, it was Anime Limited with the lion’s share of new titles this year. Here’s a quick summary

    Anime Limited

    Free Iwatobi Swim Club
    Assassination Classroom Season 2
    Kiss Him Not Me
    A Silent Voice
    Mob Psycho 100
    March comes in like a Lion
    Evangelion 1.11
    Princess Arete
    Joker Game
    Ace Attorney
    Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale
    Tenchi GXP
    Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
    Silver Spoon
    Eden of the East: The King of Eden and Eden of the East: Paradise Lost
    Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
    Dagashi Kashi

    I could go into detail about these titles, but Anime Limited have done all the groundwork, with all that’s fit to print in three Newswire posts made over the weekend

    Newswire 93.1
    Newswire 93.2
    Newswire 93.3

    Things worth noting include Free Iwatobi Swim Club, the first season of Free, which follows the recent release of Season 2 in the UK. Okay things are backwards, but they are happening, and hopefully we’ll soon get a similar announcement for High School DxD New. Incidentally this is the first English territory Blu-ray announcement for Free’s first season.

    The Eden of the East movies are last minute pick-ups to add to the Collector’s Edition of the TV series. It’s been delayed a few weeks as a result, but you’ll now get the franchise all in one go. If you picked up an early copy of the collection at MCM, and note the absence of the movies, contact All the Anime to get them mailed to you free of charge to complete the collection.

    An odd pick-up is Evangelion 1.11, which just as with the Eden of the East movies has had its license lapse at Manga. No doubt a collector’s edition with all the gubbins will be released in due time (it is currently out of print in the UK), but it’s a visible sign of the shift in the balance of power between the anime distributors, and it’s logical to assume that Evangelion 2.22 and 3.33 will follow suit, and that the fourth movie will debut at All the Anime as well. The real question is whether an eventual Blu-ray of the original series, Death and Rebirth and the End of Evangelion movies will come too.

    I haven’t had the chance to read up on the other titles announced, although Tenchi GXP was a head-scratcher, a show that was once licensed by Revelation but didn’t make it to release here, but is surely past its sell by date now. Fresh as a daisy, and my favourite of the announcements this week from All the Anime is Silver Spoon, an Agricultural College comedy drama from the creator of Full Metal Alchemist, and one of the best shows of recent years. Please let it be Blu-ray!

    MVM

    MVM had just two new licenses to announce over the weekend, but one of them is sure to be a big, big, big hit with fans.

    Invaders of the Rokujyoma
    Girls Und Panzer OVA and Movie

    They also reconfirmed Girls Beyond the Wasteland, which should also serve as a reminder of the titles that they have yet to release in the UK. From the list of ten titles that they announced at the May Comicon, they still have eight to release, and that doesn’t include the forthcoming Berserk and Ergo Proxy Blu-rays. And if past performance is any indication, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few more licence announcements over the next few weeks. But yes, Girls Und Panzer the Movie and the Anzio OVA. I’ll be front and centre day one for this one, and it might just be my favourite licence announcement of the whole Comicon.

    Manga Kazé Animatsu

    Boruto the Movie
    Out April 3rd for Blu-ray & DVD

    Ghost in the Shell
    Theatrical Screening for January 25th 2017

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OVA Collection
    Limited Edition Blu-ray and DVD

    Berserk Golden Age Trilogy Collection
    Kaze title | Blu-ray & DVD

    Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
    Theatrical Screening for February 1st 2017, Digital & Home Video in 2017

    KINMOZA & Hello! KINMOZA
    New license | 2017 release

    Beyond the Boundary Movies (Movie 1 is Recap, Movie 2 is Sequel)
    New license | March 2017 for both movies in one set

    Flying Witch
    New license | 2017 release

    Gatchaman Crowds Insight
    New license | 2017 release

    A Certain Magical Index II & A Certain Scientific Railgun S
    New license | 2017 release

    Manga started off their announcements pretty low key and predictable. After all, who’d be surprised at another Naruto movie, while the Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex OVAs are notable for finally getting the Laughing Man and 2nd Gig compilations out here in HD (Solid State Society has seen a previous BD release), but most people are hoping it’s a toe in the water for an eventual Blu-ray release of the Stand Alone Complex TV series. But in the second half of their panel came the interesting announcements, and for me some interesting continuations. I’m certainly up for some more Blu-ray Magical Index and Scientific Railgun sequels, having thoroughly enjoyed the first series. But I’ve recently re-watched Beyond the Boundary, and liked it a whole lot more the second time around, so much so that I’m really looking forward to the movies.


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    There was time for some reviews as well, beginning with Wish Upon the Pleiades. This is a rare release of a magical girl show in the UK, at least a straight up, traditional magical girl show. As such I’m as far from its target demographic as you can get, thirty years too old, and with a face full of beard. And for a while it was a show that was well made, but not for me. But then Wish Upon the Pleiades took a turn for the sci-fi that really did appeal to me. Often magical girl shows are subverted, or sexed up for an older male audience, but this one sticks to its young female audience roots and appeals to a broader audience as well. Click on the review to see just how it does this, and why you should give it a try.




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    Next up it was Psycho Pass the Movie. Psycho Pass is one of the best sci-fi anime of recent years, proper cyberpunk with smart writing and great characterisations. Alas it was let down by a change in writer for its second season, but for its big movie spin-off the original writer comes back, and it expands on the first season character arcs in a way that is wholly rewarding. It also moves the story forward, and it’s got some totally kick-ass action. This might just be the best non-Ghibli anime movie released this year.



    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. I love K-On! Who doesn’t love K-On!? And then there’s Love Live, and all the cute idol shows where teenagers come together and relatively effortlessly form a group or a band and become brilliantly successful. Beck is the antidote to that, which shows you what it’s really like, lots of hard work and graft, hours and hours and hours of practice until your fingers bleed, and personality conflicts and strained nerves throughout. Beck follows a mild-mannered teenager on his road to becoming a rock star, and it’s a bumpy, painful road with moments of beauty and clarity. And re-watching it, seeing Koyuki being bullied at school, finding ways to mess up his personal life, you can’t help but cringe at some moments through your fingers. But you do watch it. This is one of the best, most realistic teenage dramas out there (not counting the zombie dog), and is one of my favourite shows.



    Revelation Films started releasing it on single volume DVDs back in 2007, but lost the license four volumes in. I wound up importing Funimation’s volumes 5 and 6 from the US. It’s a shame that Revelation didn’t finish it, as they released volume 1 with a guitar amp storage box for all six discs. Also each volume came with a free guitar pick. You don’t get extras like that anymore. Thankfully, someone saw sense about this fantastic show, and earlier this year, it got a complete series release from All the Anime in a four disc collection. Stuart McLean reviewed it here, and it’s well worth a read, and the show worth a purchase. It’s dirt cheap too.

    Animatsu released Wish Upon the Pleiades in a Blu-ray DVD combo pack on the 17th of October. All the Anime release Psycho Pass the Movie on Blu-ray DVD Collector’s Edition and on standard DVD today.

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