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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 13/3/2017 15:04
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    Anime Review Roundup

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    This is your mid-range anime forecast. We’ve entered a period of extended mediocrity, with the occasional dip into the dismals. Any glimmer of excellence may be short-lived. I’m a little ahead of this review round-up, and most of the review discs that I’ve been getting of late have been average at best. It’s gotten to the point where I’m relying on re-watches to remind me just how special anime can be. That doesn’t always work either. The first review of the week is a case in point. Re-Kan is a perfectly watchable, enjoyable, and entertaining comedy about high school friendship, with the twist that one of the friends has a talent for communicating with the dead. And there’s absolutely nothing to distinguish it from half a hundred other identikit shows. It’s one of those anime to get if you’ve not seen a lot in the way of anime. Read more in the review.

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    The whinge about Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions Heart Throb comes from a different direction. The first season was spectacular, one of the highlights of that particular simulcast season, a piece of KyoAni brilliance, a geek romantic comedy with a side helping of delusions, but it was complete in and of itself. Its success alone mandated a sequel series, but it’s hard to come up with a decent sequel to a rom-com. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions was brilliant. Heart Throb falls short in trying to match that success, so what you get is a good, watchable series that will always be unfavourably compared to the original.

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    I actually had to step away from anime to get something more singular, something more memorable this week. I delved into the Disney pile and revisited Aladdin, a film I last watched on VHS. The story is pure Arabian Nights fantasy, the lowly thief plucked from obscurity to retrieve a magic lamp for a duplicitous Grand Vizier, but who manages to hold onto the lamp when he’s betrayed. The magic wish that the genie grants is nothing compared to the magic that Robin Williams cast over the movie, a magnificent spell that transformed what could have been a mundane film into something wholly spectacular.

    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    Fullmetal Alchemist Movie 2: The Sacred Star of Milos. Back down to mundanity! You wouldn’t expect me to say that about Fullmetal Alchemist, but the second feature film has turned out to be something of the unloved stepchild of the franchise, existing outside of both anime series continuities. The original Fullmetal Alchemist did its own thing once it outpaced the manga, and its sequel movie, The Conqueror of Shamballa was a fitting send off. Brotherhood was a more faithful adaptation of the manga, but Milos was an original creation with the familiar characters. It feels like a television episode writ large, with Ed and Al investigating a previously unknown form of alchemy, and getting drawn into a grand conspiracy. It plays much like an episode script, albeit with the guest characters taking a bigger role, but it’s also really quite predictable if your halfway acquainted with the franchise, and it also has a rather disappointing and snooze inducing lull in the middle, the classic sign of an overlong movie.

    With Aniplex re-appropriating the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise, discs are getting harder to find, especially in the US. Things are a little easier here in the UK, where Manga Entertainment released Fullmetal Alchemist Movie 2: The Sacred Star of Milos on DVD and on Blu-ray back in 2012, and there was also a twin pack with The Conqueror of Shamballa. Here’s my review for the film. You can still find a few copies at retail if you want to give this entertaining, but unspectacular film a try. Back to the mundanity indeed...

    MVM released Re-Kan on DVD and on Blu-ray last Monday, March 6th. Manga Entertainment released Love, Chunibyo and Other Delusions! Heart Throb on DVD and on Deluxe Blu-ray on February 27th. Disney’s Aladdin was released here on Blu-ray in 2014.

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