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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 18/9/2017 16:47
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    Anime Review Roundup

    R.I.P. DVD

    Let’s not nail the coffin shut just yet, but when it comes to anime, the venerable format that made anime explode in the West, might just be on the critical list. Sentai Filmworks in the US have announced that they are phasing out DVD releases for anime by 2019. That’s with the exception of long running shows which have had part DVD releases, and shows where only SD masters exist. But everything else will be Blu-ray only. To add a little incentive for US customers, anyone spending more than $300 at the Sentai webstore gets a free Blu-ray player. Given how much MVM and Manga Entertainment rely on Sentai titles to release in the UK, this is a decision that will have ramifications for the UK market.

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    My first anime review of the week turned out to be for A Certain Scientific Railgun S, the second season of the popular spin-off from A Certain Magical Index. When it came to the first seasons of both, my preference was for Railgun, and that’s no less true for season 2. Season 2 actually improves on the story by really taking the main character of Mikoto Misaka on an emotionally charged journey, while the story has the masterstroke of revisiting the best bit of A Certain Magical Index, and making it even better. Click on the review to read more.

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    Talk about revisiting old stories and making them better! Nurse Witch Komugi-R is a remake of an old OVA, adapting those 5 episodes into a full, 12 episode series. Nurse Witch Komugi ran out of steam with its take on magical girls in a world of cosplay. There’s only so much you can do with cosplay. Nurse Witch Komugi-R on the other hand sets its magical girl storyline in the popular anime genre of idols. Three songstresses/actresses get co-opted into becoming magical girls and defeating odd monsters to collect cards. It’s as traditional and clichéd as you might expect, but Nurse Witch Komugi-R has a lot of heart to it.

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    Actually my first review of the week was for the live action Ghost in the Shell (-Q?), as I took in the absolute disaster which was Hollywood’s latest attempt to adapt an anime/manga, coupled with a whitewashing controversy so earth-shattering that Hollywood shut down in collective shame and stopped making movies altogether. Lies, fake news, and keyboard warrior outrage! Ghost in the Shell is pretty good. For a bubblegum summer blockbuster, it’s downright amazing. The story, while hackneyed, is put together well, the casting controversy is a storm in a teacup which doesn’t hold water, stacked up against the basic premise of the film, and the production design looks astounding. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet...

    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

    Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere. 2 cours of incomprehensible fanwank! That was your second and final chance. Off to the circular file you go.

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    Shikabane Hime. Thankfully I have another old, but gold show on the DVD deck. Also called Corpse Princess, Shikabane Hime tells the tale of a girl who was brutally murdered along with her family by the undead Shikabane, but was brought back as a Shikabane Hime to fight alongside a monk to defeat the Shikabane. The story is told from the point of view of the monk’s adopted younger brother, who has been kept out of the mystical world, but gets drawn in when he sees his brother coming home injured all the time, and even more so when he keeps running into the Shikabane Hime and getting caught up in all manner of supernatural hijinks. Things get really complicated when the Seven Stars, the Shikabane that killed the girl return.

    Shikabane Hime is a show that has a lot in the way of style to it, and like so many such shows, it blends comedy and drama really quite effectively. If it has a weakness, it’s that it gets lost in the ‘office politics’ of the various sects of monks and their assorted Shikabane Hime, and the second half doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the first, but it is a watchable and entertaining show. Manga Entertainment released the show in two halves on DVD back in 2011. Here’s my review of Part 1. They subsequently released it as a complete series collection in 2012, and all three releases are still available today.

    Manga Entertainment released A Certain Scientific Railgun Complete Season 2 as a BD/DVD combo on August 21st. MVM released Nurse Witch Komugi-R on DVD and on Blu-ray last Monday. Paramount released Ghost in the Shell on digital, DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD on August 7th.

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