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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 2/1/2018 13:02
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    Anime Review Roundup

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    Happy New Year! We made it through 2017 without the world going up in a ball of atomic flame. Just three more years to go; keep your fingers crossed. Of course if Steins;Gate was a thing, we’d have a time machine safety net in case the worst did happen. Although a safety net is no guarantee of happiness, or indeed continued existence, as I found out in the first of this week’s import anime reviews, with Steins;Gate the Movie: Load Region of Déjà Vu. The consequences of changing history catch up with series protagonist Okabe Rintaro, and he’s erased from history. It falls to #1 lab assistant, and love interest Makise Kurisu to save him and restore him to the timeline. You have to be a fan of Steins;Gate to enjoy the feature film spin-off, but who isn’t a fan of Steins;Gate?

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    I had to have The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan Complete Series flown in as well, as this Haruhi Suzumiya spin-off is also yet to have a UK release. To be more specific, it spins off from the feature film, itself a time travelling extravaganza that saw series protagonist Kyon wake up in a world where erstwhile alien Yuki was actually just a cute little girl, with a crush on him. This series takes that as its premise, a world where Kyon joins the literature club for real, where Yuki keeps trying to work up the courage to confess her feelings to him, only to be stymied when Haruhi shows up. Without the aliens, espers, and time travellers, and other god-like beings, can this premise work? Click on the review to find out.

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    And finally we get to a UK release, as I look at Hyouka Part 1: Collector’s Edition. This KyoAni production has been a long time coming, only recently having made its English language debut. It’s a light high school comedy drama, that focuses on the Classic Literature Club, and their collective penchant for solving mysteries. When you get down to it, it sounds like a rather mundane premise, but in the hands of this fan favourite studio, Hyouka becomes something really quite special, enchanting and compelling.

    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...

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    Area 88. Stick this in the “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” pile. Area 88 is a TV series that spun off from an OVA, which itself adapted an arcade game from the 1980s. I had the Spectrum conversion of U.N. Squadron as it was marketed in the West, and it’s a briefly fun sideways scrolling shoot-‘em-up, although nowhere near as much fun as the show. You just don’t see stories like this in anime anymore. Shin Kazama was an aspiring airline pilot, engaged to the daughter of the company president, but then his best friend got him drunk and signed him up as a mercenary pilot. Now he’s indentured for 3 years, flying in a hot combat zone in the Middle East, trying to earn enough in kills to buy his contract out early so he can get back to Japan for some payback. It’s not only got well crafted story, but coming from that age where CG animation was making its presence felt in anime, it has some awesome dogfight sequences as well.

    ADV Films released Area 88 on DVD in four volumes back in 2006, and there was a subsequent collection as well. Here’s my review of volume 1. As you might expect, the title has gone the way of its distributor, although you might find the odd volume on sale in certain retailers. But at this time, second hand would be your best bet. It’s worth looking out for though, as it’s a singular show from when anime took a lot more chances with the stories that were told.

    Hyouka Part 1 was released as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray and standard DVD on the 4th of December 2017. Australia’s Madman Entertainment released Steins;Gate the Movie: Load Region of Déjà Vu in 2017 and The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan Complete Series in 2016, both on Blu-ray and on DVD.

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