Anime Review Roundup
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. It’s the feature film that really put director Hayao Miyazaki on the map, and enabled the creation of Studio Ghibli. It’s a political tale with a rich ecological message, but what is surprising in this modern age of eco-consciousness, is that Miyazaki made this back in 1984, when the biggest consequence of pollution that we had to deal with was acid rain, and maybe lead in our petrol.
Kyousougiga in the space of a paragraph is a challenge that I’m not worthy of. It’s an anarchic, visually spectacular animation. It blends mythology and mysticism and gives it a 21st Century twist that makes it feel stunningly original. And it’s all about family. And none of those sentences seem adequate, either by themselves or in combination, to adequately convey just how spectacular an achievement Kyousougiga is. It’s one of my favourite anime, and despite the fact that I can only spin the DVDs in this combo release, not importing it was never a question. The only question is why hasn’t any UK distributor picked this show up?
Matoi the Sacred Slayer. Last year, MVM released Nurse Witch Komugi-R, a bland, by the numbers, plodding entry into the magical girl canon. Matoi the Sacred Slayer is how to do the magical girl show right, although you won’t believe that at first. The animation is rough and of low quality, while the first episode is bad enough to make you want to ditch the whole thing. But the second episode redeems the first, and it only gets better from there. Appealing characterisations, heartfelt storytelling, and an engaging pace makes sticking with it to the end well worth it.
This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...
Nurse Witch Komugi was released in the UK by ADV Films, and ten years after that company closed up shop, you can still find the 2-disc collection on sale second hand. Here's my review.
MVM release Matoi the Sacred Slayer on DVD and on Blu-ray today. Diskotek released Kyousougiga as a BD/DVD combo release back in 2017, while Studiocanal released Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind on Blu-ray back in 2010.