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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 23/4/2018 17:02
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    Anime Review Roundup

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    I had one pleasant surprise this week, one disappointment, and one case of low expectations met. Occultic;Nine Volume 1 was the pleasant surprise, although you might not expect such from the creators of Steins;Gate. Moving away from the science adventure genre a tad to something a little more supernatural, Occultic;Nine promises much, but proceeds to hobble itself with unlikeable main characters, and a character designer who in one case is patently off his trolley. It was all going south until the end of the collection, the midpoint of the series, where Occultic;Nine threw in a twist that chased away all the negativity I was generating about the show.



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    I wasn’t sure what to expect from GATE Collector’s Edition, but it certainly started off in the right way, a tale about a portal opening up between our world and a world of fantasy and magic. An attack on our world is repelled by the JSDF, and in response an expeditionary force is sent back through the gate, with our otaku protagonist a leading figure. While he may be separated from his beloved anime, manga and videogames, visiting a world of elves, mages, demigods, princesses, and furries more than makes up for it. It’s an engaging culture clash show at first, but GATE’s propaganda and politics keep getting in the way more and more as the series progresses.




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    And then there is Fate Grand Order – First Order – , a movie based on a mobile phone game. It’s set in the Fate universe, so expect Masters and Servants, and expect lots of fighting over the Holy Grail. But Fate Grand Order is all surface, and lacks any of the depth and characterisation that make the visual novel adaptations so much more worthy of note. Click on the review to read more.



    This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...


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    Shangri-La. This was one of Studio Gonzo’s last quality productions, at least when it comes to their oeuvre of action/sci-fi/comedy/mystery mash-ups; the kind of show that they’d been making since Kiddy Grade. It was also a show where they filtered out all that worked from their big eco-feature, Origin: Spirits of the Past, ditching the nonsense (like the volcano on legs). Set in a future where climactic collapse has been averted only by desperate measures, the forced and sudden re-forestation of the planet, and a new carbon based economy, Shangri-La tells the story of a dystopian society in an elite arcology, keeping the rest of the world in poverty outside, and the three unique individuals with the potential to change that world.



    Shangri-La was a masterclass in world-building, creating a rich and vivid future that inspired and entertained. But as is traditional, it all went what I tend to call, a bit Gonzo at the end, throwing mystical and mythical elements into a sci-fi story that really didn’t need them. Here’s my review of Part 1. MVM released the show on DVD in the UK in two parts in 2013, and both are still available today, as is the subsequent complete series collection.

    Manga Entertainment released Occultic Nine Volume 1 on DVD and on Blu-ray on April 2nd. MVM release GATE Collector’s Edition BD/DVD combo today (standard editions will come out later), while they also released Fate Grand Order – First Order – on BD and on DVD on April 16th.

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