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Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 25/11/2019 17:03
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    Anime Review Roundup

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    Plenty of animation to look at from last week, beginning with Stuart McLean’s review of Silver Spoon Season 2. This is the brilliant slice of life series that features a city boy who winds up going to an agricultural college, learning about farming and livestock. It’s an authentic look at where the food on our plate comes from, wrapped in a light-hearted character comedy that never ceases to entertain with its warm sense of humour. Click on Stuart’s review to see what he thought.




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    Next up, it was the turn of One Piece Film: Gold. This one had to be an import, as One Piece releases in the UK have been scarce of late. If you’ve been following the series in the UK, you’ll know that we’re at that crucial turning point, with the crew split up, and with Luffy having tried to rescue his brother Ace from the gallows. This film is set well after the time-skip, so you’ll see a lot of changes in the characters and their abilities. Usually, that can be a sticking point in a spin off movie, but Gold works pretty well as a standalone, changing things up when it comes to genre. This pirate movie is actually a heist movie.




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    We head West next, dropping the anime for animation, as I took a look at BoJack Horseman Season 1. This Netflix series is quite a surprise if you are yet to invest in a subscription. It’s about a washed up sitcom star, trying to remain relevant 20 years after his fame started to fade. It’s a dark, cynical and absolutely on point comedy series, with great characters, an engaging story, and poignant humour that has you feeling for the characters as much as it makes you laugh out loud. Click on the review to see why you should place an order.




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    There were only so many bargain buckets I could walk past before I had to pick up The Heroic Legend of Arslan Season 1 Part 1. It’s not a bad show, quite the contrary; it’s just that the expectations and aspirations of Universal, who published it and a handful of other anime in the UK didn’t match the reality of the UK fanbase. Originally made as an OVA series, released here by Manga back when anime came on VHS, this reboot is based on Hiromu (Full Metal Alchemist) Arakawa’s manga adaptation of the original novel. That brings with it a memorable art style and storytelling sensibility that makes this tale of a prince dispossessed of his kingdom really interesting.



    This Week I Have Been Mostly Rewatching...


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    Negima! Ken Akamatsu really hit a bullseye when it came to Negima!, even more so than that early fan favourite harem comedy, Love Hina. The shine may have tarnished on that one in recent years, but you can’t say the same about Negima, despite its tortured history in anime form. It’s the ultimate in harems, although a little bit twisted in its story of a ten-year old wizard in Japan to teach English to a class full of 14 year old girls. It seems like character overload on paper, but Ken Akamatsu’s manga, and this first anime adaptation from studio Xebec develops the characters with ease. There’s a lot to the story as well, although this first series focuses more on the harem comedy aspects. It’s a whole lot of fun, even now, although the manga is much better. There would then come a Studio SHAFT remake from Akiyuki Simbo, better known for the Monogatari franchise, which has even less to do with the manga, taking the characters in a weird direction. There’s an OVA spin-off that we saw in the West, which is a bit in between the two series, and there were subsequently a handful of manga exclusive OVAs that we didn’t see in the west, but were apparently more faithful to the manga. Most recently, Akamatsu has been working on the UQ Holder manga, which at first seemed like an original work, but was quickly revealed to be a sequel to Negima!, set in the future. That too has seen a UK release.



    This is going to be hard to find now. Negima! was released in the UK by Revelation Films back in 2007. Here’s my review of Volume 1. Second hand is probably the only way to pick up the single volume DVDs from them, or the Australian discs from Madman, or the US discs from Funimation. However, there is now a Blu-ray release from Sentai Filmworks, locked to Region A.

    All the Anime released Silver Spoon Season 2 in Collector’s Edition form on Blu-ray back on October 14th. Madman Entertainment’s Region B release of One Piece Film: Gold came out on Blu-ray in 2017. It also came out on DVD. Manga Entertainment released BoJack Horseman Season One on Blu-ray and on DVD on October 28th. Universal released The Heroic Legend of Arslan Series 1 Part 1 on Blu-ray Collector’s Edition and DVD Collector’s Edition back in 2016.

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