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Fate/Zero Part 2 DVD Review

Director: Ei Aoki

Starring: Ayako Kawasumi, Kari Wahlgren, Rikiya Koyama, Matthew Mercer, Akina Abe, Patrick Seitz, Akio Ohtsuka, Jamieson Price, Hikaru Midorikawa, Grant George, Akira Ishida, Johnny Yong Bosch

Running Time: 350 minutes

Certificate: 15

Picking up where the last collection left off, Fate/Zero starts this time around like a Japanese monster epic, which is fine by me. It’s an action packed opening with stunning animation and a real sense of what is at stake. This causes many of the show’s competitors to suddenly unite, allowing for many wonderful character moments and some much needed development. Often, classic characters such as King Arthur may be used to excuse any requirement of exploring the characters, as audiences already know all about them, but Fate/Zero makes sure that we see a different side to these ancient warriors.

The battles become more intense, but the series also jumps back into the past for seemingly unrelated episodes.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Fate/Zero Part 1 DVD Review

Director: Ei Aoki

Starring: Ayako Kawasumi, Kari Wahlgren, Rikiya Koyama, Matthew Mercer, Akina Abe, Patrick Seitz, Akio Ohtsuka, Jamieson Price, Hikaru Midorikawa, Grant George, Akira Ishida, Johnny Yong Bosch

Running Time: 350 minutes

Certificate: 15

Set 10 years before Fate Stay Night this prequel anime series, based on the computer game series, doesn’t require any prior knowledge in order to sit down and enjoy it. Not just because this is handled as a strictly independent story focusing on an event discussed in the previous (but latter set) anime, but also because there’s a ton of exposition thrust the viewer’s way, especially in the opening episode which is a huge info dump which tries to set the scene. This amount of information is presented in a rather laborious fashion, with almost completely static scenes animated at a distance with only the faint movement of lips to make it an animation.

Don
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Aria The Scarlet Ammo DVD Review

Director: Takashi Watanabe,

Starring: Juni Majima, Todd Haberkorn, Rie Kugimiya, Leah Clark, Ayako Kawasumi, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Kaori Ishihara, Jad Saxton, Kenji Nojima, J. Michael Tatum, Mariya Ise, Luci Christian,

Running Time: 300 minutes

Certificate: 15

Butei are armed detectives who work independently from the police. They are also trained from an exceptionally young age, which has given rise to Butei schools, where students attend and always carry their weapons. Enter our hero Kinji (Majima/Haberkorn) who we are introduced to just as his life is under threat from a radio controlled bomb. He’s soon saved thanks to the efforts of the titular Aria (Kugimiya/Clark) and as you can guess from the fact this is an anime, the two end up living together, where they share action adventures and comedic misunderstandings relating to complex love triangles.

It may sound as though Aria The Scarlet Ammo doesn’t have anything new to offer,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Bakuman Season 1 DVD Review

Director: Kenichi Kasai, Noriaki Akitaya,

Starring: Atsushi Abe, Satoshi Hino, Hirofumi Nojima, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Ayako Kawasumi, Ayumi Fujimura, Hirofumi Nojima, Junichi Suwabe, Kenyuu Horiuchi,

Running Time: 600 minutes

Certificate: 12

In a sea of anime that is mostly dedicated towards the latest harem romantic comedies and fight filled action fests, Bakuman is a well needed breath of fresh air. It’s a quieter and subtler anime that makes an unexpectedly thrilling tale. It’s unexpected because the show is based on a manga and is centred around the writing of a manga. No surprise that such a story would reach its desired audience on the printed page, but are the ins and outs of developing a Japanese comic ripe for a televised serial? The answer is a resounding yes.

Middle School students Mashiro (Abe) and Takagi (Hino), team up as artist and writer with the plan to develop a serial manga which
See full article at The Hollywood News »

King Of Thorn Blu-ray Review

Director: Kazuyoshi Katayama

Starring: Kana Hanazawa, Brina Palencia, Akiko Yajima, Luci Christian, Ayako Kawasumi, Anastasia Munoz, Eri Sendai, Alexis Tipton, Kenji Nomura, Bob Carter, Kousei Hirota, Jacques Albaret, Misaki Kuno,

Running Time: 109 Minutes

Certificate: 15

If the world does eventually end, at least a killer disease may give the human race a fighting chance. In King Of Thorn, after a vicious virus known as Medusa sweeps the globe, a select few hundred people put themselves into stasis, planning to awaken years later. Unfortunately, they oversleep and the world isn’t exactly how they remember it upon their awakening. After a series of horrific accidents, only a handful of survivors are left, who just happen to represent different facets of society and have conflicting ethics and morals.

The beginning of King Of Thorn is handled with all the expert patience of a true master storyteller. The tension is rife from the outset,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Shana Season 2 Part 2 DVD Review

Director: Takashi Watanabe

Starring: Rie Kugimiya, Tabitha St. Germain, Satoshi Hino, Kristian Ayre, Ayako Kawasumi, Paul Dobson, Hitomi Nabatame, Alistair Abell, Kenji Nojima,

Running Time: 288 minutes

Certificate: 12

Extras: Episode 21 Commentary, Naze Nani Shana II, Shakugan No Shana-Tan Revenge, Textless Opening/Closing Songs,

Shana explodes back onto the screen with an epic battle that concludes an arc from the last collection of episodes. The frantic and mesmerising battle, in terms of animation and emotional weight, means even naysayers should be enticed from the early moments. As it settles down we realise that not only has this half of the season upped the ante in terms of action, but also character development.

Shana, the main Flame Haze (goodies) of the series not only has to worry about the onslaught of denizens (the baddies) from overrunning Earth, but also about her feelings for Yuji. This romance, which is also a love triangle,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Okami-San And Her Seven Companions DVD Review

Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Starring: Shizuka Itou, Brina Palencia, Miyu Irino, Joel McDonald, Kanae Ito, Monica Rial, Aki Toyosaki, Caitlin Glass, Ayako Kawasumi, Colleen Clinkenbeard. Hirofumi Nojima, Micah Solusod, Satomi Arai, Luci Christian,

Running Time: 276 minutes

Certificate: 12

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a trend in modern culture to adapt famous fairytales into contemporary settings, or place them in darker and grittier worlds. Anime is no exception and thus we have Okami-san And Her Seven Companions. However, despite some very obvious references, the show is quite subtle at including motifs from such classic stories, as well as putting greater focus on the exploration of the themes rather than plot points.

Okami is a teenage girl that works as part of the Otogi Bank, only this bank doesn’t lend money, it’s a student run bank that deals in favours. Being high school, and the connection with fairytales, the majority
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Shana Season 2 Part 1 DVD Review

Director: Takashi Watanabe

Starring: Rie Kugimiya, Tabitha St. Germain, Satoshi Hino, Kristian Ayre, Ayako Kawasumi, Paul Dobson, Hitomi Nabatame, Alistair Abell, Kenji Nojima,

Running Time: 288 minutes

Certificate: 12

Shana is yet another anime that deals with blade wielding highschoolers with mystical powers fighting supernatural creatures. That’s not an automatic negative against the series, but it’s hardly enough to grab the attention of casual or dedicated anime viewers. We follow Yuji, a young man who, in the previous series, was set upon by Rinnes. Rinnes are servants to Crimson Lords or Denizens. Anyway, Yuji was eventually saved by Shana, a Flame Haze, whose job it is to destroy such creatures.

If some of the terminology in that last paragraphed caused question marks to appear above your head, then don’t worry, you are not alone. In fact, one of the extras has two characters explaining individual pieces of terminology for 4 minutes at a time.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

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