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Hakuoki: Ova Collection DVD Review

Director: Osamu Yamasaki,

Starring: Hiroyuki Yoshino, Greg Ayres, Houko Kuwashima, Brittney Karbowski, Koji Yusa, Illich Guardiola, Kousuke Toriumi, Leraldo Anzaldua, Shinchiro Miki, Andrew Love, Showtaro Morikubo, Blake Shepard,

Running Time: 180 minutes

Certificate: 12

Hakuoki returns for a brief Ova (original video animation). OVAs can go either way, having more time and effort put into them without the worry of TV limitations, or being cheaper and rushed. Hakuoki seems to fall into the second category, but only in terms of animation. The look of this set of episodes just doesn’t compare with the three seasons that preceded it; colours aren’t as vibrant and the movement seems stilted at times. It’s far from unwatchable though, and fans will enjoy revisiting key characters.

Most impressed by this set of episodes will be fans of the original games, as we now focus a lot more on the female protagonist Chizuro (Kuwashima/Karbowski
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Hakuoki Season 3 DVD Review

Director: Osamu Yamasaki,

Starring: Hiroyuki Yoshino, Greg Ayres, Koji Yusa, Illich Guardiola, Kousuke Toriumi, Leraldo Anzaldua, Shinchiro Miki, Andrew Love, Showtaro Morikubo, Blake Shepard,

Running Time: 300 minutes

Certificate: 15

After wrapping things up in the previous season, season 3 of Hakuoki is a prequel. Prequels don’t always spell success, often dragging out a story and revealing way too much of the past which was better left to the imagination. There’s also the tricky issue of knowing where the story’s going, which can lead to the plot becoming very disinteresting. Thankfully, Hakuouki avoids all of these potential traps in storytelling. Instead we get a riveting stand alone tale that can easily be enjoyed on its own merits.

In fact, it could be argued that is the best season so far, as it gives a huge amount of development to the male cast. The original series focused on a female having
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Hakuoki Season 2 DVD Review

Director: Osamu Yamasaki

Starring: Hiroyuki Yoshino, Greg Ayres, Houko Kuwashima, Brittney Karbowski, Koji Yusa, Illich Guardiola, Kousuke Toriumi, Leraldo Anzaldua, Shinchiro Miki, Andrew Love, Showtaro Morikubo, Blake Shepard

Running Time: 300 minutes

Certificate: 15

The second season of Hakuoki is quite similar to the first. There is still a strong emphasis on the relationship between Chizura and the many men in her life. Fortunately, the series still refuses to make this the main focus. Rather than having a romantic mystery surrounding who Chizura will end up with (if anyone), it instead focuses on each relationship and how important it is. All the men in her life have a connection to her i some respect, but neither her nor them are completely obsessed over love. If it happens, it happens, and that is a rather mature outlook especially for an anime .

When not focusing on the characters, we have a lot of history to be catching up with.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Hakuoki Season 1 DVD Review

Director: Osamu Yamasaki,

Starring: Hiroyuki Yoshino, Greg Ayres, Houko Kuwashima, Brittney Karbowski, Koji Yusa, Illich Guardiola, Kousuke Toriumi, Leraldo Anzaldua, Shinchiro Miki, Andrew Love, Showtaro Morikubo, Blake Shepard,

Running Time: 300 minutes

Certificate: 15

Based on the popular video game series mostly aimed at females; well, completely aimed at females, Hakuoki in anime form tries to appeal to a much broader audience. The Playstation and Nintendo franchise is an otome game, which is basically a dating-sim with a story and multiple endings. The game sees the player choosing different story paths and eventually ending up with the man of their choice. Not the easiest idea to adapt to an anime, especially when the games play up to the fulfilment of romantic fantasies and the anime has to tell a much more balanced tale.

Chizura is a young girl disguised as a boy in feudal Japan. She searches for her father, which leads her to the Shensengumi,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Persona 4: The Animation Box 2 Blu-ray Review

Director: Seiji Kishi

Starring: Ami Koshimizu, Amanda Winn Lee, Daisuke Namikawa, Johnny Yong Bosch, Showtaro Morikubo, Erin Fitzgerald, Yui Horie, Yuri Lowenthal

Running Time: 207 minutes

Certificate: 12

Persona 4: The Animation sees a bunch of teenagers, each dealing with their own demons, enter a bizarre world inside a television where they must battle the worst parts of themselves. The first half of this box set continues the formulaic route of the last, wherein each episode sees a character disappear from the real world and enter the TV world. They meet the dark reflection of themselves, argue with it, cry and deny they truly have those thoughts inside them. That’s when Yu Narukami and his group of friends appear to save the day.

Like before, these individual cases are very interesting to watch. The characters’ dark thoughts aren’t just things they are scared of becoming, but are actual parts of themselves.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Persona 4: The Animation DVD Review

Director: Seiji Kishi

Starring: Ami Koshimizu, Amanda Winn Lee, Daisuke Namikawa, Johnny Yong Bosch, Showtaro Morikubo, Erin Fitzgerald, Yui Horie, Yuri Lowenthal

Running Time: 207 minutes

Certificate: 12

Extras: Director’s Cut Episode 1, Trailer, TV Spot, Textless Opening/Closing Credits

Persona 4: The Animation is based on the wacky and popular Japanese video game of the same name (but without the ‘The Animation’ part). Many may be turned off by the sound of a videogame adaptation, but considering Persona 4 is both a role playing game and partly a simulation game, there is plenty of room to include plot, character development, and comedy as well as the usual action.

Persona 4: The Animation follows protagonist Yu Narukami as he tries to adapt to life in a small town after moving from Tokyo. Yu Narukami is quite a refreshing character as he doesn’t seem to oppose his circumstances. He’s unsure of life in a rural village,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

First teaser for upcoming animated film "Onigamiden"

The official website for Hirotsugu Kawasaki’s upcoming animated film Onigamiden has been updated with a 1-minute teaser trailer.

Based on Takafumi Takada’s 2-volume 2004 novel of the same name, the story is primarily set in Heian period Kyoto during a time of fierce fighting between people and “oni” (demons). Somehow, a 15-year-old modern-day boy named Jun Tendo slips back in time 1200 years and finds himself thrown into the middle of the ancient battle.

In addition to his previous directorial work in the 1998 anime “Spriggan”, Kawasaki has worked as an animator on high profile works such as “Laputa: Castle in the Sky” (1986) and Akira (1988) to name a few. On a somewhat related note, Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo designed the “Orochi” creature summoned by Jun at the :44 mark of the teaser.

The voice cast includes Kensho Ono, Satomi Ishihara, Shido Nakamura, Takashi Kondo, Shotaro Morikubo, Kentaro Ito, Yasuyuki Kase, Sosuke Komori,
See full article at Nippon Cinema »

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