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Initial D First Stage – Collection One (1998)

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Despite being a fan of anime, from its late-nineties breakthrough into the mainstream, with Evangelion and Cowboy Bebop, I never got into Intitial D on its early release. With the change in rights from Tokyopop to Funimation, the Initial D series is being released and in some cases re-released in specific stage formats (first, second, third stages etc.) I finally decided to give the D a chance and see what the hubbub was all about.

Takumi Fujiwara is a … (read more)

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Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (2006)

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Full Metal Panic! is fast becoming a popular franchise, with numerous mangas, novels and two other anime series already released., You would be hard pressed to able to guess where it will all end. This entry in the franchise is a continuation of the first anime series, and picks up the story about five months after the events of Full Metal Panic!

We rejoin Sousuke Sagara and the rest of his unit as they prepare to “drop in” on some … (read more)

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Tenjho Tenge (2004)

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Tenjho Tenge is a fan-service wonderland. Or at least, that’s what I’d like to say, but the manga it’s based on actually makes the anime look like material suitable for kindergarten story time. Which kind of makes me – a fan-girl and not terribly impressed by the classic shounen fan-service cues so carelessly and frequently applied to fighting anime titles – want to respect it just a little bit. After all, it’s got to be hard to live up to … (read more)

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Arjuna (2001)

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One hot summer day, I died.

Such a statement, a voiceover set amidst the mysterious serenity of zen archery practice, sets the pace for Arjuna Volume 01: Rebirth. There is something almost dreamlike about it; the haunting Yoko Kanno soundtrack, director Shoji Kawamori’s fine control of details and the rich, tactile colours all combine to generate something that borders on the grand. Even the opening of the first episode, setting the pace and describing clearly the central theme of … (read more)

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Gungrave (2003)

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A little while ago, senses overloaded by mecha and super magical girls and people getting transported to other worlds for Some Important Purpose etcetera, etcetera, I think I was getting a little desperate. What with all the anime I watch, I think it gets to me after a while, all that genki. I think I just wanted something straight for a change, you know? Something with grunt and no airs. I wanted rugged and down to earth.

What I … (read more)

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Escaflowne (2003)

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On an evening when both her athletic skills and confused lovelorn feelings are put to the test, Hitomi is transported to a planet located behind the far side of the moon. What she encounters there reconfigures her coming-of-age problems; the imaginary subordinates reality, enabling her more time to experience, understand and judge herself. Through her eyes we encounter the world of Gaea, a place populated by feudalist human factions, furry half-breed creatures and ‘dragons’ of both classical and mechanical robot … (read more)

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