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Monday, 29 August 2011

New Anime Blu-ray UK Release (29/8/11)

This week's special "Bank Holiday" release is High school Of The Dead (H.O.T.D for short) and is being brought to us in the UK on Blu-ray by Manga Entertainment UK.

To most people High School Of The Dead might be a love or hate anime, as the anime itself is filled with senseless violence and Nudity.

The First half of the series shows us the High school students running away from a zombie epedemic as well as killing anything that attacks them and then later in the second half of the series it turns out to be a bit of fan-service with partial nudity.

High School Of The Dead looks like its going to be a mixed bunch, with violence, blood and nudity all in one box - but its all in good fun.

This Blu-ray release is the complete 13 Episode series over 2 Blu-ray disc's, and is also available to purchase on standard DVD, however High School of The Dead was originally made & broadcast in High Definition so it is definately worth watching in HD.

High School Of The Dead Collection -> £24.99 (Amazon UK / HMV UK / Play UK)

Plot: A deadly new disease is ravaging the world, turning the populace into mindless zombies, and the number of infected is skyrocketing by the second. As their fellow classmates and teachers succumb to the infection around them, a small group of students at Fujimi High School are fighting for their lives after surviving the initial outbreak. It is up to Takashi Komuro to unite the group of weary survivors and try to escape the horrors that surround them. In this new world of the living dead...will they escape?...

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Spice and Wolf - Season Two - REGION FREE

Spice and Wolf - Season Two

Blu-ray Region: A and B (Confirmed Playable in UK)

DVD Region: 1 and 4 (Not Playable in the UK)

Price: Standard Edition -> $28.99 / £17.70
Limited Edition -> $41.99 / £25.67

Episodes: 1 - 13 (2 Blu-rays & 2 DVD's set)

Plot: The journey through the wild countryside continues for the merchant Lawrence and his traveling companion, Holo, the untamed harvest goddess.

As their winding path takes them from village to village, Lawrence and Holo reap the bounty of an ever-strengthening bond, depending on his street smarts and her animal instincts to lead them to the feisty deity’s northern home.

Spice and Wolf - Season One - REGION FREE

Spice and Wolf - Season One

Region: A and B (Confirmed Playable in the UK)
-- Boxart states Region A only
-- Confirmed Playable in UK via Readers

Price: $22.99 / £14.05 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 1 - 13 (2 Disc Set)

Plot: Lawrence, a traveling merchant searching for profit, finds a naked girl with the ears and tail of a wolf asleep in his cart.

Her name is Holo – a harvest goddess with an untamed beast lurking inside who longs to return to her beloved northern home.

Armed with his street smarts and her animal instincts, a simple peddler and a forgotten deity begin a journey through the wild countryside. Along their path, the riches of happiness shall be reaped, even as the bankruptcy which dwells in the human heart is exposed.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Eden Of The East: Paradise Lost - REGION FREE

Eden Of The East: Paradise Lost

Blu-Ray Region:
A and B (Confirmed Playable in the UK)

DVD Region: 1, 2 and 4 (Cofirmed Playable in the UK)

Price: $18.99 / £11.51 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 1 Feature-Length-Film's

Plot: The intrigue boils over in Eden of the East: Paradise Lost, the feature-length conclusion of a truly one-of-a-kind anime saga.

Accused of terrorism and feeling the heat, Saki’s high-tech crew is in the crosshairs. Meanwhile, the shroud of mystery covering Takizawa is lifted as he and his fellow Seleção make their final moves. Every game must come to an end. For those playing Mr. Outside’s twisted game of conspiracy thrills, the end comes now.

Samurai Girls - Complete Collection - REGION LOCKED

Samurai Girls - Complete Collection

Region: A (Not Playable in the UK)
-- Back of Box states Region A only

Price: $38.99 / £23.62 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 1 - 12 (2 Disc Set)

Plot: Muneakiru Yagyu is a gifted student of the samurai way. But until he arrives at his dojo, he never knew how gifted he truly was.

Because there, a beautiful girl, Jubei, falls-naked-from the sky and right into his arms. And when they kiss, he magically transforms her into a powerful master samurai.

So, naturally, every beautiful girl at the dojo can't wait to kiss him. And some, like the sexy Gisen, want to do even more. It's a tale of power and lust, filled with beautiful, scantily clad swordfighters who will do anything to please their master and attain even greater power. Get your sword ready for Samurai Girls!

Night Raid 1931 - Complete Collection - REGION LOCKED

Night Raid 1931 - Complete Collection

Region: A (Confirmed Not Playable in the UK)
-- Back of box states Region A Only

Price: $40.99 / £24.85 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 1 - 14 + 2 OVA's (2 Disc Set)

Plot: The year is 1931. The City is Shanghai. Ten years before America will enter World War II; the hydra's teeth planted by the first great global conflict are beginning to germinate, hatching into spiders weaving the complex web of plots and conspiracies destined to inevitably draw entire nations, against their will, to the brink of destruction once more.

And caught in the heart of these webs, desperately seeking to separate lies from truth, is "Sakurai Kikan," an ultra-secret intelligence agency staffed by extraordinarily talented individuals with abilities far beyond those of normal humans.

Their duty: stop the darkest plots and eliminate the greatest threats. But in a city built on intrigue, can even a team of clairvoyants, telepaths and espers stand against the ultimate forces of destiny?

As the Japanese Imperial Army rolls across China, documented facts and fantasy intermingle in the breathtaking exploration of alternative history that is NIGHT RAID 1931.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Moribito - Guardian Of The Spirit - Part 2 - REGION FREE

Moribito - Guardian Of The Spirit - Part 2

Region: A and B (Playable in the UK)
-- Box States Region A only, Confirmed Playable from Planetaxel

Price: $28.99 / £17.60 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 14 - 26 (2 Disc Set)

Plot: Balsa, the spear woman and bodyguard, is visiting the New Yogo Empire.

She is hired to protect the Second Prince, Chagum, who is possessed by a being his father, the Emperor, ordered assassinated.

Throughout the story, Balsa's past comes to light and they uncover mysteries about Chagum s condition while developing a family-like relationship with each other and those around them.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Baka & Test: Summon The Beasts - Season One (Combo Pack) - REGION FREE

Baka & Test: Summon The Beasts - Season One (Combo Pack)

Blu-ray: A & B (Confirmed Playable in the UK)
-- Confirmed via Planet Axel, United Publications & Back Of Box

DVD: Region 1, 2 and 4 (Confirmed Playable in UK)
-- Confirmed via Planet Axel & Back of Box

Price: $35.99 / £22.17 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 1 - 13 (2 Blu-ray Set & 3 DVD set)

Plot: When a fight breaks out at Fumizuki Academy, nobody throws a single punch. Instead, the students utilize the school’s technology to summon Avatars, pint-sized stand-ins with battle powers based on academic ability.

That “academic ability” part is bad news for Yoshii – because Yoshii’s an idiot, stuck in lowly Class F with the slackers. If these misfits want to escape their dump of a classroom and earn some respect, they’ll have to fight their way up the ranks and take on Class A, the Academy’s brightest students. It’s going to be tough, that’s for sure. But once the underachievers of Class F get motivated, they don’t give up – and Yoshii can’t even spell surrender!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Manga UK Cancels UK Blu-ray Release of X'AMD

Manga Entertainment UK has recently announced on Twitter that they plan on cancelling the UK Blu-ray of X'AMD - Lost Memories due to poor Blu-ray sales in the UK.

This would make it the third TV Series that has been cancelled in a year, as previously Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Casshern Sins were both cancelled due to poor sales of the Blu-rays.

X'AMD Lost Memories - Collection 2 was scheduled for release later this year on both Blu-ray & DVD, however only the DVD version of the anime will now be released in the UK.

According to Manga UK only 100 Copies of the Blu-ray were sold in the first 3 weeks of release and according to Manga UK this is a low amount.

In the future Manga Entertainment UK will choose which titles they will bring to the UK on Blu-ray by monitoring the USA Blu-ray releases, if it sells well in america they may bring it out here in the UK (if they own the license). You can read there full announcement on Twitter here.

Either way its sad news for people who planned on owning the complete collection of X'AMD Lost Memories on Blu-ray in the UK, espically when the USA Versions are REGION LOCED.

Other Blu-ray titles, such as Highschool Of The Dead, which is due for release on 29th August, will still be released on Blu-ray and will not be affected by this recent decision.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - Part 5 - REGION LOCKED

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood - Part 5

Region: A (Confirmed NOT Playable in the UK)

Price: $27.99 / £17.95 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 53 - 64 (2 Disc Set)

Plot: The heavens tremble and the planet quakes as the souls of heroes and villains teeter on the edge of darkness and light. The final chapter of the sweeping epic – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – is here.

The Flame Alchemist’s rebel army pushes the forces of Central to the brink of collapse – until the enemy’s fallen leader returns to take control. As mortals and monsters wage war, young Edward and Alphonse Elric must face a cruel being with the unholy power of a god. After endless adventures and countless struggles, the boys find the fate of the world in their weary hands. When the Gateway closes and the circle is complete – who will be left alive to celebrate the astonishing sacrifices made in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 5?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time 3D Review

A few weeks ago Manga Entertainment UK released Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time onto DVD & Blu-ray, however fans who purchased the Blu-ray were treated to watch the film in either standard 2D or in full steroscopic 3D, depending on if they had the right equipment.

The Basic Plot:

After falling through a time-slip, Yusei Fudo (who has just had his powerful card stolen by a mysterious stranger) meets with Juden Yuki and Yugi Muto, who agree to help Yusei defeat the evil Paradox, who is planning to destroy Pegasus before he can invent Duel Monsters.

The Movie:

The blu-ray has three different versions of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time movie, as it features the English Dubbed version in 2D and 3D, as well as the original Japanese version (in 2D) with proper subtitles - this has been added on as a special feature.

The Movie, in short, is 1 long duel and even though the film is 50 minutes in length, the first 25 minutes can feel slightly slow as the first half of the film is mainly used to re-introduce the characters and have small duels, However its in the second half of the movie where it really shines.

Depending on which version of the movie you watch depends on how it starts, as the English Dubbed version features an additional 10 minutes of footage, this footage is basically a "background" to the 3 Duelest Yugi, Jaden and Yusei - however once the introduction has finished then the film will truely start. This 10 minute introduction was put together by 4Kids Entertainment (aka 4KidsTV) and was never intended to part of the main film, hence why it has also been added as a special feature on the disc.

Once the film turely starts you will immeidately notice the difference in quality, espically in High Definition, but when it does start - it kicks off straight into action with Jaden being chased by monsters & a mysterious figure. It later turns out that the Mysterious figure chasing Jaden is none other than a duelist called Paradox.

Paradox has been travelling back in time chasing down the most strongest duelists in history and stealing there strongest cards, he first starts off with Yusei, then chases after Jaden, and then last but not least Yugi. Paradox believes that by collecting all of the strongest cards, he can use them to destory the creator of Duel Monsters and thus save his time from destruction.

Its a simple enough plot & movie to follow - however if you havent watched Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's then you may be slightly lost, as majority of the film is focused on Yusei and his friends. In my opinion, in this movie, Yusei is the lead role, while Jaden & Yugi are support acts as the main story starts to unfold with Yusei & ends with Yusei.

Picture Quality:

As Mentioned earlier the additional 10 minutes is bascially a backstory to the 3 different duelists, but what you may (or not) notice is the variable picture quality, some scenes are sharp and crisp as they were re-mastered and shown in High Defintion, however majority of the scenes are HD Upscales resulting in blur and softness in picture detail - my first reaction to this was that i felt like i was watching a homemade anime music video on Youtube with different picture quality sources, as it is a mixed bunch. The plus side is that this "variety" of picture quality is only in the backstory of the duelists and NOT in the main film itself.

The Film, with the exception of the first 10 minutes, is crystal clear sharp - each character has been re-drawn and re-designed in High Definition, with Jaden having a slightly different & darker highstyle then when compared to the TV Series he was in. Even Yugi Moto was drawn slightly differently, as he is now taller then when he was in the TV Series - but his outward appearence remained the same until he transforms.

Yet again the first half of the film looks fantastic in High Definition, however the Visuals are more stunning in the second half of the film, with a variety of different colours on display at any one time - making this High Definition experience alot more special.

3D Effects:

The additional 10 minutes of footage (i.e. Introduction or re-cap to the three duelists) is in 3D but there is no special 3D effects during this part of the film, even though you will be wearing your 3D Glasses at this point, which is to be expected since it is old re-used footage upscaled into HD (and then yet again into 3D).

3D is used throughout the main film and is highly noticeable, espically if you watch the 2D Version then shortly after watch the 3D Version (or vice versa) - most of the 3D in this film is what i call "depth 3D" where each part of the screen feels different. For example at the start of the film when Jaden is being chased by monsters, the background looks and feels far away in the distance, where as Jaden feels like he is standing close to you. Another aspect is the fire effect brushing past Jaden's face, as it actually looks, and in some ways felt, extremely real - like if you could reach out and grab - where in 2D it looks as flat as a wall. It definately adds a whole new diemension to watching the film.

Out of the screen 3D (i.e. Pops out of the screen) is not used as much in this film, however when the Duel Logos appear on the screen (i.e. Attack Points & Health Points) - these felt like they were popping out of the screen and not actually on the screen itself, in a sense they felt like a sticker which could easily be peeled off, instead of a permant TV logo which is unremovable.

Special Features:

Bonus Features are quite mild, like most other anime release, however it contains:

* Feature Flashback - Introduction / Re-cap to the three duelists (i.e. first 10 Minutes of the English Dubbed Film)
* Original Japanese Movie - This is the original Japanese version, subtitled and uncut - i have to say this is an "extra" special feature as unlike some anime films the subtitles are subtitles of the japanese film and not dubtitles (subtitles taken from the english dub). An example of this is throughout the film Jaden Yuki (English name) is called Judai Yuki (Japanese name) - also the cards are left with all the original japanese text in-tact.
*English Trailer - English Trailer for Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time, this is the "cinema trailer" and not the DVD Release trailer.

Final Thoughts:

I have mixed opinions on this, as the film itself is nothing special, the 3D Effects are great and the picture quality is superb (with the exception of the 10 minute re-cap), however the storyline of the plot is abit thin and weak and does nothing to introduce new people to Yu-Gi-Oh! or allow new viewers to enjoy it without much confusion.

I have watched all of Yu-Gi-Oh! , including the original 26 episode series and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX but i haven't seen much of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's - so i felt out of place & lost with the characters of that time frame - so i assume people will feel the same who haven't watched any of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise

The film was released mainly to celebrate 10 years of the franchise as well as a THANK YOU from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Production team to the people who watch the TV Shows & play the card game. But for newcomes looking to pickup and watch something new - they may get abit lost or bored.

The good side is that Manga Entertainment UK have released the Blu-ray and DVD at extremely good prices, the Blu-ray, which also includes the full 3D Version, is available for £9.99 online, where as the standard DVD can be picked up for as little as £5.99, so even if you do not like the film much it hasn't put a huge dent in your wallet.

If your Interested in Yu-Gi-Oh! or interested in seeing 3 of the best duelists together in 1 film then this is definately worth a purchase as the film can be enjoyable to watch - but if your looking for something completely new, then try watching the TV Shows (or the re-cap on the disc) before watching the film.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 - The Movie - REGION FREE

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 - The Movie: Awakening Of The Trailblazer

Region: A and B (Confirmed Playable in the UK)
-- Confirmed via PlanetAxel &

Price: £15.29 (Excludes Postage)

Episodes: 1 Feature-Length-Film

Plot: It is the year A.D. 2314. Two years have passed since the defeat of the ruthless A-LAWs, and the new Earth Sphere Federation government has sought for peace by establishing a weapon-free world.

However, a long forgotten ship that was sent to Jupiter 130 years ago somehow returns to Earth, seemingly with no signs of life onboard, but actually bringing with it a dangerous new alien threat—the Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shapeshifters (ELS), who have started assimilating Earth's technology and inhabitants. Now, with humanity at risk of total destruction, the Celestial Being makes its return to defend against the invasion of the ELS.