Anime Review Roundup

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Sometimes when it comes to double-dipping DVDs to Blu-ray, the returns can be minimal, especially with anime shows that have limited animation and are animated at less than 1080p resolution. In the case of Matoi the Sacred Slayer however, the benefits are immediately apparent, although in this case it’s because the transfer on the DVD is flawed, not because the Blu-ray is an exemplar of the medium. Matoi the Sacred Slayer is pretty average for an anime show in high definition; it’s just the DVDs were that bad. The show is pretty good though, yet another magical girl anime although that isn’t an oversubscribed genre here in the UK. But some bright colours and a well thought out premise couples with some really good character development and emotional drama to make this show a memorable one. If you have the DVD, you really should upgrade it to Blu.

This Week I Have Been Mostly Rewatching...

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Texhnolyze. Last week it was Princess Resurrection, this week it’s Texhnolyze, the next in my trifecta of Halloween themed anime picks. Now Texhnolyze has no spooks or spectres, no vampires or werewolves, and it’s not traditionally scary, but the visual style and tone of this post-apocalyptic cyberpunk sci-fi is one that will keep you unsettled and off guard. Believe me, there’s little to feel good about a show which is as much meditative contemplation on the end of the world than anything else. It begins with the main character about to get his eye gouged out by his lover, and when he objects, he gets his arm and leg cut off in punishment. And that sets the tone for the rest of the show. It’s a world underground, a community built around the miracle drug Raffia, a substance which allows for the transplant of cybernetic limbs without rejection. But when one man from the surface pays a visit, this world starts to change irrevocably, as the various groups that vie for power in the city are pitted against each other.

Texhnolyze comes from the imagination of Yoshitoshi ABe, the creative genius behind Serial Experiments Lain and Niea_7. Texhnolyze is the most downbeat and depressing of the three, and has moments of body horror in it that rival or exceed any ‘definitive’ horror anime. That final episode is a kick in the guts. MVM released Texhnolyze on DVD in the UK in six volumes, and subsequently various flavours of complete series collection. Here’s my review of volume 1. The series is long deleted now, and you’ll have to go on the hunt for a second hand edition. It’s similarly deleted in the US, but there are a few random copies floating around e-tailers. You’ll be paying over the odds for them though.

That’s a pretty depressing (but rewarding and worthwhile) show to go out on, so here’s a quick preview of what’s coming up next...

MVM released Matoi the Sacred Slayer on Blu-ray back in 2018.

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