Anime Review Roundup
My Hero Academia Season 5 Part 2, the anime. Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood was the long-running shonen anime that was the exception to the rule, good all the way through, although helped by adapting a completed story, and complete in under a hundred episodes, so not really that long. Most long running shows hit a point of diminishing returns, as the story goes off the boil, or the filler mounts up. I’ve always been looking for another exception, and had high hopes about My Hero Academia, which has been impressively free of filler, animating by season rather than to a set schedule. But Season 5 Part 2 is where the story shifts away from the main characters, and concentrates on the villains. And contrary to popular belief, villains aren’t always more interesting than the heroes.
Minions: The Rise of Gru, which as you would expect, is a 3D CG animation, and what’s more the fifth in a movie series. There are three Despicable Me movies, which introduced the wannabe supervillain Gru, and the bright yellow mascot minions that serve him, and the two Minions spin-offs that focus more on the help. The Minions is where the bulk of the comedy is, so the spin-offs are actually more satisfying. The second Minions movie moves the action to the seventies, and is rich in nostalgia. It also has a stellar cast, including Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh. Click on the review to read more.
Punk Samurai, the Gakuryu Ishii film that does what it says on the tin, infuse the samurai era of Japan with a punk sensibility. I mention the review here as while it doesn’t have a source manga or anime adaptation, it does remind me of anime, particularly a cross between Samurai Champloo and Gintama. If you ever wondered what a live action version of those anime might be like (and haven’t seen the Gintama live action movies) then you really should see Punk Samurai, a visually imaginative explosion that is hard to summarise, but is really well worth watching.
This Week I’ve Been Mostly Rewatching...
The first of 38 collections of Naruto Shippuden was released on DVD in half-season sets back in 2010 by Manga Entertainment, although the full season collections quickly followed. Here’s my review of Collection 1. If you’re collecting Naruto Shippuden, the sets are still available at the time of writing, but with Manga now having turned into Crunchyroll, I suspect that the series won’t be renewed the next time the licence expires.
Crunchyroll released My Hero Academia: Season 5 Part 2 on Blu-ray, DVD and Limited Edition Blu-ray on January 30th. Minions The Rise of Gru came out courtesy of Universal on DVD, Blu-ray and 4k UHD in October 2022, and Punk Samurai comes out on Blu-ray from Third Window Films today.
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