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Something to Watch: DVDs, 23Jul13

The vampires in Kiss of the Damned don’t sparkle, but one of them does have a very dramatic love story which may effect their entire community. It is actually an interesting and intelligent tale that is a bit of a homage to the 60s and 70s vampire films. Starbuck is not being promoted as science fiction or fantasy, but I am pretty sure any movie about a man who has 533 children fits that bill. This comedy also appears to have a lot of heart, and when they do the English remake it looks like they got Vince Vaughn for the part. The English version will be out in the fall, but you can watch the original this week.

This weeks TV option is just silly: Duck Dodgers: Deep Space Duck Season 2. Any show that includes Marvin the Martian as a regular character is all right in my book.

In Anime we have Phi-Brain: Season 2 Collection 1, AKA Puzzle of God: The Orpheus Order. Yes, our protagonist defeated the Puzzle Of God by the end of the first season, but now a new crew has shown up with a grudge to work out, and a whole new series of deadly puzzles faces Kaito and his friends. Fairy Tail: Collection Two continues the story of the 4 person wizard guild that tends to do more damage to innocent bystanders and the surrounding area than they do to their opponents, so running away very, very fast is your best option when they show up to save you.

One Piece is rolling out the first half of season 5 this week, bringing the series up to episodes 264 through 275. That might sound impressive, but that season is from 1999, and Japan is up to episode 604 as of last week.

There are two releases in a Mecha franchise this week, 2005’s OVA Super Robot Wars Original Generation, and 2006’s DVD TV series Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars. They were loose sequels of the 1999 anime Masō Kishin Cybuster, which was itself a loose interpretation of a huge series of games that can trace its lineage all the way back to 1991’s Super Robot Wars for the Nintendo Gameboy. They very rapidly expanded the game to run on pretty much every current platform available, and then kept releasing updates and new versions across an ever expanding set of platforms incorporating more and newer Mechas, battlegrounds, and scenarios. One of the really smart twists to the game was the fact that they had a huge range of character Mechas because they weren’t too fussy about where a bot came from and signed licensing agreements with a bunch of different franchises. This crossover universe arraignment meant that you could fight a battle with a Mazinger Z, a Getter Robo and a Mobile Suit Gundam on one side, and a Evangelion or Rah Xephon Mecha on the other, pretty exciting stuff. It also meant that the legal agreements ran into so many issues once you tried to cross national borders and keep them in compliance with all of a given companies other licensing agreements that only 3 of the games were ever released outside of Japan, and then only on a limited number of platforms. So this anime series is a rare glimpse into that whole shared universe of battling Giant Robots that those of us here in the west never really got to experience.

On a related note, the Robotech: 2-Movie Collection includes the titles The Shadow Chronicles and Love Live Alive, one of which they claim has never been released. I have also seen reviews saying they took some footage out of an exiting Robotech property and added 15 minutes of new footage to it; since I have not seen it yet, I have no clue which claim is real and so can’t speak to whether this one is worth adding. Finally, I should mention that the first 5 seasons of Case Closed are being released as [S.A.V.E], or Super Amazing Value Editions, which allow you to pick up entire seasons for around $20. In fact you should just check out the whole list, there are a bunch of series you can pick up that way.

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