Underworld: Awakening is the movie out this week, and while it is the fourth from that franchise it is far from the best of the bunch according to the reviews I have read.
Much more promising, Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season was a great send off for a wonderful show. If you haven’t added anything from this series to your collection yet, they are also coming out with Chuck: The Complete Series this week. The other TV release is The Twilight Zone: More Fan Favorites, another collection of 20 great episodes from the original series.
In Anime, Occult Academy: The Complete Series is a real gem, involving a school researching the paranormal which has a time traveler arrive from the future to try to stop invading aliens from destroying the world, an event which is in his personal past. It includes one of the best examples of character growth I have seen in an Anime, in part I suspect because the character started out as a complete asshole, and had no interest in improving himself; he evolved almost against his will. I watched this every week an hour after it aired in Tokyo on Crunchyroll streaming, which is unusual for me. Normally I will catch up with whatever Japanese and Korean shows I am watching that season over the weekend, but I just could not wait to find out what happened next on that show.
Also new this week, Queen’s Blade 2: The Evil Eye is the conclusion of the battle to become Queen, with the survivors of the previous rounds squaring off against one another. Besides containing episodes 1 through 12 of the second season, it includes episodes 7 through 12 of the OVA series (the first 6 OVA episodes were on the season 1 collection). If this was a live action series, I might make a comment here on how they saved production costs by reducing the wardrobe department to a single employee, who was only given enough of a budget to buy one square yard of cloth, from which everyone’s outfits had to be made. Since this is an animated program, they didn’t even have budgeting problems to use as an excuse for the skimpy outfits, although I suspect no male fans of the series will complain.
The remaining entries are not completely new, but are worth noting. Guin Saga: The Complete Collection, is in a more cost effective package than the two individual season box sets previously released.
Finally, Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox includes both the series and the shorter OVA series (only 4 15 minute long episodes) in a single box set. I find this last kind of annoying since they released the first DVD volume of the series, but never the second and third; if you had the first one, you had to re-buy it again as part of the Complete Collection when that came out. Then they released the OVA series, totaling 60 minutes of video, for the same price as if it was an entire season of full episodes. Now that they have combined the two, it is for the same price as the original complete collection, which means if you already own the complete collection you are again paying for a full season series to get a single hour of new video. I can only recommend this for folks who have never bought any part of the previously released DVDs. And maybe not then, not because they are not fun Anime to watch and enjoy, but simply because they have ticked me off by releasing this in a haphazard manner designed to squeeze maximum bucks for minimum footage out of any potential customers. As a potential customer in a brutal economy, this does not endear them to my heart, and I will not be buying it myself. Media Blasters generally is quite good with its releases and has a lot of great titles. I am not sure what happened this time, but I hope it is not the start of a trend.