Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time tops the feature length film selections for this week. This movie surprised me with its quality and how enjoyable it was, doubly so since few games turned into movies have survived the transition. This one did its franchise proud, and proved yet again that Disney is getting a serious grip on family friendly action adventure.
For live action TV, Fringe: The Complete Second Season is definitely the winner, with season 2 coming out with just enough time to re-watch it before season 3 starts on Thursday the 23rd. This is one of my favorite shows, so good that its draws an audience so huge even Fox won’t cancel it; and if they did, a real TV network would snatch it up in a heartbeat. For lovers of Historical Fantasy, Robin Hood: The Complete Series brings all three seasons of the most recent UK retelling of the classic legend to the shelves.
Anime has several offerings this time around. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumia: Season 2 continues the story of the girl who changes the nature of reality with her desires, and so draws to herself androids, space aliens, time travelers, and espers, all there to keep her happy so the wrong thoughts won’t destroy the universe. This 5 disc release does include a CD, but I haven’t been able to determine if it also includes the The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumia, a stand alone movie that may take place between the two series.
Blade of the Immortal: Complete Collection brings the full story of Manji, a wicked Samurai killer who gets cursed with everlasting life for his deeds. As time goes on, he grows tired of his ageless life, but the only way to remove the curse is to slay 1,000 evil men. So he sets out to achieve that purpose, and win his soul back from hell.
Similar and completely different to Blade of the Immortal, Corpse Princess Part 1 (Shikabane Hime Aka) is the story of Makina Hoshimura, living in the land of Zombies. When she herself becomes Undead, her only path to heaven is to kill 108 corpses and make the world a better place. Corpse Princess Part 2 (Shikabane Hime Kuro) continues the plot line with a look at the real fight underlying the events of the first season. The goal is to defeat the bad guys (the Shichisei, or Seven Stars) before they can destroy all Shikabane Hime and the entire monk organization that uses them. The combined package is 26 episodes for $80 to $100 dollars total, so it is a bit pricey for me, but the trailer looked kick ass. I am going to have to watch a few episodes online to get an idea of what I am willing to pay to add it to the collection. With this release, Funimation may now have the first Anime to hunt Smartphones and use them in a rich media mobile advertising campaign.
Ghost Hound is definitely a bit different, and not at all a happy story. Three young boys have out of body experiences because of different traumas each of them have suffered, and they strive together to understand and control it all. And then the spirits from the Other Side begin to invade the world of the living and have their own influence on the events taking place there.
There is one anime this week which is uniquely Japanese, with a plot line twist they do like no one else: one or more inanimate objects get transmogrified into human form, and the stories follow their adventures. In the case of Hetalia, the inanimate objects are nation states from just before WWII, anthropomorphisd into young children. This series puts a twist onto history that is hard to imagine ahead of time, and hard to escape once you have seen it. A bit silly, but with a true heart.
Fair warning: Dirty Pair (at least the original series) is about to be release by Right Stuff in North America. I was a little confused by the fact the web site claims it will be the first time it will be available to people in North America, since I thought I already owned it. So I went to see what I actually owned in that series. The first box I pulled off the shelf said “Original Dirty Pair” on both the front and back covers, but when you went to the box spine it said “Movie Collection”. OK, not the original series then, although I am sure it has a lot of footage from it. The next box I found that said “Original Dirty Pair” followed that up with the words: “OVA Collection”. Still not there, but good to know I already own a lot of the harder to find stuff. So I looked at the final box, and it wasn’t the original series either, but rather “Dirty Pair Flash”, which was another season/series. I was introduced to Dirty Pair (Lovely Angels) in the mid to late 90s when they were featured weekly on Showtime; I hope the original series includes some of those shows I loved, but didn’t know how to find in my collection.