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Mamoru Oshii’s latest feature film Assault Girls takes us to a future dystopian China where we return to the virtual realm called Avalon, for more beautifully filmed and soundscaped combat. The environment is very like the one he created for Ghost In The Shell, and could easily occupy that same universe, shifted to the mainland instead of the home islands. This one gets my vote as must-have of the week.

It seems like Predators was just in the movie theaters, but it is already coming out on DVD. In this entry to the franchise, a small selection of Earth’s top killers are exported to a hunting planet as prey. And in absolute last place for this weeks feature films, I am only mentioning Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl because the title gives me a grin. But the people who built both this movie and Tokyo Gore Police look to be the Troma of the orient, except without the humor. And notice I am not even mentioning Zombie Christ.

For live action TV series, a couple of classics are finally out on disk, starting with The Bionic Woman: Season 1, the original version. Personally I thought the recent remake was a much better rendition, with a more realistic story line, better acting and improved FX, if only because we are so much closer to having functional tech these days. The other TV golden oldie is Tales from the Darkside, with both the final season and the complete series being released this week. While it was more horror than Sci-Fi or Fantasy, every story had a little twist that gave it an edge, and figuring that twist out became the fun for watching this series.

Several goodies from the realm of animation this week, with Eden of the East: The Complete Series beating out everything else. I just reviewed it the other day, so my opinions should already be obvious, but let me just restate it for the record: this is the best Anime series I have seen this month, and in the top 10 (maybe the top 3) for this year. Its numerous awards come from many events, including the Tokyo International Anime Fair and Anime Kobe.

Tears To Tiara – The Complete Collection tells the Arthur/Albion legend from a new perspective. I haven’t seen this one yet, but it sounds very interesting and the artwork looks great.

Also out this week, Bamboo Blade: The Complete Series puts the entire girls kendo team storyline into a single box, in their never ending battle for sushi. And Hetalia: Axis Powers – Season 02 continues the personified silliness of WWII. And for western animation, Shaun the Sheep: Season 1 is also available Tuesday. Yes, this last group is just good old silly fun.