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Retrospective Spring 2020 #1 [message #394032] Tue, 05 May 2020 22:53
Dave Baranyi is currently offline  Dave Baranyi
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Ah, the Wonders of Modern Medicine (or not). As the World “isolates” through the 100th anniversary of the great Influenza plague of 1918-20 and we all sit around and wait for something to get back to some sort of “normal” my To Do List has been whittled down to Watch Anime and Read Science Fiction. Current anime series are being hammered by Stay At Home, and Analog is now published every other month, so I have a lot more time than expected on my hands. Fortunately, I also have (no kidding) Thousands of Anime Blu-rays, DVDs and Laser Discs, as well as thousands of science fiction magazines going back into the early 1930s.

So for the past couple of weeks I have been re-watching some of the anime series that I have on Blu-ray from around 8 years ago. First I re-watched “Zetsuen no Tempest”, which I have re-watched before because it is one of my all-time favourite series. It still holds up very well and I enjoyed it immensely again. I have a few quibbles about some of the changes that Mari Okada put into the anime in comparison to the manga, but they aren’t enough to change my overall feelings.

Next I re-watched “Sanka Rea” which didn’t hold up as well with time because subsequent to watching the original anime broadcast I continued to read the manga which went in very different and darker direction. Essentially, the story in the anime is really only a prologue to the manga story which becomes a rather bleak horror story in comparison to the light and fluffy anime series.

This evening I finished re-watching “Mysterious Girlfriend X” which I found to be more entertaining the second time through. The continuation of the manga after the original anime broadcast was a bit of a disappointment for me but the anime caught the spirit of the early part of the manga quite well. And as a surprising bonus, each of the Blu-ray discs contained some spectacular CG animation during the Menu Pages on each disc. Each Menu page had a different mini-video of the very detailed and very bizarre Dream City which showed up very briefly during some of the episodes. Along with this was an entrancing version of the Dream BGM that sounded like an old music box. By the time I watched all six Menu page mini-videos I could see that they were all interconnected and it was like looking through a very detailed 3D world. This captured the feel of Riichi Ueshiba’s drawings in the MGX manga as well as in his other stories such as “Discommunication” and “Yume Tsukai”.

Speaking of “Discommunication”, two of the main characters from that manga show up in the MGX OAV that was sold with volume 9 of the manga. I watched the OAV again too and it is interesting to see how it was done on a fairly skimpy budget. The opening and ending animations, with their songs, were exactly the same as for the anime. There were a lot of animation stills and short cuts too. And unfortunately, the Menu page only had an illo instead of another CG short animation.

So what will be next, another Blu-ray series or “xxxHolic” on DVD?

Dave Baranyi
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