Judge Joel Pearce wonders what they put in an Orange Julius that makes it so magically delicious.
Crazier than crack, madder than a March hare!
In my review of the first volume of this manic anime show, I found a number of problems that I hoped would be avoided in future episodes. In this second volume, ADV has only included three episodes, some of which continue the problems of the first part of the series, and some that do something altogether different.
• "Extinction! Abenobashi Ancient Dinosaur Shopping
• "In the Night Fog! Abenobashi Hard Boiled Shopping
• "Flashback! Magical Shopping Arcade Birth"
After this volume, I have very mixed feelings about the series. Some of the problems from the first volume have been at least partially solved, but it makes me unsure about the direction the show is now taking. I found the first episode on this disc obnoxious, but it fits the tone set by the first volume. The second episode does what I hoped the series would, but it seems like it could be a unique occurrence. The third volume goes back and explains quite a bit, but it lacks the sense of fun and play that fills the rest of the series. If the third volume continues the fun of the first two volumes, but also continues to build on the ideas that have been explored on this disc, the whole show may be redeemed by the end.
ADV has done a great job with this disc. The picture is as solid as the first volume, and you can't go wrong with either the English or Japanese language track. As always, I prefer the Japanese track, but this is one series that I can understand people preferring the dub track. As with the first volume, there are not many extras on the disc. The AD Vid-notes are sometimes useful and sometimes annoying, but they are a critical feature for the show. Less impressive are the outtakes, which are basically the voice actors saying stupid things over segments of the animation. I am sure they were funny for the people working on the show after a full day of recording voice work, but that's where the outtakes should have stayed.
If you liked the first volume of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, there is no reason to stay away from this volume. Everyone else that's interested in the show is still advised to give it a rent rather than a blind buy, until we find out what happens as the plot progresses. That's assuming that the plot does progress, of course.
Everyone involved is free to go pending the last two volumes in the series. I am still a little disappointed by the lack of continuity and advancement in this volume, but I did get a lot of what I asked for after I watched the first volume.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
• AD Vid-Notes
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