Dragged Myself to 400 Anime: Final Two Reviews!

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At last!  Four hundred anime complete!  Actually, three more than that since I also recently completed New Dominion Tank Police and KonoSuba and forgot to add The Perfect Insider to my watched list.  But, this blog series is done, since I have watched Gintama the Movie: Benizakura-hen and Hetalia: Paint it White!  You’ll note that I needed to substitute the latter for Urusei Yatsura: Only You, but I hope to watch that and the rest of this creative and hilarious series in the near future.

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Gintama the Movie: Benizakura-hen portrays one of my all time favorite story arcs in the show.  I have mentioned before that Gintama is perhaps the most versatile show I’ve ever seen.  It’s mood varies from low-brow and toilet humor (I usually skip those episodes) to maudlin to legitimately hilarious slapstick and wordplay humor to, as we see in Benizakura-hen, action-packed drama.  The movie cut very little of the original material and increased the quality of the action sequences, which are downright thrilling.  I found myself at the edge of my seat several times while watching this.

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If you have not seen Gintama and hesitate to begin the journey of 315+ episodes or even have no intention of watching the show, I still heartily recommend watching this movie.  You’ll thank me that you did.  I rate it thus:

★★★★ 1/2

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Hetalia: Paint it White has been on my watch list for a while–I’ve been staring at a poster of the show for the past four years. (See above) And, I must say that it’s the best offering in the franchise.  The shorts can get repetitive, but that is prevented in this case by the strong central story.  (To tell you the truth, the series also features major arcs, but it’s always chopped up by side stories, which makes episodes move much slower than one would wish.) The language can be a bit coarse–not so bad as to detract from the action–but I am still surprised that it is rated M.  Have I just become too used to foul language in movies that what we see in Hetalia doesn’t phase me?  (I watched the dub, and it has much less foul language than most action movies exhibit.)

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Our plot concerns Communists Aliens who have determined that having everyone be exactly the same makes for the best manner of life.  And so, they decide upon Earthlings as the first race to receive their Bolshevism benevolent philosophy, since Earthlings are no good at working together and thus make easy targets.  This proved all too true from the start, as our heroes’ very first meeting for deciding how to defend their planet ends with each country going off on its own.  This was despite the best efforts of Germany to bring everyone to order.  The result is that each country is defeated, has its citizens changed into the form of the invading aliens, and has their cultural landmarks defaced.  (Only Switzerland and Liechtenstein, living inside Switzerland’s magical neutrality barrier, escape the scourge.) At last, our heroes decide to join forces and stop the aliens, but will it be enough to stop this determined enemy?

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I highly recommend both the Hetalia series and the movie–unless you’re the sort of person who’s offended by playing off stereotypes.  America, Russia, and Britain are the funniest of the lot as usual.  Sealand also makes an appearance, much to the vexation of all.  At any rate, the humor, interesting tidbits, and subtle ending (it kind of answers the critics of this series, I think) earn it the following:

★★★★

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Thank you all for reading this series!  I hope to write another article on Erased in the near future as well as some anime season reviews.

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