Yuri Anime: Simoun, Volume 4 (English)

July 15th, 2008

It’s not uncommon to run across this comment in anime forums in any language, referring to any anime – “It gets better in later episodes.” Whether it’s correct or not is entirely dependent upon whether you *like* whatever literary theme that particular anime is abusing, of course. lol

If you have been reading my reviews of Simoun here, you will know that I thought it was pretty breathtaking right out of the gate, but indeed, it also gets better in later episodes. I know that there are many fans of the series who consider Volume 4 to be the pinnacle of achievement.

However…I have a dilemma. In order to talk to you about this particular volume coherently, I will need to spoil it. I don’t want to do that, but there’s no way to get around it. I’ll do it as gently as I can.

In Volume 4, several major themes are coming together and landing directly on the heads of the priestesses of Chor Tempest:

One – their theocracy and the government based on it is weak, corrupt and foolish.

Secondly, the lies that government is seeking to hide might well have saved them all, if they had chosen to investigate rather than avoid it for fear of proving themselves wrong.

Thirdly, the ultimate sacrifice of one of the Tempest members not only is one of the most beautiful things about the series, but serves to highlight much of what is wrong with their society.

The result is that as a team, Chor Tempest slowly pulls together – not to fight the war for their country, but to survive – and transcend – it for themselves.

In the middle of everything going on, Aeru and Neviril start to bond in a natural and real way for the first time. It looks good on them.

And last, we see the result of an Emerald Rimaajon. Despite the fact that we are told what to expect – it’s still nothing we could *ever* have expected. lol

Oh, wait, no, this is last – if you haven’t yet started to think there’s a thing between Anubituf and Guragief, you will in this volume. :-)

Once again, I’m pleased to say that the Media Blasters team did a great job, so no technical issues marred my enjoyment of the volume. And the video extra, this time with the voice actresses for Roatreamon, Mamina and Yun was, by far and away, the most natural and enjoyable of the series to date. And thanks too, to the good folks at MB for this review copy of awesome.

A fabulous volume of a fabulous series.

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 9
Characters – 7 (a point off, because several of them are still wallowing in issues that we thought were, and should have been, previously resolved.)
Yuri – 4
Service – 5 (we spend an awful lot of time in the showers, don’t we?)

Overall – 8

I pretty much held my breath through this entire volume. It’s simply magnificent.

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12 Responses

  1. BruceMcF says:

    Magnificent … quite.

    And, of course, the promo video for Utsukushii kereba sore de ii makes a fine Yuri piece in its own right, and for a lovely tune … this is one anime where I don’t skip the opening music, even if watching two or three in a row.

    I put this volume back down in my Netflix queue, because I know I will not want to stop watching at the end of Vol. 4 … so I’ll watch it together with Volume 5, when it comes out … next month, or so it says in the queue.

  2. Jo says:

    Is there a boxset reliesed for Simoun? Preferably on region 2 but 1 will do too.

  3. Not a the moment. Email Media Blasters and tell them you’d like one.

  4. Jo says:

    Yeah, right. And they’ll just do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Damn there are so many that I want and they just don’t exist.

  5. No, but if you make them aware that there is an interest, by actually communicating *with* them, instead of complaining *about* them, then they will know that that interest is there. If enough people do that, they will see about making it an option, because they are in the business of selling things that people want to make money.

  6. Jo says:

    My problem with communicating with any given company resides to the fact that as a consumer, an ousider on the ways that the market works, I do not understand some things. I do understand that Kurau, whose boxset I’d love to have, isn’t a hit anime so it will probably not get a boxset edition but Simoun not getting boxset? My-Hime that was supposed to have drawn so much attention still not having issued for region 2? Is it to early to have them issued?

    Btw: Simoun was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever seen. I can remember only other two anime that managed to move me so much.

  7. I don’t wish to be rude, but you make a number of (incorrect) assumptions in your last comment and to point them all out would be tiresome of me. But I hope you’ll *try* communicating politely with companies and let them know what you want. In the long run, it will get you more than not communicating and making wild assumptions.

  8. BruceMcF says:

    … (BTW, what is their email address? … The Media Blasters site seems to be more focused on bells and whistles than on conveying information.)

  9. FYI, There’s a “contact” link along the bottom of the page, which leads to email, phone and address.

  10. BruceMcF says:

    Thanks for that …

    …FYI, There’s a “contact” link along the bottom of the page

    News to me … in my browser the page comes up in a fixed size without scrollbars and the bottom of the page is not visible. OTOH, the scroll bar tools inside their different boxes sure is pretty.

    I’m going to leave out frustrations with their site from the email, the main thing is the Simoun boxed set.

  11. Ah, I sympathize. The good news is, they are looking for a new web developer. The bad news is, they are loking for someone with Flash experience, so….

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