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Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi Vols. 1-3 (Boxed Set)

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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(Sep 06, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

One of 2004's best-regarded series is back, now in a beautiful thinpak set! 12 year old Arumi and Sashi stumble onto a dimensional portal that sends them careening between parallel worlds like their own…only not.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 325 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ADKWNW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,046 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Antonio D. Paolucci on November 17, 2005
On my first attempt at watching Abenobashi, I was only able to see the first two episodes and the last two episodes, so I saw the extent of the comedy as well as the drama that makes-up this show. I was convinced, in seeing these four episodes, that this was as close an FLCL copy as there was, and quite a good copy at that. But, in only seeing the episodes I did, I was left quite confused. I realized only after purchasing the box set that I had missed a lot.

Abenobashi is about two childhood friends, Sasshi and Arumi, who live in a shopping center in the southern Japanese area of Osaka (the accents of the characters seem to play on the American interpretation of north and south). We join their story as Sasshi is exploring the ruins of a bathhouse his family once owned and he's getting the news from his friend Arumi that her and her family are moving to Hokkaido so that her father can live his dream. But, on their way back to her family's place of business, a small French restaurant, her grandfather has a fall and is hospitalized. Thus starts a series of events in many magical worlds of Sasshi's creation, and the conflict comes in discovering just why they keep ending up in these strange worlds and why no matter how much they try they can't get back to their home world.

These worlds are mostly parodies of popular forms of entertainment, namely anime, video games, and Hollywood movies. Sasshi and Arumi must play the game in each world to its fullest extent in order to make the next "jump." And in each world, there is the common cast of characters, all regulars of the normal day Abenobashi, with the exception of Mune Mune, a character-parody of fan-service, and Mister Eutus, who seems to actually know what is happening to Sasshi and Arumi.
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You're missing out on some hilarious outakes and the ADVidnotes if you get the thin pack version. I'd originally borrowed the DVDs from a friend and watch thru twice (with Vidnotes the second time). When the thin pack came out I picked it up, pretty much just to have. While going thru my collection recently, I popped in the first DVD and was disappointed that none of the extras were included. I'm probably going to trade in the thin-pack set and order the series here.

Anyways, the series itself is funny in its own right. Much like Excel Saga, Abenobashi takes an irreverent stab at many anime genres and pop culture.
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Sasshi and Arumi live in the Abenobashi shopping arcade of Osaka. The 2 friends spend all of their free time together. One day, Arumi finds out that her family is gonna move to Hokkaido. By a strange turn of events, Sasshi and Arumi are transported to another universe. Apparently of Sasshi's design. In their attempts to get back to Osaka, they are led to many different worlds. All of them are crazy, and resemble different video game or anime scenarios. Sasshi is subconsciously avoiding returning home to keep from losing his best friend. They will have to get their hearts in synch and face harsh realities to return home.

This anime is a parody of pop culture. It makes fun of RPG's, anime, movies, culture, and society. No matter how much knowledge of this stuff you possess, you can find something fun with this series. It's a very fast paced anime. There is practically no down time at all. It is also one that you can watch more than once. It's so easy to miss things at the speed at which this show moves.

The production quality is pretty good. The animation, voice acting, and soundtrack are all very well done. It's about 10 years old, and you can tell. But it's not one that is gonna seem outdated in 5 or 10 more years I think. I really enjoyed watching this show, and I think that most anime fans will agree. Be warned, there is some harsh language, and some perverted situations. There is no frontal nudity or anything like that, but there are quite a few bare ass shots. Obviously it's not suitable for kids. I liked this series, and I recommend it to anime fans 16 and up.
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Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi is a Japanese anime television series created by Gainax. The supernatural comedy drama is directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga.
The series premiered April 4, 2002 on Kids Station. It was licensed in North America by ADV Films. A manga adaptation, authored by Satoru Akahori, was published in English by Tokyopop; the Tokyopop version of the manga is out of print as of August 31, 2009
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Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi is one of Gainax's better titles. Although Gainax titles are prone to decay into rampant artistic avant garde excesses in the later episodes, they actually managed to hold to a minimal amount of discipline in this series.
The characters are well defined with strong emotional connections, and the humor is well played and controlled, one of Gainax's strong points.
The continual hopping between alternate universes doesn't lend itself to a coherent story line, but the studio manages to tie it all together.
Although the parodies and inside gags could use an extensive translator's notes, they aren't usually necessary to following the story.
I would buy it again if I lost this copy, and it's a title I recommend to other fans of the genre.
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