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Abenobashi Vol. 4: Going Out Of Business Sale!

by on December 10, 2004

This is it; the Abenobashi Shopping Arcade is closing up. As Arumi and Sasshi fight about getting to their real home, they sidestep into World War III (localized in one shopping mall) and into Hollywood (once again, localized in Japan). But, all trips must come to an end. Will they make it back to Abenobashi, or will they be forever stuck in parallel dimensions?

ImageEpisodes included on this disc
Episode 11: “Resolution!! Abenobashi Battlefield Shopping Arcade”
Episode 12: “Huge Reversal?! Abenobashi Hollywood Shopping Arcade”
Episode 13: “Return to Life! The Legendary Onmyou Mystic”

Due to a freak accident, young Arumi and Sasshi have been sent on an endless parade through alternate worlds, all with a prevalent theme. There was a sci-fi world, a dating sim world, a film noir world, a trip to the Paleolithic era… all stuff that Sasshi’s interested in and Arumi’s annoyed by.

On the last disc of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Sasshi became a full-on Onmyou Mystic. Well, a mystic-in-training. What’s that mean? It means he’s got the capability to create the worlds they go to. His only real attempt led to a disturbing fairy tale world he crafted for his almost-girlfriend… which was more torturous than anything.

But the past is past, and it’s time to look at the final three episodes of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. The first episode on the disc sends the two to war-torn Abenobashi. While Arumi and Sasshi haven’t agreed on everything at this point, it’s never gotten to the level where tanks and artillery are called in. Sasshi quickly rises through the ranks (because everyone else was killed), while Arumi gets a disturbing (for the kid she is) “upgrade”… which makes more sense if you catch the AD Vid-Notes about it.

In the next episode, they end up in Hollywood. Or rather an Abenobashi with a Hollywoood sign. This is probably the episode with the most references viewers will get without the Vid-Notes, including Monty Python‘s “I’m a Lumberjack,” Die Hard, Air Force One, Back To The Future, Escape From New York… heck, this episode even asks the question, “What if Elvis and Quentin Tarantino had a son?” The jokes come fast and frequent in this episode, and it is easily one of the better parody ones. Can they escape from the silver screen?

Then the final episode. Since it’s the end, I’m just going to say the show comes to a satisfying conclusion, but there is a little that you question. But hey, that leaves open the option for another 13 episodes.

Here come the extras. “AD Vid-Notes” are Pop-Up Video type facts and information, explaining some of the more Japanese culture jokes, along with some references (Grandpa Masa’s Japanese VA dubbed many of the characters Masa appeared as in Hollywood), and only one notable error (I don’t think Titanic came out in 1993). I’ve always loved commentaries, and it’s nice to get one with the voice actors Jessica Boone, Luci Christian, and John Gremillion. The outtakes are funny as the show itself. Clean opening and closing are standard. In the amaray case, you get the final issue of “Weekly Abeno-Spoiler,” potentially the greatest insert ever. It includes a much-needed family tree to boot.

It’s a shame to see this series end. Ripe with parodies, complete with a true heart, and even a little bit of drama. If you have the chance, I demand you go pick them up. I just wish I could hear, “Let everything be as it should be. Thus shall it be!” one more time…

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