This month Loot Anime are reminding us that no matter the hardships anything can be overcome when we band together and ‘Rise Up’. Championing this theme is the anime Gurren Lagann, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Knights of Sidonia, Blame! and Voltron: Legendary Defender. This month I’m familiar with all series (Gurren Lagann and Evangelion being among my favourite anime) except for Voltron which I’ve only heard of but never seen.

With such a heavily mecha themed crate I think it would be a crime not to include some sort figurine buildable or otherwise. This is a sure thing right? Of course a wearable item would once again be much appreciated although recent crates (with the exception of Humanity) have bundled in t-shirts, so maybe a change is in order. Pyjama pants have replaced the t-shirt in the past so now might be a nice time to see that switch again. For the manga this month I get the feeling it might be coming from Knights of Sidonia. As I said before one of my favourite of the featured franchises is Gurren Lagann and honestly I’d be happy with pretty much anything for this, but I can’t help hoping for some Core Drill necklace or keychain.

So the crate has now arrived and already I’m very sceptical of the contents, it’s a very thin box and the smallest crate I’ve received so far. Now then on with the unboxing!

A figure was top of my want list for this month, the featured shows have some very good Mecha designs who wouldn’t want one standing among their anime collection. So when I opened the box up and saw a smaller box with mecha on it I was so excited. Then I saw the small print “Cell Phone Stand”.  Inside is a plastic cut-out of the Tsugomori from Knights of Sidonia and an extra stand piece. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. I really can’t see the point to this item and it’s not practical. Every time I put my phone on it it fell over and why would you want to cover up its one redeeming feature, the Tsugomori’s bold design. Guess I’ll find somewhere to display it.

Next out of the box was this month’s wearable a t-shirt promoting one of the recent Netflix Original anime Blame!, and standing tall on the shirt is the silent protagonist Killy. Okay it’s not as dynamic as last months Mob Psycho Shirt but it’s still a good looking design. Blame! (pronounced blam, just a heads up) is a 1998 manga that’s recently been adapted into a film on Netflix using the same 3DCG rendered style as Knights of Sidonia. The film came out in May and if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend you do, its dark story with a sort of Mad Max meets Ghost in the Shell like vibe to it. Even though I was hoping for a change of clothing I’m still happy with the result. It’s a comfortable t-shirt and looks good, can’t ask for more.

The next item out was an unexpected turn-up. This time around there is no manga bundled in, what Loot Crate have bundled in instead is a book featuring artwork from the fantastic series Gurren Lagann. It’s actually a limited edition copy of a currently out-of-print book with over 130 pages of art work from promotional materials, DVD covers, magazine covers, body pillow covers and so on. I was surprised by the choice but genuinely happy with this item, I’m always collecting art-works for games and anime so this makes a very welcome addition to my collection. Gainax have a very distinct sort of style with flashy, over-the-top action sequences and unique memorable characters having an artbook that shows of one of their best works is great move by Loot Crate. 

Following up from such an awesome book is a limited collectors pin of Voltron’s head. The trinket has a nice bright colour palate and the pin features a moveable element where the mouth can be lifted up to reveal the face of Voltron. However there’s no way of keeping the mouth piece held open so you’re stuck with his lion look if you wear it. With every Loot Crate I receive the number one ask is that I get an item that’ll entice me to check out the shows I’m unfamiliar with. This pin doesn’t do that. It’s not a bad looking pin I suppose but I can’t see myself finding a use for it.

That just leaves an item for Evangelion to finish things up and it comes from Sanrio (the creators of Hello Kitty).Measuring in at just 2.7-ish inches is a micro macro mini plush of the emotionless Rei Ayanami. Okay yeah it’s cute but I’m not a fan of its overly simplified chibi style so much so that it took me second or two before I realised what I was looking at and I’m a fan of the show. The real kick is that on the back of the poster it states that the miniature was randomly selected from two, either Rei or Asuka.  If you want the other you’ll need to purchase it from Loot Vault (available July 15th). I can’t see myself buying the nother one as much as I would have personally preferred Asuka.

Finally it’s onto the Loot Anime regulars, the Yume themed poster and phone-charm. This time Yume’s got a hold of her own mecha and she’s accompanied by a new feline companion. In the poster designed by Wil Overton/Advocate Art, Yume and her new friend are rocking a stylish lycra suits with cat-eared helmets and piloting a large Hello Kitty-esque mecha.  Said Mecha is also the phone-charm this month with a simple all metallic finish.

After the high of last months Unnatural Crate, Rise Up I feel is a step back. It’s a crate where I was really only happy with two of the items the art book and t-shirt. The Voltron pin I can see zero uses for and it’s in no way selling me on the Netflix show. I’m a fan of Evangelion but I found the Rei mini-plush found rather bland, I’ve never really been a fan of the Hello Kitty style. I would have preferred something more than this little knick-knack, even if its cuteness is staring to grow on. But the biggest upset goes to the gimmicky cell phone stand. Mecha and action figures are the perfect match, so for a box of mecha themed items I felt this should have been a priority. But instead they took an easy option with a cheap flat stand rather than acquiring a 3D figure.

So it’s time for this month’s star item and really how could I not give it to the Gurren Lagann Art Works. It’s a must have for any Gurren Lagann fan. The book is an item that I would have happily purchased on its own, it’s good quality and there’s a fantastic assortment of artwork to peruse. Okay it’s a smaller reprint but finding the original online is hard as it is currently out-of-print and it can be costly (an original copy is £75 on Amazon).

I’m feeling a little let-down with this months crate but still looking forward to next month as I’m a fan of every franchise on the list. July’s Loot Anime theme is Action Comedy (really lame theme name this time) and features items from One-Punch Man, Trigun: Badland Rumble, KonoSuba, FLCL and High School DxD which we’ll be unboxing again next month.