Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)
March 22, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher” was another exciting, action-packed animated film showcasing Marvel’s well-known anti-hero, the Punisher and spy, the Black Widow. Highly recommmended!
TITLE: Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 83 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio), English/Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: PG-13 (For Sequences of Action Violence)
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Directed by Kenichi Shimizu
Chief Director: Makoto Fuchigami
Episode Director: Toru Ishida, Yosuke Hatta
Chief Animation Director: Tetsuro Mornuki
Storyboard: Kenichi Shimizu, Makoto Fuchigami, Hitoshi Haga
Concept Design: Yo Moriyama
Story by Marjorie Lu
Art Director: Kazuyuki Hashimoto
Mechanic Design: Noriyuki Jinguiji, Hitoshi Haga
Produced by Madhouse Studios
Featuring the voices of:
Jennifer Carpenter as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Brian Bloom as Frank Castle/Punisher
John Eric Bentley as Nick Fury
Grant George as Elihas Starr
Kyle Hebert as Caine
Kari Wahlgren as Maria Hill
Eric Bauza as Amadeus Cho
JB Blanc as Orion
Fred Tatasciore as The Hulk/Ren
Matthew Mercer as Tony Stark/Iron Man
After interfering with a top secret mission, The Punisher is taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Avenger, Black Widow. At the orders of Director Nick Fury, Punisher and Black Widow are sent on a mission to stop Leviathan, a global terrorist organization, that plans to sell stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology to the highest bidder. Now, the vigilante and spy must work together to prevent this technology from falling into the wrong hands. The fate of the world, and of the Avengers, hangs in the balance.
In the latest anime collaboration between Marvel and Japanese animation studio Madhouse comes “Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher”, an animated film on Blu-ray+DVD.
Featuring Marvel’s anti-hero Frank “The Punisher” Castle continuing on his vigilante ways of killing of low-level thugs, he pursues a crimina named Kanel that catches the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. director, Nick Fury.
With Natasha “Black Widow” Romanov sent to prevent The Punisher from killing off the criminal, as S.H.I.E.L.D. tries needs Kane alive to find out who the weapon supplier is, the Punisher is more interested in killing him.
After a brief battle, it is learned that a terrorist organization known as Leviathan has taken control of S.H.I.E.L.D’s top secret weaponry and can supply them to terrorists.
So, S.H.I.E.L.D. needs Kane to get to the suppliers before they release the weaponry to terrorists and criminal organizations and needs the help of The Punisher.
Fury believes the Punisher was told the location of the weaponry by Kane and will release The Punisher from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody if the Punisher gives him the location of the weapons.
The Punisher agrees if S.H.I.E.L.D. provides him weapns and he will go to the location alone. Not trusting The Punisher, Fury agrees to send the Punisher to the location with one condition, he must team up with the Black Widow.
But as the two team up on the mission, what is the true reason that these two are being put together on a mission.
“Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio). With the anime series being produced by Studio Madhouse of Japan, one can expect gorgeous animation. And personally, I love the character designs, as well as the mechanical designs featured in the series.
Vehicles and surroudings are well-detailed. Character designs feature awesome shading, colors are vibrant when needed and I did not notice any significant artifacts or any negative issues. There is slight banding that I noticed in a few scenes but the film looks fantastic on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher” is presented in English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and audio through the center and front channels, while surround channels are well-utilized during the action sequences, air vehicle flyby’s or when a few Avengers make their appearance. Also, solid use of LFE during exposions or it’s thumping electronic music.
Subtitles are in English SDH, French and Spanish.
“Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher” comes with the following special features:
- Conceptual Art Gallery – Featuring the conceptual art for “Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher”. Artwork can be selected using your remote (or keyboard).
- The Vigilante vs. The Spy – (9:11) A featurette about bringing together the Punisher and Black Widow together and how both come from dark paths but operate with different methods. Also, details about both characters.
- Espionage and Punishment – (10:16) A featurette about bringing The Punisher and the Black Widow to an anime setting. And the similarities and difference between the two characters.
“Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher” comes with a slipcover. Along with the Blu-ray release, a DVD and UltraViolet digital copy code is also included.
As a guy who grew up reading Marvel Comic books and had a large collection growing up, “Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher” is a fascinating collaboration between two of Marvel’s well-known anti-heroes.
While the Black Widow has been popularized thanks to “The Avengers” live-action film, for those who grew up reading the comic books know that these two individuals were among the Marvel anti-heroes.
The Black Widow, often seen in the older issues of “Daredevl” and the character of The Punisher featured in the pages of “Spider-Man” were characters that teetered among their alliances with well-known superheroes or often seen battling them.
The Punisher….Frank Castle is a man who taken an oath to rid of criminals in his area after the death of his wife and child, while The Black Widow, Natasha Romanov was a Russian spy who was brainwashed and has ended up assisting various superheroes and eventually becoming a member of The Avengers.
These two Marvel characters make an interesting collaboration as both are excellent fighters and also knowledgeable of weapons. And in “Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher”, both have their fair share of scenes with the two taking on each other. But eventually having to team up in order to stop a criminal organization who are using techniques that can possibly lead to the creatin of an army utilizing stolent S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry.
Without spoiling the storyline, I can say the film is action-packed and even features members of the Avengers, which was great to see.
But part of the enjoyment was seeing a collabortion between Marvel and studio Madhouse, as the world reknown Japanese production studio brought awesome character designs, mechanical design but also detailed backgounds to this film.
I was quite impressed by the overall look of “Avengers Confidential: Black Widown/Punisher” but also its vibrant colors, it’s multitiude of action scenes and solid storyline. Picture quality on Blu-ray is fantastic, while there is also a good amount of surround sound use as well. It’s an active lossless soundtrack and I was quite pleased with the visuals and audio.
Overall, “Avengers Confidential: Black Widow/Punisher” was another exciting, action-packed animated film showcasing Marvel’s well-known anti-hero, the Punisher and spy, the Black Widow.
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