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Maken-ki! – Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

October 29, 2013 by  

“Maken-ki! Complete Series” is an anime series that will no doubt appeal to the horny anime fanboy or those who love harem anime series, especially with a ton of fan service and nudity.  Let it be known that “Maken-ki!” is probably the raunchiest FUNimation TV anime series (visually) to be released on Blu-ray.  It surely will not be for everyone, but if you’re an anime fan that wants something more risque, “Maken-ki! Complete Series” is for you!

Image courtesy of © 2013 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Maken-ki! – Complete Series

YEAR: 2011

DURATION: Episodes 1-12

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0, English Subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATED: TV M

Release Date: November 12, 2013

Originally Created by Hiromitsu Takeda

Directed by Koichi Ohata

Series Composition by Yousuke Kuroda

Music by Cher Watanabe

Character Design by Nobuteru Yuki, Tadashi Abiru

Art Direction by Kyo Inoue

Production by AIC Spirits

Featuring the following voice talent:

Noriko Shitaya/Monica Rial as Haruko Amaya

Tomoaki Maeno/Ian Sinclair as Takeru Ōyama

Hitomi Harada/Heather Walker as Aki Nijō

Iori Nomizu/Tia Ballard as Inaho Kushiya

Makoto Yasumura as Akaya Kodai

Mina/Caitlin Glass as Minori Rokujō

Misuzu Togashi/Morgan Garrett as Azuki Shinatsu

Satoshi Tsuruoka/Scott Freeman as Kengo Usui

Sayuri Yahagi/Chloe Ragnbone as Kodama Himegami

Takeru enrolled in Tenbi Academy because the girl-to-guy ratio is, like, 3 girls for every guy. But this bevvy of bombshells is actually a school where teens beef up their combat skills using a magic power thingy called a Maken. Redheads with wicked high kicks, shocking blonde bullies, and aggressive brunettes are EVERYWHERE. And every time there’s a brawl, their clothes tend to disintegrate.

Distracted by all the bouncy brawlers, Takeru has a hard time concentrating on his training. Things get sticky when the hornball can’t figure out how to use his Maken. If he doesn’t find his mojo quick, he’ll be dumped by the school of his dreams—or destroyed by an attacker who’s after his magic power thingy!

In 2011, Hiromitsu Takeda created his mature manga “Maken-ki!” which was published in Fujimi Shobo’s “Monthly Dragon Age” magazine (and original in “Dragon Age Pure”).

The manga series would lead to a 12-episode anime adaptation by AIC in 2011 airing on AT-X and two OVA episodes which were bundled with the 8th and 11th volume of the manga series.

The anime series is directed by Koichi Ohata (“Burst Angel”, “Ikki Tosen” series”, “M.D. Geist”, “Yamato Takeru”), series composition by Yousuke Kuroda (“Excel Saga”, “Gungrave”, “Honey and Clover”), music by Cher Watanabe (“The Prince of Tennis II”, “Gakkyu-oh Yamazaki”), character designs by Nobuter Yuki (“Record of Lodoss War”, “Battle Angel”, “Battle Royal High School”, “Kiss on the Slope”, “Space Battleship Yamato”) and art direction by Kyo Inoue (“Blood+”, “Accel World”, “Fullmetal Alchemist”).

With a second season slated for a winter 2014 release, FUNimation has licensed the series and now “Maken-ki – Complete Series” will be released on Blu-ray+DVD combo in Nov. 2013.

“Maken-ki” is a mature harem anime series which revolves around a teenager named Takeru Ohyama, who has enrolled at Tenbi Academy.  A good-hearted, clumsy teenager who has become sexually curious, his childhood friend Haruko Amaya, the student body vice-president, who has come to walk him to his new school and introduce him to the new surroundings.

But what Takeru didn’t know is that the school he is attending is a school for special students who possess magical and spiritual energy known as Elements and they each can wield personalized weapons known as Maken.

As we see Haruko wanting to protect Takeru (and having an interest towards him), on the first day of school, his clumsiness leads him to cross paths with the feisty blonde fighter named Kodama Himegami, who spots an unusual mark on Takeru and immediately makes him her enemy that she wants to kill.

On the opening day of school, Kodama immediately challenges Takeru to a battle, which concerns Haruko because it’s Takeru’s first day and he hasn’t been trained.

And during their sparring match, when Kodama is about to unleash a special attack, her attack is nullified by Inaho Kushiya, who protects him from harm and proclaims herself to be the fiance of Takeru, which shocks Takeru and Haruko.

Because Inaho wants to be close to Takeru and is her self-proclaimed fiance, she and Takeru are allowed to live together.  But also requesting to live with them is Kodama.  Seeing that two girls are trying to live with Takeru and not wanting to see anything happen to him, a jealous Haruko announces that she will live with them as well, in order to make sure no one is up to no good.

Meanwhile, as the new students undergo testing to see what Maken can be crafted for them, the machine is unable to detect any Maken that will work for Takeru, making the women want to protect him even more from harm.  And as Takeru tries to fit in with the new school, Haruko invites Takeru to join the Maken-ki club, a club that officiates duels at school.

But during a moment where Takeru is trying to protect another student, he displays a certain power that he doesn’t remember doing in the heat of the moment.  What is this unknown power that Takeru has within him?

The characters featured in “Maken-ki – Complete Series” are:

  • Takeru Ohyama – The main protagonist.  A teenager who appears to be good-hearted, caring, clumsy and perverted.  His clumsiness leads him to falling on one of the female students or falling and accidentally grabbing to a student’s clothing and pulling them off, often his friend Haruko and Kodama which leads to them beating him up.  He has a special abilities that manifest during the most extreme situations when people he cares about are in harms way.
  • Haruko Amaya – The student body vice-president and head of one of the dorms.  A childhood friend of Takeru who cares about him deeply.  She is jealous when other girls get close to Takeru. She is very well-endowed and is considered one of the strongest at Tenbi Academy.  A member of Maken-ki.
  • Kodama Himegami – A blonde student that is a member of Maken-ki.  She is often discouraged because she is not well-endowed and often eats Takeru up as he accidentally stole her first kiss when she fell from a tree.  But when she sees a mark on him, she becomes curious to know more about him, as it is a mark that her brother had.
  • Inaho Kushiya – A person who has proclaimed herself to be Takeru’s fiance.  She made a promise to marry Takeru when they were younger, but is hurt that Takeru does not remember her at all.
  • Kengo Usui – One of the male students who tries to get close to Haruko and Kodama and thus is seen hanging out with Takeru and both share their perverted interests.
  • Azuki Shinatsu – A Short tempered student who often has a bandage on her nose.  She works at the maid cafe, Macaroon.
  • Uruchi Minaya – A member of Maken-ki who is obsessed with Haruko and can’t stand Takeru because of the attention she gives him and also his perverted ways.
  • Furan Takaki – The student body president who is shy around guys and very strict in enforcing rules at Tenbi Academy.
  • Yuka Amado – The student body treasurer and close friend of Furan, who often teases her.
  • Minori Rokujou – The principal and physical education teacher at Tenbi Academy.
  • Gen Tagayashi – The creator of the Makens at Tenbi Academy.
  • Aki Nijou – The very well-endowed school nurse and staff adviser for the Maken-ki club.

VIDEO:

“Maken-ki!” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  The anime series is colorful and as one can expect from a TV series, a bit soft.  But the characters are well-shaded and it looks as if AIC really put a lot of detail boobs and a woman’s nether-region (especially their panties) when it comes to shadows and trying to capture the ecchi perverted nature of the series without having to resort to nudity.

Backgrounds are well-painted and the shift of character designs from well-shaded characters and super-deformed characters are fun to watch.

But for the most part, the series does look good in HD.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Maken-ki!” is presented in English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Japanese stereo. “Maken-ki!” is a series that features crystal clear dialogue.  Both soundtracks are well-acted but I felt the English dialogue had a bit more punch, especially when it comes to the nudity and raunchiness of the series.  The English dub works quite well!

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Maken-ki! – Complete Series” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary – Episode 2 – Featuring audio commentary with Ian Sinclair (voice of Takeru) and Scott Freeman (voice of Kengo).
  • Audio Commentary – Episode 8 – Featuring audio commentary with Monica Rial (voice of Haruko) and Tia Ballard (voice of Inaho).
  • Heart-Throb! Maken-Ki! Secret Training – (1:01:34) Six very raunchy workout videos featuring various female characters doing exercises and the camera focusing between their legs and the characters nude.
  • Japanese Commercials – (1:09) The Blu-ray and DVD Japanese commercials for “Maken-Ki!”.
  • Original Teaser – (:23) Original “Maken-Ki!” Japanese commercial.
  • Textless Songs
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Maken-ki!”.

EXTRAS:

“Maken-ki! – Complete Series” comes with a Blu-ray and DVD version of the series.

I have watched many mature-themed anime series from FUNimation but I think that “Maken-ki!” has now surpassed any anime series released by the company that raises the bar in how far one can go with an anime series without being pornographic.

“Maken-ki!” has become a series that manages to take everything you have seen from mature anime and turn things up a notch.  The anime series has nudity, women with humongous boobs that somehow defy gravity, nipple pokies that get near Satoshi Urushihara “Plastic Little” status and detail of a woman’s nether region while wearing her panties.  And I’m sure the sheer mention of this will make the fans of perverted anime have this high on their anime purchase wish list.

But let’s take a step aside from anything mentioning boobs or panties and get to the actual anime series.

“Maken-ki!” is a harem anime series that is banal in the sense that you have a good-natured, clumsy guy named Takeru who lives with beautiful women and yet somehow gets himself in the wrong situations where his clumsiness leads to undressing or getting in compromising situations.

But a “Love Hina” this series is not.

Takeru ends up going to a high school full of beautiful women who are wearing skimpy outfits and can kick serious butt!

But an “Tenjo Tenge” this series is not.

But the fact is the series does have a feeling of taking certain aspects of other popular anime series and incorporating into “Maken-ki!” but adding more comedy situations and as many moments as possible for the AIC to showcase T&A, panties and nude shower scenes.

I was a bit surprised of how far this series would go in showing details of a woman’s vaginal area, granted she’s wearing panties but suffice to say, there is quite a bit of detailed shading in order to capture it in this anime series.

Suffice to say, while there is a storyline of a group of high school teenagers trying to watch over their school and making sure each fight is fair, and the stories of other female students trying to get close to Takeru, there is no doubt that the driving force is the mature sexual nature of this series.

Each character brings something to the series, from Haruko learning that her feelings for Takeru are more than just being childhood friends.  For Kodama, it’s this mysterious power that Takeru has that reminds him of her brother.  And for Inaho, the fact that she wants to marry Takeru but for reasons that only she remembers and he doesn’t.

Add in other well-endowed and scantily clad characters and a perverted male character and suffice to say, “Maken-ki!” becomes one heck of a crazy harem anime series!

And what was surprising to me that this is not some adaptation that was made by a beginner studio.  In fact, there are major names involved with this series.  From director Koichi Ohata (known for his mechanical designs for “Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counter Attack”, “”Gunbuster”, “Dangaioh” and director of “Burst Angel”, “MD Geist”, “Ikki Tousen”, etc.) and character designer Nobuteru Yuki, best known for working on series such as “Record of Lodoss War”, “Visions of Escaflowne”, “X” and “Heat Guy J”.  There are some serious anime industry talent behind this series.

As for the Blu-ray, the anime series is colorful but as one can expect from TV series, it also has its share of softness.  But the characters are well-shaded, moreso when it comes to AIC focusing on adding a lot of details to one’s panties.  Backgrounds are well-done and the shift of animation from serious to fun, cartoony or super-deformed was a nice touch.  The lossless soundtrack is crystal clear and one can expect more dynamic range and more surround channel activity thanks to the English 5.1 soundtrack.  The Japanese lossless stereo track is clear, but of course, being 2.0, doesn’t have the surround channel activity.

As for special features, the two audio commentaries for the English dub is one of the hilarious audio commentaries I have heard as the Ian Sinclair and Scott Freeman and Monica Rial and Tia Ballard must write each other a love letter.  Talk about crazy and fun!  But also, it’s fun to hear how the guys and the ladies feel about “Maken-ki!” and its mature nature.

But possibly the most shocking is the “Heart-Throb! Maken-Ki! Secret Training” special features. If you thought the anime series tried to raise the bar in perverseness and nudity, the special features for the “Secret Training” even tops what was shown in the anime.  Featured are an hour’s worth of the female characters working out but yet the camera is more intent of focusing near their vaginal area or their boobs.  And then all of a sudden, each female character takes their clothes off for more nudity.

Yes, “Heaven’s Lost Property” still has the distinction of being perverted moreso because of its English dialogue and the old school “La Blue Girl”, “Urotsukidoji”,  “Ping Pong Club” anime series and also this year’s release of “Queen’s Blade: Rebellion” is still among the top mature, perverted anime release ever in the U.S. but when it comes to visual scenes of how far an TV anime series can go without being considered pornographic.  “Maken-ki!” has become the top FUNimation series to go this far in terms of mature themes.  In fact, this series goes beyond boobylicious and your occasional panty shots.  And I’ll just leave it at that.

And for those wondering if it’s the uncensored version, yes, this series is definitely uncensored!

Overall, “Maken-ki! Complete Series” is an anime series that will no doubt appeal to the horny anime fanboy or those who love harem anime series, especially with a ton of fan service and nudity.  Let it be known that “Maken-ki!” is probably the raunchiest FUNimation TV anime series (visually) to be released on Blu-ray.  It surely will not be for everyone, but if you’re an anime fan that wants something more risque, “Maken-ki! Complete Series” is for you!




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