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Okami-san and Her Seven Companions: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 24, 2012 by  



A lot of fun, original and outright addictive!  “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” has become one of my favorite anime series on Blu-ray for 2012.  Highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2012 FUNimation Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Okami-san and Her Seven Companions: The Complete Series

DURATION: 12 Episodes (300 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: April 3, 2012

Originally created by Masashi Okita

Directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Series Composition by Michiko Itou

Music by Megumi Oohashi

Original Character Design: Haruko Iizuka

Art Director: Teruhiko Niida

Cheif Animation Director: Haruko Iizuka

Sound Director: Jin Aketagawa

Director of Photography: Tomokazu Nakanish

Anime Production: J.C. Staff

Featuring the following voice talent:

Miyu Irino/Joel McDonald as Ryōshi Morino

Shizuka Itou/Brina Palencia as Ryōko Ōkami

Kanae Itō/Monica Rial as Ringo Akai

Aki Toyosaki/Caitlin Glass as Otohime Ryūgū

Ayako Kawasumi/Colleen Clinkebeard as Otsuu Tsurugaya

Hirofumi Nojima/Micah Solusod as Liszt Kiriki

Junichi Suwabe/Ian Sinclair as Shirō Hitsujikai

Kimiko Koyama/Lindsay Seidel as Majolica le Fay

Rie Kugimiya/Jad Saxton as Mimi Usami

Satomi Arai/Luci Christian as Narrator

Shintarō Asanuma/Todd Haberkorn as Tarō Urashima

Yui Horie/Terri Doty as Alice Kiriki

Yuko Kaida/Stephanie Young as Momoko Kibitsu

Ryoko Okami, the “wolf,” and her BFF Ringo, also known as Little Red Riding Hood, are members of Otogi Bank – a high school club that helps classmates out of grim situations. One day, a meek young man proclaims his love to Ryoko, who does nothing but bite him in return. “You’re much too weak for me,” she huffs. So the boy joins Otogi Bank to prove he has the stuff to protect his beloved – even if it means taking a blow to the head with a lead pipe. He’s no Prince Charming, but will Ryoko allow herself to have her own happily ever after?

Pleasantly original and outright addictive!  “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” has become one of my favorite anime series on Blu-ray for 2012.  Highly recommended!

“Okami-San and her Seven Companions” is the title of the anime series based on the Japanese light novels “Okami-san” by Masashi Okita (feat. illustrations by Unaji).  Released in 2006 and published by ASCII Media Works, the sereis received a TV series anime adaptation in 2010 courtesy of J.C. Staff.

The anime series was directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki (“Best Student Council”, “Hayate the Combat Butler!!”, “Love Hina”), a screenplay by Michiko Itou (“Queen’s Blade 2: The Evil Eye”, “Bodacious Space Pirates”), music by Megumi Oohashi (“Blue Dragon”, “Transformers: Cybertron”, “Uta~Kata”), character designs by Haruko Iizuka (“Karin”, “Love Hina”, “Black Butler”) and art direction by Teruhiko Niida (“Doki Doki School Hours”, “Hayate the Combat Butler”, “Toaru Kagaku no Railgun”).

And now the 12-episode anime series will be released in the U.S. as a complete series on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment in April 2012.

“Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” is a series that revolves primarily around two characters, Ryo Okami and Ryoshi Morino.  Both are high school students at Otogi High School and a member of the trading club in high school known as the “Otogi High School Bank”.

The club which begins with seven people are known for taking on projects in which students request for their help and hire the club, after completion, the student is not indebted by money but must pay the favor back when the club requests for it.

Ryoko Okami is the fierce and violent fighter, but the truth is that it’s all a facade.  Deep inside, Ryoko is scared but due to something bad that happened to her earlier as a teenager, it changed her life forever and she went from innocent and happy to not so happy and always willing to fight kind of person.  She carries two Neko Neko Knuckles made by club member Majolica that function as boxing gloves and a stun gun.  Her best friend and roommate is Ringo Akai.

The other character Ryoshi Morino is Ryoko’s secret admirer.  He is from the country and has always admired Ryoko from a distance. Unfortunately, Ryoshi is very shy and he has a phobia of people staring at him.   But Ryoshi has declared his love for Ryoko and promised to be by her side no matter what.  So, Ringo brings Ryoshi to the members of Otogi High School Bank to become a new member and prove his love to Ryoko and prove he can be strong enough to be his girlfriend.

The two are joined by Otogi Bank Club members Ringo Akai (petite and short and dresses like red riding hood), Liszt Kiriki (the president of Otogi bank who is great at research and cross dressing), Alice Kiriki (Liszt’s cousin and club secretary, equally good at obtaining research), Otsu Tsurugaya (the maid), Taro Urashima (the playboy), Otohime Ryugu (the girl that has a crush on Taro) and Majolica le Fay (the mad scientist).

The series focuses on the Otogi Bank Club members taking on various missions but we find out that a lot of the trouble is caused by a rival school, Onigashima High School which is led by their student council president Shiro Hitsujikai.  And Shiro is tied to Okami through an incident that changed her life forever.

And throughout each episode and through different missions, we see how the shy Ryoshi Morino has a lot of positive features within him and how he eventually gains the respect of the Otogi Bank club members but also starting to capture the heart of the one girl he loves the most, Ryoko Okami.  But because Okami is not good with her emotions and because of her past, can she ever fall in love with anyone ever again?

VIDEO:

“Okami-san and Her Seven Companions: The Complete Series” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1) and is what one would expect from a TV anime series in terms of softness.  The series also features a colorful palette as well as vibrant and detailed art backgrounds.  This is a series that focuses on a lot of closeups but also action sequences.  I didn’t notice any banding or artifact issues with this anime series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Okami-san and Her Seven Companions: The Complete Series” is presented in Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1.  I watched the series in both Japanese and English and felt that there was good use of surround through the English 5.1 soundtrack but in terms of voice acting, both are well done. But although there is quite a bit of action in this series, for the most part, a lot of the series is focused around dialogue.  Dialogue is crystal clear and heard no problems on both soundtracks whatsoever.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Okami-san and Her Seven Companions: The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:

  • Episode 1 Commentary – Featuring Colleen Clinkenbeard (director) and Chuck Huber (writer) for the English dub.
  • Episode 6 Commentary – Featuring voice actresses Brina Polencia (Ryoko) and Monica Rial (Ringo).
  • Tokyo International Anime Fair Promotional Video  – (2:47) Specialized TIAF promo for “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions”.
  • Promotional Video – (1:44) Promotional video for “”Okami-san and Her Seven Companions”.
  • Original TV Commercials – (1:08) The Japanese commercials for “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions”.
  • U.S. Trailer – (:59) FUNimation Entertainment theatrical trailer.
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers.

EXTRAS:

“Okami-san and Her Seven Companions: The Complete Series” comes with a DVD version of the series.

I have to admit that when I first began watching “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions”, I was thinking that this anime series was going to be the usual banal anime series about a club of friends kicking the butt of other rival high schools, etc.  But it turns out I was wrong.  In fact, “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” features an original storyline that you just don’t find in other anime series and I found myself quite addicted to this anime series to the point that I couldn’t stop watching.  I wanted more when it was all done!

You can’t help but want to support the underdog Ryoshi and hoping he can capture the heart of Ryoko Okami!  And the anime series is so captivating because you have a group of characters that are just so odd, crazy and unusual but for this anime series, it somehow works in the overall efficacy of the series.

Yes, you get action, you get drama, you get a lot of comedy and you get a little fan service but the series is focuses on the dramatic portion of the series between Ryoshi and Ryoko but also the action/comedy segments as the group take on various missions to help these individuals with their requests.  But what happens when a rival school of delinquents tries to get involved with Otogi Bank’s business.

So, while the series tends to focus on both Ryoko and Ryoshi, because of the involvement of the other bank members, you get to learn about each of them as there is a storyline-centric episode involving each or all of them.

Also, unlike other anime series, “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” features an interesting type of narration that usually explains a scene, a character or just pokes fun of the characters in general.  It was rather interesting, especially to see how things differ between the Japanese and English dub.

If there was one thing about “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” that I was not expecting was how deep things got near the second half of the series as it is revealed to Ryoshi of what happened to Ryoko and why she changed long ago from this happy student to this colder, violent person (which both Ringo and Ryoshi can tell its a facade).

While the first half of the series can be seen as fun and more character development building episodes, the last four episodes alone are quite deep and action-packed.  But most of all, the series focuses on its characters and builds a solid storyline around them.  Too often these days, we see beautiful looking animation and backgrounds but the storyline is so-so.

“Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” was quite a surprise and was much better than I expected.  In fact, I would go as far to say that the series is possibly one of the best anime series on Blu-ray in 2012 that I have seen so far!

While picture quality is what is expected from a TV series, the overall anime series does look good and the voice acting is also well-done in Japan and English.  You also get two audio commentary tracks for the English dub and also promotional videos and original commercials in Japanese (with English subtitles).

Overall, If you are looking for an anime series that has it all…drama, action, cool characters, cool animation and a captivating and entertaining storyline, you definitely want to give “Okami-san and Her Seven Companions” a try!  Especially for those who don’t want a long series, this is only 12-episodes long, so it’ll be easy to follow!

Definitely recommended!






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