The Asterisk War: Limited Edition Blu-ray Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 21, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“The Asterisk War: Limited Edition Blu-ray Vol. 1 ” is action-packed and entertaining. It’s characters and storyline may feel reminiscent of other anime series but the series does show a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing how the characters and the storyline evolve in vol. 2. “The Asterisk War” is an anime worth checking out!
Image courtesy of © 2016 ANIPLEX INC. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: The Asterisk War: Limited Edition Blu-ray Vol. 1
ANIME SERIES AIR DATE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 1-6) 300 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), English and Japanese Linear PCM Stereo 2.0, English and Spanish Subtitles
COMPANY: Aniplex of America Inc.
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Originally created by Yuu Miyazaki
Original Character Design by okiura
Chief Direction by Manabu Ono
Directed by Kenji Sato
Script by Munemasa Nakamoto, Yuki Sugawara, Yukito Kizawa
Music by Rasmus Faber
Character Design by Tetsuya Kawakami
Art Director: Yukihiro Watanabe
Chief Animation Director: Tetsuya Kawakami
Anime Production: A-1 Pictures
Featuring the following voice talent:
Ai Kakuma/Kira Buckland as Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt
Atsushi Tamaru/Erik Scott Kimerer as Ayato Amagiri
Ari Ozawa/Brianna Knickerbocker as Kirin Todo
Ayana Taketatsu/Cherami Leigh as Pham Thi Tram (Fan Xinglou)
Chinatsu Akasaki/Cassandra Morris as Ernesta Kuhne
Haruka Chisuga as Sylvia Lyyneheym
Haruka Yoshimura as RM-C (Rimsy)
Juri Nagatsuma as Priscilla Urzaiz
Mai Nakahara/Michelle Ruff as Haruka Amagiri
Mutsumi Tamura/Cristina Vee as Camilla Pareto
Nao Tōyama/Erika Harlacher as Claudia Enfield
Nobuo Tobita/Lucien Dodge as Shuma Sakon
Invertia–The astral catastrophe that annihilated many cities in the 20th century also gave birth to a new human race with special powers called the “Genestella.” At the same time, the special element found within the meteors of Invertia facilitated humanity’s technological advancement.
At the academic-city above water Rikka, also known as “Asterisk,” students from each of the six schools at Asterisk prepare for the ultimate battle tournament — known as “Festa.” Seidoukan Academy’s Ayato Amagiri takes up the challenge along with his partner Julis, a.k.a. Glühen Rose, the Witch of the Resplendent Flames. Ayato learns Julis has a big dream to achieve and decides to protect her to the end.
In 2012, writer Yuu Miyazaki and illustrator okiura created the Japanese light novel series “The Asterisk War” (Gakusen Toshi Asutarisuku).
Published by Media factory, a two-volume manga adaptation was then created for Media Factory’s “Monthly Comic Alive”.
In 2015, A-1 Pictures would create an anime TV series adaptation with two seasons having now been completed.
And now, the anime series will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex of America Inc. The first six episodes of the 24-episode series, will be featured in the first volume.
The anime is set in the 20th century and an event called Invertia has destroyed many cities on Earth. Because of the collapsing economy, the Integrated Enterprise Foundation has become the leader of the world.
A parallel city of Rikka, known as Asterisk is the the main setting of this anime series.
Asterisk has six academies which hold tournaments, known as “Festas” in which humans and people with super abilities called Genestella participate in battle against each other.
Seidoukan Academy is ranked fifth in Asterik and the series focuses on main protagonist Ayato Amagiri, a Genestella, who is investigating the disappearance of his sister Haruka.
On his first day of school, he meets a student (who happens to be a Lieseltanian princess) named Julis-Alexia von Riessfeld. And due to circumstances because he is new at the academy (which make him seem like a pervert), he is challenged to a duel against her.
The two get into battle and she is amazed by Ayato’s fighting ability and superpowers but the battle is ended when someone tries to send a spike towards Julis-Alexia and she is saved by Ayato (who, unfortunately lands on top of her and his hand on top of her chest).
The battle is ended early by Seidoukan Academy’s Student Council President Claudia Enfield because the match was not legal.
But as Ayato continues to fight and find a reason for using his special power, what will he discover about himself? And who is responsible for attacking Seidoukan students? And who is this Kirin Todou that Ayato meets for the first time?
All this and more in the first volume of “The Asterisk War”!
“The Asterisk War” features the following characters:
- Ayato Amagiri – A Seidoukan Academy student who transfers to the school to investigate his sister’s disappearance. He shows great power but can only control it for several minutes. He wants to protect Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt.
- Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt – The fifth ranking student of Seidokan Academy and happens to be the First Princess of Lieseltania in the western Czech Republic. She is quite distant to everyone at the school but when Ayato tries to get close with her and wanting to protect her, she eventually starts to warm up to him.
- Claudia Enfield – The blonde, buxom, second highest ranking student of Seidoukan Academy and also the Student council President. She tries her best to seduce Ayato.
- Saya Sasamiya – A childhood friend of Ayato who moved abroad. She is an airhead at times and bad with directions. She is great with weapons and artillery and often gets Julis riled up as Saya prefers Ayato to spend time with her.
- Kirin Toudou – The top ranking student of Seidoukan Academy. Because Ayato shows kindness to her all the time, she becomes a friend of his. But as she vies for Ayato’s attention, she deals with a demanding and abusive uncle.
“The Asterisk War” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9). There is a lot of detail featured in the art backgrounds, a lot of characters featured and these characters have great detail and shadowing. Colors are absolutely vibrant. There is slight softness, but that is expected with anime TV series. But overall, wonderful animation especially during the action sequences by A-1 Pictures.
I found no compression artifacts or any problematic issues with this Blu-ray release.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Asterisk War” is presented in English and Japanese Linear PCM Stereo 2.0. Both soundtracks are well-acted and are crystal clear through the front channels.
Subtitles are in English and Spanish.
“The Asterisk War” features the following special features:
- Bonus Preview Episodes – Bonus preview episodes for episode 2-7.
- Web Previews
- Textless Opening Song
- Textless Ending Song 1 & 2
- Textless Prologue
“The Asterisk War” comes with a slipcase with package illustration by Tetsuya Kawakami, clear cases with 2-side wraps, six collectible pinup cards, a 40-page deluxe booklet about the characters, sketches and more. Also, a bonus third disc (CD included, Duration: 12:32) featuring “The Asterisk War Infusion Mix 1” by Rasmus Faber.
For those who love action-drive anime series, the first volume of “The Asterisk War” shows great potential with its interesting characters (each with their own special skillset) and it’s good balance of humor, action and for those who enjoy, fan service, you get a little of that as well.
For some anime fans, they may find it quite banal as it may feel similar to “The irregular at magic high school” minutes the brother/sister characters.
Everything takes place in the school, students are often challenging each other and the power of the main protagonist is amazing. But you have a main protagonist who is your usual nice guy, wanting to protect the people he cares about. A main female tsundere character who is amazed by the main protagonists kindness and good intentions. And you also have a group of characters that are fun, others who are mysterious and so, I can see people who may be turned off by the series feeling too similar.
Ayato Amagiri has similarities to Kirito of “Sword Art Online”, Julis-Alexia von Riessfelt has a tsundere attitude similar to Chitoge Kirisaki of “Nisekoi”, Claudia Enfield is your usual flirtation, buxom character trying to seduce the protagonist, you have tech-loving and naive Saya Sasamiya and the shy but excellent fighter, Kirin Toudou. How these characters evolve later in the series is what I look forward to watching.
But that’s just the first six episodes. I found the series to be fun, action-packed and entertaining but would like to see how the characters and the storyline evolve.
As for the animation, as always, A-1 Pictures does a magnificent job with character designs, action sequences and for the most part, background art and lighting effects are well-done.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good for a TV series and features a good stereo solid lossless soundtrack. Which are well-acted for both Japanese soundtracks and the English dub. Special features are your typical previews and opening and ending theme. But you do get slipcase, collectible pin up cards, a third CD with a 12-minute mix and 40-page deluxe booklet. So, there is quite a bit of swag included with “The Asterisk War: Limited Edition Blu-ray Vol. 1”.
Overall, “The Asterisk War: Limited Edition Blu-ray Vol. 1 ” is action-packed and entertaining. It’s characters and storyline may feel reminiscent of other anime series but the series does show a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing how the characters and the storyline evolve in vol. 2.
“The Asterisk War” is an anime worth checking out!
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