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Buso Renkin Box Set II (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

December 19, 2008 by  



“’If you thought the first 13 episodes of the series was action-packed, the second half of this series just surpasses it in everyway.  More action, more characters and what an awesome conclusion to the series! ‘Buso Renkin’ is absolutely fantastic!”

© Nobuhiro Watsuki / SHUEISHA, Busorenkin Project

SHONEN JUMP™ and BUSORENKIN™ are trademarks of Shueisha, Inc. in the United States and other countries

DVD TITLE: Buso Renkin Box Set II DURATION: 300 minutes (13 episodes, 25 minutes each) DVD INFORMATION: Original Uncut Episodes, Stereo, Bilingual (Japanese and English), English Subtitles COMPANY: Shonen Jump Home Video/Viz Media

Originally Created by Nobuhiro Watsuki

Directed by Takao Kato

Character Designs by Akio Takami and Hatsue Kato

Director of Photography – Katsutoshi Hirose

Music by Kouhei Tanaka

Featuring the following voice talent:

Jun Fukuyama – Kazuki Muto

Ryoka Yuzuki – Tokiko Tsumura

Aya Hirano – Mahiro Muto

Hitomi NAbatame – Ouka Hayasaka

Kisho Taniyama – Shuusui Hayasaka

Masashi Ebara – Captain Bravo

Mitsuaki Madono – Koushaku “Papillon” Chouno

Alchemist Warriors Kazuki and Tokiko continue their war against the evil homunculi.  But the awakening of Victor, the “King” of all homunculi, triggers the dark force lurking within Kazuki.  Cursed with the black kakugane, he becomes a marked man.  Hunted by their former allies, Kazuki and Tokiko find help from the most unlikely source… As the showdown in this century-long battle nears its conclusion, the future rests in the hands of one young man.  Kazuki must make a final decision that no one, not even Tokiko, could have predicted.

Another exciting, action-packed series from Nobuhiro Watsuki, creator of “Rurouni Kenshin” comes another action-driven series “Buso Renkin”. “Buso Renkin” is a 26-episode anime series that aired in Japan back in 2006-2007 and is based on a hit manga series by Watsuki that was serialized in “Shonen Jump”. The first box set features the first thirteen episodes of the series.

In the first 13 episodes of “Buso Renkin”, the series focused on Kazuki and Tokiko’s relationship.  Kazuki, having been saved by Tokiko, does all he can to get stronger and protect Tokiko and all his friends.  His determination to protect people from the homunculi has made him an alchemist warrior and a hero among his friends.

In the second half, the wheels have turned the opposite direction as the battle against the supreme Victor who has the first black kakugane has gone south.  Not only has Victor started sucking the life energy of his friends and his classmates, anything living has their life being sucked up by Victor who keeps regenerating energy.  With the odds against them, Kazuki has no choice but unleash the hidden power within him, in order to save everyone.

The result is that Kazuki transforms into Victor-3. Victor leaves Victor-3 to be alone and regenerate.

Meanwhile, Tokiko can’t believe what Kazuki has done and what may be positive in Kazuki’s mind of saving his friends, Tokiko knows that with him transforming into Victor is not good at all. And with Kazuki now in the first stage of being Victor-3, Kazuki feels that he can protect people but he learns from Captain Bravo, the Victor process will go in three stages and although he feels human now, he will become a killing beast once he reaches stage 2 and will have lost humanity.

Captain Bravo then informs him that he has now become the enemy of the Alchemist Warriors and that he must kill Kazuki. The second half of the series introduces us to new characters as the Alchemist Warriors must now eliminate Victor-1 and Victor-3.  Tokiko, an alchemist warrior herself, will not let her organization kill Kazuki and will do what she can to protect him and joining her is a junior Alchemist Warrior named Gota Nakamura (who has a crush on Kazuki).

The three become a team in order to survive but also to find a way to make Kazuki normal. So, the second half of the series literally makes Kazuki, Tokiko and Gota traitors and a group of the top tier Alchemist Warriors go after them.  While the other half features a second group of Alchemist Warriors going after Victor.

Without spoiling the final six episodes, all I can say is that the storyline becomes more dramatic, more action-packed and you may want to break out the tissue because it gets darn right sad. I was literally blown away by this second box set.

The storyline definitely becomes more captivating, action in almost every episode but now, because of the first season focused on the character development, you actually care for these characters and just watch them in despair.

Especially for those who root for Kazuki and Tokiko and wonder if those two will ever fall in love and get together.

So, needless to say, “BUSO RENKIN BOX SET II” was not only full of action but a well-told storyline that leaves you content and knowing that this was an incredible series.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

For a newer anime television series that debuted back in 2006, the picture quality of the series is well done. Because the series takes place in a variety of scenes, I don’t recall seeing any blurring or digitizing during the dark scenes. The video transfer is featured in an aspect ration of 1.33:1.

The audio is featured in both English and Japanese 5.1. I watched the series both in Japanese and with English dubs and the Japanese version is well done. And the English version definitely does a great job, especially with the villains. The English dub actor’s do a fantastic job especially with the voice of Papillon and Moon-Face. I felt that the voice talent gave these two villains a much more creepy, perverse and humorous style that despite how off these characters are, they are quite deadly.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The box set features a “BEHIND THE SCENES of BUSO RENKIN”.  Where as the first box set focused on the main characters, this second box set focuses on the newer characters.  You get to watch the English dub voice actors work their magic in the studio and just see how the process works and an interview with them in which they discuss their characters and providing the voices for them.  This featurette is about 25 minutes long.

And included in this set is a booklet which features artwork and information on every major and supporting character in the series.

I was pleased with the first box set of “BUSO RENKIN” and there were a lot of humor and action but most of all character driven plots and the director and screenwiter focused on getting to know the characters and developing them throughout the first half of the series.

Once you get to box set II, things just change as the allies of Kazuki now treat him as the enemy and Tokiko, feeling guilty that she implanted Kazuki with the kakugane does what she can to protect him.  Every character is utilized quite well in this series.  The storyline just catches your attention and the amount of action and battles and even characters introduced is quite significant compared to the first 13 episodes.  Because these characters introduced are utilized well in the series, you don’t really get lost, you know who the characters are and their abilities.

But the storyline of Kazuki and Tokiko really goes through an emotional rollercoaster and the final three episodes are just classic. The second half of this series makes me appreciate the entire series even more.

I enjoyed the first 13 episodes in the first box set  but the animation, the voice acting, the battles and the characters together with an enjoyable, action-packed, dramatic storyline… I was very impressed. “Buso Renkin Box Set II” is highly recommended!

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