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Mob Psycho 100 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

December 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Mob Psycho 100” was one of the coolest, wildest and craziest anime series I have watched in 2017.  From ONE, the creator of “One-Punch Man”, this is a different but equally enjoyable anime series worth watching and one that I highly recommend!

Image courtesy of © 2016 Toho Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Mob Psycho 100

DURATION: (12 Episodes) 300 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16×9), Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0 and English 5.1, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Funimation

RATED: PG

Release Date: December 5, 2017


Originally Created by ONE

Directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa

Series Composition: Hiroshi Seko

Music by Kenji Kawai

Character Design: Yoshimichi Kameda

Art Director: Ryo Kono

Sound Director: Kazuhiro Wakabayashi

Director of Photography: Mayuko Furumoto

Anime Production: Bones


Featuring the following voice talent:

Setsuo Ito/Kyle McCarley as Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama

Akio Ohtsuka/Michael Sorich as Ekubo

Atsumi Tanezaki/Cherami Leigh as Tome Kurata

Ayumi Fujimura/Abby Trott as Ichi Mezato

Hiroyuki Kagura as Daichi Shiratori/Kaito Shiratori

Kōhei Amasaki/Chris Hackney as Takeshi Hoshino

Miyu Irino/Max Mittelman as Ritsu Kageyama

Rumi Ookubo/Cristina Vee as Ishiguro

Sanae Fuku/Mela Lee as Rei Kurosaki

Takahiro Sakurai/Chris Niosi as Arataka Reigen

Toshihiko Seki/Patrick Seitz as Musashi Goda

Uki Satake/Ryan Bartley as Tsubomi Takane

Yoshimasa Hosoya/Xander Mobus as Sakurai/Tenga Onigawara

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka/Erik Scott Kimerer as Teruki Hanazawa

Yūsuke Kuwahata/Bobby Thong as Gou Asahi


Mob is an 8th grader with powerful psychic abilities who wants to be normal. When not exorcising evil spirits he attempts to suppress his powers, causing stunted emotions. But when he hits 100 percent, his pent-up feelings unleash a dark power.


Manga artist ONE became viral when his webcomic series “One-Punch Man” debuted.  While it had no official publisher and his art for the most part was quite rough, when the manga was remade into a digital manga illustrated by Yusuke Murata (best known for “Eyeshield 21”) and was serialized in “Weekly Young Jump”.

As ONE would become popular worldwide, he would go on to create another series from 2012-2017 titled “Mob Psycho 100”, which was serialized on the online version “Weekly Shonen Sunday” site, “Ura Sunday”.

With a total of 15 manga volumes published, a one season anime series which aired in July-September 2016 and a live action TV drama starting in January 2018, “Mob Psycho 100” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Funimation.

The anime series revolves around Shigeo Kagayama, who looks like an average boy and is given the nickname “Mob” (which means “background character” in Japanese).

While Mob may look nerdy and weak, the truth is that he is a powerful Esper.

Mob works for Arataka Reigen, a self-proclaimed psychic but in truth, he is a con artist who happens to excel in persuasion and perception but also quite clever and agile, with a lot of skills that makes one wonder if he’s a very skilled person.  Who happens to also be Mob’s mentor.

And through Reigen, Mob has learned one important lesson from his master and that is to never use his Esper abilities against anyone.

Partly becomes if Mob’s feelings reach 100%, he is overcome with a strong emotion that makes him unable to control his powers and he literally becomes a black-souled being that can destroy and hurt people.

And his younger brother Ritsu had witness this.  Ritsu is different from Mob that he exceeds in athletics and academically.  He is taller, more handsome and popular.  But he wishes he has his brothers psychic power and is often envious of his older brother.

Meanwhile, Mob runs to various obstacles, from ghosts to other ESPers that want to fight him and with Mob trying to control his emotions and keeping to the promise to never use his powers on anyone living, how will things turn out for Mob when the going gets rough?

What happens when Mob meets an upper class evil spirit named Dimple who can possess the bodies of others?  And what happens when Mob confronts a “hidden boss” named Teruki Hanazawa whose intent is to beat Mob to a pulp.

And just when things are starting to get peaceful, what happens when Ritsu’s ESPer power starts to develop and an evil ESPer organization known as Claw starts to reveal themselves?


VIDEO:

“Mob Psycho” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9). Colors are vibrant and backgrounds are extremely detailed. Character designs are fantastic and are respectful to ONE’s original digital manga (with better detail of course).  But the series looks great in HD!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Mob Psycho” is presented in Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and English 5.1. Featuring crystal clear dialogue and music along with wonderful sound effects during the more action-driven scenes that utilize the surround channels.  And both the Japanese and English soundtrack, the voice actors were well-cast for both.  And as for the English dub, I have to say that I noticed names for the English dub that I have heard before and the casting was wonderful because I found Kyle McCarley’s Mob and Chris Niosi for Arataka Reigen.

I suppose I have been critical of Funimation in the past for using the same voice actors over and over for various anime series and as talented as they are, I don’t want to hear that same voice for every character because an ADR director felt comfortable with that person and wanted to use them for every series.  Lately, Funimation has been doing a great job of stepping outside of that circle, casting new talent and this is a series indicative of that.  Great casting and the English dub voice actors on this series did a wonderful job!

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Mob Psych0 100.” comes with the following special features:

  • Mob Psycho Shorts – (39:54) 8-bit video-game like animation featuring the “Mob Psycho 100” characters.
  • Promo Video
  • Flipbook Video
  • Commercials
  • Textless Closing Song

I’m not sure how often I come across an anime series that captivates your attention through fascinating characters, wild concepts and surreal plotlines, but “Mob Psycho 100” does just that.

A story of a teen trying to keep his powers in check and to not bring his emotions up to 100%, he has shut his emotions, not have had any social interactions and has pretty much kept to himself.

But despite not having any friends and not having any true skills (beyond his ESPer powers), he does want to improve his life and be better.

But lately Mob is learning that he is not the only ESPer in town and there are many out there like him, those who have yet to make a decision of how they would use their powers for good, others for evil.

What makes this series work is that it’s wild, crazy and a whole lot of fun.  The many characters at first was a cause of worry because there are many of them, but the way the series is able to develop these characters and build them into the story was done well.  So, big credit to Hiroshi Seko for the overall series composition.

But I absolutely was proud of the direction from Yuzuru Tachikawa of making this series faithful to ONE’s original works.  It has that crazy, wild style of “ONE-PUNCH MAN” but it’s so much different and refreshing that I had a lot of fun watching this anime series.  No doubt one of the best anime series I have watched in 2017.

As for the Blu-ray, the anime series is vibrant in HD and the lossless soundtrack is wonderfully done, with the voice acting for both Japanese and English dub soundtrack to be exceptional.

And you also get numerous extras such as Mob Psycho Shorts, promo videos, flipbook videos and more.

Overall, “Mob Psycho 100” was one of the coolest, wildest and craziest anime series I have watched in 2017.  From ONE, the creator of “One-Punch Man”, this is a different but equally enjoyable anime series worth watching and one that I highly recommend!

The Rolling Girls: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are in the mood for an action-driven anime series with cute moe characters and zany storylines, then “The Rolling Girls: The Complete Series” is for you!  Otherwise, it’s a series with lost potential and average at best.

Image courtesy of © 2016 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: The Rolling Girls: The Complete Series

ANIME SERIES AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: (Episodes 1-12) 300 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), English DolbyTrue HD 5.1, Japanese DolbyTrue HD 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: August 2, 2016


Directed by Kotomi Deai

Screenplay by Yasuyuki muto

Music by Masaru Yokoyama

Original Character Design by tanu

Character Design by Katsuhiko Kiatada

Art Director: Eriko Shibayama, Kunihiko Inaba, Ryo Kono, Seiki Tamura, Shinobu Takahashi, Shunichiro Yoshihara

Anime Production: Wit Studio


Featuring the following voice talent:

Ari Ozawa/Felecia Angelle as Nozomi Moritomo

Rina Hidaka/Monica Rial as Yukina Kosaka

Risa Taneda/Jad Saxton as Ai Hibiki

Yumiri Hanamori/Leah Clark as Chiaya Misono

Akio Ohtsuka/J. Michael Tatum as Dandy

Ayumi Fujimura/Colleen Clinkenbeard as Masami Utoku

Fuyuka Oura/Jamie Marchi as Kuniko Shigyou

Hiroki Touchi/Eric Vale as Tomomori Moritomo


Wit Studio (Attack on Titan, Seraph of the End) is back with Rolling Girls, a road-trip adventure filled with vibrant color, energetic style, and a whole lot of heart.

Between super-powered fighters known as “Bests” battling across the city and fanatical vigilante squads cheering them on from the ground below, it’s easy for an average girl to get lost in the shuffle. But when her town’s Best gets taken out by a rival, Nozomi Moritomo gasses up her motorcycle and sets off across Japan to take her place.

Joined by the feisty wannabe Best, Ai, the wandering artist Yukina, and the spacy but mysterious Chiaya, Nozomi and her makeshift motorcycle gang cross the country settling scores between warring districts.

In a world that favors the Best over the rest, it’s hard for an average girl to find where she belongs, but one thing’s for sure–until she gets there, it’s going to be a wild ride.


In 2014, Yosuke Miyagi and illustrator Bonkara would create two volume manga for “The Rolling Girls” for “Monthly Comic Garden” and the manga series “Ro~lling Gi~rls Inspiration x Traveler” followed by Miyagi and illustrator Sheepbox  for “Online Magazine comic Blade” is currently ongoing.

In January-March 2015, Wit Studio’s anime adaptation of the “The Rolling Girls” aired on television and in the US courtesy of Funimation Channel.  And now the series will be available on Blu-ray courtesy of Funimation.

The anime series was directed by Kotomi Deai (“Silver Spoon”, “Natsume Yujin-Cho Go”), screenplay by Yasuyuki Muto (“Afro Samurai”, “Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096”, “Persona -trinity soul-“), music by Masaru Yokoyama (“Freezing”, “Hyperdimension Neptuna”, “Plastic Memories”), character design by Katsuhiko Kitada (“Hal”, “Doukyusei -Classmates”).

“Rolling Girls” is set ten years after the “Great Tokyo War” and many of Japan’s political and economic elites have mysteriously disappeared. So, the country was split up to 10 prefectures and independent city-states that compete against each other.

In these competitions, the vigilantes who fought in the war are known as the “Best” (Mosas) and represent their prefecture.  And their supporters are known as the “Rest” (Mobs).

Two Best’s are often battling, Masami Utoku of Tokorozawa who assumes the design of the green-suited superhero “Maccha Green” and Kuniko, who is the “legendary executioner” and the Best of Higashi Murayama.

The rivalry between these two are huge and Kuniko despises Masami and when Kuniko takes the battle to great heights, both were barely able to survive and were hospitalized.

One of Maccha Green’s/Masami Utoku’s biggest supporters is her childhood friend, Nozomi Moritomo.  The only daughter of the Morimoto family who runs the Moritomo Restaurant in Tokorozawa.

Masami always had protected Nozomi and during the battle with Kuniko, she nearly died trying to protect her friend.

Not wanting anyone to protect her, Nozomi is told by her Best to go on a road trip with her friends Yukina Kosaka (a shy and tone-deaf runaway); a former Rest of Higashi Murayama, Ai Hibiki (temperamental and joins up with Nozomi and friends); and Chiaya Misono, a girl wearing a gasmask who somehow knows the names of Nozomi, Yukina and Ai.  She is also the adopted daughter of Haruka Misono, president of Tokorozawa.

And together, these four characters travel to find heart-shaped power stones (which gave amazing power to Maccha Green and Kuniko) and to grow as friends and to also observe other prefectures.

What will these four individuals discover during their adventures?  And can they trust and work with each other?


VIDEO:

“The Rolling Girls” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen). There is a lot of detail featured in the art backgrounds, a lot of characters featured are beautifully animated and there is wonderful use of artistic backgrounds that are beautifully painted and the use of water colors and matte like surface and also the use of purple line art for its character designs.

Colors are vibrant, black levels are deep. There is slight softness, but that is expected with anime TV series. But overall, due to the detail, Wit Studio did a great job with this anime series!

I found no compression artifacts or any problematic issues with this Blu-ray release.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Rolling Girls” is presented in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. Dialogue and music is clear through the front channels for the lossless stereo soundtrack but because the English is 5.1, there is better use of the surround channels.

Voice acting for both soundtracks are well-done! Lossless audio is crystal clear and while not the most immersive soundtrack (which I typically don’t expect TV series to boast incredible immersive lossless soundtracks, unlike a film or OVA series), “The Rolling Girls” does sound very good on Blu-ray!

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Rolling Girls: The Complete Series” features the following special features:

  • Episode 8 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with Colleen Clinkenbeard (ADR Director), Jad Saxton (voice of Ai Hibiki), Monica Real (voice of Yukina Kosaka).
  • Episode 12 Video Commentary – Featuring audio commentary Clifford Chapin (Assistant ADR Director), Felecia Angelle (voice of Nozomi Moritomo) and Leah Clark (voice of Chiaya Misono).
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • Previews for Episodes 2-12
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “The Rolling Girls”
  • Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers

EXTRAS:

“The Rolling Girls: The Complete Series” comes with both a Blu-ray and DVD version.


“The Rolling Girls” is an animated series that started off with amazing potential but somehow became a little too convoluted and tried to do too much within its 12-episode run.

I loved the idea of the “Bests” and the “Rests” and how the Best represented various prefectures and how they go into battle.  It’s an interesting way to show battles between the prefectures and I absolutely loved the incorporation of some Tokusatsu with the hero Maccha Green. But after the two episodes, the series goes in another direction as it focuses on the adventures of four young ladies trying to find Power Stones which have powered the Bests.

While I found the characters to be quite cute and their adventures to be fun, the constant bickering, the politics, aliens and everything else thrown to the viewer really got me confused that I had to rewatch episodes, just in case I missed out on something.

I felt that too many things were incorporated in this anime series to attract all types of otaku but yet the storyline doesn’t have any meaningful substance.  And it’s a shame because I felt the series had better potential earlier in the series.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is presented in 16:9 widescreen and animation is very detailed and quite vibrant. Wit Studio did a magnificent job in featuring wonderful character designs but also  the use of painted background and also foreground art. The Blu-ray release comes with two audio commentaries, textless opening and ending songs.

Overall, if you are in the mood for an action-driven anime series with cute moe characters and zany storylines, then “The Rolling Girls: The Complete Series” is for you!  Otherwise, it’s a series with lost potential and average at best.

The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer. Limited Edition (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

April 19, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

gardenofsinners-8

With the release of “The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer. Limited Edition”, you are getting a film on Blu-ray that is no doubt, one of the shining gems of 2015 ala anime on Blu-ray. I loved how the film continued on the Shiki and Mikiya storyline especially with the “Extra Chorus” episode. The film is absolutely gorgeous, the storyline is quite exciting and the music soundtrack is fantastic!  For those who have watched the previous films, this eighth film in the movie series is recommended!

Image courtesy of © KINOKO NASU/Seikaisha, Aniplex, Kodansha Notes, ufotable. All Rights Reserved.


 

TITLE: The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer. Limited Edition

YEAR: 2013

DURATION: 130 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 Aspect Ratio), Japanese Linear PCM 5.1 and Japanese Linear PCM 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex of America

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: April 21, 2015


 

Originally created by Kinoko Nasu

Directed by Hikaru Kondo

Script by Masaki Hiramatsu

Music by Yuki Kajiura

Original Character Design by Takashi Takeuchi

3D Director: Shintaro Nakamura

Anime Production: ufotable


 Featuring the following voice talent:

Kenichi Suzumura as Mikiya Kokutō

Maaya Sakamoto as Shiki Ryōgi

Takako Honda as Tōko Aosaki

Ayumi Fujimura as Azaka Kokutō

Hiroki Touchi as Daisuke Akimi

Jouji Nakata as Souren Araya

Mamiko Noto as Fujino Asagami

Rie Tanaka as Kirie Fujō

Souichiro Hoshi as Lio Shirazumi

Tetsuya Kakihara as Tomoe Enjō


This Blu-ray set contains two feature films: recalled out summer and recalled out summer -extra chorus-.

recalled out summer
August 1998. At this moment, serial bomber Meruka Kuramitsu is certain of victory. Flip a switch. In the ensuing explosion, Shiki Ryougi’s body will scatter into pieces. Can Shiki survive the battle against this person with precognitive power?

recalled out summer –extra chorus–
Shiki ends up keeping a black cat while Mikiya Kokutou is out of town. Meanwhile, Ririsu Miyasuki, a student of Reien Girls’ Academy, suffers from the loss of her best friend who committed suicide by jumping off the Fujou Building. When she tries to kill herself, she encounters her classmate Asagami Fujino, who has psychokinetic power.


Back in 1998, author Kinoko Nasu created her light novel series “Kara no Kyoukai” (which translates to “Boundary of Emptiness”).

Originally released online and at Comiket, the chapters were republished by Kodansha and in 2007 through 2009 but the series would become more popular courtesy of the game company, Type-Moon, which was co-founded by Nasu and illustrator Takashi Takeuchi.  And the company would go on to create the very popular visual novel series “Fate/stay night”.

ufotable would create a total of seven animated films which would become extremely popular in Japan and would top the Oricon Charts for Blu-ray and DVD sales.

While the “Kara no Kyoukai” film series have been popular in Japan, North America received a special Blu-ray box set release back in 2010, with the US release for all films (plus the compilation film and the TV special) priced at $398.99 at that time.

With the final eighth film (2013) titled “Mirai Fukuin” (which translates to “Future Gospel” being released in the U.S. as “The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer.” in April 2015.

For those not familiar with “Kara no Kyoukai”/”The Garden of Sinners”, the storyline has revolved around the character of Shiki Ryogi, a girl who possesses the “Mystic Eyes of Death Perception”, an ability which allows her to see the mortality of everything living and non-living.  She has been trained as a demon-hunter and has two personalities, SHIKI (a male) and Shiki (the female).

A traffic accident led to SHIKI being killed, while the female Shiki was comatose for two years.  Shiki now works for an investigator for a powerful sorcerer named Toko Aozaki who owns an agency known as “Garan  no Do”.

She is very close to a young man named Mikiya Kokuto, who is in love with her and a majority of the storyline for the first seven films revolve around Shiki and Mikiya as both must endure many trials and tribulations.  His younger sister, Azaka Kokuto is in love with him and considers Shiki as her rival.

Which now leads us to “The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer.” (“Miraki Fukuin/Future Gospel”) which takes place in two time periods, 1998 and 2008.

In 1998, we are introduced to Shizune Seo, Azaka’s roommate.  She has the ability to foresee the future and possesses “Prediction”, the ability to suffer the pain of seeing the death of living things twice and also being able to know of subjects that she has no knowledge of.

One day, her “Prediction” kicks in and sees a man about to die in a bomb blast caused by a serial bomber that has been causing problems all over the city.  She tries to warn the man the best she can and meets meets Mikiya Kokutou, who listens to her about her “gut feeling” and listens to her.  This is the first time Mikiya receives a warning about his life in regards to a woman he will meet.

Meanwhile, a serial bomber named Mitsuru Kamekura (aka Meruka Kuramitsu) has the special ability of “Calculation”, he takes actions to ensure a specific future that comes true.  His right eye can foresee the future and his left eye shows him the path to achieve that future.  Because of his ability, he feels his life has not been the same.  So, he became a bomber in order to achieve a future that he can not predict.  Mitsuru is trying to kill Shiki, while she is doing all she can to catch him before any more deaths occur.

In 2008,  we are greeted to a story ten years in the future.  Mitsuru now works for Shiki, the head of the Ryougi family.  He also creates picture books that he wrote and published and is enjoyed by Mana Ryougi, the daughter of Shiki and Mikiya.  He is given a mission in which he and Mana must go and find an old street fortune teller.

Also, included is the “Extra Chorus” short OVA that revolves around side stories.


VIDEO:

“The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer.” is presented in 1080p High Definition. For the most part, animation is very good with backgrounds that are detailed, lighting is done very well and at times quite vibrant.  I did notice moments scenes with a few artifacts, such as scenes with Mikiya and Shizune Seo at a diner and the artifacts creeping up in the windows.  But other than that, the film is well-detailed for its art backgrounds and the film looks fantastic in HD!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer.” is presented in Japanese Linear PCM 5.1 surround and Linear PCM stereo.  Dialogue and the film’s musical soundtrack are crystal clear through the front and center channels.  While there are scenes with action sequences and explosions galore, the soundtrack manages to also incorporate ambiance such as a scene with Shiki walking through a parking garage and more, that can be heard through the surround channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: -Rebellion Limited Edition” comes with a slipcase, six postcards and a 24-page booklet featuring staff interview with director Tomonori Sudo x “Extra Chorus” director Ei Aoki, art settings, artwork and more.


“The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer.” is one of the shining gems of 2015 for anime on Blu-ray releases but it’s also a release that I recommend but a recommendation that doesn’t come quite easily.

With the release of the Blu-ray box set, there was a thought that the movies would be individually released.  With seven films, there is quite a bit of story that revolves around the characters of Shiki and Mikiya, but also more detail on Shiki’s abilities and where Mikiya fits in to the dynamics between both characters.  But also background on where the two work.

Unfortunately, the films are only available as a Blu-ray box set which currently costs around $500, so there is a big chance that many people may have not seen the previous movies leading to this eight film “The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer.”.

And that would be a shame!  Because “The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer.” is a wonderful animated film for those who have followed the film series.

One of the reasons why watching the film series is worth watching is because of its riveting storyline which involves Shiki and her investigation work leading her to take on other dangerous individuals but most importantly the growing romantic yet deadly storyline between Shiki and Mikiya, despite him knowing her true nature, he still loves her unconditionally, while she cares about him, yet wants to kill him at the same time.

With that being said, for those who have never watched the film series, the fact is that you’re going to be lost watching this eight film.

Now, is it possible to watch and enjoy it without watching the previous films, possibly.  But you are also missing out on so much!

With this eight film, we are introduced to Shizune Seo, a person who can see the death of people or animals twice and she doesn’t know how she should go about her abilities until she meets Mikiya.

Meanwhile, both Shiki and Mikiya are working together to find a serial bomber who has a special ability involving the ability to foresee the future and also find out what path he must take to ensure that future.

So, this leads to a cat and mouse, action-packed storyline between Shiki and Mitsuru Kamekura.

The story then fast forwards ten years later and it involves an older Mitsuru and the child of Shiki and Mikiya, a girl named Mana.

While the two stories are connected, there is no doubt that the storyline revolving around Mana will bring more questions on what happened to mom and dad and why Mana has certain feelings towards her parents in such a way, but also why Mitsuru is working for Shiki.

The “Extra Chorus” side story episode also deals with Shiki and Mikiya but also a story that deals with the suicides that was discussed in the first “Kara no Kyoukai” film.

And because of these characters and their actions,  it’s important to have knowledge of the previous films and that’s why, starting off with this eighth film may not be a great idea.

As for the Blu-ray release, you get a cool 24-page booklet, postcards and a slipcase.  The film looks vibrant and the artwork is detailed, especially the gorgeous backgrounds, while the lossless audio is crisp and clear.

As the “Kara no Kyoukai” films are among the most popular films released on Blu-ray in Japan and has earned its following globally, with the release of “The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer. Limited Edition”, you are getting a film on Blu-ray that is no doubt, one of the shining gems of 2015 ala anime on Blu-ray.  I loved how the film continued on the Shiki and Mikiya storyline especially with the “Extra Chorus” episode.

The film is absolutely gorgeous, the storyline is quite exciting and the music soundtrack is fantastic!

With that being said, if you watched and even owned the previous box set, then I highly recommend the film.  But if you haven’t seen the previous seven films, unless your intention is to purchase the Blu-ray box set soon, I would not recommend that one should start their viewing of “The Garden of Sinners” with this eighth film.  The storyline is a culmination of what had taken place in the first seven films and you would enjoy this film even more if you did know the background of characters, Shiki and Mikiya.  So, one can only hope that possibly Aniplex considers releasing the films separately or release two films or three films on Blu-ray.

Overall, “The Garden of Sinners: recalled out summer. Limited Edition” is highly recommended!  But I do recommend everyone who is interested in watching this animated film, if you haven’t yet, to watch the previous seven films first, as the emotional payoff is much more enjoyable if you have.

Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~ Set 1 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

June 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

An enjoyable mecha anime series with a fine balance of action, humor and drama.  “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” is a story about three teenager girls who must conquer their fears and protect the city of Kamogawa and its citizens with their mecha vox robots against aliens who have come to attack Earth.  For fans of mecha anime or for anime fans looking for something not too deep or dark, definitely give “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~Set 1” a chance.  Recommended!

Image courtesy of © Lagrange Project. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~ Set 1 (輪廻のラグランジェ)

YEAR: 2012

DURATION: Episodes 1-12 Minutes (275 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16×9), English and Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: TV-MA

Release Date: June 11, 2013

Chief Director: Tatsuo Sato

Director: Toshimasa Suzuki

Series Composition by Shotaro Suga

Original Character Design by Haruyuki Morisawa

Character Design by Chizuru Kobayashi, Takushige Norita

Art Setting: Michie Watanabe

Music by Saeko Suzuki, TOMISIRO

Anime Production: Xebec, Production I.G.

Featuring the following voice talent:

Kaori Ishihara/Kira Buckland as Madoka Kyono

Ai Kayano/Karen Strassman as Muginami

Asami Seto/Sophie Roberts as Lan

Ayumi Fujimura/Erika Harlacher as Ayane Iwa/Haruka Uehara

Azumi Asakura/Midge Mayes as Machiko Iwabuchi

Hiroyuki Yoshino/Ben Diskin as Izo

Hisako Kanemoto/Saki Shin as Asteria Lizamarie De Roschefall

Iori Nomizu/Erika Harlacher as Shōko Igarashi

Kazuyuki Okitsu/Vic Mignogna as Moid

Kenji Hamada/Bubba Chow as Hiroshi Nakaizumi

Kenji Nojima/Johnny Yong Bosch as Kirius

Makoto Yasumura/Patrick Seitz as Shōzō Tadokoro

Mamiko Noto/Wendee Lee as Yōko Nakaizumi

Megumi Nakajima/Cristina Vee as Grania

Rie Tanaka/Laura Post as Eri Watabe

Madoka Kyono is an energetic girl who is full of passion. As the proud, and only, member of the Kamogawa Girls’ High School Jersey Club, she goes around helping people in need. But Madoka’s life is turned upside down when she is suddenly asked by a mysterious girl named Lan to pilot a robot. Motivated by her desire to protect the people and city of Kamogawa, Madoka agrees to pilot the resurrected Vox robot to fight against extraterrestrials that have come to attack Earth.

In the summer of 2012, Xebec and Production I.G. joined forces in releasing the mecha anime series “Lagrange  ~The Flower of Rin-ne~”.

With an ongoing manga serialized in Square Enix’s “Young Gangan” magazine in 2011, a total of 25 episodes were released on television and an OVA was released with a PS3 video game.  And now “Lagrange  ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S. courtesy of Viz Media.

The Chief Director on “Lagrange  ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” is Tatsuo Sato (“Shigofumi – Letters from the Departed”, “Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars”, “Tokyo Tribe 2”), the series is directed by Toshimasa Suzuki (“Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu”, “Dance in the Vampire Bund”, “Polyphonica Crimson S”), music by Saeko Suzuki (“Brave King GaoGaiGar Final”, “Vampire Princess Miyu”) and TOMISIRO, character designs by Chizuru Kobayashi (“Pandora Hearts”), Takushige Norita (“Broken Blade”) and art direction by Michie Watanabe (“Wolf’s Rain”, “Fullmetal Alchemist”, “House of Five Leaves”).

“Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~ Set 1” covers the first season and is a series that revolves around a teenager named Madoka Kyouno.  The sole member of the Jersey Club, she is a teenager that loves to help people. May it be saving people like a lifeguard at the beach, to helping other clubs in school.  But if anything, she feels it’s her duty to help those in need in her hometown of Kamogawa.  And she also has the habit of saying “perfect” while drawing a circle in the air.  She’s also a very good athlete and tries to excel in sports.

One day after saving a child from drowning (before heading out to school), while saving the boy, someone had taken her clothes.  So, Madoka ends up wearing her gym clothes to school.  By the time she gets out, she is approached by a unusual girl named Lan, who has the habit of saying “Woof” (she was told that was a human greeting for “hello”).

Lan approaches Madoka and asks her to follow her to an offshore base and asks her if she can pilot the robot aircraft known as a Vox (Ovid).

Immediately when she touches the space craft, she experiences a flashback being submerged in water but is not sure why.   Not long after, an enemy from outer space is seen piloting an Ovid attacks a base in Kamogawa and wanting to protect her city, Madoka goes after it with her Ovid.  And using her skills she learned through athletics, she surprises the enemy using a wrestling move and defeating him.

Shocked by what has occurred, Lan reveals to Madoka that she is an alien that was sent to Earth to protect Madoka and the Ovid, both which are linked together.  She introduces Madoka to the military and learns that the planet needs her help in defeating the enemy because the De Metrio are planning to destroy the planet and a group known as KISS is starting to cause problems with their Vox.  So, Madoka is the planet’s only hope!

Not knowing if she has what it takes to protect the planet, she believes as a Jersey Club member, she must fulfill her obligations to protecting Kamogawa from KISS.

Meanwhile, along the way, Madoka becomes good friends with Vox pilots Lan and Muginami who become new members of the Jersey Club.

Can these three working together, protect the city of Kamogawa and its citizens?

Find out in “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~ Set 1”!

The main characters of “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” are:

  • Madoka Kyouno – The sole member of the Jersey Club who pilots a Vox.  She is the planet’s only hope and she is always want to protect the city, her friends and the people of the city.   She pilots a Vox which she has named as Midori and has recruited Lan and Muginami as members of the Jersey Club.
  • Lan – An alien who was unable to utilize her Vox, because of knowledge of an unknown fate that happens to Vox pilots.  But since she met Madoka, she overcomes her fear and learns to control her Vox which she names Orca.  Lan attends the same school as Madoka, keeping her identity of a space alien, secret to her classmates.  She is often jealous of Muginami.  Lan also holds a secret of her true identity.
  • Muginami – A well-endowed, slow-witted person who acts naive.  Her brother is Villagiullio of De Metrio, but after trying to infiltrate the Pharos Base to steal a Vox (which she named Hupo), she is abandoned by her brother and left alone.  But feeling bad for her, Madoka takes her in as a friend and member of the Jersey Club.
  • Youko Nakaziumi – Madoka’s cousin and a researcher on underwater archaeology.  She knows a little about Madoka’s past (which Madoka doesn’t remember) and tries to prevent Madoka from getting in contact with a Vox but eventually allows her to pilot the Vox under one condition, she lives her daily life normally.  She is a former Jersey Club member and is the one who inspired Madoka to be a protector.
  • Hiroshi Nakaziumi – Madoka’s uncle and Yokou’s father who owns a restaurant.
  • Machiko Iwabuchi – A teacher at Madoka’s high school and a former member of the Jersey Club and also a friend of Madoka’s mother and Youko.
  • Shozo Tadokoro – The Commander of the Pharos base.
  • Asteria Lizamarie De Roschefall – The granddaughter of the chairman of Nomundus and is responsible for making the orders for Pharos.  She often dress in Lolita fashion and carries a secret.
  • Villagulio – The disowned prince of De Metrio who forms a rebellious organization known as “KISS”, and comes to Earth to investigate.
  • Kirius – A pilot for Kiss and is the eldest member of the three pilots working with Villagulio.
  • Izo – A pilot for Kiss and a hot tempered individual.
  • Array – A pilot for Kiss and is the youngest of the three.  He often wears maid outfits.

VIDEO:

“Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~ Set 1” is presented in 1080p High Definition that combines beautiful backgrounds, wonderful mechanical designs and a colorful series that looks beautiful on Blu-ray.  While character designs are well-done, I’m really impressed by the architectural and also mecha design for this series.  Featuring CG and beautifully painted artwork, I was impressed by the style, look and feel of the entire series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~ Set 1” is presented in Japanese and English DTS-HD MA 2.0.  Both are well-acted and will entertain anime viewers with either language.  If there was one thing that I wished the series had was a better lossless and immersive soundtrack.  For a series with a lot of action, it would have been great to hear a 5.1 or 7.1 soundtrack.  But the fact is that a lot of Japanese animation is made in 2.0 and Viz Media tends to not stray from that.

It’s important to note that you can not change audio or subtitles with the usual button, you need to go into the menu and select English audio or Japanese audio with English subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~ Set 1” comes with the following special features:

  • Production Art – Cycle through various production art using your remote.
  • Clean Opening and Ending
  • Kamogawa Drama – (15:13) A collection of short “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” animated clips about three minutes each.  Some feature the characters in super-deformed chibi format.  Stories examples include Madoka and friends treasure hunting in a pool, a video game competition amongst the KISS members and more.  In Japanese audio with English subtitles only.

Watching “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~”, there have been quite a few anime about the girl who pilots a mecha from “Gunbuster”, “Gravion”, “Super Robot War”, “Macross”, “Evangelion”, the concept is nothing new.  But it’s how you keep the anime series fresh and different from the other titles, that make it much more interesting and exciting.

What “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” does quite well is having a protagonist that has is not too weepy, not too weak, not too whiny and if anything, a high school student that is a bit unsure but is determined to protect others.

From her bubbly personality, Madoka wins you over with her naivety but also her determination and her “Perfect” hand gesture.  There is none of the overdone self-doubting or underdog nature that we typically see in a mecha anime series, this is a series about a teen who has made up her mind that her life is defending her friends, her city and doing it to the best of her ability.

Throw in other characters such as Lan, the girl from outerspace that is trying to understand her emotions and finds herself joining the Madoka bandwagon and confronting her own fears.  While Muginami is your bubbly personality, well-endowed character who actually has more of a difficult pass and also a more difficult situation because her brother, that she has always looked up to, is the enemy.

Put these three teenagers together and the result is a mix between a teenage high school anime series drama and an action-packed mecha battle session.  There is no worry of perverted guys, this is not a harem anime series nor is it an anime series that tries to copy other titles.  It’s enjoyable, fascinating and quite an uplifting anime series.

The first season tends to deal with character introductions.  We get to learn more about what made Madoka so brave and the fears she faced in her past after losing her mother, we learn about Lan’s fears and how Moid doesn’t expect much out of her as a Vox pilot.  We also introduced about Muginami and her past and how she is loyal to her brother and how painful it is for her now to fight against him.

While rated TV Mature, that is because the opening episodes tried to incorporate a few fan service with brief nudity and panty shots.  In many ways, I’m glad that this series didn’t turn out to be another “Gravion” of even another “Strike Witches”, if anything, it’s about three friends trying to defend the city of Kamogawa from alien enemy attack.

And a storyline with fascinating twists that will surely setup an exciting second season.

As for the Blu-ray released, Production I.G. titles tend to look beautiful when it comes to detail and art backgrounds and while a Xebec produced anime series, it’s the use of characters, the added detail and mecha design that makes “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” so gorgeous on Blu-ray considering it is a TV series.

While I wish the lossless soundtrack was much more immersive, considering the amount of mecha action, the fact is a lot of anime series are 2.0 and it’s up to the company if they choose to added an immersive soundtrack for the Blu-ray release.  But Viz Media has typically kept things to its original presentation and so both Japanese and English soundtracks are DTS-HD MA 2.0.  Both are well-acted, but I just wished it was a title that would have featured immersive lossless audio and given a 5.1 or 7.2 treatment.

Overall, “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” has turned out to be an awesome, exciting mecha series that is a lot of fun and features very cool characters.

While the series may not be as deep as other mecha series, it does try to keep a good balance of humor, drama and action and so far it’s working!

If you are looking for an upbeat mecha anime series on Blu-ray, definitely give “Lagrange ~The Flower of Rin-ne~” a chance!  Recommended!

Media Q&A with Ayumi Fujimura, Voice actress for Audrey Burne/Mineva Lao Zabi of “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)” by Dennis A. Amith and Michelle Tymon (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

April 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

fujimura

Ayumi Fujimura has become one of the premiere voice acting stars in Japan.

Best known for her voice as Audrey Burne/Mineva Lao Zabi in the popular hit animated series “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)”, Ayumi has done voices for a variety of characters for Japanese animated series such as Chiharu Harukaze of “Hayate Combat Butler”, “Kimiko Nakamura of “Shakugan no Shana”, Karada Iokawa of “Living for the Day After Tomorrow”, Aiko Iwase of “Bakuman” and Haruka Uehara and Ayane Iwa of “Lagrange – The Flower of Rin-ne”, just to name a few.

Ayumi has also done voices for video games such as Elicia in “Luminous Arc 2: Will”, Frederica in “Suikoden IV”, Mylene Wilder in “Tales of Symphonia”, Ibuki in “Super Street Fighter IV” and also for the live action film “Harrie Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” as Katie Bell.

On April 1st, Ayumi Fujimura attended her first anime convention in the U.S. in Seattle as a Guest of Honor for Sakura-Con 2013 to promote her voice work for Bandai Visual’s “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)” and took part in a media press conference.

The following is a transcript of the press conference which J!-ENT took part in.

What was your first ever role? Describe what it was like to go into the booth for the first time.

Ayumi: It was an anime called “Nishi no Yoki Majo”, and I played a maid who was a good friend of the main character, that was my first role.  It was my first role and I was brand new, so I was very nervous when I was standing in front of the mic.  The director would coach me a lot with my acting and I think that experience helped me with who I am now.

 

J!-ENT: What was your favorite manga and anime growing up?

Ayumi:  It was “Sailor Moon.”  As for the manga, I really liked the manga magazine, “Nakayoshi,” which “Sailor Moon” was serialized in, and read it all the time.

 

The project you’re here to promote is  “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)”.  Could you describe the steps you took to prepare to play the role of Mineva Lao Zabi?  What was your mindset and what did you want to convey?

Ayumi:  Well first… Oh, well, this character was in the first Gundam series as a baby and so she has been living through the history of the Gundam series from the first series.  This was for the 30th anniversary, so I went back and watched the original Gundam so I could study the role and the series and get an understanding of her before getting into the role.  The other thing I was very careful about, she’s usually… how do I put it, she’s usually very serious, so it was hard to sometimes match her seriousness with my own feelings, but I make sure I keep that in mind every time.

 

With “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)” and your role as Audrey, did you have to audition for that role against other actresses or were you approached by the production? And to expand on that, do you find yourself auditioning for a lot of roles or are you at a point in your career that you are offered roles more frequently?

Ayumi:  The role of Mineva was an audition, and where I’m at in my career, I am grateful that I am offered roles as well, but overall I still audition.  Also, I believe that no matter how much of a veteran a seiyuu might be, they don’t come to a point where they don’t audition at all.  I do believe that it depends on the project, though.

 

J!-ENT: When you were younger, what anime characters’ voices did you like trying to mimic?

Ayumi:  I did!  I would mimic “Crayon Shin-chan” and Doraemon… and let’s see, what else… I think I did quite a few others as well when I was a child because I really liked anime.

 

So you mentioned before that you actually went back and watched some of the older series, for your role of Audrey.  When you looked at part of Audrey’s history, what part of her past or present do you find most interesting? I’m not sure if you watched “Gundam ZZ” for her childhood, where she was actually a pawn in a larger game, and now she’s growing out of being a pawn.  How do you feel about that transition and what do you think her maturity level would be at this point, now that she’s taking on the role that she was born to have and may be reluctant to accept?

Ayumi:  Well, I think she’s matured quite a bit.  I think her meeting Banagher may have brought that on.  Her feelings of wanting to stop the war are rather strong, but… how do I say this, she had grown up being treated like a princess by the ones around her.  So as for what she wants to do, I think Banagher was the one to show her that.  And because of that, I think she’s able to say what she really thinks.  Because she met Banagher, we get to see the Mineva is a girl before she is a princess.  I’m not sure if her feelings will go as far as romantic feelings, but we do get to see this side of her now and so I think she’s now rather human.

 

Do you often find yourself being cast as characters that are similar to you?  And if so, do you enjoy that?  Or do you find yourself seeking out roles that are a little bit different from how you are in real life for the challenge?

Ayumi:  I do feel like I get a lot of roles that seem rather similar to me.  Well I say that they’re similar… but there are aspects that are completely different.  But I’m rather… hardheaded at times and don’t like to give up or lose and can be rather confident, so I think I get cast as strong, energetic girls quite a bit.  But I will say that it’s easier to do roles that are similar to myself, because I can imagine what I’d do in certain situations and acting out those roles, I don’t have to hold back.  I can have fun with them without being tied down and all kinds of emotions seem to come forth naturally.

 

J!-ENT: We talked about your heroic character roles, but have you ever played a villain character before?

Ayumi:  When I get asked what kinds of roles I’d like to play next, I usually say that I’d like to play a villain.  I don’t think I can’t say I’ve never played that kind of a role… But yes, I’d like to play a role that’d be a completely hopeless villain, with a personality that is completely wretched.

 

Previously done voice acting for male characters as well, like in “Natsume Yujin-cho” you played young Natsume and in Aquarian EVO you played MIX who later gender swapped as MIXY.  What is your approach to playing male characters, the younger male characters, instead of your usual heroine characters? 

Ayumi:  I think the most important thing is the feeling, the emotions.  But in the end if it comes down to the voice, if I concentrate too much on the emotions, the voice starts to sound more girlish.  So I do my best to try to sound like a boy and as for their personalities, it completely varies on the character, and their tone changes as well.  Just because they’re a boy, I don’t think I have a set way of acting them out, I do believe I change it every time.

 

From your perspective as a performer, does the profile or the budget of a project affect how it’s dubbed?  Like for example, “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)” is high budget and high profile.  How is it different dubbing that and then say something like Maid-sama, so like a TV series role?

Ayumi:  There isn’t much of a difference when I’m in the recording studio, and I don’t think there’s much of that which affects us, the actors, and it’s more on behind the scenes on the staff side and there’s more that they can do if they have the money or not.  Events cost money as well, so if it’s a popular project, I’m sure they can do a lot more.  Not just events, but I think in general we’re able to do things like we want to if the money is available.  In the end, the actors aren’t really involved in that part of the project and know very little about it, so it doesn’t really affect our acting.

 

J!-ENT: Is this your first time as a guest at an anime convention?  Now that you’re in America, is there a certain food you want to try or any shops you want to go to in Seattle?

Ayumi:  It is.  We already had some free time to roam around, so I already bought some gifts.  The seafood here is rather delicious.  I got to enjoy some salmon and some scallops so I wanted to enjoy some more seafood.  And as for gifts, I bought some nice smelling lotion.  I had a lot of fun.

 

In your extensive career, which character would you say that you identify with most?  Which is your favorite role, male or female?

Ayumi:  Let’s see… When I played the role of Eiko in the show, “Squid Girl”, in my mind, she feels as though Squid Girl is her little sister.  I have a little sister as well, so I was able to relate and act out the role with that in mind and it gave me a very warm, pleasant feeling.  All of the other roles I’ve done, I love as well, but when I was playing Eiko, I felt that there were many things that were in sync with myself.  The feelings she had toward Squid Girl came out rather naturally, so much so that it actually surprised myself.  So I hope that could be felt onscreen as well.

 

This being your first experience at a western anime convention, do you think American anime fans are very similar or very different to Japanese fans?

Ayumi:  I think there are some similarities and some differences.  I think their passion and love for the shows are the same in either country.  I think they have a shyness about them, but are still able to express how they feel about the shows in their own way.  I think I might feel that that is a bit stronger here than in Japan.  Also, I’ve noticed that everyone is able to communicate with each other easily and in that aspect, I think the Japanese fans may be a bit shyer.  But here, I felt as everyone was trying to enjoy this convention together and it was very free and liberating.

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J!-ENT:  If you are allowed to discuss it, can you tell us what current anime series you are working on that your fans in America can look forward to?

Ayumi:   Well, there’s “Suisei no Gargantia”(Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet) where I play Striker, also “Rinne no Lagrange”(Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne) where I play an operator named Haruka.  And then there’s of course “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)” which is why I was called to this convention, and there is still the final episode left, so I hope everyone looks forward to that.

 

Do you have any special moments that you want to share with your fans?

Ayumi:  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to have dinner with the fans.  That was my first time having dinner with the fans, so I think that was definitely a memorable experience.  I couldn’t speak to them directly in English, so I’m a little worried if they actually enjoyed it or not, but I had a lot of fun.

 

J!-ENT: In 2006, your first major role was playing Karada Iokawa in the anime series “Asatte no Houkou”.   This anime did come out in the US but I was wondering how was the experience as a voice actress of playing a major role?

Ayumi:  The role of Iokawa Karada was my first major role, and it might be a little embarrassing to see it now because it was still when I was very new.  But because I played the role at that time, I think that is what made the role what it is, and I think that’s what’s interesting about being an actor.  Of course there is good and bad, but there are things that can only be brought up at that time, so if I were to play the role of Iokawa Karada right now, I don’t think I’d be able to bring out the same charm I was able to bring out at that time.  So I believe that it was a very important experience.  I believe that was the first time I was truly able to delve into a role, and the first time I was able to go face to face with a role.

 

Outside of anime, you’ve had some roles outside of anime, like Fi in “Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.”  Could you describe to me some of the differences that you felt playing a character that’s a little more terse than what you would normally do as a main character?

Ayumi:  Instead of speaking actual words, they were more like sounds, so it was a very interesting experience.  So since there wasn’t actual dialogue, I can’t actually rely on expressing any meaning or feeling through dialogue.  But I still have to convey feeling, so it was a hard role to play, but I felt it was very worthwhile.

 

J!-ENT: Earlier, you talked about going back and watching the original Gundam to understand Mineva Lao Zabi a little better.  Did you watch any Gundam growing up, or was it something you discovered as an adult?

Ayumi:  The first time I had seen any Gundam series was when I had learned that I would be playing Mineva.  Up until then, I had thought that it was an anime that boys watched, so I didn’t have much interest in it, to be honest.  But it is a series filled with history so I thought I should study it and when I actually watched it, it was very interesting.  I was blown away and thought that I should have probably watched it earlier.  It was also great research in the terms of acting.  It’s a pretty old series, so the art isn’t as nice as it might be now, and the lip synching isn’t completely accurate all the time, but the human drama was very well performed and the expressions were very detailed.  The dialogue was filled with emotions as well.  If I had seen it as a child, and I rewatched it as an adult, I believe that my opinion would have been quite different.  It’s a very in-depth show.

 

J!-ENT: Outside of voice acting, what other hobbies do you enjoy?

Ayumi:  Do you know what nico nico douga is?  I love watching nico nico douga and love to listen to Vocaloids on nico nico douga.  I have a cat, so I like to play with my cat as well.

 

You mentioned before that you grew up watching “Sailor Moon.”  Who was your favorite sailor scout and why?

Ayumi:  When I was younger, I liked the main character, Usagi-chan.  Usagi-chan was a very cute, charming, and very likeable girl, but when I was younger, I liked main characters in general.  No matter what the series was, I always seemed to pick the main character as my favorite.  I think now Rei-chan might be my favorite.  When I was younger, I really didn’t like Rei-chan because she was always mean to Usagi-chan.  But now, I think when she was being mean to Usagi-chan, it was out of love and that they did have a strong friendship.  In reality, she was a very nice person, but she had a hard time expressing that, I guess now it’d be referred to as “tsundere” and is rather cute and I can understand that now as an adult.   Also, her red costume is really cute and she’s the only one wearing high heels, at least I think she was… But I think she looks really cool wearing high heels with no stockings.

 

For more information on “Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn)”, please click here.

Top photo courtesy of Bandai Visual / Bottom photo by Michelle Tymon, J!-ENT

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