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KanColle Kantai Collection (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“KanColle Kantai Collection” is an action anime series inspired by the popular browser-based and PS Vita video game. It’s a series that caught Japan by storm in 2015 and now the anime series is available on Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S.  A great compliment to the video games, if you are intrigued about war at sea and cute anime characters, “KanColle Kantai Collection” is a series I recommend!

Image courtesy of © 2014 KanColle Headquarters. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: KanColle Kantai Collection

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episode 1-12 (300 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Funimation

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: June 27, 2017


Originally concept by Kensuke Tanaka

Original Story by Kensuke Tanaka

Directed by Kanzou Kusakawa

Series Composition by Jukki Hanada

Music by Natsumi Kameoka

Character Design by Mayuko Matsumoto, Naomi Ide

Art Director: Maho Takahashi

Chief Animation Director: Mayuko Matsumoto, Naomi Ide

Anime Production: diomedea


Featuring the following voice talent:

Felecia Angelle/Sumire Uesaka as Fubuki

Jeannie Tirado/Yuka Iguchi as Kaga

Tia Ballard/Saki Fujita as Akagi

Alexis Tipton/Nao Toyama as Kongou

Amber Lee Connors/Yuka Otsubo as Ooi

Apphia Yu/Aya Suzuki as Hibiki

Brittney Karbowski/Ayane Sakura as Sendai

Camille Liedtka/Aya Suzuki as Inazuma

Cherami Leigh/Rina Hidaka as Mutsuki

Dawn M. Bennett/Nao Toyama as Hiei

Elizabeth Maxwell as Nagato

Jad Saxton/Ayane Sakura as Naka

Kristi Kang/Nao Toyama as Atago

Lara Woodhull/Aya Suzuki as Ikazuchi

Leah Clark/Yumi Tanabe as Yudachi

Megan Shipman/Ayane Sakura as Shimakaze

Monica Rial/Aya Suzuki as Akatsuki

Morgan Berry as Kitakami

Morgan Garrett/Ayane Sakura as Mutsu

Natalie Hoover/Ayane Sakura as Jintsu

Sarah Wiedenheft/Iori Nomizu as Zuikaku


Fubuki is a Special Type Destroyer who has just been assigned to the Naval District. With a grand total of zero battles under her belt, she’s sure to sink fast under the pressure of expectation. Luckily, she’s grouped with Torpedo Squadron Three, and they’re ready to support their new comrade. Together, they’ll prove they have what it takes to defend the ocean and win it all for humanity.


In Japan, “Kantai Collection” a.k.a. “KanColle” has captivated fans thanks to the concept, the characters and the video game.

Created as a Japanese free-to-play web browser games from Kadokawa Games, in 2015, the game had around 3 million registered players.

The series has been released as a manga series, light novels, tabletop RPG and a PlayStation Vita game.  And to coincide with the game’s release, an anime series was released in Japan in January 2015 courtesy of Diomedea.

And now the 12-episode anime series is available on Blu-ray and DVD in the USA courtesy of Funimation.

For those not familiar with “KanColle”, the series is set when humanity has lost the seas to a monstrous fleet.  To counter this monstrous fleet, humanity has donned human girls known as “fleet girls” who wear weaponized outfits and take on various roles in the spirit of historical naval vessels depending on one’s skill.

The anime series revolves around Fubuki, who arrives at the naval base and was recommended to fight in the Third Torpedo Squadron by the admiral.  But no one is sure why, becuase fubuki is always scared, often clumsy and has never fought in battle in her life.

But when she goes out on her first mission and is rescued by Akagi, Fubuki is inspired and wants to do her best in order to train and fight alongside Akagi one day.

The primary characters of “KanColle Kantai Collection” are:

  • Fubuki – The main protagonist.  Clumsy, not a fighting girl but with a heart of a fighter who is inspired by Akagi and trains hard in hopes to one day fight alongside with her.  Fubuki is assigned to the Third Torpedo Squadron and is a Destroyer.
  • Mutsuki – The first fleet girl that befriends Fubuki and is often cheerful.  She is a member of the Third Torpedo Squadron.
  • Yudachi – A destroyer of the Third Torpedo Squadron who is laid back and often says “poi” all the time.
  • Kisaragi – A destroyer who is assigned to the Fourth Torpedo Squadron and is mature, more than her oldest sister Mutsuki.
  • Yayoi/Mochizuki – Two destroyers.  Yayoi lacks emotion, while Mochizuki is often sleepy.
  • Akagi – An aircraft carrier belong to the First carrier Division. She fires arrows with her bow which turns into aircrafts piloted by fairies.
  • Kaga – An Aircraft carrier of the First Carrier Division who frequently accompanies Akagi.  She does not like Shokaku and Zuikaku of the Fifth Carrier Division and refuses to follow Zuikaku’s orders.
  • Shimakaze – A Destroyer who claims to be the fastest in the Southwest Area Fleet.  Hyperactive personality.
  • Yamato – The most powerful naval vessel and her existence is kept as secret.

VIDEO:

“KanColle Kantai Collection” is presented in 1080p High Definition. Animation is very good, detailed and vibrant.  A lot went into the mechanical design and does a great job of enhancing one’s appreciation of the game, because of how the characters and battles are portrayed.  A slightly soft anime series that one can expect from a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the video games. Diomedea did a wonderful job with animation and artistic backgrounds.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“KanColle Kantai Collection” is presented in Japanese and English 5.1. Dialogue and musical score is crystal clear and the voice acting is well-done. Great use of the surround channels for action sequences, may it be explosions or blasts, the lossless soundtrack for this anime series is very good.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“KanColle Kantai Collection” comes with the following special features:

  • Promo Videos
  • Commercial Collection
  • Japanese Warnings
  • Textless Opening and Closing Songs

EXTRAS:

“KanColle Kantai Collection” comes with the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the anime series.


Back in 2015, I was in Japan to cover Tokyo’s largest anime event, Anime Japan.  And my first introduction to “KanColle” was at Animate in Akihabara.  And sure enough, returning back to the US, I would often see “KanColle” cosplayers.

While English information was a bit sparse at the time, I would eventually discover “KanColle” when I was back in Japan in 2016 and purchased the PlayStation Vita video game and was captivated by the fact that unlike Japanese video games which often featured girls in tanks battling it out, this time around, you have female characters as part of the Navy.

They are essentially the naval ships – Destroyers, Carriers, Heavy and Light Cruisers, you name it and you travel the seas taking on enemies and building your team and characters.

So, when I found out there was an anime series, I was hoping it would come out in the US and now it’s available on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Funimation.

While the video game focuses on the aspect of war and going into battle, the storyline of these characters are focused on in the “KanColle Kantai Collection” anime series.

Revolving around the popular character/Destroyer named Fubuki, we see how this girl who doesn’t look like she can fight, often clumsy and is always scared, would eventually train hard to become a better fighter, a better teammate but also inspired to one day fight alongside the person who inspired her, aircraft carrier Akagi.

There are a ton of characters in the game and there are a ton of characters in the series, but fortunately, the series focuses on Fubuki and her friends from the Third Torpedo Squadron.  We see how these girls train to fight and become better, but we also see how unsafe the waters are and how powerful the enemy is and you’ll see characters perishing during battle.

Needless to say, the anime series compliments the games very well.  Animation is vibrant, well-shaded and detailed, especially the background artwork.  The Japanese and English soundtrack are well done, but it’s interesting because for the Japanese soundtrack, unlike the English dub which casts a different person per role, in the Japanese version, a voice actress may have to do the dubwork for multiple people.  But both soundtracks are well-acted.

As for special features, you get a few of Japanese promotional videos, commercials and warnings.  But there are no major special features like audio commentary or significant featurettes.

Overall, “KanColle Kantai Collection” is an action anime series inspired by the popular browser-based and PS Vita video game. It’s a series that caught Japan by storm in 2015 and now the anime series is available on Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S.  A great compliment to the video games, if you are intrigued about war at sea and cute anime characters, “KanColle Kantai Collection” is a series I recommend!

Campione! Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

October 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Campione! Complete Collection” is a harem anime series for those who want action, humor and a bit of mature fan service but also have an interest in mythology.   A series worth checking out on Blu-ray!

Image courtesy of © Joe Takeduki, Sikorsky/SHUEISHA, CAMPIONE! Committee. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Campione! Complete Collection

YEAR: 2012

DURATION: Episodes 1-13

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

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV MA

Release Date: October 15, 2013

Originally Created by Jo Takezuki

Original Character Designs: Sikorsky

Directed by Keizou Kusakawa

Series Composition by Jukki Hanada

Music by Tatsuya Katou

Character Design by Masakazu Ishikawa

Art Director: Eiji Iwase

Chief Animation Director: Masakazu Ishikawa

Anime Production: Barnum Studio, Diomedea

Featuring the following voice talent:

Yōko Hikasa/Monica Rial as Erica Blandelli

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka/Blake Shepard as Godō Kusanagi

Ai Kakuma/Meghan MacDonald as Hikari Mariya

Eri Kitamura/Genevieve Simmons as Liliana Kranjčar

Junko Minagawa/Leraldo Anzaldua as Verethragna

Kana Hanazawa/Hilary Haag as Yuri Mariya

Nobutoshi Canna/Christopher Patton as Perseus

Rina Hidaka/Luci Christian as Shizuka Kusanagi

Sachika Misawa/Juliet Simmons as Arianna Hyama Aleardi

Shinobu Matsumoto as Tōma Amakasu

Takuya Eguchi/Mark X. Laskowski as Salvadore Doni

Unshou Ishizuka/John Swasey as Sasha Dejanstahl Voban

Yui Ogura/Brittney Karbowski as Athena

Yuka Saitou/Carli Mosier as Ena Seishūin

Atsuko Tanaka as Lucrezia Zora

Fumihiko Tachiki/Christopher Ayres as Narrator

Kaori Ishihara/Brittney Karbowski as Metis

Tarô Yamaguchi as Ama no Murakumo

Toru Ohkawa/David Wald as Susanoo

Yuiko Tatsumi/Sasha Paysinger as Pandora

Some people suddenly find religion, but for 16 year old Kusanagi Godo, it’s that REALLY old time religion that’s found him! As the result of defeating the God of War in mortal combat, Godo’s stuck with the unwanted position of Campione, or God Slayer, whose duty is to fight Herectical Gods whenever they try to muscle in on the local turf. Not only is this likely to make Godo roadkill on the Highway to Heaven, it’s also a job that comes with a lot of other problems. Like how to deal with the fact that his “enhanced status” is attracting a bevy of overly-worshippy female followers. After all, they’re just there to aid him in his demi-godly duties, right? So why is it that their leader, the demonically manipulative sword-mistress Erica Brandelli, seems to have such a devilish interest in encouraging some VERY unorthodox activities? Get ready for immortal affairs, heavenly harems and lots of dueling deities taking pious in the face as the ultimate smash, bash and thrash of the titans rocks both Heaven and Earth in CAMPIONE!

In 2008, Jo Taketsuki’s light novel “Campione!” was released. Still ongoing in Japan, the light novel would lead to a 2011 manga series published in Shueisha’s “Super Dash & Go”  and in 2012, an anime adaptation courtesy of Diomedea.

And now, the 13-episode harem anime series, “Campione! Complete Series” will be released in the United States courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.

“Campione!” is a series that revolves around protagonist Kusanagi Godou, an unpopular guy in high school, who goes to Italy to deliver a stone grimiore,  given to him by his grandfather, to deliver it to an old friend and a former owner.  But immediately he is confronted by a blonde knight named Erica Blandelli who wants the stone grimiore.

Meanwhile, trying to avoid Erica, he runs into the a young guy who takes the stone grimiore and gives it back.

Not knowing what’s going on, he sees two rogue gods in battle, one who is the young guy he saw earlier, who happens to be Verethgragna, the Persian god of victory.    Erica Blandelli tries to assist Godou by telling him to use the stone grimiore and then giving him a kiss to activate a special golden sword.

Godou ends up fighting against Verethgragna and kills him, thus becoming a god slayer and given the name, Campione!

As Kusagi goes back to Japan, one morning, he wakes up to a nude Erica who has moved to Japan and proclaims herself as Godou’s #1 and she will dedicate her life to serve him and moves in with him.

While the Society of Magicians test Godou and entrust him with an important artifact, along the way he meets a shrine princess named Mariya Yuri and a mage/knight named Liliana Kranjcar, each who all begin to develop a feeling of wanting to protect Godou and begin to have feelings for him.

But there are Heretic Gods who want Godou dead, Athena, daughter of Zeus and Metis and Pereseus, the Legendary Dragon Killer.

VIDEO:

“Campione! Complete Collection” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio).  This is the first time I have watched anime produced by Diomedea (formerly known as Studio Barcelona).  As one can expect from an anime series, there is a slight softness but there were obvious intended use of making the anime look different compared to others by using video noise to give the anime its own style.  But for the most part, character designs are really well done and are well-shaded.  CG lighting effects are well done and some scenes look better than others, but for the most part, picture quality is good.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Campione! Complete Collection” is presented in English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.  There is a good dynamic range to the audio with crystal clear dialogue and music.  Wish it had a 5.1 soundtrack but for the most part, the anime sounds good coming through the front channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Sankarea: Undying Love – The Complete Series” comes with the clean opening and ending animation.

“Campione! Complete Collection” is a harem anime series that is easy to follow, is short at 13-episodes long and has a good balance of humor, fan service and action.

While the series could have easily been banal, what sets “Campione!” apart from other anime series is its use of mythology.  This is not some standard harem anime series about women competing for one guy’s attention (it does have that but it’s not a major focus in the storyline), there is actually a storyline that revolves around Godou taking on various heretic gods, back history of a god’s history and how it’s all integrated into the storyline.

Granted, I’m sure there is more that is touched upon in the light novel but for the anime series, the first 13 episodes focuses on character development for Erica Blandelli, Yuri Mariya and Liliana Kranjcar, and how the three want to protect Godou.

And also, Godou is a straight-laced guy who is not uber-perverted and is quite reserve and caring for the people he comes across.  Yes, this is banal but how the mythology and the action is integrated, makes this harem anime series different from other similar anime titles.

For those wondering why the anime series is TV MA, primarily its for Erica often being found in Godou’s bed naked and her panties are laying around the bedroom.  Also, one interesting way that the young women can transfer their powers to Godou during battle is through a kiss.  But French kissing with the use of tongue makes the power transfers work quickly, so this is probably one of the few non-hentai anime where you will see French kissing, the use of tongue and saliva dripping from both characters mouths.

As for the Blu-ray, Diomedea did a good job with animation and utilizing digital noise to give the series its own unique look.  Picture quality is a bit soft, but not surprising considering this is a TV series.  Audio is lossless stereo and both Japanese and English dub tracks feature great acting on both.  If there was one low point of this Blu-ray release, is its very few special features included (only clean and opening ending themes).

Overall, “Campione! Complete Collection” is a harem anime series for those who want action, humor and a bit of mature fan service but also have an interest in mythology.   A series worth checking out on Blu-ray!

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