Top

Hunter x Hunter vol. 2 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

April 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Hunter x Hunter” is an improvement over the first series and is respectful to the original manga series by Yoshihiro Togashi but also features a more action-driven storyline with much more violence.  So, it’s not as child-friendly as the first series from 1999-2001 but this newer “Hunter x Hunter” is a series that I found entertaining and full of action!  Recommended!” a try!

Image courtesy of © POT (Yoshihiro Togashi, 1998-2011). All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Hunter x Hunter vol. 2

DURATION: Episodes 14-26 (300 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese 2.0 LPCM, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: February 28, 2017


Originally created by Yoshihiro Togashi

Director: Hiroshi Koujina

Series Composition: Atsushi Maekawa, Tsutomu Kamishiro

Character Design by Takahiro Yoshimatsu

Art Director: Mio Isshiki

Executive Producer: Seiji Okuda

Producer: Akira Shinohara, Manabu Tamura, Naoki Iwasa, Tetsuto Motoyasu, Tomoko Yoshino, Toshio Nakatani

Anime Production: Madhouse


Featuring the following voice talent:

Megumi Han/Erica Mendez as Gon Freecss

Keiji Fujiwara/Matthew Mercer as LeoRio

Kanako Mitsuhashi/Cristina Vee as Killua Zaoldyeck

Miyuki Sawashiro/Erika Harlacher as Kurapica

Akio Ohtsuka/Patrick Seitz as Mizaistom Nana/Uvogin

Aya Endo as Komugi

Ayumi Fujimura as Neferpito

Chisa Yokoyama as Biscuit Krueger

Cho as Bonolenov

Daisuke Kishio/Ray Chase as Hanzo

Daisuke Namikawa/Keith Silverstein as Hisoka


In the Fourth Phase of the Hunter Exam the participants must steal ID badges from each other—and anyone without enough badges at the end of one week fails! It will take trickery, unexpected alliances, and careful negotiations for Gon and his friends to succeed. In the Final Phase, the remaining Hunter candidates are matched up for one-on-one battles—but the only way to win this fight is to lose! After the exam, Gon discovers that Killua has gone back home, so he and his friends head to the Republic of Padokea to find him.


The “Hunter x Hunter” series is one of the most popular and long-running manga series in Japan.  Written and designed by Yoshihiro Togashi (creator of “Yu Yu Hakusho’), the manga series began in 1998 and is still ongoing to this day with 33 volumes published.

As for the animated series, the first series premiered in 1999 through 2001 and lasted 62 episodes.  A 30 OVA episodes then was released from 2002-2004.  And then nearly a decade later, a 148-episode TV series which was shown on NTV which ran from 2011-2014.

And now, the recent “Hunter x Hunter” TV series will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Viz Media.

This new series is a reboot of the anime series and is based on Yoshihiro Togashi’s “Hunter x Hunter” manga and this time is produced by Madhouse and is directed by Hiroshi Kojina.  The new series also features an all new voice talent (both for the Japanese and English dub).

The new series revolves around Gon Freecss, who finds out that his father who was thought to be dead, is very much alive.  Having been brought up by his aunt Mito,  Gon finds out that his father is Ging, the legendary “Hunter” and now Gon, wants to follow his father’s footsteps by passing the “Hunter Examination” and one day, to be reunited with his father.

On his path to become a hunter, he meets Kurapika (who wants to become a hunter to hunt down the Phantom Troupe, who massacred his clan) and Leorio (who wants to be a hunter for the money).

In the first volume, the three arrived at Zaban City and take part in the first three phases of the Hunter exam venue.

In the second volume (episodes 14-26), the applicants arrive at Zevil Island for the fourth phase of the exam.  Each person draws a number to find out who their target is and the goal is to steal their opponents ID tag.  Each applicant must collect six points in order to pass the fourth phase.

Gon finds out that his opponent is the murderous Hisoka and thrives on near death experiences.  Leorio finds out his target is Ponzu (who specializes in traps and poison) and Kurapika’s target is Tonpa.

As the two form an alliance, they are now stalked by Hisoka.

The second volume also features the final phase of the Hunter Exam, where winners lose and the losers advance. Will Gon, Kurapika or Leorio pass the Hunter exam?

And also is included are the beginning episodes of the Zoldyck Family Arc (starting with episode 22) and Gon and friends go to Kukuroo Mountain to visit Killua.  Meanwhile, we learn about Killua’s family and childhood.


VIDEO:

“Hunter x Hunter” is presented in 1080p High Definition and the animation from Madhouse is no doubt respectful to Yoshihiro Togashi’s manga series.

As expected with a TV series, there is a slight hint of softness but for the most part, colors are vibrant and overall animation and fighting animation is done well.  I didn’t notice any major issues with artifacts or banding.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Hunter x Hunter” is presented in LPCM Japanese and English 2.0.  Both soundtracks are done quite well and dialogue and music are both crystal clear through the front channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Hunter x Hunter” vol. 2 features the clean opening and ending songs, trailers and ending credits.

EXTRAS:

“Hunter x Hunter” vol. 2 comes with three post cards.


“Hunter x Hunter” is an adventure, action-packed anime series that will attract anime fans who are willing to invest their time in another popular anime series that has lasted for over a hundred episodes.

Similar to “Naruto”, “Bleach” and “Dragon Ball Z”, “Hunter x Hunter” has been a popular manga and anime series in Japan and with the original series feeling that it was aiming for a younger demographic, this recent series has a more darker feel as the violence is more evident and people do die.

Having watched the original series, this latest version is quick to bring Gon and his friends to take the Hunter exam, while the original put a lot of character development into Gon and how Gon is different from other hunters since he was raised by a loving relative and lived in a village where there has not been much strife or conflict, so he is a bit naive about the world around him.  In fact, his motivation in becoming a hunter is so opposite of what other hunters are wanting it for.  But Gon’s pure and positive attitude seems to have an effect on the people that he meets.  In some ways, the original series reminded me of the character Naruto in that aspect.

But Gon is still an entertaining character to watch.   Gon has the ability to communicate with animals like his father and carries a fishing pole that acts like a weapon and helps him swing to different areas.  He is also learning more and more about his abilities as he continues on in his hunter training with his friends.

Kurapika is intelligent, a balanced fighter and also is a conjurer and specialist with the ability to materialize objects with his imagination.  He is a character that is on a mission to become a hunter to hunt down the Phantom Troupe, who massacred his clan.

Leorio is a man with a hot temper but has a good heart.  He seems to want to be a hunter because of money and he is a great fighter.

The second volume shows how this friendship grows among the three but also introduces Killua Zoldyck.

But the big focus with this second volume is more focus on Hisoka, the 44th applicant who has a lust for blood and kills his opponents and it led to his failure in last year’s Hunter exam.

As for the anime series, the Blu-ray release features a solid lossless stereo soundtrack and both Japanese and English soundtracks are well-acted.  Animation is also very well-done by Madhouse and while there is a hint of softness, the anime series is quite colorful and looks great in HD.

While special features are the usual clean opening and ending theme, trailers and credits, “Hunter x Hunter” vol. 2 comes with three collectible postcards.

Overall, “Hunter x Hunter” is an improvement over the first series and is respectful to the original manga series by Yoshihiro Togashi but also features a more action-driven storyline with much more violence.  So, it’s not as child-friendly as the first series from 1999-2001 but this newer “Hunter x Hunter” is a series that I found entertaining and full of action!  Recommended!

Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement” is a series that will interest those who continue to play the “Sengoku Basara” video games and those who have watched the previous anime series and the animated film. With the many characters featured, literally there can be new “Sengoku Basara” anime series dedicate to various army’s and multiple storylines. This third series focuses on the Battle of Sekigahara and focuses on Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu. All in all, an anime series with a good combination of humor and action but also more of a focus on human emotion after tragedy. If you enjoy “Sengoku Basara”, definitely give “Sengoku Basara: End of Judgment” a try!

Image courtesy of © CAPCOM/TEAM BASARA. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement

DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: December 27, 2016


Directed by Takashi Sano

Series Composition by Natsuko Takahashi

Character Design by Michinori Chiba

Art Director: Daisuke Jinba

Chief Animation Director: Toshimitsu Kobayashi, Yumenosuke Tokuda

Anime Production by Telecom Animation


Featuring the following voice talent:

Kazuya Nakai/Robert McCollum as Date Masamune

Souichiro Hoshi/Johnny Yong Bosch as Sanada Yukimura

Tomokazu Seki/Matthew Mercer as Ishida Mitsunari

Toru Ohkawa/Liam O’Brien as Tokugawa Ieyasu

Ami Koshimizu/Kat Steel as Tsuruhime

Fumihiko Tachiki/Mark Stoddard as Ohtani Yoshitsugu

Jun Fukuyama/Tony Oliver as Kobayakawa Hideaki

Kenichi Ogata/R. Bruce Elliott as Shimazu Yoshihiro

Mamiko Noto/Laura Bailey as Oichi

Masakazu Morita/Eric Vale as Maeda Keiji

Natsuko Kuwatani/Stephanie Sheh as Kasuga

Noriaki Sugiyama/Brittney Karbowski as Otomo Sourin

Rikiya Koyama/Richard Epcar as Kuroda Kanbee

Romi Park/Greg Ayres as Uesugi Kenshin

Takehito Koyasu/Michael Sinterniklaas as Sarutobi Sasauke

Tessho Genda/Chris Ayres as Takeda Shingen

Toshiyuki Morikawa/Travis Willingham as Katakura Kojuro


Get ready for the hacking, slashing battle of a lifetime in a new adaptation of the Sengoku Basara franchise. The new installment, based on the world created by Capcom, revolves around one massive conflict featuring mechanized samurai, mystical ninjas, gun-toting warriors, and a blinding array of deadly special moves! During the turbulent period of warring states, numerous feudal lords sought to rule the land of the rising sun. With Nobunaga defeated, Hideyoshi lead a brutal campaign to wipe out the remaining combatants. His ambitions were crushed, however, when he was betrayed by the idealistic Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu’s rebellion marked the start of a new conflict that would put old and new alliances to the test as Hideyoshi’s loyal followers began plotting their revenge, and the other remaining lords prepared their armies for the showdown at Sekigahara.


When it comes to video games that feature samurai’s and a general taking on hoards of enemies, in the US, “Samurai Warriors” (similar to Dynasty Warriors) from KOEI is well-known. But in Japan, CAPCOM began their own series known as “Sengoku Basara” (Devil Kings) which takes place during the Sengoku period and a similar concept as their rivals and has also earned its strong fan following.

In 2005, the first game was released for the Sony Playstation 2 and was released in the U.S. (as “Devil Kings”) but unfortunately, CAPCOM tried to change the whole story of the Sengoku period by trying to connect it to their “Devil May Cry” series in order to attract players but because of the changes and the localization crew feeling they needed to make it more difficult in America, needless to say, it was a failure. People wanted the same game that was in Japan and within the last six years, there have been numerous video game releases.

In Japan, two seasons of “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings” aired. Followed by “Sengoku Basara II” in 2010, a film version titled “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” was released in 2011 and in 2014, a third TV series titled “Sengoku Basara: End of Judgment” based on the video game “Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes” was released and was released by Funimation.

What is “Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement” about?

The third anime series is much different from the previous two seasons as the previous were animated by Production I.G. and now the series is produced by Telecom Animation Film.  As this storyline is considered an “alternate setting” and instead of focusing on many battles, the storyline focuses on the Sekigahara Battle and takes place after the death of Oda Nobunaga.

The anime series takes place during the Sengoku Period and the warlord Oda Nobunaga was betrayed and killed by his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide.  Toyotomi Hideyoshi would defeat Mitsuhide and would launch an attack on Odawara Castle, home of the Houjoi Clan.

As the Date Army got involved with the battle, they were defeated by Toyotomi’s warrior, Ishida Mitsunari.

Toyotomi’s attack was short-lived as Tokugawa Ieyasu would defeat Toyotomi Hideyoshi and kill him in combat.  But another force tried to attack Tokugawa’s forces, Oda Nobunaga’s sister, Oichi.   As for Toyotomi’s army, the new leader would now be led by Ishida Mitsunari.

Meanwhile, word gets through to Chousokabe Motochika that his land had been attacked by his friend, Tokugawa.  And due to his betrayal, Chousokabe wants revenge.

And as everyone worries about war in the land, new alliances are formed.  Who will be left standing?


VIDEO:

“Sengoku Basara: End of Judgment” is presented in 1080p High Definition and the animation from Telecom Animation is slightly different from Production I.G. when it comes to character design and also background designs.  It’s subjective to the viewer and I’m slightly biased towards Production I.G., but I will say that Telecom Animation did a good job.

Colors are absolutely vibrant and bold. Also, very good lighting effects throughout the film.  I detected no banding, artifacting or anything negative about the picture quality for “Sengoku Basara: The Last Party”.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Sengoku Basara: The Last Party” is presented in lossless English and Japanese 5.1 Dolby TrueHD. Personally, I enjoyed the Japanese soundtrack because the generals sound much more menacing while I felt the English dub, as good as it is, sometimes I feel certain voice talent are overly used and they sound the same for no matter what characters they play.

Personally, I enjoyed the Japanese soundtrack because the generals sound much more menacing while I felt the English dub, as good as it is, sometimes I feel certain voice talent are overly used and they sound the same for no matter what characters they play. In the first season, I mentioned that although I enjoy Johnny Yong Bosch’s acting work when it comes to “Bleach”, but his Yukimura (Sengoku Basara) sounds like an annoying version of Ichigo (Bleach). But with that being said, the English dub has grown on me and felt the FUNimation English dub actors did a fine job.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“SSengoku Basara: Edge of Judgement” contains the following special features:

  • Episode 01 Audio Commentary – Audio Commentary by Taliesen Jaffe (ADR Director) and Michael Sinterniklaas (voice of Sarutobi Sasuke).
  • Episode 03 Audio Commentary – Audio Commentary by Christopher Bevins (ADR Director), Robert Mccollum (voice of Data Masamune) and Eric Vale (voice of Maeda Keiji).
  • Textless Opening and Closing Song – Featuring “Thunderclap” and “Hokkyokusei ~Polaris~”.
  • Trailers

There is no doubt that in Japan, “Sengoku Basara” has a pretty strong fan following from its video games and anime series, especially among the cosplayers who are often seen doing group cosplay of the characters from the series.

For “Sengoku Basara”, it’s a popular video game series that has tried to make these warring clans (that happen to live in the same time period) and generals with amazing abilities take on each other. But in order to keep the storylines fresh for the video games, alternate settings are going to be common place and the same can be said for the “Sengoku Basara” anime series.

In the case of “Sengoku Basara”, because there are many characters, instead of focusing on a certain historical battle of the same two people, the series tends to focus on other characters.

“Sengoku Basara: End of Judgment” is the third series and the two characters foucused on is Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu.  For those not familiar with Japanese history, the “Battle of Sekigahara” was a battle that would establish the Tokugawa shogunate and prove to people the power and leadership of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

The series focuses on the storyline of Oda Nobunaga as the person who had control of most of Japan until he was betrayed by his retainer Akechi Mitsuhide.  Toyotomi Hideyoshi avenged his master.  And this is where the anime series differs from history as Tokugawa Ieyasu betrays Toyotomi Hideyoshi, leaving Hideyoshi’s warrior Ishida Mitsunari to seek revenge on his former friend.

In the first series, we saw various battles between Sanada Yukimura and Date Masamune vs. Oda Nobunaga and Kojuro vs. Mitsuhide.  In the second series, the series focused on Toyotomi Hideyoshi as the antagonist.

And for this third anime series, we have Ieyasu Tokugawa as the main antagonist and Mitsunari wanting revenge on Ieyasu for killing his master, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

The other characters have significant roles but more of showing which their allegiance lies.  Fans of Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura may be surprised that their significance in the series is decreased, but they still remain important to the storyline.

And it’s probably best to leave it at that because of the numerous characters featured, unless you are familiar with the game and the anime series, just the sheer mention of the characters and the alternate plots will confuse people.

But I will say that if you followed the anime and the video games, “Sengoku Basara: End of Judgment” is an interesting way to keep the storyline fresh as it’s an anime with new motivations, interesting perspectives but most of all, a focus on different characters, but yet also introducing new characters as well.  Also, how this series tend to show more of the human emotion after the deaths of various leaders and how certain individuals are affected by the deaths.

The third series features a new anime production team with Telecom Animation in charge, but cast of both the Funimation series and the video game series are involved in the third series as it was a collaboration between Funimation and Capcom as mentioned in the first audio commentary.

Animation is very good, but it’s subjective as I’m sure there are those who prefer Production I.G.’s animation and those who may prefer the Telecom Animation animation.  But the anime series is colorful and vibrant and both lossless soundtracks are well-done with the English dub having an edge with the 5.1 lossless soundtrack.

Overall, “Sengoku Basara: End of Judgement” is a series that will interest those who continue to play the “Sengoku Basara” video games and those who have watched the previous anime series and the animated film.  With the many characters featured, literally there can be new “Sengoku Basara” anime series dedicate to various army’s and multiple storylines.  This third series focuses on the Battle of Sekigahara and focuses on Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu.  All in all, an anime series with a good combination of humor and action but also more of a focus on human emotion after tragedy.

If you enjoy “Sengoku Basara”, definitely give “Sengoku Basara: End of Judgment” a try!

Resident Evil: Damnation (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Exciting, action-packed and featuring fantastic CG animation and use of motion capture, “Resident Evil: Damnation” is a popcorn action film that focuses a little too much on the action, while the storyline feels as if it is not important nor does it have any affect on the actual video game series storyline involving Umbrella.  But if you are a “Resident Evil 4” fan and want to see Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong together again, then “Resident Evil: Damnation” is for you!

Images courtesy of © 2012 Capcom Co., Ltd. and Resident Evil CG2 Film Partners. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Resident Evil: Damnation

MOVIE RELEASE: 2012

DURATION: 100 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English, French, Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, Chinese, French, Korean, Portuguse, Spanish, Thai

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (for Bloody Violence)

Release Date: September 25, 2012

Originally created by Shinji Mikami

Directed by Makoto Kamiya

Screenplay by Shotaro Suga

Music by TS Music Col., Ltd.

Produced by Hiroyuki Kobayashi

CG Director: Atsushi Doi

Featuring the voices of:

Matthew Mercer as Leon S. Kennedy

Courtenay Taylor as Ada Wong

Robin Sachs as Ataman

Carolun Lawrence as Ashley Graham

Wendee Lee as Svetlana Belikova

Salli Saffioti as Ingrid Hunnigan

Dave Wittenberg as Buddy

Val Tasso as JD

United States Special Agent Leon S. Kennedy sneaks into a small Eastern European country to verify rumors that Bio Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s) are being used in war. Right after his infiltration, the U.S. government orders him to leave immediately. Determined to uncover the truth, Leon ignores the order and enters the battlefield to end the chain of tragedies caused by the B.O.W.s

It’s a month of “Resident Evil” as the live action film “Resident Evil: Retribution” was just released in theaters nationwide and the video game “Resident Evil 6” is slated for release on October 2, 2012.  So, why not add another CG film to the mix with the release of “Resident Evil: Damnation”, the second full-length motion capture CG animation feature based on CAPCOM’s “Resident Evil” game series.

While the film will be released in theaters in Japan in October 2012, the Blu-ray and DVD will be released in the U.S. on Sept. 25, 2012.

“Resident Evil: Damnation” is set in Europe with rumors that Bio-Organic Weapons (BOW’s) are being used in East Slavic Republic’s civil war.  As the United States and Russia are possibly planning to intervene, U.S. federal agent Leon S. Kennedy is called from vacation to sneak into the country to verify the rumors.

But as soon as he gets there, he receives orders to pull out.  But feeling that he didn’t come all the way to the country for nothing, Leon defies orders and enters the battlefield and check to see if BOW’s are being used on people.

And not long after he arrives, he sees it for himself as a grotesque monster-like thing goes after him in a parking garage. As Leon tries to fight the monster, he is caught in an explosion and knocked unconscious.  And as the monster gets near him for the kill, it appears that the monster quits after being instructed by a mysterious person.

While Leon awakens, he finds himself tied up and a held hostage by one of the anti-government groups who wonder why he is in their country and if he’s helping the government out.  Meanwhile, Ada Wong, who introduces herself as a special investigator from the UN counter-bioterrorism agency BSAA is sent to the East Slavic country to find Leon and capture him for defying government orders.

As Leon tries to tell his captors that he needs to be released, so he can obtain the proof that the government is using biological weapons on its own citizens, it appears that people who are holding him hostage may know quite a bit about the biological weapons themselves.

As Ada Wong arrives in the East Slavic country works with the President and hopes she can find Leon before he gets himself killed, the President and her people uncover news that Ada Wong does not work with the BSAA and now the government wants her dead.  Caught in a Civil War in a country bent on destroying each other, will Leon and Ada live to see another day?

VIDEO:

“Resident Evil: Damnation” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1).  And the first thing you will notice is how much more detailed the CG animation is with “Damnation” compared to the “Resident Evil: Degeneration” released back in 2008.  The motion capture is fantastic as the expressions and mannerisms of a character is well-captured.  But the detail of facial characteristics on Leon S. Kennedy’s, Ada Wong and the President’s face is remarkable.  There is a lot of detail that can be seen with the characters, as well as the monstrous beasts.  Overall, the CG for “Resident Evil: Damnation” looks fantastic in HD!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Resident Evil: Damnation” is presented in English, French and Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Spanish, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.  For an action-intense film such as “Resident Evil: Damnation”, I was expecting an immersive soundtrack.  While the dialogue and sound effects did sound good, coming from the front channel, I was hoping to hear more LFE and the surround channels.  To have a more immersive soundtrack, because there is so much action.  The lossless soundtrack is good but I was expecting much more ambiance, good directional use of bullets being shot and explosions to be much more immersive.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Resident Evil: Damnation” comes with the following special features:

  • Conceptual Art Gallery – Using your remote, you can cycle through the various art throughout the film. (a Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Las Plagas: Organisms of War  – (6:59) A short feature about the parasites that can be used for biological warfare.
  • The DNA of Damnation –  (30:05) Interviews with the Japanese creators of “Resident Evil: Damnation”.
  • Gag Reel – (6:03) English voice dub outtakes.
  • Resident Evil 6 Trailer – (3:54) The video game trailer for “Resident Evil 6”.
  • Devil May Cry Trailer – (2:14) The video game trailer for the upcoming “Devil May Cry” game.
  • Dragon’s Dogma Trailer – (2:06) The video game trailer for Dragon’s Dogma.

EXTRAS:

“Resident Evil: Damnation” comes with a UltraViolet redemption code.

Since the release of the first “Resident Evil” game for the Sony Playstation back in 1996, I have been a fan of the series purchasing the many games that have been released on various consoles, portable consoles and have also enjoyed the live-action films, despite the differences with the video game series.  As well, as enjoying the first CG film, “Resident Evil: Degeneration”.

With the release of “Resident Evil: Redemption” in theaters and the exciting trailer for “Resident Evil 6” having been unveiled this past summer and wowing video gamers for its incredible detail and amount of characters being featured, when I found out that “Resident Evil: Damnation” was coming out, I was happy because it featured the reunion of Leon and Ada, two characters who were fantastic together in the hit video game “Resident Evil 4”.

Watching “Resident Evil: Damnation” and seeing these two characters once again, I’m a little torn of how I feel for the CG animated film.  In one sense, I felt the CG animation, the motion capture effects and the detail of Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong in this film were fantastic.

In fact, there are times where I felt this film was more “visual eye-candy” as it not only showcased the sexiness of Ada Wong’s character but also showing us why she is an exciting character that can kick a lot of butt but also why she is also a dangerous character that can’t be trusted.

And of course, Leon is the ultimate hero but also becoming more of an unstoppable character in the “Resident Evil” series.  Awesome with weaponry, great at fighting and both he and Ada were popular characters that no doubt were showcased because people want to see more of them.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the details featured in “Resident Evil: Damnation” have some tie-in with “Resident Evil 6” and seen with the trailer, Leon and possibly Ada have an important role in the upcoming game and it looks as if Leon is the protagonist once again.

So, while CG animation and the action sequences were magnificent, the storyline was not as OK.  If anything, this CG animated film is pretty much a popcorn action film to showcase both Leon and Ada kicking butt.  Nothing more, nothing less.

I don’ t think there was anything related to the story that captured my attention.  If anything, those moments to see Ada taking on the president in hand-to-hand combat was impressive, seeing Leon taking on these hulking monolith army was reminiscent of the older “Terminator” films.  And that is what impressed me the most about this film.  Primarily the action sequences, rather than the storyline which was forgettable and if it was to be important, the writing surely didn’t make us care at all.

The Blu-ray release showcases the amazing CG animation of this film.  Details on HD are impressive, especially the closeups.    The lossless soundtrack was not as great as I was hoping.  I was hoping for more immersiveness, because this film featured so much action.  But while dialogue and action were crystal clear from the front channels, I was hoping more noticeable uses of the surround and rear surround channels and LFE.  There are a few special features that were included and it was cool to hear from the Japanese creators of the challenges that went into making this film.

“Resident Evil: Damnation” will excite “Resident Evil” fans who loved seeing Leon and Ada kick butt in “Resident Evil 4”.  The two are reunited again and it’s their action sequences that will no less excite fans who are eagerly awaiting the video game release of “Resident Evil 6”.  This is the best I have seen of Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong and I’m sure fans will appreciate that.  But as far as the story is concerned, those who have never played the “Resident Evil” games can easily watch this film without knowing the background of the video game series or knowledge of its characters.

Exciting, action-packed and featuring fantastic CG animation and use of motion capture, “Resident Evil: Damnation” is a popcorn action film that focuses a little too much on the action, while the storyline feels as if it is not important nor does it have any affect on the actual video game series storyline involving Umbrella.  But if you are a “Resident Evil 4” fan and want to see Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong together again, then “Resident Evil: Damnation” is for you!

Bottom