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GATE Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“GATE Complete Collection” is an anime series that is probably one of the better anime series I have seen from Sentai Filmworks in the past few years.  It’s addictive, exciting and so much fun!  I definitely recommend it

Image courtesy of © Takumi Yanai/AlphaPolis/GATE Project. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: GATE Complete Collection

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episode 1-24 (600 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV MA VSL

Release Date: July 11, 2017


Original Creator: Takumi Yanai

Original Character Design: Daisuke Izuka

Directed by Takahiko Kyogoku

Series Composition by Tatsuhiko Urahata

Music by Yoshiaki Fujisawa

Character Design by Jun Nakai

Art Director: Maho Takahashi

Chief Animation Director: Jun Nakai

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Hisako Kanemoto/Juliet Simmons as Tuka Luna Marceau

Junichi Suwabe/David Wald as Yōji Itami

Haruka Tomatsu/Jessica Boone as Pina Co Lada

Hiroki Yasumoto/Ty Mahany as Akira Tomita

Ikumi Hayama/Shanae’a Moore as Hamilton Uno Law

Kaito Ishikawa/Tyler Galindo as Takeo Kurata

Maaya Uchida/Stephanie Wittels as Shino Kuribayashi

Nao Tōyama/Brittney Karbowski as Lelei la Lelena

Risa Taneda/Molly Searcy as Rory Mercury

Satomi Akesaka/Allison Sumrall as Mari Kurokawa

Yōko Hikasa/Rachel Landon as Yao Ha Ducy

Yumi Uchiyama/Patricia Duran as Bozes Co Palestea


When a mysterious gate suddenly appears in Tokyo’s Ginza district and begins spewing armed warriors and flying monsters, the world is thrown into turmoil. Although the deadly attack is thrown back by Japan’s Self Defense Force, there’s now a new and entirely unknown land on the other side of the portal, and Japan is effectively at war with a nation on the other side.

Determined to secure peace, the JSDF must send an armed force into the Gate, but ogres, dragons and a ruthless Empire populated by elves, humans, and half-animal warriors aren’t the only dangers they’ll face. With the resources of two worlds at stake, the balance of power on both sides of the Gate is destabilizing, and betrayal can come at any time, from any quarter. There, trapped right in the middle of the ensuing firestorm, stands officer Yoji Itami and the JSDF’s Third Reconnaissance Team as they plunge into the GATE.


In 2006, author Takumi Yanai and illustrator Daisuke Izuka and Kurojishi created a fantasy novel series titled “Gate: Jietai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri” (“Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought There!”).

The novel would receive a manga adaptation in 2011 and spin-off mangas in 2015.  And an anime adaptation of the series was created by A-1 Pictures and released in July to September 2015 and its second half airing in January through March 2016.

The anime series is directed by Takahiko Kyogoku (“Love Live! School Idol Project”), a screenplay by Tatsuhiko Urahata (“Beyblade”, “Black Bullet”, “DNA2”, “Nana”), music by Yoshiaki Fujisawa (“Dimension W”, “Love Live! School Idol Project”), character design by Jun Nakai (“Generation Gawl”, “Mardock Scramble”) and art direction by Maho Takahashi (“Amagami SS”, “Cross Game”, “Himawari!”, “KanColle”).

And with the announcement of a new novel series titled “Gate: Weigh Anchor”, the anime adaptation titled “GATE” and the complete collection was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the United States on July 2017 courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.

The series revolves around Yoji Itami, a 33-year-old otaku who loves doujinshi.  While he may seem like a clumsy otaku, in truth, Yoji is actually a soldier of the Japan Self Defense Force that works in Special Forces and a certified Ranger.

One day, a portal from another world appears in Ginza and soldiers from that other world including monsters attack Tokyo but the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) has advanced weaponry and manages to kill and repel the enemy.  But thanks to Itami, he helped escort hundreds of people to safety during the attack on Ginza and is promoted to first lieutenant.

And because of his heroism, the Prime Minister tasks Itami to go with a JSDF task forced backed by the United States to go through the gate and explore the new world but most importantly to capture and demand reparations from those responsible for the attack.

As the Empire of the other world sends a large army to fight against the JSDF, the JSDF displays their power with modern weaponry and obliterates them.  Itami is then assigned to lead the 3rd Recon Unit and through his travels, meets the following people who are from the other world but join him on his adventures:

  • Tuka Luna Marceau – A 165-year-old High Elf.  She lost her family and fellow villagers when a flame dragon attacked her village.  She is having a hard time coping with her father’s death.
  • Lelei La Lelena – A 15-year-old sorcerer of the Rurudo nomad tribe and a student of an elderly sorcerer.  Very intelligent, she quickly learns Japanese and becomes a translator.  Her tribe was also devastated due to the Fire Dragon.
  • Rory Mercury – A 961-year-old demi-goddess and an apostle of Emroy (God of death).  She cannot die and recovers from all wounds.  When she becomes 1,000-years-old, she will become a full goddess.  She has excellent fighting skills and carries a large scythe and wears gothic lolita clothing.
  • Yao Haa Dushi – A 300-years-old Dark Elf, who seeks the aid of the JSDF to help her village which is being ravaged by the Fire Dragon.
  • Pina Co Lada – The princess from the Empire.  She is dedicated to the Empire’s welfare and wants peace between Japan and the Empire after seeing their awesome power.  But also seeing how the Japanese are not after their land and how they treat their people, including prisoners.  Seeing how they truly are, she wants to let her father, the king of the Empire know.

VIDEO:

“GATE Complete Collection” is presented in 1080p High Definition. Animation is very good, detailed and vibrant. From many location scenes and varying backgrounds, the background art is great.  Character designs and animation from A-1 Pictures is great and if anything, with A-1 Pictures behind the production, they really go all out and have not been disappointed with any of their anime series releases.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“GATE Complete Collection” is presented in Japanese and English 1.0. Dialogue and musical score is crystal clear through the front channels and the voice acting on both soundtracks are well-done.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“GATE Complete Collection” comes with the following special features:

  • Japanese Promo Videos
  • Animated Comic
  • Clean Opening and Ending Songs

EXTRAS:

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


There are times when I watch an anime with no expectations and if anything, I wish for something original, refreshing and overly entertaining.  Having reviewed anime since the early ’90s, I have been fortunate to watch anime series that really captivates me and just makes me want to watch it over again.

“GATE” is one of those anime series.  Each and every episode, I absolutely enjoyed them.

While one can say it’s an anime version of “Stargate”, not really.  When the otherworld invades Ginza, Japan, they are reminiscent of knights of past fighting a war with ogres and monsters in the present.

The twist is when Japan sends their Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) to the otherworld, with modern technology, the first army battalion sent by the Empire are literally obliterated.  Shields are not going to guard machine gun bullets.  Armies are not going to survive mortar attacks.  Battalions on horseback are not going to beat tanks.  And archers are not going to defeat military helicopters or jet bombers.

But while the JSDF seem like they may be the bad guys to those in the empire, in truth, they don’t want to kidnap, take over the land or do anything nefarious.  They want to send a warning to the empire, to put it bluntly, don’t come into our territory, kill our people and expect to rule our land.

And as much as it may seem like a serious anime, it really isn’t thanks to the person heading the operation for the JSDF to protect the people (not just in Japan but anywhere they arrive) and that’s Officer Itami.  A man who is a decorated Ranger but in truth, he just wanted a job that would allow him to be an otaku fanboy, so he can read doujinshi.

And with each tribe he meets and visits, he and the JSDF saves them and wants nothing in return.   He eventually is joined by High Elf Tuka Luna Marceau, a 15-year-old sorceress named Lelei La Lelena, a demi-goddess named Rory Mercury and a dark elf named Yao Haa Dushi.

People grateful for what Itami has done for them and now they want to help get his message across to the Empire and other people in the land.

And when Itami and the others meet Pina Co Lada, princess from the empire, at first she thinks that the “men in green” want to take over the empire but the more she stays with Itami, in hopes to spread peace and hopes for the JSDF to not destroy them, she is willing to negotiate a peace agreement with the Japanese.

And the path to protecting people is not easy, thanks to a corrupt empire with a corrupt son wanting to usurp his father, the king.  Then you have a giant flame dragon killing people all over the land.  And on Earth, you have countries who want to go after the other world friends of Itami and causing problems for the JDSF.  So, it’s not an easy path.

But no matter the difficult, Yoji Itami keeps his cool, keeps positive and is willing to go to great lengths to protect people not just in Japan but also people living in the other world led by the empire.

Also, another plus is the many supporting characters featured and the series really becomes a wonderful anime series with action, adventure and fantasy elements combined.

As for the animation on Blu-ray, A-1 Pictures always does a phenomenal job and they did a magnificent job with animating this series along with providing a plethora of background art, to compliment the large area of land and areas that these individuals visit.  The lossless soundtrack is 2.0 but both English and Japanese dialogue are crystal clear.  And there are a few special features included as well.

Overall, “GATE Complete Collection” is an anime series that is probably one of the better anime series I have seen from Sentai Filmworks in the past few years.  It’s addictive, exciting and so much fun!  I definitely recommend it

Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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If you enjoyed “Girl & Panzer: Complete TV Series”, then definitely check out “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series”.  It is short at only 74 minutes long and while not essential to enjoying the TV series, this is for fans who want to see more of the girls of Oarai Academy! 

Image courtesy of © 2013 Sentai Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2012-2013

DURATION: 6 Episodes (75 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATING: TV 14 V

Release Date: February 25, 2014

Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima

Series Composition by Reiko Yoshida

Music by Shiroh Hamaguchi

Original Character Design by Humikane Shimada

Character Design by Isao Sugimoto

Art Direction by Yutaka Onishi

3D Director: Keiichiro Yagino

Anime Production: Actas

Featuring the following voice talent:

Ai Kayano/Jessica Calvello as Saori Takebe

Ikumi Nakagami/Rebekah Stevens as Yukari Akiyama

Mai Fuchigami/Meg McDonald as Miho Nishizumi

Mami Ozaki/Caitlynn French as Hana Isuzu

Yuka Iguchi/Molly Searcy as Mako Reizei

The girls from Oarai are back, and whether they’re shopping for swimsuits, camping out or doing the Ankou Dance, they bring their own special brand of Tankery to the task at hand. There’s also a tour of the Oarai school ship, a look at what REALLY happened while Yukari and Erwin were out doing reconnaissance, and a team talent contest that’s not to be missed!

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The Tankery girls from Oarai Girls Academy are back in six fun and short OVA episodes as the group goes out to find swimsuits for the beach, discover what else is on the ships where their schools are located and also a post-win celebration in “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” available from Sentai Filmworks.

What is “Girl & Panzer” about?

In winter 2012 and spring 2013, the Japanese anime TV series “Girls und Panzer” captivated audiences in Japan for its cute girls who take part in tank battles and utilize tank strategies to take on their more powerful rivals.

Produced by Actas, the series is directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (“Big Windup!”, Genshiken”, “Ichigo 100%”, “xxxHOLic”), series composition by Reiko Yoshida (“Blue Exorcist the Movie”, “Gad Guard”, “Major”, “Kaleido Star”), music by Shiroh Hamaguchi (“Galilei Donna”, “Ah! My Goddess”, “One Piece”), character designs by Isao Sugimoto (“Kemeko Deluxe!”, “Sketchbook ~full color’S~”), art direction by Yutaka Ohishi (“Heaven’s Memo Pad”) and 3D direction by Keiichiro Yagino (“Blassreiter”).

And now, the popular series titled “Girls and Panzer: Complete TV Series” was released on Blu-ray and DVD in Dec. 2013 courtesy of Sentai Filmworks and now “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” in Feb. 2014.

“Girls & Panzer” takes place where various high school academies compete in sensha-do (Tankery) competitions and one of the families that have dominated the Tankery scene are the Nishizumi family.

But for Miho Nishizumi, she has transferred to Oarai Girls Academy because it doesn’t offer Tankery and for her, to get away from it is the best thing she can only hope for. Despite practicing and was involved in Tankery at a previous academy.

And immediately, she makes friends with Saori Takebe, a girl who loves to read women’s magazines on how to attract guys. Also, Hana Isuzu, a refined teenager who practices ikebana (flower arrangement).

But as the group try to find out what club to join for the year, Miho is called by the President, Vice President and PR spokesperson of Oarai High School in regards to their selection for club activities and because of her experience, the president tells Miho that if she doesn’t choose Tankery, she and her friends will be kicked out of Oarai High.

Upset about what the President has said, Miho notices Saori and Hana arguing on her behalf and if anything, she is very happy to have friends behind her. Not wanting to see them kicked out of school because of her, Miho decides to join Tankery if it keeps her and her new friends out of trouble.

But the real reason why the President of the school has put their hopes on Miho to join the Tankery club is because if Oarai Academy does not win the Tankery competition, their school will be closed down.

Meanwhile, Miho, Saori and Hana make new friends: Yukari who is excited about Tankery and a moody, always half-asleep Mako Reizei and the five together are able to make a great team and along with other Oarai Tankery members, they notice that Miho is actually a fantastic commander that can lead them during competitions.

But will Oarai Academy have what it takes to take on the favored academy to win the Tankery competition, Kuromorimine Girls High School, led by Miho’s older sister Maho?

And will Oarai be able to defeat St. Gloriana Girls Academy, Saunders University High School, Pravda High School and Anzio High School?

That was the TV series and now with the complete OVA series, these episodes are a mix of fun stand alone episodes and episodes that take place during or after the TV series.

Here is a spoiler-less summary of OVA episode 1-6:

  • EPISODE 1: The girls at Oarai Academy are heading to beach but what kind of swimsuits should they purchase?
  • EPISODE 2: The girls at Oarai Academy go on a camping trip.
  • EPISODE 3: The girls at Oarai look at what is inside their academy ship.
  • EPISODE 4: The girls perform in their Anglerfish outfits.
  • EPISODE 5: Yukari and Erwin go on a reconnaissance mission to spy on Pravda (which takes place in TV episode 10).
  • EPISODE 6: Oarai Academy celebrates with a victory celebration.

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VIDEO:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” is presented in 1080p High Definition and I have to say that Actas did a wonderful job with production of this series. From the mechanical designs of the tanks, the focus on the treads and movements of various tanks is very well-done. Character designs for each of the characters, environments of the towns and also each academy which sits on top of a huge ship, everything about this series is colorful, vibrant with beautiful art backgrounds. But I was very pleased of the detail and the research that went into the creation of the tanks and how each tank operates.

I didn’t notice any banding issues or compression during my viewing of the series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” is presented in Japanese and English DTS-HD MA 2.0. For the most part, both soundtracks are front-channel driven and was hoping that for a series with a lot of action, it would have received a 5.1 lossless soundtrack. But on its own, the series features crystal clear dialogue and music via the front channels. Both soundtracks are well-acted.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series” features the following special features:

  • Impressions 2 – (1:35) An alternative to the impressions that were shown in OVA episode 6.
  • Clean Opening and Ending Animations

girlspanzerova-d

“Girls & Panzer” was an enjoyable and delightful series about a group of underdogs who enter a Tankery competition and must take on the best high schools.

And if you enjoyed the TV series, then you will definitely want to check out “Girl & Panzer: Complete OVA Series”.

While not half hour OVA episodes (episodes last anywhere between 4-18 minutes), the episodes are quite fun but it is important to watch the TV series first as some episodes may contain spoilers.  But for the most part, these episodes are quite fun as we watch the girls go swimsuit shopping, go camping and even a short and quick dance with their fish outfits.

But perhaps the two episodes that are connected to the TV series is the final two episodes as Yukari and Erwin go on a reconnaissance mission prior to their battle with Pravda and the final OVA episode features the celebration after the final episode.

But for the most part, these episodes are standalone episodes and are non-essential to the TV series but for fans who enjoyed the TV series and enjoy the characters, will no doubt want to watch these six short OVA episodes.

As for the Blu-ray, picture quality is very good and because they are OVA episodes, there is a bit more detail in the episodes versus the standard TV episode.  Lossless audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, in English and Japanese.   And both soundtracks are well-acted.  As for special features, they are limited to the usual clean and ending animations but you do get the alternate take of the impressions segment (of OVA episode 6).

Overall, if you enjoyed “Girl & Panzer: Complete TV Series”, then definitely check out “Girls & Panzer: Complete OVA Series”.  It is short at only 74 minutes long and while not essential to enjoying the TV series, this is for fans who want to see more of the girls of Oarai Academy!

 

Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

girlspanzer-a

“Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” was much more than I expected and not only did I love this series, it left me craving for more!  An uplifting underdog story featuring female academy competitions with tank battles and carefully planned battle strategies, this is one series worth owning on Blu-ray!  “Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” is highly recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2013 Sentai Holdings, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2012-2013

DURATION: 12 Episodes (300 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATING: TV 14 V

Release Date: December 3, 2013

Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima

Series Composition by Reiko Yoshida

Music by Shiroh Hamaguchi

Original Character Design by Humikane Shimada

Character Design by Isao Sugimoto

Art Direction by Yutaka Onishi

3D Director: Keiichiro Yagino

Anime Production: Actas

Featuring the following voice talent:

Ai Kayano/Jessica Calvello as Saori Takebe

Ikumi Nakagami/Rebekah Stevens as Yukari Akiyama

Mai Fuchigami/Meg McDonald as Miho Nishizumi

Mami Ozaki/Caitlynn French as Hana Isuzu

Yuka Iguchi/Molly Searcy as Mako Reizei

You may have heard of kung fu, but the girls at Oarai Academy practice gun-fu – really, really BIG gun-fu, in fact. It’s called Tankery, and it’s the martial art of operating armored tanks! And even though the Tankery program at Oarai has been defunct for years, the student council has taken a sudden interest in the art and no one they set their sights on is safe.

That’s how Miho Nishizumi, who transferred to Oarai specifically to stay out of tanks, gets drafted to join the newly revived Tankery divison. But it’s not all bad, because joining her in Team Anglerfish are her new-found friends Saori, the highly receptive radio operator; Hana, a flower arranger turned gunner; Mako, their brilliant but chronically sleepy driver; and combustible tank fangirl and loader Yukari. They may not be on the half-track to fame and fortune, and maybe some of them would rather shop for tank tops than become tops in tanks, but once their focus is locked and loaded, they’re absolutely driven.

girlspanzer-b

In winter 2012 and spring 2013, the Japanese anime TV series “Girls und Panzer” captivated audiences in Japan for its cute girls who take part in tank battles and utilize tank strategies to take on their more powerful rivals.

Produced by Actas, the series is directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (“Big Windup!”, Genshiken”, “Ichigo 100%”, “xxxHOLic”), series composition by Reiko Yoshida (“Blue Exorcist the Movie”, “Gad Guard”, “Major”, “Kaleido Star”), music by Shiroh Hamaguchi (“Galilei Donna”, “Ah! My Goddess”, “One Piece”), character designs by Isao Sugimoto (“Kemeko Deluxe!”, “Sketchbook ~full color’S~”), art direction by Yutaka Ohishi (“Heaven’s Memo Pad”) and 3D direction by Keiichiro Yagino (“Blassreiter”).

And now, the popular series titled “Girls and Panzer: Complete TV Series” was released on Blu-ray and DVD in Dec. 2013 courtesy of Sentai Filmworks, with the two OVA’s slated for a Feb. 2014 Blu-ray and DVD release, while in Japan, a film is planned for release.

“Girls & Panzer” takes place where various high school academies compete in sensha-do (Tankery) competitions and one of the families that have dominated the Tankery scene are the Nishizumi family.

But for Miho Nishizumi, she has transferred to Oarai Girls Academy because it doesn’t offer Tankery and for her, to get away from it is the best thing she can only hope for.  Despite practicing and was involved in Tankery at a previous academy.

And immediately, she makes friends with Saori Takebe, a girl who loves to read women’s magazines on how to attract guys.  Also, Hana Isuzu, a refined teenager who practices ikebana (flower arrangement).

But as the group try to find out what club to join for the year, Miho is called by the President, Vice President and PR spokesperson of Oarai High School in regards to their selection for club activities and because of her experience, the president tells Miho that if she doesn’t choose Tankery, she and her friends will be kicked out of Oarai High.

Upset about what the President has said, Miho notices Saori and Hana arguing on her behalf and if anything, she is very happy to have friends behind her.  Not wanting to see them kicked out of school because of her, Miho decides to join Tankery if it keeps her and her new friends out of trouble.

But the real reason why the President of the school has put their hopes on Miho to join the Tankery club is because if Oarai Academy does not win the Tankery competition, their school will be closed down.

Meanwhile, Miho, Saori and Hana make new friends: Yukari who is excited about Tankery and a moody, always half-asleep Mako Reizei and the five together are able to make a great team and along with other Oarai Tankery members, they notice that Miho is actually a fantastic commander that can lead them during competitions.

But will Oarai Academy have what it takes to take on the favored academy to win the Tankery competition, Kuromorimine Girls High School, led by Miho’s older sister Maho?

And will Oarai be able to defeat St. Gloriana Girls Academy, Saunders University High School, Pravda High School and Anzio High School?

Find out in “Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series”!

VIDEO:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” is presented in 1080p High Definition and I have to say that Actas did a wonderful job with production of this series.  From the mechanical designs of the tanks, the focus on the treads and movements of various tanks is very well-done.  Character designs for each of the characters, environments of the towns and also each academy which sits on top of a huge ship, everything about this series is colorful, vibrant with beautiful art backgrounds.  But I was very pleased of the detail and the research that went into the creation of the tanks and how each tank operates.

I didn’t notice any banding issues or compression during my viewing of the series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” is presented in Japanese and English DTS-HD MA 2.0.  For the most part, both soundtracks are front-channel driven and was hoping that for a series with a lot of action, it would have received a 5.1 lossless soundtrack.  But on its own, the series features crystal clear dialogue and music via the front channels.  Both soundtracks are well-acted, but it was interesting to see the directional change for the voice of Mako Reizei.  Where the Japanese version has her sounding like a regular teenager, the English dub emphasizes her moody and sleepy side with a lower voice, so that was very interesting but it worked!

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” features the following special features:

  • Introductions! – A full-length introduction episode that showcases the first half of the series but also the introduction of the various characters of Oarai Academy and other schools.
  • Introductions! 2 – A full-length introduction episode that showcases the second half of the series but also spotlights on the rules of Tankery and the various characters that are featured in the second half of the series.
  • Japanese Promos
  • Japanese TV Spots
  • Clean Opening and Ending Animations

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“Girls & Panzer” was an enjoyable and delightful series about a group of underdogs who enter a Tankery competition and must take on the best high schools.

Often in anime series, we are greeted with all-female competitions, may it be martial arts, softball, tennis, volleyball or even mecha series, but “Girls & Panzer” is different because it focuses on tank competitions and while we have the cute high school students operating tanks, the fact is that a lot of research went into the tanks featured in the series.

From the movements, strategies employed and just the overall mechanical design, you just don’t come across anime series like this.  And the efficacy of this series is because of it’s upbeat storyline of an underdog academy that puts its trust on the leadership of Miho Nishizumi.

Miho is from the proud Tankery family, the Nishizumi family.  But Miho starts out as one who doesn’t want anything to do with Tankery and just wants to enjoy life with friends.

And with each episode, we learn how awesome Miho is as a commander, but we also learn why she has kept away from a competition that her family has thrived in.  We also get a good amount of character building storylines that helps introduce us to various characters of this series.

At first, seeing so many characters compete per Academy/High School, I wasn’t sure how the writers would include them all and make a story that wouldn’t be so confusing to viewers, but they manage to keep the focus on the core 5 of Oarai High School, but giving us enough to know each group supporting Miho during competition.  May it be the Turtle Team, the Duck Team, the Hippo Team, the Mallard Team, the Anteater Team, the Leopon or the Rabbit Team, their inclusion was enough to understand the team dynamics and their strengths and weaknesses.

And the character designs, the beautiful art backgrounds and mechanical designs looked amazing on Blu-ray.  Vibrant colors, plenty of detail and no sign of artifacts or banding.  “Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” looked amazing in HD!

As for lossless audio, I wished that this action-driven series would have received a 5.1 lossless soundtrack but you get two lossless 2.0 soundtracks that are well-acted for both the Japanese and English soundtracks.

You also get two additional introduction episodes as well, included as special features!

Overall, “Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” was much more than I expected and not only did I love this series, it left me craving for more!  An uplifting underdog story featuring female academy competitions with tank battles and carefully planned battle strategies, this is one series worth owning on Blu-ray!

“Girls & Panzer: Complete TV Series” is highly recommended!

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