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Boruto – Naruto the Movie (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are a big fan of the “Naruto” manga/anime series, I highly recommend “Boruto – Naruto the Movie”. Action-packed, full of drama and excitement. Recommended!

Image courtesy of © 2002 Masashi Kishimoto/2007 Shippuden, BMP 2015. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Boruto – Naruto the Movie

ORIGINAL THEATRICAL DATE: 2015

DURATION: 90 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, DTS-HD Master Audio: English and Japanese 5.1,  2.0 Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: March 28, 2017


Originally Created by Masashi Kishimoto

Director: Hiroyuki Yamashita

Screenplay: Masashi Kishimoto

Character Design by Hirofumi Suzuki, Masashi Kishimoto, Tetsuya Nishio

Music by -yaiba-, Yasuharu Takanashi

Art by Akemi Konno, Kazuyuki Hashimoto, Kentaro Akiyama, Masanobu Nomura, Mutsuo Koseki, Naruyo Kiriyama, Satoshi Matsuoka

Art Design by Hiroto Tanaka, Masaaki Endou

Chief Animation Director: Tetsuya Nishio

Anime Production: Pierrot


Featuring the following voice talent:

Junko Takeuchi/Maile Flanagan as Naruto Uzumaki

Yuko Sanpei/Amana C. Miller as Boruto Uzumaki

Akira Ishida/Liam O’Brien as Gaara

Chie Nakamura/Kate Higgins as Sakura Uchiha

Daisuke Namikawa/Xander Mobus as Momoshiki

Hana Takeda/Laura Bailey as Kurotsuchi

Hidenori Takahashi/Max Mittelman as Konohamaru Sarutobi

Hiroki Yasumoto/Wally Wingert as Kinshiki Otsusuki

Kokoro Kikuchi/Cherami Leigh as Sarada Uchiha

Kouki Miyata/Brian Beacock as Chōjūrō

Nana Mizuki/Stephanie Sheh as Hinata Uzumaki

Noriaki Sugiyama/Yuri Lowenthal as Sasuke Uchiha

Ryota Takeuchi/Catero Colbert as Darui

Ryūichi Kijima/Robbie Daymond as Mitsuki

Satoshi Hino/Ben Diskin as Sai

Showtaro Morikubo/Tom Gibis as Shikamaru Nara

Yoichi Masukawa/Brian Donovan as Rock Lee

Atsushi Abe/Spike Spencer as Inojin Yamanaka

Hisao Egawa/Catero Colbert as Killer Bee

Kengo Kawanishi/Bryce Papenbrook as Yurui

Kensho Ono/Todd Haberkorn as Shikadai Nara

Saori Hayami/Melissa Fahn as Himawari Uzumaki

Yukari Tamura/Danielle Judovits as Tenten


Boruto: Naruto the Movie takes place in the Hidden Leaf Village with Naruto as the Seventh Hokage. The Hidden Leaf Village is planning to host the Chunin Exams to train new shinobi from the village and from their allied villages. Among the entrants are Sasuke’s daughter, Sarada, Mitsuki, an exceptionally talented yet mysterious shinobi… And Boruto, Naruto’s talented but impetuous son.

Meanwhile, Sasuke who’s been on a mission in another dimension appears before Naruto to warn of a strange impending danger. Shrouded with an evil aura, Momoshiki and Kinshiki appear and attempt to assassinate Naruto. Petrified, Boruto is shielded by Naruto, only to disappear in front of Boruto’s own eyes.


The popular manga series “Naruto” has been going strong since its debut in Shueisha back in 1999 via “Weekly Shonen Jump” magazine.   With 72 volumes published, the manga series ended in November 2014.  Meanwhile, the anime series, the first titled “Naruto” began in 2002-2007 and lasted for 220 episodes.  And would continue with “Naruto: Shippuden” which lasted from 2007-2017 with a total of 500 episodes created.

The original manga by Masashi Kishimoto is about a young ninja named Naruto Uzamaki, a ninja of the Konoha leaf village who grew up facing prejudiced within his fellow ninjas because the evil nine-tailed fox was sealed inside him. But throughout the series, we have seen how Naruto is a kind-hearted boy who has worked hard in protecting his friends and staying true to his word with the goal of someday becoming the next Hokage of the village.

In 2014, Kishimoto wrapped up the “Naruto” manga and in the final chapter (featured in volume 72), Naruto would eventually become the Hokage of the Leaf Village and he and his wife Hinata would have two children, Boruto and Himawari.

Meanwhile, Sasuke and Sakura would have a daughter named Sarada, Shikamaru Nara and Temari would have a son named Shikadai, Sai and Ino would have a son named Inojin and Choji Akimichi and Karui would have a daughter named Chocho.

Everyone has grown up and Naruto is busy as the new Hokage at the village, this causes resentment from Naruto’s son Boruto who feels that his father was never there for him or the family.

This leads us to the film “Boruto – Naruto the Movie” which featured anime production from Studio Pierrot, direction by Hiroyuki Yamashita, a screenplay by Masashi Kishimoto, music by -yaiba- and Yasuharu Takanashi and character design by Hirofumi Suzuki, Masashi Kishimoto and Tetsuya Nishio and art design by Hiroto Tanaka and Masaaki Endou.

The film begins with Boruto telling his story and him and his team partners, Sarada and Mitsuki being trained by Master Konohamaru and trying to capture a bear (or panda).   After their mission, the four go to see Naruto, the Seventh Hokage.

And as Boruto gets into a little argument with his father (for not being part of his life due to his duties as Hokage), he reminds his father about his sister and Naruto’s daughter, Himawari’s birthday and how he needs to be there.

Meanwhile a scientist comes in and introduces the group to a new invention.  Now, a jutsu can be contained in a mini-seal and put into a bracelet which gives anyone, ninja or not, the power to use a jutsu.  No chakra is even needed to use the new technology and the scientists want it used for the upcoming Chunin exam but Naruto is against it and believes a ninja should use their own skills.

Meanwhile, Boruto meets with the scientist and takes the special bracelet.

With the next Chunin exams coming up, Sarada and Mitsuki want to take the exam but Boruto, he has no desire.  He doesn’t want to be like his father and that means not wanting to be Hokage.  But for Sarada, she wants to be Hokage and tries to get Boruto to take part in the Chunin exam to let his father know he could do it.

Meanwhile, Sasuke Uchiha returns to the village and Boruto, not wanting to be anything like his father, goes to Sasuke to take him in as a pupil.  But Sasuke will only agree if Boruto can learn the Sharingan jutsu.

As the groups get ready for their Chunin Exam to see who will become a ninja, round three will be in front of a public audience.  During a battle Boruto uses the bracelet to best his opponent, but for Naruto, he is disappointed that his son resorted to such a tactic and disqualifies his son from the Chunin exam and also taking away his ninja bandana as punishment.

This leads to an argument and Boruto complains that his father is never there for him.  Meanwhile, a new evil force attacks everyone at the Chunin Exam.


VIDEO:

“Boruto – Naruto the Movie” is presented in 1080p High Definition and the film looks vibrant.  Colors look fantastic in HD and with this being a film ,there is a good amount of backgrounds and detail in the background artwork.  Picture quality is fantastic!

I didn’t notice any artifacts or banding issues during my viewing of the film.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Boruto – Naruto the Movie” is presented in Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0. Both soundtracks are fantastic and dialogue and music are both crystal clear through the center, front and surround channels.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Boruto – Naruto the Movie” comes with the following special features:

  • Special Naruto OVA – (10:23) It’s Naruto’s big day as his inauguration as Hokage is about to take place.  But time’s getting late because Boruto and Himawari are arguing.  But what happens when Boruto upsets his little sister?
  • Clean End Credits
  • Storyboards – Featuring a gallery of the storyboards for the film
  • Art Gallery – Featuring an art gallery from the film.
  • Trailer – Featuring the Japanese trailers.

Watching “Boruto – Naruto the Movie”, I can’t help but be entertained by the fact that the film focuses on the children of the characters that many of us grew up reading.

“Naruto” having lasted so long as a manga and anime series was a big part of the lives of many people who watched “Naruto” grow from a child, to a teenager and a young adult.  Seeing how his heart and his passion would inspire so many but also seeing him determined to defeat those who threatened the village or his friends.

With Naruto, he is a student that felt he had to prove himself through hardwork and determination.

So, it’s fascinating to see how Boruto is much different than his father.  Naruto, who had always said he would become Hokage is now the new Hokage of the Leaf Village but this new role means being busy with work and unfortunately, that means no time spent with the family.

Hinata is literally taking care of both children and you can see how Boruto is upset at his father for neglecting them, but he harbors a bit of anger for his father not being there for him.

What’s even more interesting is that Boruto is not too aware of his father’s past and how he grew up, so he is not aware of the challenges or difficulties his father grew up with.

And because of his feelings towards his father, he asks his dad’s rival, Sasuke Uchiha to become his master.

But during this peaceful time, a lot has changed as well.  Scientists have developed bracelets with technology that allow anyone to harness jutsu used by ninjas and to make things worse, a new evil has decided to attack the Leaf Village during the Chunin exams (like what happened to Naruto and friends when he was much younger).

And I’ll leave it that.

This is a new beginning, a new chapter as Boruto will continue the storyline of the ninjas at the Leaf Village and while I’m not sure if “Boruto” will last for another 15 years but for this film to jumpstart the new generation and Naruto’s son, Boruto, now the focal point, needless to say, this series will be interesting, considering that he’s not like his father at all.

And if you think Boruto Uzumaki has special skills learned from his father, wait until one gets to see the included OVA which shows us how powerful Himawari Uzumaki can get.

As for the Blu-ray release, the film is vibrant and with it being a film, has more detail when it comes to art backgrounds.  Lossless soundtrack is also well-done and the voice acting for both Japanese and English dub are magnificent.

Overall, if you are a big fan of the “Naruto” manga/anime series, I highly recommend “Boruto – Naruto the Movie”.  Action-packed, full of drama and excitement.

Recommended

 

The Last Naruto the Movie (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

thelastnarutomovie

“The Last Naruto the Movie” is the best Naruto film that I have watched and a storyline that I have waited more than decade to see happen. It’s also an important film that transitions to the next generation of Masashi Kishimoto’s next work. “Good things come for those who wait” and for Naruto fans, “The Last Naruto the Movie” is a story that was a long time coming but for many fans who have waited for a Naruto/Hinata storyline, will absolutely enjoy this film!

Image courtesy of © 2002 Masashi Kishimoto. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: The Last Naruto the Movie

MOVIE RELEASE DATE: 2014

DURATION: 90 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Audio 5.1 and 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Viz Media

RATED: TV 14

Release Date: October 6, 2015


Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto

Director: Tsuneo Kobayashi

Screenplay: Maruo Kyozuka

Music by -yaiba-, Yasuharu Takanashi

Character Design by Hirofumi Suzuki, Masashi Kishimoto, Tetsuya Nishio

Background Art: Akemi Konno

Anime Production: Studio Pierrot


Featuring the following voice talent:

Junko Takeuchi/Maile Flanagan as Naruto Uzumaki

Nana Mizuki/Stephanie Sheh as Hinata Hyuga

Noriaki Sugiyama/Yuri Lowenthal as Sasuke Uchiha

Satoshi Hino/Ben Diskin as Sai

Chie Nakamura/Kate Higgins as Sakura Haruno

Jun Fukuyama as Toneri Osutsuki

Showtaro Morikubo as Shikamaru Nara

Ai Hashizume as Kaede the Kunoichi

Arisa Shida/Robbie Daymond as Tenmonkata

Kazuhiko Inoue/Dave Wittenberg as Kakashi Hatake

Keiko Nemoto/Megan Hollingshead as Shizune

Masako Katsuki/Debi Mae West as Tsunade

Kentarou Itou/Robbie Rist as Chouji Akimichi

Ryoka Yuzuki Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Hanabi Huga/Ino Yamanaka

Hisao Egawa/Catero Colbert as Killer Bee


Two years have passed since the fated battle between Naruto and Sasuke in the Village Hidden in the Leaves. A comfortable peace has fallen over the village and the winter festival approaches with a bit more excitement than usual. Seasons of war have transformed Naruto and his friends into elite young warriors, but now they grow into the adults they were meant to be, forming bonds beyond friendship. Naruto and Hinata approach this next stage with trepidation and find their progress stalled when a mysterious and dangerous man appears with a disturbing message: the end of the world is upon them. Once again Naruto and his friends are sent to investigate and stop the impossible, a falling moon! What is the tragic fate that connects this disaster with Hinata’s Hyuga Clan? And to what lengths will Naruto go to speak the words that will change his life? The Last is the final story of Naruto as you knew him, the hero who was once an outcast, and the first chapter of the bond that will define his future.


DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE ENDING OF THE MANGA SERIES, AS “THE LAST NARUTO THE MOVIE” INCLUDES MAJOR SPOILERS!!!!

For many fans of the “Naruto” manga and anime series, we have watched Naruto grow from a young boy trying to fit in and dreams of becoming hokage.  And we have seen him change the hearts of many people, friend and foe.

Since the early “Naruto” episodes, there has been one character that has always been willing to be there for him, to die for him and has had nothing but unconditional love for him… and that character is Hinata Hyuga.

In November 2014, the manga series came to an end and with that final chapter, we see a glimpse of the future as characters that we have watched when they were youngsters, have now grown up to become parents with children.

As the series will now go to the next chapter featuring Naruto and Hinata’s young son, Boruto, there were questions of how Naruto and Hinata ended up together.

And so the final Naruto film titled “The Last Naruto the Movie” will answer that question and the film was released on Blu-ray+DVD courtesy of Viz Media.

“The Last Naruto the Movie” takes place two years after the events of the Fourth Shinobi War.  Many of the characters have matured, Naruto has become famous, Kakashi has become the Sixth Hokage and still, Hinata Hyuga has watched Naruto from afar.  Trying to build her confidence to give Naruto a scarf.

We see from a flashback of Hinata’s first encounter with Naruto, when they were young children and Naruto coming to her Hinata’s defense, as she was bullied by other youngsters because of her byakugan ability.  And a brash young Naruto, coming to her defense and getting beaten up and his scarf laying in tatters.  Hinata has kept that scarf and now as an adult, in her free time, has tried knitting one exactly like the one he had.

But with many of the village’s young ladies wanting to be with him and Naruto now sporting a new scarf, Hinata is not sure if she can give him the scarf and tell him how he really feels about her.

Meanwhile, the moon that Hagoromo Otsutsuki created long ago to seal away the Ten-Tails’ body begins to descent towards the earth and the moon has now become a meteor that can destroy everything upon impact.

It is revealed that the person responsible is Toneri Otsutsuki, a descendant of Hamura Otsutsuki and is dedicated to fulfill his ancestor’s legacy to punish mankind for using chakra as weapons throughout the course of time.

But as Hinata is unable to give him the gift, Toneri infiltrates Konoha and kidnaps Hinata’s younger sister Hanabi, but Naruto manages to prevent him from kidnapping Hinata.  But Toneri gives him a warning that he is coming back to get Hinata.

Due to the severity of the mission, Kakashi sends Shikamaru, Naruto, Hinata, Sakura and Sai on a mission to rescue Hanabi and prevent the planet from being destroyed by the moon.

As the group goes on their mission, they journey through the village of the Otsutsuki clan and through there, Naruto somehow enters Hinata’s memories and sees all the moments in time when Hinata was there for him and realizes for the first time, that Hinata has always wanted to be by his side since they were children.

What happens when Naruto discovers Hinata’s true feelings?  Can each of them prevent the world from being destroyed and beat Toneri Otsutsuki?

Find out in “The Last Naruto the Movie”!


 

VIDEO:

“The Last Naruto the Movie” tends to have this look that is appropriate for television, but for a summer movie in Japan, you expect better, detailed artistic backgrounds and the good news is that is what you get with this film. Presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), the film looks absolutely vibrant. From Naruto’s transformation to the overall character designs and closeups, there is a lot of detail in the artwork.

I detected no artifacts during my viewing of the film, nor did I see any banding. Colors are vibrant, black levels are perfect and the artistic backgrounds look so gorgeous. A lot of detail in the trees, the ground, as well as the scenery.

For Viz Media’s first anime film on Blu-ray, the film looks absolutely great in HD!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“The Last Naruto the Movie” is presented in English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0. And once again, I applaud Viz Media for giving anime fans a wonderful lossless soundtrack!

This is an immersive soundtrack. It’s one thing to have clear dialogue and music coming from the center and front channels, but because of the non-stop action and explosions galore, there are great directional sounds that are panning from left to right and right to left through the surround channels.

In fact, there are many moments where the LFE just sounds magnificent as you can hear and feel those explosions around you. This is an immersive soundtrack and because it is a film, they really went all out in making this film sound fantastic in HD! Impressive!

Similar to a series like “Dragon Ball Z”, with “Naruto”, I have always enjoyed the voice acting of the English dub series. It’s well done and the voices fit the characters very well. Especially Maile Flanagan’s Naruto Uzumaki. Personally, I didn’t think there would be a voice actor that could capture Junko Takeuchi’s Naruto vocals and sure enough, Flanagan does a great job. And I have watched the series in Japanese and English and for the most part, voice acting for both soundtracks are well-done.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Last Naruto the Movie” comes with the following special features:

  • Japanese Commercial Videos
  • Japanese Promotional Videos
  • Japanese Movie Trailers
  • Art Gallery

EXTRAS:

“Naruto: Special Episode ~After the Last~” two-page manga by Masashi Kishimoto featuring Naruto and Hinata’s first date.


DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE ENDING OF THE MANGA SERIES, AS “THE LAST NARUTO THE MOVIE” INCLUDES MAJOR SPOILERS!!!!

I have had the pleasure to grow up and watch “Naruto” since the first anime episode came out and to later read the manga series once it became available in the United States.

I have watched and reviewed a good number of “Naruto” films but watching “The Last Naruto the Movie”, I’m confident to say that this film is the best “Naruto” film I have watched.

And I enjoyed it even more, because the film has relevance in the Naruto storyline as it shows viewers of how Naruto and Hinata became a couple and also transitioning to them being parents of two children and having a son named Boruto, who will now become the focus of the next series and animated film in Japan.

While the films have had their own share of deadly antagonists, personally, I felt that Toneri was a worthy foe but in the concept of why this film was being made and so many people grew up watching “Naruto” and have waited for over a decade to see if Naruto would finally open his eyes to Hinata and not recognizing it due to his naivety, this film and its story was a long time coming.

The writers took great care in making sure they crafted a storyline and while you get a lot of action, the storyline is romantic and will no doubt leave some in tears (of joy).  And it’s probably one of the most memorable and enjoyable musical scores I have listened to from a “Naruto” film.

And I highly recommend those who watch this film, to watch through the credits and also what happens after the credits.

So, when it comes to this review as a fan, I absolutely loved this film and felt that it was a storyline that I have been waiting for over a decade to see happen.

In a way, it’s hard to believe that the series has come to an end and to see Naruto and friends now grown up but finally seeing how these two get together.  And the great news is that this was not some story that Masashi Kishimoto didn’t approve of, because not only did he have interaction in this film, but included with this Blu-ray release is a two-page manga by Masashi titled “Naruto: Special Episode ~After the Last~” featuring Naruto and Hinata’s first date.

And like previous Blu-ray releases for “Naruto” films, the animation is vibrant and looks fabulous in HD.  The lossless audio and voice acting for both Japanese and English dub is excellent.  And you also get the Japanese promotional video and commercials as well!

Overall, “The Last Naruto the Movie” is the best Naruto film that I have watched and a storyline that I  have waited more than decade to see happen.  It’s also an important film that transitions to the next generation of Masashi Kishimoto’s next work.

“Good things come for those who wait” and for Naruto fans, “The Last Naruto the Movie” is a story that was a long time coming but for many fans who have waited for a Naruto/Hinata storyline, will absolutely enjoy this film!

Blood-C: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Blood-C” is an animated series that does continue the “Blood” series by name, features a wonderful collaboration between Production I.G. and CLAMP and as expected, the animation and art backgrounds looks fantastic and is also well-acted for both the Japanese soundtrack and the English dub.   Unfortunately, I was disappointed with how “Blood-C” ended but I just hope that the reason why it ended the way it did, was to set things up for the animated film “Blood-C: The Last Dark”.

Images courtesy of © 2012 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Blood-C: The Complete Series

YEAR OF SERIES RELEASE: 2011

DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATED: 14+

Release Date: January 22, 2013

Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima

Screenplay by Juni’Ichi Fujisaku, Nanase Ohkawa

Music by Naoki Sato

Original Story by CLAMP

Original Character Design by CLAMP

Art Director: Hiromasa Ogura

Chief Animation Director: Takayuki Goto

Anime Production: Production I.G.

Featuring the voices of:

Keiji Fujiwara/Bill Jenkins as Tadayoshi Kisaragi

Kenji Nojima/Robert McCollum as Fumito Nanahara

Nana Mizuki/Alexis Tipton as Saya Kisaragi

Atsushi Abe/Chris Burnett as Itsuki Tomofusa

Jun Fukuyama/Todd Haberkorn as Dog

Masumi Asano/Martha Harms as Yūka Amino

Miho Miyagawa/Lydia Mackay as Kanako Tsutsutori

Misato Fukuen/Lindsay Seidel as Nene Motoe/Nono Motoe

Tatsuhisa Suzuki/Scott Freman as Shinichirō Tokizane

Horrifying beasts with a hunger for human flesh prey on the citizens of a quiet town. In moonlit twilight, Saya slays the monsters and returns home drenched in blood. As the attacks increase in frequency and intensity, her enemies relay cryptic messages about a broken contract. Limbs are torn from flesh and skulls are crushed and devoured while the huntress struggles with paralyzing visions and gaping holes in her memory.

When the humans Saya promised to protect reveal the sickening truth about her role in the violence, she learns her mission isn’t as clear cut as she thought – and her most sadistic foe of all is so close she can taste it.

Back in 2000, the animated film “Blood: The Last Vampire” was released in theaters and released in the United States.

The animated film set in 1966 was focused on a vampire named Saya who hunts down bat-like creatures known as chiropterans.  The animated film would eventually lead to a manga series “Blood: The Last Vampire 2000” and three Japanese light novels plus a video game.

In 2005, a 50-episode anime series titled “Blood+”, an alternate timeline would be featured and would focus on an amnesiac named Saya Otanashi who lives the life of an ordinary school girl.  Until she is attacked by a Chiropteran and finds out that she somehow can fight against them and is the only one that can defeat them.  This leads to a storyline with Saya, her family and friends trying to rid the world of the Chiropteran and her starting to remember her history.

In 2011, a new anime and manga series was created by this time by the famous manga creators, CLAMP.  The anime series was 12-episodes long while an animated film titled “Blood-C: The Last Dark” was released in the summer of 2012.

In “Blood-C”, the series focuses on Saya Kisaragi, a normal, clumsy schoolgirl who lives with her father, Tadayoshi, a priest in the local shrine.  She trains as a miko (a priestess) and has a secret life of learning a sacred sword and the “art of the sword” to slay Furukimono (monsters).

It is learned that Saya is following the path that her mother had done before she died.  But as time goes on, she is unsure about herself, her duties of fighting the monsters and her true self.

Meanwhile, more monster incidents are happening in town and people including friends are disappearing or are attacked and killed.  And the guilt of not being able to protect them begins to make Saya question her role even more.

VIDEO:

“Blood-C” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  With Production I.G. responsible for the production, I expected the series to look fantastic and for the most part, the animation does not disappoint.  Characters and monsters are incredibly well-shaded, art backgrounds have the Production I.G. quality of being amazingly detailed and for the most part, this series looks incredible.

But possibly the biggest surprise is that this is the first CLAMP anime series that doesn’t look like a CLAMP anime series.  Typically for CLAMP, characters proportions have long necks, long limbs and such, but for “Blood-C”, the characters look different.  If anything, the anime production is stylish, visually the series looks very cool and I like the character design of Saya.  She looks very innocent and pure but can easily transform to a killer.

AUDIO:

“Blood-C” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. Because the English soundtrack gets the 5.1 treatment, there is better dynamic range with the English soundtrack, especially during the action sequences.  But both sound very good, dialogue is crisp and clear but the English dub does get the edge in terms of dynamic range due to its 5.1 soundtrack.  With that being said, for the English dub track, voice actress Alexis Tipton does a wonderful job playing the character Saya.  From playing a character with varying emotions, Tipton also gets to show off her singing voice as well.  Robert McCollum does an excellent job of playing Fumihito as well.

As for the Japanese soundtrack, you have one of Japan’s well-known voice actresses and anime theme song singers in Japan for the role of Saya.  Singer/voice actress Nana Mizuki (Fate Testarosa of “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanonha”, Hinata Hyuuga of “Naruto”, Victini of “Pokemon”) does an amazing job playing Saya and also singing the ending theme song for “Blood-C”.  Nana does a great job in capturing the various emotions of the character.  Also, Kenji Nojima does a great job playing Fumihito.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Blood-C: The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:

  • Episode 6 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR director Jerry Jewell and Robert McCollum (voice of Fumihito).  Do not listen to the audio commentary before completing the series, as there are spoilers.
  • Episode 12 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR director Jerry Jewell and Alexis Tipton (voice of Saya).  Do not listen to the audio commentary before completing the series, as there are spoilers.
  • Original Commercials – (2:12) The Japanese TBS commercials for “Blood-C”.
  • Promotional Videos – (3:26) The Japanese promotional videos for “Blood-C”.
  • Textless Opening Songs for “Spiral” and “Junketsu Paradox”
  • Textless Closing Song for “Junketsu Paradox”
  • U.S. Trailer – (1:02) FUNimation trailer for “Blood-C: The Complete Series”.
  • Trailers – Featuring FUNimation trailers.

EXTRAS:

“Blood-C: The Complete Series” comes with the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.

The “Blood” series has always been popular for anime fans in the West.  A vampire storyline of a vampire who hunts down Chiropterans (bat-like creatures) and the Saya has always been a character where one can expect to kick some serious ass!

“Blood-C” felt like a series that you invest your time in and by the time you get to the final episode, you feel as if you have been punked!

While the animated film “Blood-C: The Last Dark” had received positive reviews, the television series was panned in Japan and I can see why.

First, I’m going to discuss the positive.  The positive of this series is the fact that Production I.G. has done a wonderful job when it comes to the animation and art backgrounds of this TV series.  Characters and even the chiroptherans are well-animated and shaded and the characters are nicely drawn.

Another positive is the voice acting.  In Japan, you have Nana Mizuki doing a stellar job on voice acting and also singing the ending theme for the series. I also felt the English dub was wonderful and it was great to hear Alexis Tipton in a role where she can really show off her voice talent.  From various emotional states to even singing, she did a fantastic job.

But while the animation, art and voice acting are well-done, the problem with “Blood-C” is its story.

I suppose part of the problem lies in the fact that if you have watched “Blood the Last Vampire”, watched “Blood+” and even watched the live-action film, you feel you know the series and how it was always about Saya taking on the chiropterans and you know that she is a character that is going to serve up a major ass kicking.

But somehow, it seemed as if the writers saved that for the animated film instead.

By episode 8, you find out that nearly every classmate by Saya was killed by a chiropteran and just when you think that you’re going to see the Saya (that we have seen in the previous incarnations of “Blood) in major kick-ass mode, we get a major reveal that you don’t expect and I must say, it really felt like a kick in the gut.

In fact, I’m not going to even get into it but I just felt that for something that was carrying a lot of potential by episode 8, it just went downhill from there.  I rarely get frustrated by watching an anime series, but this series left me frustrated.

Especially if you have been a fan of the “Blood” series, from “Blood+” to “Blood-C”, it was disappointing because I was expecting something big after episode 8 but instead, the story just went downhill.

As for the Blu-ray release, “Blood-C” looks fantastic on Blu-ray and the English lossless soundtrack has the edge because it’s in 5.1 and has better dynamic range. The Blu-ray also has two audio commentaries and the Japanese commercials and promotional video.

Overall, “Blood-C” is an animated series that does continue the “Blood” series by name, features a wonderful collaboration between Production I.G. and CLAMP and as expected, the animation and art backgrounds looks fantastic and is also well-acted for both the Japanese soundtrack and the English dub.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with how “Blood-C” ended but I just hope that the reason why it ended the way it did, was to set things up for the animated film “Blood-C: The Last Dark”.  If you want a “Blood” series that is exciting and entertaining, “Blood+” is much better.

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