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

December 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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

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


TITLE: Mob Psycho 100

DURATION: (12 Episodes) 300 Minutes

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

COMPANY: Funimation

RATED: PG

Release Date: December 5, 2017


Originally Created by ONE

Directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa

Series Composition: Hiroshi Seko

Music by Kenji Kawai

Character Design: Yoshimichi Kameda

Art Director: Ryo Kono

Sound Director: Kazuhiro Wakabayashi

Director of Photography: Mayuko Furumoto

Anime Production: Bones


Featuring the following voice talent:

Setsuo Ito/Kyle McCarley as Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama

Akio Ohtsuka/Michael Sorich as Ekubo

Atsumi Tanezaki/Cherami Leigh as Tome Kurata

Ayumi Fujimura/Abby Trott as Ichi Mezato

Hiroyuki Kagura as Daichi Shiratori/Kaito Shiratori

Kōhei Amasaki/Chris Hackney as Takeshi Hoshino

Miyu Irino/Max Mittelman as Ritsu Kageyama

Rumi Ookubo/Cristina Vee as Ishiguro

Sanae Fuku/Mela Lee as Rei Kurosaki

Takahiro Sakurai/Chris Niosi as Arataka Reigen

Toshihiko Seki/Patrick Seitz as Musashi Goda

Uki Satake/Ryan Bartley as Tsubomi Takane

Yoshimasa Hosoya/Xander Mobus as Sakurai/Tenga Onigawara

Yoshitsugu Matsuoka/Erik Scott Kimerer as Teruki Hanazawa

Yūsuke Kuwahata/Bobby Thong as Gou Asahi


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


VIDEO:

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

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

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

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

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Week Friends – Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

May 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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Charming and heartwarming, “One Week Friends” is a high school drama that won’t take too much of your time, not too deep but a short, entertaining anime series worth watching.

Image courtesy of © 2015 Toho Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: One Week Friends – Complete Collection

SERIES RELEASE DATE: 2014

DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition/16×9, Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV 14 LD

Release Date: July 7, 2015


Originally Created by Matcha Hazuki

Directed by Tarou Iwasaki

Series Composition by Shotaro Suga

Music by Irone Toda

Art Director: Akira Ito

Anime Character Design by Eri Yamazaki

Production by Brain’s Base


Featuring the following voice talent:

Sora Amamiya as Kaori Fujimiya

Yoshitaka Yamaya as Yūki Hase

Asuka Kakumoto as Maiko Serizawa

Junji Majima as Jun Inoue

Mai Nakahara as Shiho Fujimiya

Rui Tanabe as Ai Nishimura

Rumi Ookubo as Saki Yamagishi

Shintarō Asanuma as Hajime Kujō

Yoshimasa Hosoya as Shōgo Kiryū


Every lifetime is composed of millions of memories… but what happens if those memories don’t all connect? When Yuki Hase notices that Kaori Fujimiya seems to be alone and friendless at his school, he immediately wants to reach out to her. Much to his surprise, though, his overtures are turned down, and he’s completely stunned when he finds out why: it seems that ever since she was in a tragic accident, Kaori has been losing part of her memory every Monday, including all her recollection of everyone who’s become her friend.

It’s not that she doesn’t want friends, but that she can’t remember having any. That’s not enough of an obstacle for Yuki, however, and he becomes determined to make friends with Kaori every week. Because while most memories fade, there are some that, if you believe strongly enough and never give up, might just be able to last forever.


In 2012, manga artist Matcha Hazuki created the manga series “Isshukan Friends” (One Week Friends) which was serialized in Square Enix’s “Gangan Joker” Magazine (January 2012-2015).

An anime adaptation produced by Brain’s Base aired on television in the spring of 2014 and the anime series was released on Blu-ray courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.

With a live film adaptation of the film slated for February 2017, for those who enjoy anime dramas will surely enjoy this 12-episode series.

The series revolves around a high school student named Yuki Hase, who sits right next to Kaori Fujimiya, a person who is often seen sitting alone.

As the two become friends, Yuki eventually starts to fall for Kaori but learns the truth that on every Monday, she loses all memory of her friends and experiences due to a tragic accident.

While it becomes a difficult obstacle for Yuki, he is determined in trying to become closer to Yuki, despite her fading memories and be with her every step of the way.

But what caused this condition with Yuki and how will he be able to get Yuki to include him in her life?


VIDEO:

“One Week Friends – Complete Collection” features beautiful animation by Brain’s Base. Character designs are well-done and well-shaded, while backgrounds and structures are well-detailed. It’s important to note that as a TV series, one can expect quite a bit of softness but forthe most part, the look of the anime series looks very good on Blu-ray.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“One Week Friends – Complete Collection” is presented in Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Dialogue is crystal clear and subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“One Week Friends – Complete Collection” comes with ten segments from Kaori’s Journal and an entry from Hase’s Journal, Japanese promo spots, clean opening and closing animations.


As I was watching “One Week Friends”, I was worried about the banality of the series as each episode would be about Kaori losing her memories every Monday (which is a real condition known as “anterograde amnesia”, according to Wikipedia, “patients have recollections of events prior to the injury, but cannot recall day-to-day information or new facts presented to them after the injury occurred”.) and Yuki doing all he can to see if he can help improve her memory and then we get the typical happy ending that she begins to remember.

In some ways, I thought that the series would become too predictable.

Fortunately, “One Week Friends” became an endearing and charming anime series about high school love but a boy’s determination to be with the girl he likes, while Kaori tries to live life every week with just knowing details from the journal she has written and with each entry, about her trust and happiness of being around Yuki.

The series also has a few side stories, such as Yuki’s classmate and good friend Shogo Kiryu.  Shogo is quite stoic but a classmate named Saki Yamagishi, who likes Shogo, is a bit clumsy and often becomes emotional because she is unsure how to convey her feelings towards him.

Another storyline involves Hajime Kujo, a former classmate of Yuki’s who transfers to the Yuki and Kaori’s school.  He was the boy which Kaori liked and was supposed to meet before she was involved in an accident that led to her loss of memories.  And of course, Yuki becomes a little jealous of Kujo.

While the anime series was completed before creator Hazuki Matcha finished writing the manga series, the anime series is still charming and anime fans who enjoy romantic comedies or romantic dramas will find “One Week Friends” to be a series worth watching.

As for the Blu-ray release, animation is beautiful, while slightly soft than eye popping vibrant.  Lossless audio is stereo and clear.  It’s important to note that this anime series is in straight Japanese and there are no English subtitles.  Special features include Kaori’s journal entries and also a journal entry from Yuki.  You also get the usual clean opening and closing animations and Japanese promo spots.

Overall, charming and heartwarming, “One Week Friends” is a high school drama that won’t take too much of your time, not too deep but a short, entertaining anime series worth watching.

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