Top

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

August 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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

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


TITLE: KanColle Kantai Collection

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episode 1-12 (300 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Funimation

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: June 27, 2017


Originally concept by Kensuke Tanaka

Original Story by Kensuke Tanaka

Directed by Kanzou Kusakawa

Series Composition by Jukki Hanada

Music by Natsumi Kameoka

Character Design by Mayuko Matsumoto, Naomi Ide

Art Director: Maho Takahashi

Chief Animation Director: Mayuko Matsumoto, Naomi Ide

Anime Production: diomedea


Featuring the following voice talent:

Felecia Angelle/Sumire Uesaka as Fubuki

Jeannie Tirado/Yuka Iguchi as Kaga

Tia Ballard/Saki Fujita as Akagi

Alexis Tipton/Nao Toyama as Kongou

Amber Lee Connors/Yuka Otsubo as Ooi

Apphia Yu/Aya Suzuki as Hibiki

Brittney Karbowski/Ayane Sakura as Sendai

Camille Liedtka/Aya Suzuki as Inazuma

Cherami Leigh/Rina Hidaka as Mutsuki

Dawn M. Bennett/Nao Toyama as Hiei

Elizabeth Maxwell as Nagato

Jad Saxton/Ayane Sakura as Naka

Kristi Kang/Nao Toyama as Atago

Lara Woodhull/Aya Suzuki as Ikazuchi

Leah Clark/Yumi Tanabe as Yudachi

Megan Shipman/Ayane Sakura as Shimakaze

Monica Rial/Aya Suzuki as Akatsuki

Morgan Berry as Kitakami

Morgan Garrett/Ayane Sakura as Mutsu

Natalie Hoover/Ayane Sakura as Jintsu

Sarah Wiedenheft/Iori Nomizu as Zuikaku


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The primary characters of “KanColle Kantai Collection” are:

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

VIDEO:

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

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

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

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

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

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

EXTRAS:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 2 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

wagnaria3v2-a

“Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun! For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and quirky characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters finally take their feelings for other characters to the next level. Recommended! Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

Image courtesy of © Karino Takatsu/SQUARE ENIX, “WANGARIA!!3” Project. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 2

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episode 8-14 (42-48) (190 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: August 30, 2016


Originally created by Karino Takatsu

Directed by Yumi Kamakura

Series Composition by Takao Yoshioka

Music by monaca

Character Design by Shingo Adachi

Animation Director: Shingo Adachi

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Jun Fukuyama as Sōta Takanashi

Kana Asumi as Popura Taneshima

Saki Fujita as Mahiru Inami

Ai Orikasa as Shizuka Takanashi

Akiko Kawase as Maya Matsumoto

Daisuke Ono as Jun Satō

Eri Kitamura as Yachiyo Todoroki

Haruka Tomatsu as Mitsuki Mashiba

Hiroshi Kamiya as Hirōmi Sōma

Jouji Nakata as Hyōgo Otoo

Koji Yusa as Tōru Minegishi

Kumiko Watanabe as Kyōko Shirafuji

Momoko Saito as Nazuna Takanashi

Ryoko Shiraishi as Kazue Takanashi

Ryou Hirohashi as Aoi Yamada

Satoshi Hino as Kirio Yamada

Shizuka Itou as Kozue Takanashi

Yōko Hikasa as Izumi Takanashi

Yūichi Nakamura as Yōhei Mashiba


Sota Takanashi, who loves all things small, one day got invited to work at the family restaurant WAGNARIA by Popura Taneshima, an upperclassman at school. There, he discovered all kinds of eccentric characters that turned his working experience into something unexpected. What kind of dangerous comedy awaits Sota and his coworkers at WAGNARIA today?

On his day off, Sota receives a call from someone called “Minegishi.” Claiming to be under the order of Sota’s mom, “Minegishi” is snooping around for information. Back at WAGNARIA, Sato finally musters up the courage to ask Yachiyo out on a date, but Yachiyo starts acting weird after that. Meanwhile, Sota and Mahiru’s relationship is at an awkward stage after Sota said something. Seeing this happening, Sota’s sister Izumi decides to do something about it. And finally, Yamada reveals the truth about her running away…


For “Wagnaria!!” fans, many have wondered when Jun would finally confess his feelings to Yachiyo.  And when Sota would finally confess his true feelings to Mahiru.

Find out what happens in “Wagnaria!! 3” vol. 2!

What is “Wagnaria!!” about?

In 2005, mangaka Karino Takatsu wrote and illustrated a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga series known as “Working!!” (a.k.a. “Wagnaria!!”).

Serialized in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine from 2005-2014, a total of three anime seasons were created in 2010, 2011 and in 2015.

While the first two seasons were released by NIS America, the third season “Wagnaria!!3” was released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex of America.

“Wagnaria!!3” is a series about a group of people who work in the family restaurant, “Wagnaria”.

The characters are:

  • Sota Takanashi – The main character, a 16-year-old high school student who was recruited to work for the restaurant by Popura. He lives with his four sisters (three older and one younger). And because his older sisters have mistreated him, he has a dislike towards older women.  His mother also had him dress like a girl (never bought him boys clothes) and makes him do it and because he crossdresses, his female persona is Kotori.
  • Popura Taneshima – A 17-year-old student who is short and can be clumsy at times.
  • Mahiru Inami – A 17-year-old who works at Wagnaria and has a fear of men (androphobia). She tends to punch any male that comes near her. She has a crush on Sota.
  • Kyoko Shirafuji – The manager of Wagnaria and dependent on her workers, as she is apathetic to it and doesn’t really know how to run it. Nor does she put any work to it.
  • Yachiyo Todoroki – The 20-year-old chief of staff of Wagnaria. She is often seen carrying a katana. She works closely with Jun, unaware that he has a crush on her.
  • Jun Sato – Jun is a chef at Wagnaria and is deeply in love with Yachiyo but not good at expressing his emotions, as he is rather stoic.
  • Hiroomi Soma – Another chef at the restaurant who is easygoing. He often blackmails his fellow co-workers in doing jobs for him.
  • Aoi Yamada – A 16-year-old who is training at the restaurant and often gets in trouble.
  • Hyogo Otoo – The owner of Wagnaria.
  • Maya Matsumoto – An 18-year-old who has a hard time understanding her co-workers.
  • Nazuna Takanishi – Sota’s younger sister. She is volunteering at the restaurant.
  • Kirio Yamada – Aoi’s older brother who has been looking for her. He has a crush on Mahiru.

VIDEO:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in 1080p High Definition. animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series. Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in Japanese Linear PCM Stereo. Dialogue is crystal clear and the voice acting is well-done. It’s important to emphasize that there is no English dub included.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Wagnaria!!3” comes with the final special 14th episode.

EXTRAS:

“Wagnaria!!3″ comes with four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.


For those who like slice of life anime series, will no doubt enjoy “Wagnaria!!3”, a character driven series about a group of people working for a family restaurant.

In season three, characters take the next step in hopes to have relationships with the girls they like.

Jun who has been in love with Yachiyo, decides to ask her out and finally confess his feelings to her. But each time, he made it sound like a joke.  But this time, he really wants Yachiyo to have a relationship with him.  Will he finally confess his true feelings to her?

Meanwhile, Sota and Mahiru seem to have this tension as both like each other but they are not sure about their emotions and how to express them.  But when Sota starts to discover these emotions of love towards Mahiru, his mother comes back in town and once again forces him to dress like a girl.

As for Popura, is she getting shorter?  And why is Kozue feeling lonely?

For the most part, the anime series is fun and entertaining. It’s a slice of life anime series that revolve around the employees at the Wagnaria family restaurant. And the fun hijinks continues, but now we start to see more development with various relationships.

As for the Blu-ray release, animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series. Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted. Lossless audio is primarily Japanese Linear PCM Stereo with no English dub included. Unfortunately, there are no special features.

But being an Aniplex release, you are definitely going to get some swag with this latest release.  You get four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.

As for the second half of the series, “Wagnaria!!3” finally achieves two major relationships that many fans have wanted to see happen.  And for those who have rooted for Sota and Mahiru and also for Jun and Yachiyo, these final episodes of the third season will no doubt entertain you.

Overall, “Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun! For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and quirky characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters finally take their feelings for other characters to the next level. Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

 

Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

wagnaria3-a

“Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun!  For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters try to take their feelings for other characters to the next level.  Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

Image courtesy of © Karino Takatsu/SQUARE ENIX, “WANGARIA!!3” Project. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Wagnaria!!3 Vol. 1

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2015

DURATION: Episode 1-7 (27-34) (166 Minutes)

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

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: Suggested 13 and Up

Release Date: June 28, 2016


Originally created by Karino Takatsu

Directed by Yumi Kamakura

Series Composition by Takao Yoshioka

Music by monaca

Character Design by Shingo Adachi

Animation Director: Shingo Adachi

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures


Featuring the following voice talent:

Jun Fukuyama as Sōta Takanashi

Kana Asumi as Popura Taneshima

Saki Fujita as Mahiru Inami

Ai Orikasa as Shizuka Takanashi

Akiko Kawase as Maya Matsumoto

Daisuke Ono as Jun Satō

Eri Kitamura as Yachiyo Todoroki

Haruka Tomatsu as Mitsuki Mashiba

Hiroshi Kamiya as Hirōmi Sōma

Jouji Nakata as Hyōgo Otoo

Koji Yusa as Tōru Minegishi

Kumiko Watanabe as Kyōko Shirafuji

Momoko Saito as Nazuna Takanashi

Ryoko Shiraishi as Kazue Takanashi

Ryou Hirohashi as Aoi Yamada

Satoshi Hino as Kirio Yamada

Shizuka Itou as Kozue Takanashi

Yōko Hikasa as Izumi Takanashi

Yūichi Nakamura as Yōhei Mashiba


Sota Takanashi, who loves all things small, one day got invited to work at the family restaurant WAGNARIA by Popura Taneshima, an upperclassman at school. There, he discovered all kinds of eccentric characters that turned his working experience into something unexpected. What kind of dangerous comedy awaits Sota and his coworkers at WAGNARIA today?

On his day off, Sota receives a call from someone called “Minegishi.” Claiming to be under the order of Sota’s mom, “Minegishi” is snooping around for information. Back at WAGNARIA, Sato finally musters up the courage to ask Yachiyo out on a date, but Yachiyo starts acting weird after that. Meanwhile, Sota and Mahiru’s relationship is at an awkward stage after Sota said something. Seeing this happening, Sota’s sister Izumi decides to do something about it. And finally, Yamada reveals the truth about her running away…


In 2005, mangaka Karino Takatsu wrote and illustrated a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga series known as “Working!!” (a.k.a. “Wagnaria!!”).

Serialized in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine from 2005-2014, a total of three anime seasons were created in 2010, 2011 and in 2015.

While the first two seasons were released by NIS America, the third season “Wagnaria!!3” was released on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex of America.

“Wagnaria!!3” is a series about a group of people who work in the family restaurant, “Wagnaria”.

The characters are:

  • Sota Takanashi – The main character, a 16-year-old high school student who was recruited to work for the restaurant by Popura.    He lives with his four sisters (three older and one younger).  And because his older sisters have mistreated him, he has a dislike towards older women.
  • Popura Taneshima – A 17-year-old student who is short and can be clumsy at times.
  • Mahiru Inami – A 17-year-old who works at Wagnaria and has a fear of men (androphobia).  She tends to punch any male that comes near her.  She has a crush on Sota.
  • Kyoko Shirafuji – The manager of Wagnaria and dependent on her workers, as she is apathetic to it and doesn’t really know how to run it.  Nor does she put any work to it.
  • Yachiyo Todoroki – The 20-year-old chief of staff of Wagnaria.  She is often seen carrying a katana.  She works closely with Jun, unaware that he has a crush on her.
  • Jun Sato – Jun is a chef at Wagnaria and is deeply in love with Yachiyo but not good at expressing his emotions, as he is rather stoic.
  • Hiroomi Soma – Another chef at the restaurant who is easygoing.  He often blackmails his fellow co-workers in doing jobs for him.
  • Aoi Yamada – A 16-year-old who is training at the restaurant and often gets in trouble.
  • Hyogo Otoo – The owner of Wagnaria.
  • Maya Matsumoto – An 18-year-old who has a hard time understanding her co-workers.
  • Nazuna Takanishi – Sota’s younger sister.  She is volunteering at the restaurant.
  • Kirio Yamada – Aoi’s older brother who has been looking for her.  He has a crush on Mahiru.

VIDEO:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in 1080p High Definition. animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series.  Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Wagnaria!!3” is presented in Japanese Linear PCM Stereo.  Dialogue is crystal clear and the voice acting is well-done.  It’s important to emphasize that there is no English dub included.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Wagnaria!!3” comes with no special features.

EXTRAS:

“Wagnaria!!3″ comes with four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.


For those who like slice of life anime series, will no doubt enjoy “Wagnaria!!3”, a character driven series about a group of people working for a family restaurant.

In season three, characters take the next step to possibly have relationships.

Jun who has been in love with Yachiyo, decides to ask her out and finally confess his feelings to her.  But will he do it?

Meanwhile, Sota is starting to have some feelings towards Mahiru and is confused by what he is feeling.  Meanwhie, Sota’s older sister Izumi wants Sota to go on a date but who is this girl that wears a bag over her face?

Meanwhile, Kirio finally finds the sister that he has been looking for and it turns out that his sister is Aoi.  Aoi explains to her fellow staff members of why she hasn’t been home.

For the most part, the anime series is fun and entertaining.  It’s a slice of life anime series that revolve around the employees at the Wagnaria family restaurant.  And the fun hijinks continues, but now we start to see more development with various relationships.

As for the Blu-ray release, animation is good, slightly soft was one can expect form a TV series but a colorful anime series that compliments the manga series.  Cut scenes are well-detailed and emotion is well-captured and scenes are well-acted.  Lossless audio is primarily Japanese Linear PCM Stereo with no English dub included.  Unfortunately, there are no special features.

But being an Aniplex release, you get four collectible illustration postcards, a slipcase featuring illustrations by Shingo Adachi and a clear case with 2-sided covers.

As for the first half of the series, “Wagnaria!!3” doesn’t really require knowledge of the series and people can jump into the series without watching the previous two seasons, but you will lose context of various relationships and not have much of the impact, for those who know the history of the characters from the previous two seasons.

Overall, “Wagnaria!!3” is delightful and fun!  For anime fans looking for a slice-of-life anime series with a lot of comedy and characters, will surely enjoy this third season as characters try to take their feelings for other characters to the next level.  Recommended!

Purchase from RightStuf

 

Bottom