Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blu-ray Anime Roundup, Feb 09

It’s that time of month again, time for a look at the latest Blu-ray releases from FUNimation. While there are two titles on this list release in months past there are also two very big steps forward for anime on Blu-ray. Samurai 7, a full anime series and Afro Samurai: Resurrection, a hot movie release on Blu-ray at the same time as the regular DVD release. These two releases signify the next stage in anime on Blu-ray, why, well that is what I’m here to tell you.

 One Piece, Movie 8 on Blue-rayOne Piece, Movie 8 – This was FUNimation’s first One Piece release on DVD to which they’ve now seen a few season sets released also. Yes this is movie 8 but what it does is pick up where fans of the series were on TV, show them what is to be expected from FUNimation going forward and set the stage for a revival of a very good, not kiddified, anime. The story is a condensed version of the shows showdown with Crocodile and his Baroque Works gang. The action is fast and furious, looks outstanding in in 1080p, but it’s not a movie quality anime feature. Since it was pulled from the TV show it lacks that true polish anime movies usually have but it’s an outstanding addition for One Piece fans.

 Dragon Ball Z Double Feature: Super Android 13 / Bojack Unbound on Blu-rayDragon Ball Z Double Feature: Super Android 13 / Bojack Unbound – How can you not love what FUNimation is doing with the whole Dragon Ball franchise. First viewers get re-mastered season box sets that don’t take much space then they hook up all of DBGT as it was meant to be seen and finally the release re-mastered DVD movie sets (in cool metal case) and ditto in a Blu-ray format. Two movies in HD for the price of one. This latest set is what DBZ is all about with Android 13 and on of my personal faves Bojack. Taking place during the Android and Cell arcs we get a younger Gohan whooping butt against very cool bad guys. The animation is a bit dated but still looks and sounds excellent. A must have for DBZ fans with a Blu-ray player.

 Afro Samurai: Resurrection on Blu-ray Afro Samurai: Resurrection – The movie sequel to Afro Samurai is what Blu-ray is all about. The animation, the quality of picture and sound on an HD screen will make otaku weep in joy as anime has arrived. Yes anime has been around for a while but the collaboration behind Resurrection is truly incredible where a manga creator, hip-hop artist, actor, anime studio and TV station all come together to create a true interactive media explosion, but more on that later (over on The Examiner). This Blu-ray is packed with features tacked onto the story that sees what Afro does after becoming number 1. Unlike many Blu-ray release this puppy comes with a sweet book that has notes form creator Bob Okazaki as well as Fuminori Kizaki and RZA along with profiles and art from the movie. The special features are excellent also with a look into the creation of the series, how it came to be what it is and the collaboration needed. A Groundbreaking Blu-ray for all the media it covers.

 Samurai 7 on Blu-ray Samurai 7 – Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece re-imagined where samurai and technology combine. Samurai turned bandits turned mercenary to survive, some are human, others more machine than man. The story telling is masterful and animation a pleasure … and that was before Blu-ray. Long story short this is one fantastic series and the move to Blu-ray, an entire anime series on Blu-ray is freaking mesmerizing. The sound and picture quality will spoil your viewership on all those regular DVD series, yes we are being spoiled here. A full series on Blu-ray surrounded by beautiful art, makes one happy to be an anime fan and that there was a clear winner of the HD format wars.

So for One Piece and DBZ, pretty much standard fare, re-release of available DVD that look and sound better but don’t warrant another purchase unless you either 1) don’t have the feature or 2) must build up your Blu-ray collection. The simultaneous release of Afro Samurai and it’s DVD counterparts tacked onto all the features, TV airing and video game, this is why Afro is truly amazing and hopefully not the last crossover of it’s time AND it released at the same time as the regular DVD meaning fans don’t have to wait for true HD afro action. Samurai 7 is another story, the complete collection will hopefully lead to some new anime fans while giving those with a bit of money to burn something truly beautiful to watch. It’s also the full series, 20+ episodes on Blu-ray. A movie is one thing, but a whole series, this is hot.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah!! I love to play different kinds of video game... Great listing!!