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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anime > Animation > Drama > Rock Music > Action > Magic > Martial Arts > Theater > Culture > Dance > Art > Fanta > Anonymous Noise: Complete Collection (2017/Sentai Blu-ray Set)/Avatar: The Last Emperor - The Complete Series (2005 - 2008/Nickelodeon Blu-ray Set)/Kabukibu!: Complete Collection (2017)/Sword Oratoria

Anonymous Noise: Complete Collection (2017/Sentai Blu-ray Set)/Avatar: The Last Emperor - The Complete Series (2005 - 2008/Nickelodeon Blu-ray Set)/Kabukibu!: Complete Collection (2017)/Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side: Complete Collection (2017/both Sentai Blu-ray Sets)

Picture: B+/B-/B+/A Sound: B+/B-/C+/B+ Extras: C/C+/C/C* Episodes: A-/C+/B+/A-

Now for more anime, including an upgrade to a hit U.S. cable TV series...

Six years ago, Nino met 2 boys who changed her life, Momo and Yuzu. Momo taught her the joy of singing but he suddenly disappeared. While heartbroken Nino then met Yuzu who also helped her by sharing his songs with her and saved her from her despair, but then he also disappeared. Since then Nino has been everyday sing her heart out by the beach for 6 years, hoping her singing will reach them again ....and they will meet again in Anonymous Noise: Complete Collection (2017).

Nino loves sing and songs, she puts all her energy, hopes, feelings, sadness into her singing. Nino is in love with her childhood friend Momo, but Yuzu is in love with Nino. Now, 6 years later, they meet again. Momo disappeared because of his parent's debts and now works as music composer for a music company to pay off their massive debt. He still loves Nino, but he always pushes her away and lies to her away to keep her from his financial debts. Yuzu has was hospitalized when he was younger, but after saving Nino he lost his physical ability to sing. To Yuzu, Nino is her 'Alice' and the voice to his band 'In No Hurry to Shout'. Now, Momo and Yuzu are not only rivals in love, but also rival bands in the music industry, but in the end everything is for Alice/Nino ...who will she choose?

This was a drama filled anime with alternative rock n' roll. It is a story of a girl and 2 boys, girl loves one boy, another boy loves the girl ...you do the math (and it seemed like everyone in the series is in love with someone who is in love with someone else). Through sing and song are they only able express their angst, frustrations and feelings. Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers.

Episodes include...

We Hide Our True Heart - Nino is reunited with Yuze and is suddenly asked to sing for his band during the new student school introduction.

Please, God Let Alice's Love Be Forever Unrequited - Nino remembers Momo and how they used to love singing together as kids.

No Matter What, Right Now - Nino decides to audition to be a vocalist for a music company. Yuze wants Nino to become his 'Alice' for his band.

The Ones Who Hid Their True Hearts Joined Hands That Day - Nino learns how Yuzu lost his singing voice helping her 6 years ago.

I Wouldn't Have Had To See You Smile Like That - Yuzu wants Nino to become his voice 'Alice' for his band. Nino joins a band to get Momo's attention in the music industry.

We Keep Walking Forward, Today and Tomorrow - Nino joins Yuzu's band and becomes his 'Alice'.

Our Eyes Finally Met One Another - 'In No Hurry to Shout' makes their live debut and is a hit. Momo realizes Nino be taken by others if he doesn't do anything. Nino becomes jealous when she hears Momo is living with another woman (his manager).

I Was Just Gonna Be Your Friend, I Swore I Would Be - Momo and Yuze has been friends for a while, but they didn't realize they were also rivals for Nino's affection ...until now.

So We Set Off at a Run, Towards the Summer - Momo reject Nino's 'In No Hurry to Shout'. Yuzu kisses Nino and they begin their plans for the summer rock festival.

It Was Me Who Set Alice on Fire - Nino continues to improve herself at training camp, determined to prove Momo wrong and win his attention.

I Won't Let a Single Person Leave this Place - Momo and Yuzu both have to deal with mother problems. Nino writes her own lyrics for their new song. The Rock Festival begins, may the best band win.

I Hope It Reaches You - Yuzu and Nino blow away the competition, but Momo disappears... But Nino won't give up on Momo ...and Yuzu, Nino and Momo meet one last time.

And now its my turn to look at Avatar: The Last Emperor - The Complete Series (2005 - 2008), now finally on Blu-ray from Nickelodeon, a bit unexpected since it was produced with analog video, but we've covered many of the separate DVD sets than the Complete Series on DVD here...


I am the least enthusiastic of the three writers covering this show over the years, finding it formulaic and consistent at best, but it has plenty of fans and deserves the best possible release. Performance-wise, this is it, but with reservations I'll explain about in the tech section below. This is just that much better to me that the DVD versions are dated and old-looking.

Audio commentary tracks on select shows, 3 'deformed' shorts and occasional Making Of/Behind The Scenes featurette clips are the extras, but at least they did not include the horrid live action film that bombed, though its director is interviewed here at one point.

Kurusu Kurogo loves Kabuki, Japanese theater with heavy make-up, costumes and stylized poetry. He loves it so much, that he wants to start a Kabuki club in his high school. Along with his best friend Tonbo they find and recruit members to join them, even if it means breaking a few traditional rules and allowing girls in Kabuki. Together, they want to show the world how fun and beautiful Kabuki is in Kabukibu!: Complete Collection (2017).

Kurusu is a Kabuki fanatic; he loves all the traditional clothing, acting and even the highly complex poetry. He starts an amateur Kabuki Club and wants to create a modern Kabuki so that younger generations can understand it better. He is at first only supported by his best friend Tonbo, a quiet but gentle and intelligent friend (who also just so happens to be his next door neighbor). Their first new recruit is Hanamichi, a student who loves traditional Japanese dance but worries he is getting to tall to dance. Next is Kaoru the 'Prince' of the school, but she is really a girl (normally girls aren't allow to perform in Kabuki). Next, they find Akutsu a rock and roll punk, but with rumors that he is a love child from a Kabuki family line. They are finally joined with Kazuma, Riri and Maru who helps with support as well as makes their elaborate costumes. As they all learn more about Kabuki together, they get the attention of the public and become more popular.

This anime series is about the Japanese culture Kabuki, Kabuki is like the Japanese mix of opera and theater. Along with heavy makeup, costuming, dance and poetry, it teaches the complexity and history of Kabuki theater, but more importantly it also shows how to appreciate and enjoy It. Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers.

Episodes include...

As of Spring, This Guy is... - Kurusu and Tonbo asks the school faculty if they can start a Kabuki club.

Wisteria Grows in the Expression of Love - Kurusu finds new members and recruits them by showing how fun Kabuki can be.

You Say You Do Not Know? Then Let Me Tell You! - As Kurusu find new members to join them he explains to them Kabuki history. Maru-chan joins them as their costume designer.

Stop, Stop! I'm Here To Stop You - Kurusu and the club begins practicing for their first show.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! - Kurusu collapses and Akutsu suddenly take his place just as the show begins.

Now, Upon Careful Consideration... - Kurusu wants to help the audience find a better way to understand the complex and difficult Kabuki language style.

Stop for a Moment, Stop for a Moment! - The Kabuki club duels with the Drama club for the right to perform at the School Festival, but when Akutsu's mother suddenly shows up, Akutsu suddenly quits the club and Kurusu must find a way to recruit Akustu ...again.

The Moon is Clouded Over... - The Kabuki Club performs at the school festival.

I Jumped In to Intervene... - The festival goes on but suddenly Kaoru collapses from overwork and stress. Akutsu finds out he must improve his grades or he will not be allowed in the next Kabuki play.

Family is Eternal, But a Man Lives for an Age - Kurusu and Akutsu visits Jin's grandfather (a professional Kabuki actor) who see potential for them and a chance for Jin (his grandson) to learn to have fun and make friends.

These Five Thieves Lined Up Here - The Kabuki club prepares for their next show, but when Riri suddenly gets sick, they ask Jin to help be her understudy.

Although it is Absurd that I Should Have to Say My Name - Jin reluctantly agrees to help out the Kabuki club and the play becomes a success.

Chocolate - It is Valentines Day and all the boys are wondering which girls will be giving them chocolate.

And finally, our last series this time around. While Bell-kun and his Goddess Hestia are on their own adventures (in 'Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls In a Dungeon?', reviewed elsewhere on this site), Aiz Wallenstein is the flower of the Loki Clan (also the famed Sword Princess) along with a team of female adventurers explore the Dungeons of Orario. Their newest addition to their group is Lefiya the Elf Mage, she just wants to prove she can fight along side Aiz her hero. But for Aiz, she just wants to become stronger and go farther and deeper into the dungeon, farther than anyone has been able to go before. But a sinister and far more dangerous enemy awaits Aiz and the girls, can Lefiya protect her beloved Aiz? Here is the next series to answer that and much more in Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side: Complete Collection (2017).

The city of Orario is built on top of the the endless dungeons where adventures travel to fight monsters and claim treasures and rewards. The Gods now walk along with mortals with their 'familia' and helping those in their clan with divine weapons or heavenly blessings. Aiz Wallenstein is one of the strongest female adventurer in Orario and her sword is only rivaled by her beauty. She is pride and envy of the Loki clan, but she is also the heartthrob of Orario, loved and admired by both males and females. Lefiya the newbie mage who just join recently, wants to follow and be just like her ...but how can be like her if she is always the one being rescued? While Lefiya is a talented magic user she is no warrior princess, she will have to find her own courage and what does it mean to be an adventurer.

Sword of Oratoria follows storyline of another female protagonist from the series and is from a different point of view. It is full of adventure with bits of comedy, drama and fan service while making fun of the Dungeons and Dragons genre. Extras include clean opening and closing animation, Japanese promos and trailers, though a Premium Edition with more extras is available.

Episodes include...

The Sword Princess and the Elf - Leifiya the Elf wants to fight along side Aiz ...but she always seems to be being rescued by her.

Fitting and Purchases - After returning from an adventure, all the girls want to do is relax and go shopping.

Festivals and Courage - During the Monster-philia festival, monsters escape and cause chaos around town.

The Murder and the Jewel - A high level adventurer is found murdered in town over a mysterious jewel.

The Red-Head and the Lone Ruler - Aiz and Lefiya confront the murderer and discover a sinister plot.

Subjugation and Escape - Aiz and Riveria fight against a floor boss.

Requests and Divisions - Aiz finally makes it to level 6 rank but seems to be more interested in something other than adventuring for the first time ...a boy.

The Corruption and the Maiden - Aiz and a group of adventurers investigate a why monsters are gathering on level 27 in the dungeon.

Training and Jealousy - Aiz trains with Bell-kun and Lefiya gets jealous ...but she won't lose to Bell.

The Boy and the Hero - As Bell gets stronger, other adventurers begin to notice how fast he is leveling up and admire his spirit as a warrior.

Adventure and the Unknown - Aiz is sent on a mysterious quest to the deepest parts of dungeon, her clan prepares for a raid to the unexplored areas.

Sword Oratoria/Kin of the Gods - Aiz and her clan faces dragons and monsters and never seen before boss.

Now for the technical playback on each set. The 1080p 1.33 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the Avatar episode can show the age of the materials used, because they are upscaled versions of the episodes as finished on analog videotape at the end of the pre-HDTV era. The art is as good as it has ever looked, but fans (et al) know the show has many shots that used older video effects at the time to enhance the animation. Unlike the solid CBS/Paramount upgrade of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where they could go back to the 35mm negatives, transfer them to HD, eliminate how they were finished on low def video, then deal with the visual effects afterwards (for better and not), the analog video used on Avatar was just too ingrained into the production, so this is the best it is going to ever look, centered in a 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 HDTV frame bookended with black bars.

That also means you get better color in a format more durable than DVD, so fans should be happy with the result.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the three Sentai shows should all play back better, but Kabukibu! still manages to look somehow weaker despite being produced nine years later. Fortunately, the other two Sentai series look better and 4K releases down the line for them would make sense.

All four shows have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless sound mixes as their audio, English for Avatar, Japanese only for Kabukibu! And both languages for the other two Sentai shows, but the Japanese tracks are superior on those cases and all releases have Pro Logic-like surrounds.

- Ricky Chiang & Nicholas Sheffo (Airbender)


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