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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anime > Animation > Adventure > Comedy > Magical Girls > Drama > Romance > High School > Japan > TV > Adventur > Battle Girl High School: Complete Collection (2017)/Love and Lies: Complete Collection (2017)/The Tibetan Dog (2011/Maiden Japan/all Sentai Blu-rays)

Battle Girl High School: Complete Collection (2017)/Love and Lies: Complete Collection (2017)/The Tibetan Dog (2011/Maiden Japan/all Sentai Blu-rays)

Picture: A/B+/A Sound: B+/B+/C+ Extras: C/C/D Main Programs: B+/A-/B+

Now for the latest anime releases...

Hoshimori Girls Academy, where girls transform into magical girls, idols, heroines with celestial suits from the power of the Holy Tree to protect the world. Together, they fight to defend mankind from mysterious invaders known only as the Irous. Miki, a freshman, along with all the girls on her team everyday learns, trains and fight together to become the super stars they know they can become. They are joined with a new mysterious girl, Misaki ...but who is she and why is she so powerful?

In Battle Girl High School: Complete Collection (2017), The Hoshimori Girls are just regular girls going to school, making friends ...and turning into magical girls and saving the world, but lately, they been slacking off and need a new training program ...and a new (and powerful) mysterious member joins them. Together, they are fighting the Irous, mysterious beings bent on destroying the world, but they are getting stronger. As the girls train and become stronger they must not only fight Irous monsters and solve the mystery of where they come from.

This was your typical magical girl anime (except with a lot of magical girls) but it seems like they are more interested in being cute, sing, dancing, being idols and having fun than saving the world. The only thing that seems a bit odd is there seems to be no men in their world (aside from their teacher). Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers.

Episodes include...

We Can Do It! - Here comes the Hoshimori girls ...and the Irous aliens.

Is That What Gets You? - A new mysterious girl joins team Hoshimori ...Misaki.

Resort x Retreat x Escape? - The girls are at an island paradise, but are they on vacation or summer training camp?

Songs with Emotion - The girls help setting up a concert and end up in the concert.

The Meaning of the Iris - Yuri wishes to become stronger like Misaki, but can she believe in herself?

Renge is Kurumi and Kurumi is Renge - Renge and Kurumi exchange bodies and must find a way to change back.

Protective Power - A new and powerful Irous appears and Miki awakens to her true power.

Hoshimori Downtime - After a tough battle, the Hoshimori girls go on vacation, each in their own way.

Holy Tree Festival - It's the school festival, but an unexpected 'guest' decides to crash their festival.

Family - The girls take the night off and Misaki visits Miki's family.

Truth - Misaki reveals she is from a parallel dimension and their enemy is the fallen Hoshimori Girls from her dimension.

Bonds - The Hoshimori Girls decide to defeat the Wicked Tree of Evil and 'save' the Hoshimori girls from the other dimension.

In an alternate timeline, in order to combat low birth rates the government helps make arranged marriages for boys and girls at the age of 16, that their partner is already decided and traditional romance is no longer needed. But there was one boy, Yukari who wasn't happy with the law and has been in love with his childhood friend Misaki. He finds out his arranged partner is another girl Ririna, but she approves and encourages his relationship to continue with Misaki. As Yukari and Misaki forbidden love continues to grow can Ririna find room for her own feelings?

In Love and Lies: Complete Collection (2017), we are asked again to think, what if your future partner was already decided and you had no choice? Yukari doesn't believe that, he and Misaki have been in love since they were children, but it is against the law to go against an arranged partner. Before their forbidden romance can begin, Yukari finds out he is supposed to marry another girl, Ririna. Ririna finds out about Yukari and Misaki's relationship, but instead of rejecting them she approves and wants to see what 'true love' is. Ririna is moved by Yukari and Misaki's love for one another and even becomes best friends with Misaki, but then she begins developing her own feelings toward Yukari... can she really give up Yukari to Misaki?

This is your typical boy meets girl story, except it is in a world where the government decides who you marry, boy meets girl but boy is in love with another girl. As the characters secret relationships grow and become more complicated, can our hero/heroines find their 'red string of fate'? Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers.

Episodes include...

First Love - Yukari and Misaki confess their love to each other, but suddenly Yukari's marriage notice arrives ....and it isn't Misaki.

A Small Lie - Yukari meets his future arranged wife Ririna, but she approves of his and Misaki's forbidden love.

Overlooked Love - Ririna demands Yukari and Misaki must kiss once a day, but is that really OK?

The Science of Love - Yukari learns those who follow the government arranged marriages usually become happy couples ...statistically.

Risky Love - Yukari, Misaki, Ririna and his best friend Nisaka go on a camping trip.

A Prison to Compel Love - Yukari and Ririna attend a government couples seminar, Ririna begins to have feelings and dreams of Yukari being intimate together.

A Silent Lie - After spending the night with Yukari (and almost losing her virginity), Ririna is unsure of her feelings and she and Yukari take a break from one another.

Feelings Without Lies - The school puts on a play for Romeo and Juliet, but can the play help Misaki and Yukari express their real feelings?

So Bright It Doesn't Seem Real - Yukari and Misaki practice for their play, Yukari invites Ririna to the play.

A Love to Give Everything For - Ririna and Yukari meets an old friend and finds out their arranged marriage might be tampered with and Yukari and Misaki may have been originally paired.

I Don't Care If It's a Lie - Both Misaki and Ririna loves Yukari (and each other) they are both willing to lie and sacrifice their own feelings so that each other may find happiness.

Love and Lies - Yukari realizes he will always love Misaki and he has grown to love Ririna and both of them love him and each other equally, that all 3 of them are in a rare love triangle (where everyone is aware of each other and there is no jealousy) ...so they decide if they are going to break the rules and all 3 of them will be getting married together.

We conclude with a feature film, The Tibetan Dog (2011), another boy and his dog tale.

Since Tenzin's mother died, Tenzin had to move out of the city and to the Tibetan grasslands with his father. Tenzin feels out of place, starting a new life and living with his estranged father, he never grew up with and he doesn't feel like he belongs there. The only thing he feels connected to is a golden sheepdog, Douji. Both Tenzin and Douji help teach one another, Tenzin how to survive and Douji how to live with people. When Douji is blamed for all the violent attacks on cattle and humans, it is up to Tenzin and Douji to find and stop a killer monster.

Tenzin is a city boy, but after his mother died, he had to go live with his father who is the only medicine man for his tribe in the Tibetan grassland. Tenzin is angry and blames the death of his mother on his father and him for never being there. But in the grassland he has to learn how to raise sheep, survive wolves, bears and bandits. He is saved by this maverick sheepdog, Douji, and Tenzin helps save Douji too when he is injured.

This was like an anime version of Lassie and Old Yeller. A heartwarming story of a boy and his dog as the learn to find their place in the world. In the end (spoiler alert) the dog sacrifices his life to help save the boy, yet this is very well done despite what we may have seen like this before. Extras include trailers.

The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on all three releases are impressive, especially on Girl and Dog (where are the 4K Blu-rays Sentai?) with great color, detail, depth and definition throughout, so expect demo moments from all these releases. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Japanese Stereo lossless mixes on Girl and Lies have Pro Logic-like surrounds and are well mixed and presented enough that one only wishes they were 5.1 mixes, so the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes (Japanese and lesser English dub on Dog disappoints a bit by sounding watered down and not as enveloping as I'd like.

- Ricky Chiang


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