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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anime > Animation > Adventure > Action > Mecha > Gaming > Science Fiction > Comedy > Romance > Drama > Japanes > Bakugan: Battle Planet - Origin of Species (2019/Cartoon Network/Warner DVD)/Mr. Tonegawa Middle Management Blues/Tada Never Falls In Love (both 2018 Complete Collection Sentai Blu-rays)

Bakugan: Battle Planet - Origin of Species (2019/Cartoon Network/Warner DVD)/Mr. Tonegawa Middle Management Blues/Tada Never Falls In Love (both 2018 Complete Collection Sentai Blu-rays)

Picture: B/B+/B+ Sound: C/B+/C+ Extras: D/C/C* Main Programs: C+/B+/B+

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It's been 12 years since the Bakugan have arrived on Earth. Dan and his friends learn and discover Bakugans can turn into giant robots and are used to battle one another. They are AO (a.k.a. Awesome Ones) and they fight against anyone who abuses the Bakugans and use them for evil in Bakugan: Battle Planet - Origin of Species (2019).

Dan, Lia, Wynton and Shun find Bakugans and become Bakugan Brawlers. Together, they just want to have fun, make friends with Bakugans and make cool online videos ...however the rest of the world wants to use them for lesser reasons. Unfortunately, others use the Bakugans for selfish reasons and there are greedy adults who secretly want to control the Bakugans and their advance technologies. The bad guys fight, cheat and lie to win and steal Bakugan from others while Dan and his friends believe Bakugan and human can co-exist and protect one another. Together, they fight the forces of evil protect their hometown from evil Bakugan players.

This was your typical battle cartoon series based on video games like Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh. The series is about children who can control giant robots (that can cause mass damage) and battle. The heroes learn how not to be like their enemies and opponents and to be more responsible and rise above them. The moral of the story however teaches the audience to fight fair and the power of friendship can overcome any difficulties.

No extras, but the episodes are:

Origin of Species Parts 1 & 2 - Dan and his friend find Bakugans and become first Bakugan Brawlers.

Burger Run/Monkey See, Monkey Do - Dan and his friends learns other Bakugan players use their Bakugan for crime, stealing and breaking the law. Dan meet three 5 year olds and must teach them how to use their Bakugans responsibly.

Bully for You/Trolling for Laughs - The AO face a bully who uses his Bakugan to force others to whatever he wants. Wynton learns he is bully for humiliating his Bakugan in all his prank videos.

Local Heroes/Pegatrix - A woman tries to create anti-Bakugan propaganda to make them unpopular, but secretly she is stealing the Bakugans from the children. Lia battles another girl who cheats in all her Bakugan Battles.

Frenemies/Strata's Fear - Magnus tries to join and spy on the Awesome Ones. A bounty hunter named Strata tries to steal kids Bakugan.

Dog Daze/In Focus - Dan's dog Lighting gets a new Bakugan. Lia's mom interviews AO, but Strata the Bakugan bounty hunter is back and causing trouble.

The Exit/The Lost and the Cost - Team Exit challenges Dan. The banks tries to use the Bakugans for illegal battle gambling and profit.

Mister Moon/What's Up with Dan? - Wynton gets a new Bakugan but military tries to steal the Bakugans from them. Magnus masquerades as Dan to break up the AO's friendship and teamwork.

Babysitting Bedlam/Rubbed the Wrong Way - Dan and Wynton fight with a spoiled rich boy. AO learns that Bakugans can get sick from over use and abuse.

Mask of Power/Story Holes - Dan learns Magnus and the other players use artifacts and tech to make their Bakugan more powerful and to evolve. AO learns adults are capturing Bakugan and making them into slaves.

Home on the Run/Top Slot - Shun's family try and force him to return home. Dan learns training means hard work and leadership means more than thinking about just himself.

Fathers and Friends/Midsummer Nightmare - Dan and his friends must convince Shun's father to let him stay. All the Bakugans in the world are summoned by a mysterious Golden Bakugan.

Dawn Before Dusk - The AO learn there is another secret world within the world of Bakugan and they have been spying on them collecting their data ...and trying to take over the world.

Mr. Tonegawa is the right hand man to Hyodo Kazutata, the most ruthless President of the Teiai Corporation. So when the sadistic president says he is tired of the usual methods of collecting debt, he orders Mr. Togegawa to come up with 'special' games to amuse him. Now, Mr. Tonegawa and his army of men with black suits must organize games of life and death, can Mr. Tonegawa come up with some crazy ideas that are profitable and find a way to motivate the troops too in Mr. Tonegawa Middle Management Blues (2018).

Mr. Tonegawa is the second in command of the mega-corporation Teiai, he works however for the sole purpose of pleasing his crazy, sadistic and paranoid mob boss Hyodo. Hyodo is bored and wants to see various debtors not only broke, but also broken in spirit in life and death 'games'. Mr. Tonegawa must come up with ways to satisfy Hyodo's unreasonable demands while still keeping the Teiai corporation functional and find ways to increase his men in black's effectiveness.

This is a comedy series making fun of Japanese Mafia/Mob, it is a story about the 'bad guys' and how they really aren't so bad ...it is really just their bosses and they are just doing their 'jobs'. The main character Mr. Tonegawa is the one responsible for coming up with ideas and do the REAL work with an army of men in black suits, however the men in black are not paid to think but to follow orders, and when it comes to being creative and pleasing the big boss they are clueless. Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers.

Episodes include:

Start Up - President Hyodo bored of the all the 'fake' entertainment out there orders Mr. Tonegawa to come up with ideas for real life death games and get those in financial debt to bet and gamble their lives.

Conjecture - As Mr. Tonegawa brainstorms with the Men in Black (as well as learn all their names) he must come up with a presentation for Hyodo, but after all his effort and troubles President Hyodo has fallen asleep while he tries to present his idea.

Griddle - Mr. Tonegawa tries to motivate his men with a office party/BBQ. After a series of mishaps, they are unaware they used torture devices to help make the party a success.

Adult - Mr. Tonegawa and his Men in Black come up with a death game called 'Human Mahjong', but then question if everyone know how to play Mahjong and Mahjong is limited with the number of pieces and players to the game.

Serious Soul-Searching - Mr. Tonegawa must find a day to present his ideas to Hyodo, but first they must catch Hyodo in a good mood or at least learn the president's signs between his good and bad days.

Self-Destruction - The Men in Black and Mr. Tonegawa present their idea of Restricted Rock, Paper and Scissors to Hyodo, but unfortunately catch him on a bad day in a bad mood.

Transmission - Mr. Tonegawa and his Men in Black continue to revise and update the details to their game. Unfortunately, they all come down with the flu.

Shrimp - Ebitani comes up with an idea with lobsters but when it turns out to be horrible tasting the plan backfires and they discover they have a ton of frozen lobsters.

Fried Cutlets - Mr. Tonegawa enters a pork cutlet restaurant and discovers he is entered into huge pork cutlet challenge. He manages to be the only one to complete the challenge, but the Hyodo asks Mr. Tonegawa to taste test their company's newest product, the Teiai cutlet.

Rehearsal - Mr. Tonegawa and the Men in Black must come up with a was to create a functional Restricted Rock, Paper and Scissors game in where the Men in Black are hiding in the boxe tables. Also, for the dress rehearsal Mr. Tonegawa must find a way to motivate the Men in Black in pretending to act like desperate gamblers.

Business Trip - Mr. Tonegawa is on a business trip on a train but he keeps getting cut off on his phone with his boss when he enters tunnels which creates misunderstandings and he struggles to call him back as soon as possible. Mr. Tonegawa gives a lesson on fashion to the Men in Black.

Fake - Hyodo believes his is being targeted for assassins and asks Tonegawa to find a body double for him. Mr. Tonegawa and Yamazaki find a perfect look alike, but complete opposite in personality. Can they train the body double to be dark and evil as the president?

Set Sail - The Restricted Rock, Paper, and Scissors games begin but Mr. Tonegawa must find a way to have motivational speeches for the players and on the second day Mr. Tonegawa looses his voice and must find a stand in for him.

Going Out - Otsuki Taro is a debtor and he enjoys life on his day off from forced labor under the Teiai corporation. While he is heavy in debt, it seems like he has no problem with enjoying life as a debtor.

Spree - Mr. Tonegawa tries to prove to Otsuki how he is the scum of the earth and 'break' his spirit of positivity and how he belongs at the bottom of the social totem pole. However, Mr. Tonegawa somehow ends up in a food eating competition with Otsuki and they both end up with upset stomach aches.

Natural Enemy - Mr. Tonegawa and Hyodo end up at the horse racing tracks, but Hyodo keeps on insisting his 'horse' is always the winner even when it isn't his horse.

Unofficial Announcement - It's October and time for office performance evaluations and when people are layed off or transferred. However, everyone is on edge on who will be transferred out.

Conformity - Mr. Tonegawa annual health check up show him to be over weight and now he must change his lifestyle and diet. Can he give up all his favorite foods and beer? The Men in Black helps him with his new diet. Otsuki meets someone who seems identical to him in his food choices.

Newcomers - The first FEMALE in black joins the ranks of the Teiai company and Mr. Tonegawa warns all the men to avoid all forms of sexual harassment, but everything they do seems to be sexual harassment. Saemon, a Men in Black begins to fall for her.

Entertainment - Mr. Tonegawa attends an underground Teiai gambling ring to find out why they are losing money, but the manager assures all the machines are rigged. Hyodo speaks English to praise Yaotome which worries other that he may be a future rival ...for Mr. Tonegawa.

Slander - Tonegawa is order to find out who is trolling and spamming on the company twitter accounts.

Conclusions - Otsuki tries to undermind another company by doing a secret merger behind the Teiai company. Mr. Tonegawa discover who is behind the spamming of the company's twitter accounts.

Remonition - Mr. Tonegawa attends a 15th year class reunion and discovers what happened to his old classmates and he runs into an old flame.

Final Destination - Hyodo comes up with an idea of a death game himself. Tonegawa attends the wedding of one his men and they remember what motivates them all in the first place.

Everything starts off with one picture. Tada-kun dreams of becoming a professional photographer and fate brings him to meet Teresa. And what started out as one picture, Teresa turns out to be his new transfer student living in the hotel next to Tada's family cafe along with Alec her bodyguard. But secretly, Teresa is a princess and wants to life as a normal girl before she has to return home to become the queen and an arranged marriage. After meeting Tada they begin to become close and she has to choose between her heart and her loyalty to her country in Tada Never Falls In Love: Complete Collection (2018).

Tada is just an ordinary Japanese student dreaming of becoming a photographer, but his world is turned upside down when he runs into Teresa. Secretly she is a princess of a small country and love Japanese culture, specially from her favorite TV drama the Rainbow Samurai. Tada, Teresa and their friends are all members of the photography club, and enjoy photography and various adventures together. They all begin to become close friends and relationships form between them, but when Teresa begins to develop feelings for Tada she becomes conflicted between her duty to her country and her feelings for Tada.

This series was like an anime version of Roman Holiday. A princess in hiding who secretly wished to be a normal girl, but after falling in love with a normal commoner can she remain true to her heart? *Extras include clean opening and closing animations and trailers, but a much larger Premium Box Set adds a larger number of extras (as pictured with this review) and can be purchased while supplies last.

Episodes are:

I Can't Just Leave You - Tada meets Teresa and she and Alec are transfer students and his new neighbors next door.

Well, She's Not Wrong - Tada and Teresa join the photography club and learn the joy of taking pictures.

You Love That - Tada's cat, Nyanko Big tell a tale of a day in life with Tada.

I'll Pretend I Didn't See This... - Hajime get a chance to meet his favorite gravure idol Hina, totally unaware it is really Hinako his classmate who also has secret feelings for him too.

It's Okay. They Don't Exist - It's the anniversary of the death of Tada's parents, Kaoru treats everyone to his cooking and makes a banquet. Afterwards, he takes them all out to the public bath house.

I'm Not a Rain-bringer - Charles, Teresa's fiance comes to Japan to visit Teresa and meets her new friends, but hides the fact Teresa is a princess and their arranged marriage.

It's Better Than Crying - Nyanko Big goes missing and everyone goes searching for him.

Did You Say You Were a Rain-bringer? - Tada and Teresa and their friends go on an outing to countryside. Teresa realizes she has fallen in love with Tada.

I Don't Have One Now... - After Alec confronts Teresa about her feelings for Tada, Teresa is determined to not let it show. Everyone realizes Teresa has feelings for Tada ...except for Tada. Tada catches a cold after lending his umbrella to Teresa, Teresa nurses him back to health and steals a kiss.

It Isn't the Real One - Teresa and Tada meet where they first met and spend the day together as a date. However the next day Teresa and Alec returned to their home country.

Not Really - Several months have passed and Tada finally realizes he loves Teresa and he decides to visit Teresa in her home country, all his friends and family support his decision.

Sorry For Surprising You... - Charles tells Teresa to tell Tada the truth, but after learning the truth and why they never could be together Tada leaves broken hearted.

I'll Never Forget it, Either - Tada attends Charles and Teresa's engagement ceremony and then returns back to Japan. Few weeks later they learn Charles has broken off his engagement with Teresa. As Tada continues life with taking pictures, as it suddenly starts to rain he takes shelter ...only this time Teresa is there waiting for him.

All the releases have the same framing and look really good, starting with the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Bakugan which is as good as it can look on the old DVD format, so we'll see if it gets a Blu-ray, but this is fine. The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on the two Sentai releases look even better and have some great shots in each set. We can imagine 4K editions down the line. Color is great, detail fine and depth impressive.

Both Blu-ray sets offer Japanese and lesser English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes that should have had some kind of surrounds, but disappoint at times and are sometimes flatter than expected. Maybe 5.1 or even 7.1 mixes would have helped, which begs the question, when will we get anime with 12-track sound like Dolby Atmos or DTS: X? Otherwise, they tie as the sonic champs here in their native language.

The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Bakugan is not as warm or rich as the others, but more lively and that is why it is able to compete to some extent. Bet this would be nicer in a lossless mix.

- Ricky Chiang


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