(2019 - 2020)/Magnificent
Kotobuki: The Movie
Blade: Rebel Warriors Collection
(2010 - 2012)/Swordgai:
The Animation - Complete Collection
(2018/all Sentai Blu-rays)
B+ Sound: B+/B+/B+/C+ Extras: C/B/B/C Main Programs: B+
for some new Anime releases, a strong batch this time out...
and Taichi are now both A class players and along with Arata
beginning thinking playing on the master's level. Chihaya is torn
between become the Karuta Queen and attending her high school trip.
Arata and Taichi continue on doing their best, playing and thinking
whoever is the best will eventually win Chihaya's heart. Chihaya
continues to grow in her abilities while Taichi begins to realize his
limits. Meanwhile, Arata is said he is most likely to become next
Meijin in Chihayafuru:
is a Japanese card game involving memorization and reflexes, a half a
poem is read aloud and players must find its matching card. Chihaya
is a beauty, but she has totally become a Karuta lover and strives to
be the best female player, the Karuta Queen. Chihaya has been
childhood friends with Arata and Taichi, she was first inspired by
Arata into playing Karuta and Taichi joined her. Taichi and Arata
consider each other rivals for Chihaya but no matter what Karuta will
keep them friends. Sadly, Chihaya does not notice their feelings and
she is more in love with game than either of them (but she still
keeps them both hanging). However, both Arata and Taichi both want
to become the 'Meijin' to be worthy of Chihaya. Chihaya's growth
surprises everyone and with no doubt she may one day become the
future Karuta Queen.
is a drama of friends growing up and playing Karuta together. This
series is about the love and passion of the game and teaches about
teamwork, friendship and sportsmanship. It is filled with eccentric
characters/challengers and there is romance and drama between the
three main characters. Extras include clean opening and closing
animations and trailers.
- Chihaya and Taichi have summer camp as Chihaya recovers from her
down skies glimmer as if lit by moonglow
- Chihaya and Taichi learn the Meijin and Queen qualifiers are during
their school trip. Chihaya and Taichi learn to play team battles.
- Chihaya plays against a former Queen, Inokuma Haruka, who retired
after maternity leave.
the highest peaks
- Chihaya faces off with Haruka and takes the lead at first, but then
Haruka comes back with a vengeance. However, as things get more
difficult Chihaya starts enjoys herself and plays even better.
- Arata unexpected loses while Chihaya and Taichi continues to win,
but then they realize Chihaya and Taichi will face off with each
- Chihaya and Taichi face off with one another and Taichi tries a new
strategy putting Chihaya on the defensive.
storm rages on
- Chihaya beats Taichi and decides she rather go on her school trip
than attend the Meijin qualifiers. However, Arata and Taichi both
decide they want to attend the qualifiers, which makes Chihaya
rethink her choice.
is where all meet
- Chihaya continues to agonize not going to the qualifiers. Arata
attends the westerner qualifiers while Taichi attends the eastern
I am that very wave in this unrequited love
- Chihaya continues to monitor Arata and Taichi with phone updates.
Taichi loses and is disappointed with himself as Arata continues to
play strongly despite having a stomach ache.
true to that name
- Arata has a handicap of 4 cards when his stomach acts up in the
middle of the game and he has to step away, but even with the
mists quietly rising in this autumn evenfall
- Chihaya and Taichi helps their teacher Harada-sensei train for his
upcoming match with Arata.
petals dance a snowstorm in a garden and I dance with them - Arata
plays against Harada and it is a case of youth versus experience.
they fall, I fall with them. Frail, old, withered, I depart
- Arata continues playing against Harada and Harada is reminded of
Arata's grandfather, a former Meijin.
that we have met
- Arata loses to Harada by a single fault, but then afterwards he
confesses his feelings to Chihaya. Taichi lies to the current
Meijin, Suo saying he is Chihaya's boyfriend when Suo starts eyeing
restrain the flow of the cold mountain river
- Suo invites Chihaya to play a match with her and totally beats her,
but Chihaya notices he wins not because he is good, but because he is
good at manipulating others to make faults.
if you have the heart
- recap episode.
wand for the kami has been prepared
- Taichi requests a match with Suo but only after revealing he really
wasn't Chihaya's boyfriend. Chihaya discovers Suo's eyesight is
failing and tells Harada's his weakness.
sleeves of my robe, soaked anew by the morning dew
- The Meijin and Queen's match begins. Shinobu seems not be able to
concentrate. Suo intends to draw out the match putting pressure on
Harada's weak knees.
me one last time
- Chihaya helps Shinobu with words of encouragement and helps get her
to focus on the game. Inokuma gets morning sickness and realizes she
is pregnant. Harada continues to shift his cards using them against
Suo's weakened eyes.
enough for our love
- Shinobu wins and defends her title as the Queen. Suo's past is
revealed and why he plays karuta.
true to that name
- Suo draws the competition into the 5th round and wins, but then he
decides not to retire when Arata challenges him to remain the Meijin
until he can challenge him next year.
people I love
- Taichi stays for a new year's karuta tournament and plays against
Arata and loses.
this long ceaseless rain
- It's Valentine's day and the girls of the Karuta club makes
chocolates to cheer up the guys. Chihaya plans a special game for
the Yura river On a boat without rudder
- A new semester begins, Taichi confesses to Chihaya that he has been
trying to get one up on Arata and that he loves Chihaya, but after
Chihaya rejects him Taichi quits the Karuta club.
by harsh wind
- Chihaya is unable to play karuta after learning she has cause
Taichi to quit. Arata starts a karuta club at his school and sends a
picture of his new club to Taichi and Chihaya knowing both of them
can't stay away from karuta long.
ago, holes opened up in the skies and it swallowed the oceans and the
oceans disappeared, but through those holes, another race appeared
bringing technological advancements, airplanes and airships, and they
filled the skies. Just as suddenly, the mysterious holes closed and
disappeared, closing off the two worlds. Now huge airships carried
precious cargo and resources between the towns and cities, and
civilization continued to thrive, but now the skies were filled with
a new danger, sky pirates. The Kotobuki Squadron is an all-girl
group of pilots and they protect the ships and their cargo, but will
it be enough to stop the sky pirates who are trying to control the
entire the sky?
Magnificent Kotobuki: The Movie
Kylie, Reona, Chika, Emma, Kate and Zara are female pilots who work
on Kotobuki Squadron in protecting their precious cargo delivery on
their airship. Each pilot has a different flying style, they all
strive to see who is the best and compete with each other, but they
all work together when it comes to fighting the Sky Pirates who try
to raid and steal from their ships. Secretly, the pirates are funded
and control by the government who trying to control the skies and
reopen the holes in the sky to gain access to more new and advance
technologies. Once the Kotobuki Squadron discovers the government
conspiracy, they team up with other private squadrons to fight
against the government tyrants who are trying to take away freedom in
Magnificent Kotobuki - The Movie
was like the entire series crammed into a 2-hour movie, but it worked
well enough despite the shortening of exposition. If you don't feel
like watching the series, you can just watch the movie. The movie
takes all the big fight scenes from the TV series and clips them
together in one single story. You basically miss out on all the
characters back stories/development and background of the world.
Extras include a bunch of specials, air battle, reports, including
video game previews and trailers.
Queens Blade tournament is a battle royale to see who is the most
powerful female warrior, whoever wins becomes the current Queen of
the kingdom, but no one is ever Queen for long, because there are
always challengers to the throne. It seems like the current Queen is
getting rid of all who has the potential to challenge her and amass
all the power in the kingdom to her. The Iron Strategist Ymir seems
not care as long as she continues to experiment with her inventions
Blade: Rebel Warriors Collection
is something wrong with the kingdom, the beautiful warriors are being
defeated one by one and the Kingdom is doing nothing. The land is
being taken over by evil, the people are suffering and there is no
one stopping the spread of evil. Annelotte is a wandering knight
protecting the people from monsters, oppression and dangers. She and
her friends are tired waiting and manipulated by those in power and
decide to challenge the current Queen and her minions.
is full of fanservice for the boys with scantily clad warrior maidens
getting stripped naked when they lose. The story and reasons why the
character fight were weak, but just excuses to see girls fight in
sexy outfits and get naked (and they aren't embarrassed). Extras
include OVAs, Queen's Blade audio dramas, Queens Blade Omake, clean
opening and closing animations and trailers.
of the Resistance
- Yuit and Vante fight against Ymir who is trying to capture her, but
instead she captures Mirim and Yuit is reunited with Annelotte.
- Annelotte fights against the zealot priestess Sigui, but can she
prove it Sigui who wrong and misguided?
Moonlight From the Jungle & the Sun
- Annelotte journeys into the jungle to fight a tentacled monster and
joins forces with Luna Luna.
Unstopping Hyper Vibration
- Mirim is brainwashed by Ymir in wearing her prototype Hyper
Vibration Armor with makes her invincible, but a side effect is that
it gives her orgasms.
Secret of the Castle at Gainos
- Annelotte and Yuit sneak into Gainos Castle and ends up fighting
Branwen the Dragon Warrior.
Crown of Flowers & the Hidden Power
- Annelotte fights Mirim, but suddenly Vante is stolen by the sky
pirate Captain Liliana.
Flying Pirate Ship
- Annelotte and Yuit sneaks aboard Liliana's ship to rescue Vante,
but they discover Ymir is also trying to steal Vante.
Tempted Young Wife
- Aldra was former queen but now is a housewife with no memories of
her past. Ymir uses her to summon two demons to serve her cause.
- Annelotte helps train Izumi a samurai girl who wants to protect a
village made up of orphans of the war.
Angel, a Trap, and the Queen's True Motive
- Annelotte and her friends are caught in a trap set by Ymir.
- Turns out Melona was copying Ymir and manipulating everyone and
everything to increase the power of evil and the Swamp Witch
- The Queen doesn't care if good or evil is in control, but as long
as she reigns in power, she doesn't care what happens to the people
or the kingdom. Annelotte challenges her, but who will win?
Elina's Unshakable Bond
- Elina gets captured, but she has unshakeable faith that her sister
will come and save her.
Parting! The Thousand Year Farewell of Alleyne
- Nowa and Alleyne spend the day a the beach, but then suddenly are
attacked by Nyx.
- Airi faces her past, but is she really evil? She is asked to prove
her loyalty to the Swamp Witch, but has she discovered something
stronger than evil ...friendship?
Menace Joy Palace
- Airi and Melona are tasked to bring Menace back to the Swamp Witch,
but instead they are tempted by Menace's offer of wealth and power.
Angel! Nanael's Pleasure
- Nanael steals one of God's grapes and becomes a fallen angel.
Technique! The Journey Escorted by Summoned Danger
- Tomoe and a former queen journey to the Land of the Rising Sun.
throughout time, legendary swords and weapons grant their users
supernatural abilities and powers. However, it is a doubled edge
sword, these weapons have souls/spirits of their own and they slowly
take over their users and eventually turn their users into monsters
known as Busoma. Gai was born into this world right after his mother
was possessed by such a weapon and she committed suicide right after
his birth. Now, he hunts down those who also possess cursed swords
with the very sword that killed his mother as his right arm in
The Animation - Complete Collection
is a young swordsmith, but is cursed with the sword Shiryu which was
remade into his right arm. Over the centuries secret societies and
organizations have been trying to collect cursed weapons, but one
society the Shoshidai not only collects them, but places users into
cryo-sleep promising they are working on a cure that can turn them
back into humans again. Gai is recruited by the Shoshidai because
they see promise of him becoming a human hybrid Busoma, a Busoma that
can transform and still return to human form. But as Gai soon
learns, not everyone is what they appear to be, including the
Shoshidai never had a 'cure', only lies, lies they used to control
them and exploit their abilities and they really want take over the
world. But now, a group of fully awoken Busoma want to release all
cursed weapons and destroy all mankind. The Busoma tells Gai he has
been fighting on the wrong side and it would be better for him to
join them ...but which side will Gai stand on? Only Sayaka, Gai's
only childhood friend (and she is also in love with him) believes in
Gai and no matter which side Gai is on, she has faith and believes in
was a fairly dark and grim anime where there were no happy endings,
every character is either a tragic hero or eventually turns into an
evil one. It is filled with violence and each character is a 'Mary
sue' and is destroyed by their own power, killing everyone and
everything they love and then they become 'possessed' by the spirit
of the weapons. Extras include clean opening and closing animation
for playback performance. All four releases have fine 1080p 1.78 X 1
digital High Definition image transfers that are pretty strong and
impressive from their color to their detail, even as they have
differences in their artistic style and approach.
Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix on Kotobuki
offers the most tracks we have ever encountered on any Sentai release
ever (can a 12-track DTS: X or Dolby Atmos mix be far behind?) and it
offers a slight advantage in impact and synergy with the image, so we
hope to see and hear more of this from Sentai.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Swordgai
and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes on the other
two releases are on Japanese and lesser Wenglish dubs, all with Pro
Logic-like surrounds. Unfortunately, Swordgai
seems a little off and forced into a 5.1 mix, maybe a generation
down. Maybe a stereo mix to compare could have been included, but it
is passable just the same.