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Category:    Home > Reviews > Anime > Animation > Action > Fantasy > Videogame > Music > Comedy > Drama > Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind 4K (2022/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Revue Starlight/Seitokai Yakuindomo: Movie 2 (both 2021/Sentai Movie Blu-rays)

Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind 4K (2022/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Revue Starlight/Seitokai Yakuindomo: Movie 2 (both 2021/Sentai Movie Blu-rays)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B+/A-/B Sound: B+/A-/C+ Extras: B/C/C Films: C+/B+/B+

Now for more animation, on the mature side....

Warner Bros continues to expand the mythos of the Mortal Kombat universe with a series of adult focused feature length animated films, all of which best the live action effort from a few years back, and compliment the hit video game series. Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind 4K (2022) is the latest animated film which is gory enough to satisfy fans and would be pushing a hard R rating if it was a live action film. The film doesn't shy away from showing heads exploding into bloody mush and characters losing more than just their will to fight. The post apocalyptic martial arts fantasy story has some predictable story tropes, but interesting characters new and old. All in all, Snow Blind is more entertaining than one might believe, but not (pun intended) game changing.

The Black Dragon clan plagues the wasteland under the reign of the evil half man/half machine Kano, who has aspirations of taking over the Earth realm. Kenshi is a young fighter who wishes to overtake him but he will have to go through hell and back to succeed in this journey, losing his vision in the process and training under Kuai Liang, who now has one eye and retired. Blood is spilt all over this dark story that brings to animated life the spirit of the Mortal Kombat video game.

Manny Jacinto (Top Gun: Maverick, The Good Place) and David Wenham (Elvis, 300, The Lord of the Rings franchise) lead a terrific voice cast as Kenshi Takahashi and Kano, respectively. Returning from previous installments of the film series are Patrick Seitz (Mortal Kombat X, Aggretsuko, Naruto: Shippuden) as Scorpion, Artt Butler (Her, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Shang Tsung, and Debra Wilson (World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, MADtv) as Graji. And new to the Mortal Kombat Legends films is Ron Yuan (Mortal Kombat 11, Mulan) as Kuai Liang, Imari Williams (Transformers: Rescue Bots) as Tremor, Yuri Lowenthal (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe) as Kobra, Courtenay Taylor (Regular Show, OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes) as Kira, Keith Silverstein (Overwatch, Genshin Impact) as Kabal, Sumalee Montano (Transformers Prime) as Kindra, and Lei Yin (Saint's Row) as Peter and Sento.

Special Features:

Kenshi: From the Video Game to Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind (Featurette)

Adapting Evil: Building the Black Dragon Clan (Featurette)

Deleted Animatics

and Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind Audio Commentary

Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind isn't too bad for what it is and has some cool sequences and characters. Definitely too graphic for young audiences and a more interesting story than what is being told so far in the franchise's big screen efforts.

Seisho Music Academy is where stars and divas are made, Karen and Hikari and their friends are the graduating 99th class of stars and now must leave their legacy to the 100th class. They share their stories with song dance and battle with the future class. Karen and Hikari however recall their promise to each other as children and how meet each other on stage the next time they meet in Revue Starlight: The Movie (2021).

Karen, Hikari and their classmates are all actors, singers, dancers from all over the world but at Seisho Academy they all train to become 'Stage Girls'. All of them are drawn to fame, fortune, glory and 'position zero' (center stage). However, there can be only 'one' who stands at the top. Each one of girls finds their respective 'rivals' and fights each other, the winner knocks off a piece of their costume. Together they push each other to even greater heights. Karen and Hikari made a promise to meet each other, one day they meet on the stage, but who will be the one left standing?

This is a beautifully drawn anime, with music song and battle (but no one really dies), basically it's a dance off competition. It focuses on the drama of rivalries that turn into friendship. It is about the girls on stage and setting in which they are placed, from dancing on top of show trucks to Tokyo Tower in the middle of the desert and they are the last humans in the world. All of it is symbolic of their enduring spirit of being a 'stage girl' and the ability to sing and dance anywhere, anytime. Extras include Japanese promos and trailers.

Tsuda is the luckiest guy on the world, to be stuck in a school surrounded by mostly girls. Only thing is the student council are more than thrilled to finally have a boy in their school and Tsuda is their newest boytoy, ahem, member. Shino, Aria and Suzu get Tsuda to join the student council to liven up the school events and activities. With dirty jokes, the trio tempts Tsuda with their feminine wiles, but really, jokes aside... are they hiding their real feelings for Tsuda?

In Seitokai Yakuindomo: Movie 2 (2021,) Shino is the council president but everything she says is a double entendre and turns into a sexual joke and harassment to Tsuda. Aria is Shino's best friend and she is a bit of an exhibitionist and follows up with Shino's dirty jokes. Suzu is the treasurer/Lolita girl, but she is not to be out done by Shino and Aria, she rains in on Shino and Aria's parade and for Tsuda's attention as well. Tsuda just tries to keep the girls from going wild with a bit of common sense, but Shino seems to get jealous when any other girls joke or flirt with Tsuda, could it be she has real feeling for Tsuda and now Tsuda must choose on which girl will win his heart?

This was a comedy series at one time, one with plenty of dirty jokes. You watch the main male protagonist as he tries keep his pants on (and keep his virtue). The movie basically now forces the characters finally admit their feelings to one another. Extras include clean opening animation and trailers.

Now for playback performance. Mortal Kombat Legends: Snow Blind 4K is presented in 2160p on 4K UHD disc with HDR10, an HEVC / H.265 codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and an audio track in English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix. The animation isn't bad and sort of has an anime influence to it in some regards. The art of the atmosphere and worlds are a bit more detailed than the actual characters. The 4K has a significant amount more detail than the also included 1080p Blu-ray, but not a huge improvement compared to higher budgeted animated efforts.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Revue is maybe the first scope anime we ever covered from Sentai and one of the few ever overall in all Anime cases, but it looks great, while the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Seitokai still holds its own and looks good versus the rest of the discs, but is narrowly outperformed by the other releases on the list.

As for other sound, the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on Revue are in solid Japanese and passable-at-best English that does not work as well, but any 5.1 mix on a Sentai release is still very rare. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Japanese Stereo lossless mix Seitokai is the only mix on the disc, an authentic one, but also a disappointing one, so only expect so much.

- Ricky Chiang and James Lockhart (4K)



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