Buyer’s Guide: Sentai Filmworks December 2018 Releases

December 4, 2018:

Den-noh Coil Complete Collection Blu-ray

Den-noh Coil – Complete Collection (Blu-ray) [Maiden Japan]

When Yuko “Yasako” Okonogi wears her digitally-augmented glasses to view e-space, she sees an amazing series of images, information and programs laid on top of the “real” world around her. But when her family moves to Daikoku City, Yasako discovers that the e-space has a dark side as well. Her new classmates are involved in e-hacking, and the urban legends about dangerous entities hidden in the programming become much more believable when she learns that one of their friends might have died chasing one. Scariest of all, Yasako soon realizes that she has missing memories! Did something happen to her? And did it happen in our world or one that shouldn’t even exist? To find out, she’ll have to take a journey through the digital looking glass and learn the shocking secrets of the DEN-NOH COIL!

Special Features: Clean Opening & Closing Animation
Price: $89.98 MSRP/$58.99 Store Price

POV: This is a show I would go as far and say is a hidden gem from both the deeper Sentai/Section 23 and Madhouse studio catalogues. There are a lot of elements in this show that roam through sci-fi and tech, so if you’re into that kind of stuff, this is definitely worthy of a watch. Check it out on HiDive if you’re curious about it, and if so inclined, pick this up come December, now in a complete package.

Akame ga Kill! – Complete Collection (Blu-ray)

When Tatsumi set off for the Capital, it was with fantasies of earning riches for his poverty-stricken hometown. Instead, his friends were murdered and Tatsumi finds himself at the center of a bloody revolution. With an evil Prime Minister, the Secret Police, and the armies of an Empire on one side, and the elite assassins known as Night Raid and a handful of rebels on the other, it might sound like an impossible battle for Tatsumi’s new allies to win. However the playing field is leveled with the addition of a legendary set of unstoppable weapons, the Imperial Arms. Unfortunately, to use an Imperial Arm is practically a death sentence in itself, for while the Arms are indestructible, few wielders can survive using them for long in AKAME GA KILL – THE COMPLETE COLLECTION!

Special Features: Clean Opening Animations (x2); Clean Closing Animations (x2); AkaKill! Theater (x24, 29 min – Billingual); Japanese Promos (x4)
Price: $89.98 MSRP/$58.99 Store Price

POV: This show, right here? GLORIOUS trash that knows it’s glorious trash and completely revels in its gloriously trashy carnage. Nothing like a little truth in advertising, eh? I can’t really recommend it to most folks, but if you want a stupid show that’s full of violence and bloodshed and all sorts of wholesome goodness just like that, I say why not? But if you must, maybe wait for a sale for the price to go down a bit more.

Corpse Prison – Part Two (Blu-ray) [Switchblade Pictures]

Corpse Prison: Movie 2 is the second of a two part movie series directed by Hideo Jojo.

They thought they were coming to study a mysterious town hidden in the mountains of Japan. Instead, they’ve discovered that their Professor brought them to Yasaka for a much darker purpose. Now Mikoto and the other girls are trapped in a monstrous nightmare. As the villagers become increasingly more insane, the college students find themselves at the center of arcane rituals focused on blood and rotting flesh. Their only chance is to escape, but their captors are far too numerous and know the lay of the local land far too well. The horror continues as the second feature film based on the Muroi Masane’s hit online horror manga “Shishugoku” builds to its bloodcurdling conclusion!

Special Features: Japanese Trailer
Price: $19.98 MSRP/$12.99 Store Price

POV: For those unfamiliar, Switchblade Pictures is a sibling label of Sentai Filmworks from within the Section23 umbrella, specializing in live-action films of the horror variety, direct from Japan. With that said, if you want what is sure to be a cheesy and crazy violent horror flick, maybe give this a shot if you’re curious enough.

December 11, 2018:

Dive!! – Complete Collection (sub-only, Blu-ray)

Tomoki Sakai has loved the sport of diving since he was a child, and there’s no place he’d rather be than the high board at the Mizuki Diving Club. Unfortunately, the MDC’s having hard time staying afloat financially and there’s a sinking certainty that the club is about to drown in a sea of its own debt. Fiery female coach Kayoko Asaki has a bold plan to throw the club a lifeline, but it’s going to require achieving something that’s almomost impossible: get one of the club’s members on the National team for the next Olympics! Can this struggling group of young athletes pool their talents in time to resuscitate their club, or will they make the ultimate belly flop? It’s time to sink or swim as the whole team leaps for the gold in DIVE!!

Special Features: Clean Opening & Closing Animation
Price: $59.98/$38.99 Store Price

POV: Behold, another noitaminAmazon lock-up brought out to freedom from Sentai Filmworks. I’m starting to pick up a theme, so I’m crossing my fingers for Inuyashiki and BANANA FISH. Anyway, as for this, don’t quite call it a Free! knockoff, as it actually predates the series and its High Speed! novel by a few years. With that said, this isn’t quite as good as Free!, but it’s still solid enough on its own. Expect to see it on HiDive soon, but for those curious and with access, it’s up on Amazon Prime Video right now. However, there is no dub listed on this release, it’s going to be sub-only. C’est la vie.

Princess Tutu – Complete Collection (Blu-ray)

Once there was a writer, a creator of tales, who was blessed with the ability to bring his stories to life. But when the writer dies before his story is finished, what becomes of the characters left behind? For the girl known as Duck, the world changed when an old man gave her a pendant that transformed the duck that she was into a young girl. Now she must gather the shards of a shattered Prince’s heart and finish the story of the Prince and the Raven. But that will require Duck to make a sacrifice of her own? Enter a world of dance and wonder as ballet, myth and romance come together in the anime hailed as a modern classic, PRINCESS TUTU.

Special Features: Clean Opening Animation; Clean Closing Animation; TV Specials; Outtakes; Ballet For Beginners; Etude; In The Studio; Mr Cats Love Lesson; Chapter Of The Egg Suite; The Path To Tutu; Vorfinale; Staff & Voice Actor Commentary; Japanese Pre-Production Promotional Video
Price: $69.98 MSRP/$45.99 Store Price

POV: Now this is something a bit unexpected, Princess Tutu getting a Blu-ray release to round out the year. But where is it coming from? Well, I have a theory: it’s fairly likely that this is a re-acquisition for Sentai, as the series was previously released on DVD under Section 23’s Aesir Holdings label, and that this is sourced from a fairly recent Blu-ray release and restoration put out in Japan, as seen here. So just cross your fingers it looks good and comes out looking good enough to warrant the Blu-ray release. As for the series, it’s also a pretty well-regarded hidden gem of a show, so I’d suggest staying tuned for further developments; as for now, if you haven’t seen it, it’s up on HiDive in full.

Space Runaway Ideon – Complete Series & Movies (sub-only, SD Blu-ray) [Maiden Japan]

When Earth archaeologists on the planet Solo dig up a set of strange vehicles, they have no idea that they’ve unearthed something that will change the course of mankind. Even more shocking is the discovery that a SECOND human race called the Buff Clan is also seeking the mechs! A deadly competition ensues as the two races battle to secure the secrets of what the Buff Clan calls the “Ide”. While the fight initially favors the Buff Clan, everything changes when young Cosmo Yuki and his friends accidentally power up the ancient machines that form the most powerful robot the universe has ever seen! But even with the Ideon defending them, the return to Earth won’t be easy, and there’s a long hard journey filled with combat and sacrifice ahead in SPACE RUNAWAY IDEON!

Special Features: Japanese Promos, Clean Opening & Closing Animation
Price: $49.98 MSRP/$32.99 Store Price

POV: Yes, Sentai Filmworks – or more specifically, their Maiden Japan sibling label – is making the move Discotek Media has done for a while, and are releasing shows on SD Blu-ray. As for this one, Ideon, I’m feeling a bit conflicted about it; there does exist a 1080p remaster in Japan, dating back to 2013, and that was handled by Bandai Visual and handled fairly well. So why not use an HD master? I’d answer that but I really don’t know, honestly. I’d keep expectations for this release grounded, especially if it’s using the same SD master that’s on HiDive (which isn’t all that good). But, regardless of that, it’s a home release of Ideon in North America for the first time ever, one worth owning for fans of older mecha anime just to say “hey, I have this other Tomino anime that isn’t Garzey’s Wing, wanna check it out?”

December 18, 2018:

Takunomi Blu-ray

Takunomi – Complete Collection (Blu-ray)

When Michiru Amatsuki moves to Tokyo from Okayama, she knows that it will take a while to acclimate to the hustle and bustle of the big city. Fortunately, though, she always has a place to go when things get a little too hectic. That’s because Michiru was lucky enough to move into Stella House Haruno, a women’s-only shared apartment where the companionship and conversation are always flowing and the tradition of having a little drink after work has evolved into an ongoing study of alcoholic beverages in all their many varied flavors and fermentations. Whether the subject is cocktails, nightcaps, or just a little wine session, every day is a new libation as Michiru, Nao, Makoto and Kae pull up the comfy chairs of the best place to lounge in town!

Special Features: Clean Opening & Closing Animation
Price: $49.98 MSRP/$32.99 Store Price

POV: Are you a fan of slice of life shows involving cute twenty-somethings and copious amounts of alcohol? Then this is the show for you. It’s a cute shorts series that just as advertised, cute twenty-somethings live and discuss their lives while drinking alcoholic drinks, including one Asahi Super… DRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYY. Obligatory Pop Team Epic reference.

Xabungle – Complete Series & Movie (sub-only, Blu-ray) [Maiden Japan]

On the planet Zola, the statute of limitations for any crime is just three days, so when Jiron Amos’ family is murdered and he fails to catch their killer before he receives full immunity, Jiron snaps and continues to pursue his quest for revenge; even though that now makes HIM the lawbreaker! With the help of desert drifter Rag and her gang of Sand Rats, Jiron soon finds the opportunity to steal the perfect weapon for his quest: a giant robot called the Xabungle. Taking the Xabungle, however, entangles our heroes with culture-obsessed rich girl Elchi Cargo, the highly dysfunctional crew of the giant land ship Iron Gear, a bevy of chorus girls, gun-toting toddlers, a Man with No Name named Timp, and an insanely escalating series of increasingly strange plot twists in the weirdest, wildest and most hilarious parody of outer space westerns ever animated: BLUE GALE XABUNGLE!

Special Features: Clean Opening Animation; Clean Closing Animation; Japanese Promos (x3); Japanese Movie Promo (x1)
Price: $49.98 MSRP/$32.99 Store Price

POV: “Hey, you wanna check out this other Tomino series, Xabungle?” And here we have the second SD Blu-ray release in this list, another Tomino mecha show from the early 80s, but unlike Ideon, I can’t find any Blu-ray source from Japan so it would appear this is SD-only through and through. Again, if you’re a fan of older mecha shows, I’d check it out on HiDive before committing to a home video purchase, but be wary that this show definitely looks like it’s from the early 1980s.

Recommended Titles for the Month:
Den-noh Coil
Princess Tutu
Space Runaway Ideon

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