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Rail Wars!: Complete Collection (TheaterByte Blu-ray Review)

rail-wars-coverAdapted from the light novel series written by Toyoda Takumi with illustrations by Vania 600, Rail Wars! is set in an alternate history of Japan where the nation’s railway system was never privatized. The story revolves around the male protagonist Takayama Naoto who is a railroad enthusiast that has dreamed of becoming a train engineer nearly all his life. Naoto joins the JNR (Japanese National Railways) training program, but is disappointed when he is assigned to become a trainee for the security division. There, Naoto meets his fellow trainees, rail-wars-still-1who include the more than happy and willing to use her gun Aoi a (tsundere character if ever there was one), the beautiful and buxom Haruka who has a very sweet demeanor and a big crush on Naoto, and Shō, the only other male member of Naoto’s team – he is friendly, but tough and exercises a lot so he has a massive appetite. There are other female members that eventually surround Naoto as well, and in true anime fashion, all the ladies end up vying for his attentions.

Over the course of their training, Naoto and his teammates find themselves in all manner of dangerous situations; who knew riding the rails could be so perilous? There are bomb threats, assassination attempts, and face downs with ruthless privatization rivals. All the while the trainees have to keep their friendships and budding romances intact. And the pie-eyed Naoto tries his best to stay optimistic about one day becoming an engineer while not insulting his friends who want to stay in the security detail.

This series has its exciting moments and even its funny moments, but truthfully speaking, it was not one of my favorite series to sit through. Adventures on the rails just didn’t seem to appeal to me much, but I can certainly see where Rail Wars! could find an audience with the train enthusiast crowd. As far as the animation work goes, it is enjoyable, but certainly not something I would consider eye-catching or unique. The designs of the rail cars is often quite intricate and beautiful to look at, which is one of the series strongest points.

The Video

rail-wars-still-2Rail Wars! looks really good in this AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks. The colors are vibrant, the imagery is crisp and free from softness, noise and aliasing.

The Audio

We get an absolutely fine DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo mix of the original Japanese soundtrack for Rail rail-wars-still-3Wars! Additional channels won’t be missed as this mix has strong stereo imaging and excellent dynamics. The Japanese cast, which includes Fukuyama Jun (Black Butler, Bleach) and Igarashi Hiromi (Knights of Sidonia, Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts) is top-notch.

The Supplements

Clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers are included.

The Final Assessment

Rail Wars! can find an audience with anime fans who are also train enthusiasts and fans of mild fanservice, ecchi, and harem sub genres. The comedy and adventure of the series offer some good moments, but it was ultimately not my cup of tea.

Rail Wars!: Complete Collection (TheaterByte Blu-ray Review)
3.1 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 User Rating (0 votes)
Passione Co., Ltd./TBS Animation/Sentai FilmworksStudios & Distributors
Sueda YoshifumiDirector
Suzuki MasashiWriter
300 Mins.Run Time
$59.98MSRP
5 April 2016Release Date
1.78:1Aspect Ratio
AVC 1080pVideo
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 StereoAudio
TV-MA (DS)TV Rating
The Creative Content
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Summary
There's good comedy and adventure, but ultimately the appeal of Rail Wars! is a bit too limited.
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