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Venus Wars (Blu-ray Review)


The Story
The Animation
The Video
The Audio
The Dub
The Supplements


A group of teenage motorized monobike racers get drawn into a war between two nations on a terraformed Venus in 2089 in this classic anime feature from 1989.

Venus Wars is a feature-length anime film based on the manga series by Yasuhiko Yoshikazu. The sci-fi story is set in a dystopian future sometime after a comet hits the planet Venus and dissipates its dense atmosphere just enough to allow humans to terraform the surface. By2089, Venus is populated by millions of people and is divided into two nation states, the northern continent of Ishtar and the southern continent of Aphrodia, and they are both end up at war. One of the primary forms of entertainment is a brutal race on motorized monobikes and a team of teenage racers gets drawn into the battle, given newly designed tank-like bikes to ride into battle to save their nation and possibly their planet. Also drawn into the conflict is a bubbly reporter from Earth who arrived to report on the rising tensions between the two states only to witness the beginnings of the war.

For those anime fans who love vintage, analogue anime done on film from this era (1989), this will be right up their alley. There are elements in this film of Akira and Patlabor, both in the style of artwork and elements of the character design, but also in the sort of action sequences. But there is a lot to love about Venus Wars on its own merits, from the sense of teamwork and camaraderie amongst the friends and the awesome way in which suspense is used to drive the set pieces. There is a scene where the character Hiro is doing battle with a tank, called an Octopus in the film, and scales a crane as the only way to defend against it. It’s a nail biting, intense scene that also ratchets up the visuals to eleven.

Venus Wars deserves far more attention as an anime classic. This is the kind of film one can keep coming back to and losing oneself in the artwork and kinetic energy of.

The Video

Venus Wars comes in an AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray that looks good for a hand drawn animated feature done on film from 1989. It has obviously been cleaned up a bit and one can see some grain suppression going on, but it isn’t overly DNR’d to the point where there are no grain or texture left in the image. Some frames even look a little bit rough with grain and one can still see some scratches and dirt here and there, but not overwhelming amounts. The colors are vibrant, like the red of the monobikes or the orange flames.

The Audio

The original stereo Japanese mix is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and an English dub is also included in the same. The sound could be a little more dynamic for my ears, but otherwise there is strong stereo imaging and clear dialogue. The English dub is workable, but my preference lies with the original audio track for the performance of the cast.

The Supplements

This standard edition release of Venus Wars comes with no bonus features or collectibles.

The Final Assessment

This standard edition issue of Venus Wars may not have the extras but it’s a lower cost entry to this fantastic film. Recommended.

Venus Wars (Standard Edition) is out on Blu-ray October 26, 2021 from Sentai Filmworks

  • Rating Certificate: TV-14 (V)
  • Animation Studio: Kugatsusha
  • Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
  • Director: Yasuhiko Yoshikazu
  • Written By: Yasuhiko Yoshikazu | Sasamoto Yūichi
  • Run Time: 105 Mins.
  • Street Date: 26 October 2021
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English

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A group of teenage motorized monobike racers get drawn into a war between two nations on a terraformed Venus in 2089 in this classic anime feature from 1989.Venus Wars (Blu-ray Review)