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A-Channel: The Animation — Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

a-channel-complete-collectionU.S. Release

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The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

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The slice of life comedy anime series A-Channel is based on the four-panel manga by bb Kuroda. A funny, charming, and all around adorable series, the story revolves around the very close friendship between first year high school student Ichii Tōru, who wears an oversized sweater even in the hot summer months, and whose diminutive size often has people confusing her for an elementary school student; and her best friend, the second year high school student Momoki Run, whose hair makes her look like a parakeet, and who has a very absentminded personality, causing all of her friends to have to look out for her very closely. When the series begins, Tōru passes the entry exam to begin attending the same school as Run, but because she is a grade behind, she feels left out from Run and her circle of friends, the tall and pretty Nishi Yūko, whose scaredy-cat personality makes her a prime target for Tōru’s teasing, and Tennōji Nagisa, or “Nagi”, the smart one of the group. Because of Tōru’s attachment to Run, even when boy’s approach her, she gets very jealous and often chases them off with a baseball bat.

The series, similar to Hidamari Sketch, follows the daily routines of the friends, in and out of school, doing everything from the mundane to the absolute weird, be it enjoying a day swimming, shopping for swimsuits, or having fun at karaoke. Unlike Hidamari Sketch, however, this series is less artsy in its animation approach and remains linear in its storytelling as well. That said, the characters still look very kawaii have a definite moe appeal, while there is a lighthearted whimsy to the storytelling and the look of the series as well.

The relationship between Tōru and Run is central to what makes this series tick. It hints at some yuri, but that is never actually expressed, and could simply be a very strong, if highly unusual, sisterly bond between two friends that sincerely love each other very deeply. And that is what also makes A-Channel so sweet, because both Run and Tōru are quite likable, lovable characters, as are the ones surrounding them.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Colors look generally good in this digitally animated series, but there is some spotty noise visible in color fills and slight banding can be seen throughout this AVC 1080p transfer to Blu-ray of A-Channel from Sentai Filmworks.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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A-Channel comes to Blu-ray with the original stereo Japanese mix as the only audio option. It is encoded as DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) and offers clean dialogue with a punchy midrange and mild but goo stereo imaging.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

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  • +A-Channel Mini Episodes (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • A-Channel TV 3 Part Featurette with Japanese Voice Cast
  • Clean Closing Animation
  • Sentai Filmworks Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

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A charming and funny series, A-Channel offers up a group of characters one can’t help but love, lighthearted and funny stories, and cute animation for a satisfying series.

Additional Screen Captures

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