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Fafner: Complete Series Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Discs: 7 (3 x Blu-ray + 4 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 650 Mins.
  • Studio: Funimation Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 18, 2012
  • List Price: $59.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

This 2005 mecha series from Xebec is slightly different form the usual mecha fare. Rather than being a straightforward, action-intense film with the focus on the visual effects, Fafner (蒼穹のファフナ) is a somewhat reserved and melancholy coming of age story focused on teens drawn into a horrendous worldwide battle against aliens and increasing global conspiracies.

Initially set on the idyllic Tatsumiyajima, the teenagers have their lives disrupted when the world is attacked by mind controlling aliens known as Festum. As the Festum begin to breach the island’s cloaking shield that has kept them safe, the rural island is dragged into the fray. With the teens being the only ones who can operate the Fafner units capable of fighting against the Festum, they are immediately thrown into the hazardous battle for the last remaining part of the planet that hasn’t been devastated. The score plays right into the at times serious mood of the series with its contemporary classical music while the backgrounds and character design are of the highest caliber even as it maintains a bit of simplicity by today’s standards.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Two lossless stereo mixes in Dolby TrueHD (48kHz/24-bit) are offered in the original Japanese and an English dub. My reference is the Japanese track which has clean dialogue, good dynamics and distinct stereo separation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Fafner is given a rather solid up-scaled transfer to Blu-ray that has surprisingly limited amounts of motion artifacts and stairstepping. One can only tell this isn’t truly high definition by the hints of softness and the presence of video noise, posterization, and banding that creeps in.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

There isn’t much here outside of promotional materials and the usual clean opening and closing animations.

The supplements:

  • Making of Fafner (1.33:1; SD; 00:20:33)
  • Promotional Videos (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:35)
  • DVD Commercials (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:08)
  • Textless Opening Version1
  • Textless Opening Version 2
  • Textless Opening Episode 01
  • Textless Opening Episode 26
  • Textless Closing Version 1
  • Textless Closing Version 2
  • Textless Closing Episode 01
  • Textless Closing Episode 15
  • Textless Closing Episode 20
  • Textless Closing Episode 23
  • Textless Closing Episode 24
  • Textless Closing Episode 25
  • Textless Closing Episode 26
  • Funimation Trailers
  • DVDs — DVDs of the series are included in this combo pack.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Fafner is a must-see mecha anime series for all serious fans of the genre. It cool, richly animated and filled with layered development of its characters. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Fafner: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

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[amazon-product]B008D1RCMW[/amazon-product]

Purchase Fafner: The Complete Series on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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