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Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl: Complete Series Premium Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: 13+ (Teen)
  • Run Time: 333 Mins.
  • Discs: 4 (2 x Blu-ray + 2 x DVD)
  • Studio: NIS America
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 8, 2013
  • List Price: $69.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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]

Iruma Hitoma’s light novel series Electrowave Girl and Youthful Boy (電波女と青春男) serves as the basis for this 12-episode anime series, Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl. The story uses the basic high school setting and mixes it up a bit with an oddball sci-fi/fantasy storyline. Niwa Makoto is a 16-year-old high school student whose parents’ jobs’ have transferred them abroad. Sent to live with his aunt Tōwa Meme, Makato is surprised to find that his aunt has a daughter upon his arrival. She’s kept her a secret from the rest of the family. Makoto’s cousin, Erio, is an odd girl. Having vanished for six-months and then mysteriously reappeared, with no memory of where she was, the 16-year-old Erio has now become quite an eccentric. She has taken to wrapping herself up in a futon, proclaims she is an alien, and refuses to go back to school. With his cousin’s eccentricity, his aunt’s nonchalant and sexually inappropriate attitude toward him, Makoto has a lot of adjusting to do. Just when he thinks that his fresh new start will be a bust that won’t allow him any gains in “adolescent points” he meets two  cute girls at his new school, the hyperactive Mifune Ryūko, whom everyone calls “Ryushi” due to the kanji spelling of her name, and the cosplaying Maekawa who insists on calling him “transfer student.”

Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl has a lot going for it, even if it does swing like a pendulum between being fantasy or a straight high school romance/comedy. The animation style is pure eye candy. The look of Erio and her aqua blue hair, in particular, is rather stunning, even though the animators avoid an overly pronounced anatomical representation (read: she’s not busty). Backgrounds and colors, in general, look rich and the outfits of individual characters, though most are reused, are pretty detailed.

The story itself is quite fascinating as well. For those not turned off by the Japanese cultural tendency toward incestuous innuendo in their anime productions, the relationship between Makoto and his cousin Erio is actually a sweet one. That he determines to try to help her recover from her obvious psychological issues out of kindness despite the rest of the kids in town shunning her and the possibility of being shunned himself if they know she’s his cousin, is moving. The story is also one of hope, optimism, and mystery, especially as it draws to a close. Makoto finds himself questioning if aliens and other phenomena really can and do exist when confronted with events difficult to explain.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The digital animation for this series looks really good in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer from NIS. It’s one of the stronger anime releases I’ve seen lately. Apart from just the occasional bit of softness and slight color gradation demarcations that can be spotted, this one is top notch. No stairstepping or major issues with noise can be seen, the image is clean and colors are really vibrant.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The original Japanese stereo mix is provided in LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) with English subtitles. It’s more than adequate, offering clean dialogue, a reasonable amount of dynamic range and a good spread of sound across the stereo soundfield.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Nothing much here outside of the usual, well-made collectible hardcover book, which fans and collectors will appreciate.

The supplements:

  • Clean Opening
  • Clean Endings
  • Japanese Commercial (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • NIS America Trailers
  • Hardcover Story Guide with original artwork, episode guides, and interviews with the crew and original author.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

I enjoyed this series, even with its quirks and odd mixture of fantasy and high school coming age storyline. It is beautifully designed, has a good sense of humor, and a big heart. The Blu-ray also looks wonderful.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]


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