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Loups=Garous: The Motion Picture Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
  • Subtitles: English (Forced)
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 98 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 29, 2011
  • List Price: $69.98

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Loups-Garous - Subtitle

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

Loups=Garous is an anime feature film based on the original manga by Natsuhiko Kyogoku. Set in the near future, the world has been devastated by a virus that has wiped out much of the population. People habe now chosen to live their lives closed-off from the outside world, communicating only through the powerful social network and have agreed to be constantly surveilled by a big brother-like monitoring system that constantly captures their images, wherever they are. Their actual contact with other humans is extremely limited, even with their own family members. Even children live on their own. Which opens the door for what is about to happen.

When the shy 14-year-old Hazuki Makino finds that one of the members of her new group of online “friends” has gone missing, she is coaxed into braving the outside world to help by the young hacker Mio Tsuzuki, who also brings the cold, solitary Ayumi Kono into their plan to find the missing girl, Yuko Yabe. Helping them out is the older, but strong Rei Myao, a skilled fighter who has been trying to help girls that have been attacked by the presumed killer. What the girls uncover is that someone has been killing children, stealing their organs, and covering it up and they are now mixed up in a vast and dangerous conspiracy.

Loups=Garous is decent, but as a feature film, I don’t think it works. This may have worked better simply as a short anime series where the story could have been worked out a bit more. Here, it feels rushed and a little confused with major parts f the back story simply mentioned in passing. The animation is also a bit disappointing to me. The character design is not very detailed at all, seems out of place with the backgrounds, and looks a little blocky, especially the character Mio Tsuzuki, that even looks a bit odd compared to some of the other characters.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Loups=Garous has a generally pleasing 1080p/24 AVC encodement on Blu-ray with well defined line art and little in the way of video noise, but there is a bit of softness that permeates the overall image and I did notice some color banding in a couple of spots along with some slight aliasing on one occasion.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

There are two lossless stereo options offered, the original Japanese soundtrack and an English dub, both in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. They both offer clean dialogue, natural sounding high frequencies and a wide spread of sounds across the stereo field. There’s strong directional panning following the action on the screen.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

There are a lot of interviews and behind the scenes features provided on the disc. I particularly like the featurette with the band SCANDAL, and not just because I like watching cute Japanese women in schoolgirl uniforms! The women are actually quite charming on camera discussing their work in the film.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Interview with Junichi Fujisaku (Director) (1.78:1; 00:07:20)
  • Interview with the Japanese Cast (1.78:1; 00:17:19)
  • Interview with Natsuhiko Kyogoku (Original Author) (1.78:1; 00:03:45)
  • SCANDAL Meets Loups=Garous (1.78:1; 00:15:45) – The Japanese “girl band” presents their segments in the film and some of the behind the scenes footage they were involved in, such as the motion capture process used for their video KOSHI-TANTAN, which appears in the film.
  • KOSHI-TANTAN Promotional Video (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:34)
  • Movie Digest (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:12:31) – The film in synopsis form.
  • Pilot Movie (1.78:1; 00:12:43)
  • Picture Drama (1.78:1; 00:08:30)
  • Japanese Promotional Videos (1.78:1; 00:01:59)
  • Japanese Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Also Available on Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks
  • Disc Credits

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Loups-Garous is fun, but certainly not one of the stronger anime feature films I’ve seen. As a thriller, it doesn’t ever obtain the level of suspense one would expect and much of the story leaves far too many gaps. Because of the lackluster character design, it also doesn’t exactly “pop” on Blu-ray, but if you can find a place that rents it, it might make a decent time waster on a slow day.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005HWAOAM[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Loups-Garous - Subtitle

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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