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The Princess and the Pilot: Premium Edition Blu-ray Review

princess-and-pilot-premium-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Japanese LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: T (Teen/13+)
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Run Time: 99 Mins.
  • Studio: NIS America
  • Blu-ray Release Date: May 14, 2013
  • List Price: $44.99

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

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Princess-and-pilot-premium-BD_02

The Princess and the Pilot, a collaboration between production houses Mad House and TMS Entertainment, and based on the romance light novel of Koroku Inumura, is a straightforward romance/adventure with some slight steampunk elements. While there is nothing we haven’t really seen before in this story, the imagery, compelling character design and invigorating action sequences make it well worth experiencing.

The story is set in an alternate world where the Levamme Empire and Amatsukami Imperium are in the midst of a raging war. Levamme’s Prince declares his love for Juana del Moral and engages to marry her in a year, vowing to bring an end to the war in that time. In the meantime, he must be brought his bride safely after her home is attacked by the Amatsukami Imperium. Brought in to do the insane task of flying the princess solo over 12,000 kilometers of enemy waters is Charles Karino, a mercenary born of the very lowest social status, a “bestado”, who is denied everything in life except this meager life of flying and danger he is able to scrape out. Charles takes on the challenge, being the best pilot they have. Their journey is a treacherous one, as the Amatsukami Imperium gets wind of their plans and hounds them all along the way. Meanwhile, Charles and Princess Juana begin to develop a closeness, perhaps even a romance, as they discover neither is who they thought the other to be. Their friendship and romance can never be, however, due to the strict rules of social order in the Levamme Empire.

High-flying, adventurous, swooping, and romantic, The Princess and the Pilot is sort of reminiscent of Ghibli, with less fantastic elements. The chemistry between Charles and Juana is a classic romantic setup, which is what makes it familiar, yet director Jin Shishido here makes it interesting nonetheless. The animation, particularly in the character designs, is straightforward without being plain. Both Charles and Juana have a good amount of detail and color that works for this story and pops against the backgrounds, which are rich in detail, but are often made up of earth tones or shades of blue.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Princess-and-pilot-premium-BD_01

The AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement of The Princess and the Pilot from NIS America looks colorful and generally acceptable, but it does tend to drift into softness and become just a little faded in appearance at times. There is some slight color banding, but no noise or aliasing can be spotted.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Princess-and-pilot-premium-BD_03

Here’s one of the few releases from NIS that has a lossless 5.1 mix and a 2.0 mix. This one comes provided with the original Japanese audio in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) and LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit). While the 5.1 mix is far from one of the most aggressive mixes I’ve heard for an anime release, it does have a good bit of atmospherics, and it gets quite involving during the aerial dogfight scenes. The score sounds lush and dynamic as well. Dialogue is full and clean. The 2.0 is also good, with a natural stereo field and clean dialogue.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Princess-and-pilot-premium-BD_04

On-disc supplements are limited to promotional spots, but this premium edition comes with an excellent illustrated hardcover book with an essay by anime critic Ryusuke Hikawa, and interviews with director Jin Shishido, character designer Hidenori Matsubara, author of the original work Koroku Inumura, screenwriter Satoko Okudera, and mechanical designer Katsuya Yamada.

  • Special Preview (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:06)
  • Preview (1.78:1; SD; 00:01:55)
  • TV Spots (1.85:1; SD; 00:00:31)
  • Book

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Princess-and-pilot-premium-BD_05

I liked this one. The Princess and the Pilot is a nice diversion from the usual fare of sci-fi, mecha, and fan service anime, for something a little more simple and universal.  It’s a love story, with adventure, danger, and unrequited love.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase The Princess and the Pilot: Premium Edition at The Right Stuf

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

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

 

 

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