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The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14 (V)
  • Runtime: 81 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 18, 2012
  • List Price: $39.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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 Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Here we have yet another anime based on a video game, which seems to be a quite popular sub-genre. In this instance, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, is based on a Playstation 3 and PSP game. Presumably it’s a popular one or else it would not have warranted an animated adaptation, but who knows? The title is, admittedly, completely unknown to me, so I come to it with fresh eyes for this Blu-ray. A sci-fi/fantasy action feature-length adventure, the story revolves around two main characters, Estelle Bright and Joshua Bright. Doing a little research, I found out that Estelle and Joshua are apparently adoptive brother and sister, but where we begin this animated journey, Estelle is searching for Joshua after he has disappeared from her life because she is now in love with him. It is ten-years after their kingdom of Liberl was invaded by the Erbonian Empire who seek to further themselves by obtaining the knowledge and magical powers possessed by Liberl. Driven back by Estelle’s father Cassius, the Erbonian’s are now awaiting their chance to strike again just beyond Liberl’s boarder. In response a group of dissident fighters have sprung up, the Bracers Guild, Estelle amongst them, and, once, Joshua. But now Joshua has learned the dark secrets of his past, bad memories unlocked, leading him to believe that he is no more than an unforgivable killer. Estelle and her group of friends in the Bracers Guild must fight against the powerful forces from the Erbonian Empire that systematically creep into Liberl while she seeks out the love of her life – Joshua.

The feature is certainly filled with incredible animation and loads of high octane action sequences that are enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. The Legend of Heroes doesn’t always flow too well, however, in telling the story of the two separate journeys of its protagonists, Estelle and Joshua. I find it relies too heavily on fade-outs between different scenes and actually jumps a couple of times over the span of years to squeeze its story into the 81-minute timeframe. A little bit of expansion could have gone a long way in helping to clarify some plot points and flesh out the characters who seem like they could have been a lot more compelling. Despite those quibbles, I basically enjoyed this, especially since I came into cold and it took about 10-minutes for me to get the gist of what was going on. I even enjoyed the score, which at times reminded me of something from a Hayao Miyazaki film.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

A superb rendering of the digital animation in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement is provided by Sentai Filmworks for this release. Only some fairly slight issues with some shimmering in the CGI animated sequences and few color gradation problems can be spotted, but otherwise it is clean and sharp as a tack, with vibrant colors and detailed line art.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The soundtrack is even better than the picture quality. A 5.1 lossless mix in DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/24-bit) is provided for the original Japanese and English dub. They surround you with the clamor of sounds that this story provides, from the roar of engines to numerous explosions. All of the channels are dripping with ambience and there is more than enough low frequency extension to provide a lot of rumble. Dialogue is clear, only occasionally dipping ever-so-slightly a little too low during the most active sequences, but not enough to warrant a mark down.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

This is an absolutely barebones release with no more than the English disc credits and additional Sentai Filmworks trailers included.

  • English Disc Credits
  • Sentai Filmworks Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Despite the barebones disc and at times rushed feel of this film, the strong parts outweigh the negatives in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. It has beautiful visuals and heart-pulsing action sequences, a few characters one can really enjoy, and a well crafted musical score.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B009AVC9DG[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

[amazon-product]B009AVC9DG[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]


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