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This Boy Can Fight Aliens Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec:  Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo  (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-PG (V)
  • Run Time: 30 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 24, 2012
  • List Price: $24.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
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 Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

This Boy Can Fight Aliens is a short, 30-minute-long, animated feature from up and coming director Yamamoto Soubi and CoMix Wave Films. A meditative sc-fi fantasy, the story is set in an indeterminate time period on Earth after an alien invasion. An organization has been established to fight off the attack, but it seems no one is a match for the invaders – no one, that is, until young Arikawa, one of the defense command staff, discovers the teenaged Kakashi in a field. Kakashi has the ability to fight the aliens, but he has lost all memory of his past and with it, the ability to fight the aliens. Arikawa takes Kakashi back to the barracks to live with himself and his commander Shiro and Kakashi begins a strange, almost surreal self-examination of who he is and where he comes from as the three develop a close yet uneasy kinship.

The animation of This Boy Can Fight Aliens is certainly innovative and is the true driving force behind this often off-kilter mood piece. The colorful world and strong character designs, which evoke a moving comic more than strict anime, offer promise for the future of Yamamoto, even if this exact story is a bit hard to follow at times.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

This Boy Can Fight Aliens shows strong color reproduction and a good amount of detail, but this 1080i/60 AVC encodement does suffer from motion artifacts, in particular aliasing around the line art. There is also some banding that can be spotted in color fills.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Two lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit) options are offered in the original Japanese-language and an English dub. They provide full, clean dialogue with wide stereo panning and a decent amount of dynamics.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

A the supplements consist of a few brief animated works from Yamamoto Soubi, a written Q&A with the director, and the usual set of credits and Sentai Filmworks promos.

The supplements:

  • Soubi Yamamoto’s Early Work:
    • Sekaikei Sekairon (2.35:1; 1080i/60; 00:04:47)
    • Ra/Radio Noise Planet (2.35:1; 1080i/60; 00:03:33)
    • Robotica Robotics (2.35:1; 1080i/60; 00:10:39)
  • A Brief Interview with Soubi Yamamoto
  • Disc Credits
  • Sentai Filmworks Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

I don’t know that this 30-minute piece will be worth the price for any but the most ardent consumers of anime, but the riveting animation and perfect blend of sounds make it a compelling if not perfect animated journey.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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