Blue Drop licensed by Sentai/Section23/The Company Formerly known as ADV (plus other shows)

Blue Drop logoI’m not sure how I missed this yesterday (probably because I was messing around with other stuff), but Blue Drop, a show which I thought might never get licensed, was picked up by, well, the remnants of ADV films (I think Sentai Filmworks did the actual licensing while the newly formed Section23 will do the distributing).

Sentai also announced licenses for Polyphonica, Special A, Tears to Tiara, and the second season to You’re Under Arrest.

Blue Drop is a 13 episode yuri/sci-fi series which aired between October and December 2007 (see my episode reviews).  Polyphonica is a 12 episode adventure/comedy series that aired between April and June 2007.  Special A is a 24 episode romance/comedy series that aired between April and August 2008 (see my episode reviews).  Tears of Tiara is a 26 episode fantasy/adventure series which started airing this past April and is still in progress.  Finally, You’re Under Arrest Season 2 continues the action/comedy series for an additional 26 episodes, which aired between April and August 2001.

You’re Under Arrest Season 2 Collection 1 has a street date of November 3rd, and includes the first 13 episodes.

Special ASpecial A Collection 1 has a street date of November 10th, and includes the first 12 episodes.

The Blue Drop and Polyphonica box sets have a street date of November 17th, and contain the entire series.

Tears to Tiara Collection 1 has a street date of November 24th, and includes the first 13 episodes, a mere 5 to 7 months after they aired in Japan.

As is the case with all the new licenses from Sentai, these are all sub-only releases.

Blue Drop – Anime Review

The Essentials

Name: Blue Drop: Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku
Genre: Sci-fi, Romance
Episodes: 13
Released: October 2, 2007 – December 25, 2007
Based On: Blue Drop manga by Akihito Yoshitomi
Director: Masahiko Ohkura
Produced By: Asahi Production, BeSTACK
US Distribution By: N/A

Major Japanese Cast

Mari Wakatake: Akiko Yajima
Hagino Senkoji: Miyuki Sawashiro
Michiko Kozuki: Satsuki Yukino
Tsubael: Yuko Goto
Azanael: Ai Orikasa
Yuko Sugawara: Miho Yamada
Akane Kawashima: Akeno Watanabe
Hiroko Funatsumaru: Kimiko Saito
Shivariel: Youko Asagami

Major English Cast

N/A

Scores

Animation: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 10/10 (x 2 = 20 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 9/10 (x 5 = 45 pts)

Total: 165/190 (86.8%)

Review

Blue Drop is about girl, Mari, who lost both of her parents in a mysterious island disaster when she was younger – an incident where Mari was the only survivor. She now lives with her grandmother, who decides that she should attend an actual school when Mari enters high school of being home schooled like she had been up to that point. However, Mari sees this as her grandmother dumping her off because she’s tired of taking care of her (which isn’t the case).

On her way to the school, Mari sees a mysterious girl standing out in the harbor. Mari soon finds out that the girl is her roommate in the dorm. However, when the girl, whose name is Hagino, touches Mari, she goes temporarily crazy, trying to strangle Mari. This obviously doesn’t start their relationship off on a good foot, and it doesn’t get any better when Mari finds out that Hagino is actually an alien who is on the Earth to do observation.

As Hagino tries to improve her relationship with Mari, Mari eventually learns about the truth of the disaster which killed her parents, how Hagino is involved, and why Hagino is on Earth observing in the first place.

I found Blue Drop a rather slow-paced but still excellently written anime series about the relationship between Hagino and Mari. While this is technically a yuri series, it’s more about the buildup of the two’s relationship than about the relationship itself, which really only lasts very briefly at the end of the series due to certain events.

Even though Mari is the lead character in the series, Blue Drop is about Hagino and her past and regrets as much as it is about Mari. Hagino also has to deal with the commander of the fleet in which Hagino’s ship, the Blue, is included, as well as the commander’s sidekick, who has a grudge against Hagino as well.

In the end, all of these dramatic elements wrap together to make a pretty good put together show.

On the technical aspects, the animation is probably the show’s weakest point, though it isn’t too bad, and is marked more by a “softer” sort of coloring in contrast to the sharper animation one might see in other series. However, the music is excellent I thought.

I you’re open to a good sci-fi drama series, and don’t mind the yuri aspect, I’d suggest checking out Blue Drop.

First Watched: October – December 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

Blue Drop – Episode 13 [END]

It’s the 13th and final episode of Blue Drop. Will Hagino be able to thwart the alien invasion AND save the school play? Will we have a fantastically Yuri ending or a blubber-fest? And of course, nothing goes better with some nice hot Yuri action than a heavy dose of alien invasions of earth and human’s futile counter attacks against it.

The world wins!
Grr! Dumb aliens! Resistence is Futile

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Top Anime of 2007

I thought I would wait until 2007 was over before compiling this list. This list was drawn from all anime series that I watched that aired in 2007. This includes series aired entirely within 2007, series which started in 2007 and are carrying over to 2008, and series which started in 2006 and carried over to 2007.

By my count, this totals to 23 anime series for me, and I’ve narrowed it down to a list of 10 (actually, narrowing it down to about 8 was the easy part. Tacking on 2 more shows was the hard part). So, without further ado, here is the Top Anime of 2007 (warning – spoilers may lie ahead):

#10 Genshiken 2

This is a series that I watched most of (I think I got through episode 10 before it got licensed) and was a pretty solid 2nd-tier show I thought. It’s pretty funny from start to finish (heck, even the opening is) and I think would be enjoyable for most people who saw the first series.

#9 Mokke

Another pretty solid 2nd-tier show, Mokke is a pretty, shall we say relaxing, watch. It’s not quite as jello-inducing as sketchbook, but it has much more of a laid back feeling than most shows do. Toss on top of this a nice story about a pair of sisters who have to deal with supernatural spirits and solid storytelling and you’ve got yourself a good show.

#8 Myself; Yourself

The first of two “out of nowhere” series, Myself; Yourself is a series I almost didn’t watch, but ended up doing so since the fine people over at m33w were subbing it. This ended up being a surprisingly good show filled with twists that keept you on your toes. There may be some loose ends in this series, but it is overall pretty good.

#7 Idolmaster Xenoglossia

Idolmaster tops off a rather lackluster Spring season for me, and is the only show from that season that cracked the top 10 (granted, I only watched 4). I’m not one for mecha anime, so to see one which actually held my interest through 26 episodes is a pretty good feat. I think one reason is because this show seemed rather unique, at least to me. Yes, it’s similar to Evangelion in the sense that the machines have some sort of soul, but it’s more softer in Idolmaster than harsh like in Evangelion. Also, I think that the characters, and not the mecha, also helped drive this series forward and up.

#6 Minami-ke

The second “out of nowhere” series, the first top-tier series, and another series which I very nearly didn’t watch, Minami-ke ended up being a good random-hilarity series. There aren’t many series that can utterly lack a plot line and be successful. Azumanga Daioh tried and succeeded. Lucky Star tried and, for the most part, failed. Now, don’t get me wrong, Minami-ke is quite a different animal from Azumanga, but it’s still a good laugh from pretty much start to finish.

#5 Blue Drop

The top 5 in the list get into the heart of the top-tier shows of the year, and Blue Drop was certainly a treat to watch. One of two Greek Tragedies on the top 10 list, Blue Drop was great to watch, seeing how the main characters, Mari and Hagino, expand their relationship (both romantic and otherwise) under the backdrop of an eminent alien invasion. Probably the big thing that separates this from the top 4 is that I think the animation is kind of lacking from Blue Drop, but the storytelling makes up for it.

#4 CLANNAD

The only show on the list which may grace the 2008 list, CLANNAD has thus far been great to watch, as we’ve gotten through the story arc of 1 girl and are well into the story arc of a 2nd girl as we continue to unwind the mystery in this series. Add on top of the great storytelling by Key the fantastic animation of KyoAni, and you have one of the best shows of the year.

#3 ef – a tale of memories

Ef was clearly the prize of the just-concluded Fall season shows as it presented a story which is somewhat unusual for anime based on visual novels: multiple stories involving multiple males. In fact, three separate couples come out of this show, which each girl having her own unique and compelling story. A mysterious and well told (and well animated!) story gives ef the third spot on the list.

#2 Kanon

Like it’s fellow Key-KyoAni show, Kanon is a cross-year show. This one started in 2006 and finished up in 2007. Kanon quite possibly embodies the perfect visual novel-turned-anime show, with nearly perfect animation and a compelling story from start to finish. This would easily be the #1 show of the year, but only if one other show hadn’t aired, and that’s…

#1 School Days

Could any other show finish in the #1 spot but School Days? This show made waves in so many ways. First off, you had the male lead in the running for lamest male lead in an anime ever. Second, it’s rare that you actually get a harem show where the guy actually scores, much less which no fewer than 8 girls. Third, they creators of the show actually went through with the bloody ending, and we didn’t just get one, but two bloody endings, and memorable ones at that (“there’s no one inside” anyone?). Finally, this show will forever be remembered with the Nice Boat incident.

Yes, School Days must be the clear top show of 2007.

Also, did anyone else notice that all the top 4 shows are all visual novel-turned anime series?

Blue Drop – Episode 12

It’s episode 12 of Blue Drop and there is a hell of a lot that goes on in this episode. What or who really caused the incident on the Blue, and for what purpose? What will Sugawara do once she’s able to get Hagino alone, knowing that she’s an alien now? Will Mari and Hagino be able to finish their talk?

Hagino's back!
Mari celebrates... Oops

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And the Crowd Goes Wild!

Based on the raws for this week’s episodes of Blue Drop, CLANNAD, and Shana II, this appears like it will be the “and the crowd goes wild!” week for anime watching. Add on top of that that the last episode of ef airs Saturday as well.

Blue Drop – Episode 11

It’s episode 11 of Blue Drop, and Mari isn’t in any mood to practice a play where Hagino will be opposite her. Meanwhile, Hagino is crushed at the appearance of Mari turning against her. However, someone unexpected shows up to comfort Hagino. Meanwhile, the Novaal returns and the Master Commander has a new plan dealing with how to finish off the Blue.

Where's the knife?
Pretty triangles May the force be with you

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Blue Drop – Episode 10

It’s episode 10 of Blue Drop, and Michiko finally finishes the play and assigns the roles. You’ll never guess who gets the two lead roles! Meanwhile, Hagino takes Mari to see the Blue, but much to Hagino’s horror, Azanael is finally able to tell Mari exactly what happened during the island incident 5 years ago.

Is it a bird? A plane? A furry rabbit?
Azanael is still pissed off Maybe Tsubael shouldn't have showed her that hologram of what happened to Onomil...

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Blue Drop – Episode 09

It’s episode 9 of Blue Drop, and Mari and Hagino go out shopping for the play that Michiko is writing. On the trip, Mari learns more about Hagino. On the way back, they have to take shelter from a rain storm, when Mari learns about what happened to her in the incident 5 years in the past.

Hello? You alive?
Michiko stayed up all night writing anime episode reviews for her blog What do you think of my play?

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