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.

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Special A – Anime Review

The Essentials

Special AName: Special A
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Episodes: 24
Released: April 6, 2008 – September 14, 2008
Based On: S.A. manga by Maki Minami
Director: Yoshikazu Miyao
Produced By: AIC & GONZO
US Distribution By: N/A

Major Japanese Cast

Hikari Hanazono: Yuko Goto
Kei Takishima: Jun Fukuyama
Akira Todo: Hitomi Nabatame
Tadashi Karino: Hiro Shimono
Ryuu Tsuji: Kazuma Horie
Jun Yamamoto: Tsubasa Yonaga
Megumi Yamamoto: Ayahi Takagaki
Yahiro Saiga: Kishô Taniyama
Sakura Ushikubo: Natsuko Kuwatani

Major English Cast

N/A

Scores

Animation: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Story: 6/10 (x 4 = 24 pts)
Music: 6/10 (x 4 = 24 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 7/10 (x 2 = 14 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 6/10 (x 5 = 30 pts)

Total: 124/190 (65.3%)

Review

Special A, or S.A., is at it’s core a story about Hikari and her yearning to become an equal to her childhood friend Kei, who has managed to beat her at every single thing, no matter how minor or trivial, since the two met when they were little.

Granted, the story does branch out of that to include the other 5 members of the Special A – Akira, who is Hikari’s best friend, Tadashi, who has a rather abusive, but loving, friendship with Akira, Ryuu, who loves taking care of animals in his apartment, and Jun and Megumi, a twin pair who becomes ultra jealous over anyone who prevents them from monopolozing Ryuu’s attention.

The Special A itself is a super-special class of students at Hakusenkan High School which consists of the top 7 students in the school.  These students are separated out from the rest of the students via the fact that they get their own uniforms and get to hang out all day sipping tea in a big greenhouse because they’re just that damn smart.  The rest of the school is split between those who adore the Special A as celebrities and those who don’t really appreciate the highness of the group in an already high class school.

In the end, Special A does very little to captivate one’s attention.  For starters, the first half of the series is nothing short of atrocious, staying in writing and acting hell for most of it.  While the series does rebound a little in the second half, I could just never very worked up about the trials and tribulations of a bunch of rich bastards, whose primary day-to-day worries seem to be along the lines of deciding what business they’re going to buy today.

And while Hikari is supposed to be the center of the show, she’s so clueless and dense that it borders on the unbearable.  Kei could orchestrate a parade down the street in front of Hikari’s house with giant heart-shaped floats that said “I love you Hikari!” (and he could), she probably still wouldn’t get that Kei likes her.  This on top of a myriad of other reasons just makes Special A a very painful series to watch.

Perhaps the only good thing about the series – and this may be debatable about some – is it’s animation quality which I at least felt was pretty much what one would expect from a upper echelon animation company.  However, both openings and endings leave a lot to be desired in the music department.

Overall, there is little reason to watch Special A unless you’re just into watching The Random Adventures of the Rich and Famous.

First Watched: April – September 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: No

Special A – Omnibus: Episodes 17 – 24

Welcome to the Omnibus release of the final 3rd of the series Special A. This post includes brief reviews of episodes 17-24 of the series, where all the characters have their stories wrapped up and all that jazz.

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Special A – Episode 13

It’s Special A episode 13, and this week we’re greeted with new shit a new opening and ending song. Also, the Special A class is forced to go to “normal” high school for 3 days.

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Special A – Episode 12

Kei returns to spend his day with Hikari. However, stress and overwork has given him a fever, so in stead of hanging out and having fun, the day is spent with Hikari trying to nurse Kei. Unfortunately, Hikari is completely inept with anything and everything around the house…

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