Here’s my first Anime review 😀 I choose this one because it’s one off my all time favourites and goes with me everywhere, even on holiday hehe. Included in the review are two promo videos that sadly were not included in the DVD’s, the music videos of the OP and ED. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!! (Video issue should be fixed now….I hope.)
Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori
Producer: Reiko Yoshida
DVD Count: 2
It’s survival of the fittest. To survive, it’s kill or be killed.
Two young twins, Thor and Rai, live on the space colony Juno. One day they arrive home to discover that their parents have been murdered, and suddenly for unknown reasons they themselves are kidnapped and abandoned on Chimera, a penal colony. Chimera, also known as the "Planet of the Beast King" (Jyu Oh Sei), is a harsh world which is populated with giant carnivorous plants and sparse groups of criminals and outcasts. Thor and Rai are faced with a desperate fight for survival by whatever means necessary whilst they attempt to get to the bottom of the conspiracy that has ruined their lives…
Despite how short this series is there are a number of characters to be noted. In total there are seven, all of who play a huge role in the way the series progresses.
Voiced by: Minami Takayama (Japanese), Alison Viktorin (English) (Child)
Voiced by: Koichi Domoto (Japanese), Sean Michael Teague (English) (Adult)
The main lead and strongest of the twins. Of the two he has the strongest personality and sense of presence to him. Later on in the series his personality goes through some subtle changes that make him into an excellent lead.
Voiced by: Minami Takayama (Japanese), Alison Viktorin (English)
Rai bows out early in the series sadly, but he goes out with style. He has a huge impact on Thor. He’s the softer of the twins, and his personality is that of a limp lettuce. Yet I couldn’t help but like him and was a bit upset when he leaves the series.
Voiced by: Nana Mizuki (Japanese), Trina Nishimura (English)
Watching this series you can not help but feel sorry for Tiz. As a character I loved her bubbly personality and the way she acts with those around her. Her devotion to Thor is only masked by her love for him, but she sadly plays the lost lover in this series, and her love is never returned.
Voiced by: Shun Oguri (Japanese), Duncan Brannan (English)
The hardest guy in the series to judge. While it becomes obvious he’s plotting something the way he plays it out is really amazing, and it’s not until the very end that the truth is revealed.
Voiced by: Kazuya Nakai (Japanese), Eric Vale (English)
Zagi is a great opposite character for Thor. He’s essentially the mirror opposite of Thor and while the two are really friends, ultimately it all comes to blood after a betrayal.
Voiced by: Romi Park (Japanese), Jamie Marchi (English)
Like Tiz, Karim plays a huge role in the series. The impact she has on both Zagi and Thor is staggering, especially considering how brief her time is in the series. Like Tiz she loves Thor, but she also loves Zagi and a betrayal leads to a misunderstanding, leading to blood between Zagi and Thor.
Voiced by: Rika Fukami (Japanese), Clarine Harp (English)
I almost didn’t add Chen to this list because she does not really have an impact on Thor directly. However she does play an important roll and thus I added her to the list. I like her personality and the way she acts, strong and confident. I also liked the way she changes later in the series.
This was a series that really didn’t have to try hard to win me over since I was a fan from the outset.
However lets get the bad out of the way first, the english dub. I had planned to watch all the way through in english, and then again in japanese, but I could barely get past the first episode in english.
Alison Viktorin fails big time to pull of the voices of Thor and Rai, in fact they sound more like a pair of spoiled girls than anything else. Take my advice, do not listen to the english dubbing, stick with the japanese and subs.
Oddly enough the japanese dub sounded a lot better, despite being in 2.0 (where as the english is 5.1) sound.
The extras in this set are rather skimpy, and run to only three previews, Black Blood Brothers, XXXHolic, and for some insane reason Jyu-Oh-Sei. Yup that’s right there’s a preview of the series you are about to watch, and that’s it for the extras.
Eleven episodes split over two DVD’s make for an excellent value DVD set, especially if you get it from HMV who seem to have a constant anime sale on. As a result I got this for £5.99 rather than £7.99.
I like the simple aspect of the set, normal DVD case holding both disks, nothing else in the way. Though I have to admit I would have liked a art box as well, but at this price I can not complain 😀
FUNimation did the subs for this series and I must admit that I loved them. I think this is one of the last titles of theirs I liked since their recent ones have been pathetic.
Anyways, the subs flowed well and were perfectly times to come and go. Something lacking in past releases. Also I only noticed some minor issues with the translations, but those could just be different ways of translating things. They also did not change any names in the series, something they’ve been doing a lot more of lately which is depressing.
I do have some issues with the video, several times I noticed tearing in the video, also the sharpness comes and goes at times leading to some weird after imaging and fuzzy bits.
Now for the important stuff, how well was it adapted?
Frankly it’s freaking amazing. Sure I would have liked to have seen it go for twelve or thirteen episodes, since there was more than enough material in the manga for it. I do not think it could have gone for a twenty-four or twenty-six episodes though, it would have ended up stretched and not as good.
While we do get some minor re-writing in the anime to cover the condensing, it only minor bits that are not really necessary.
I loved the art for this series (with the exception of the noses, which were off at times), the characters were perfectly copied from the manga. The characters themselves were also amazing, with their personalities being really brought to life by the VA’s.
The story is transferred perfectly as well, and it’s one of the few conversions I have seen that does really well in both formats. For me seeing the characters in full colour was amazing. Karim was especially stunning and I fell in love with her all over again.
The music for the series is amazing as well, and I really wish it we could get the OST’s over here as well, as it’s a set I would definitely buy. The opening is nice and has a good feel to it, but the actual music video for it is awesome and brings the OP to life in a big way.