Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero (Hagure Yusha no Aestetica) (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 16-Apr-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Audio Commentary-x 2
More…-Original Videos
More…-Promotional Videos
More…-Textless Opening Song
More…-Textless Closing Song
Trailer-US Series Trailer
Trailer-x 6 for other films
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 284:14 (Case: 300)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,4 Directed By Rion Kujo
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Nobuhiko Okamoto
Eric Vale
Yoko Hikasa
Felecia Angelle
Takahiro Sakurai
Jerry Jewell
Marina Inoue
Alexis Tipton
Kana Ueda
Ryan Reynolds
Kana Hanazawa
Monica Rial
Case ?
RPI ? Music Kayo Konishi
Yukio Kondoo


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     In the otherworld of Alayzard, the rogue hero Akatsuki (voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto, Eric Vale) has killed the Dark Lord Garius and returned to his own world taking Garius’ daughter Miu (Yoko Hikasa, Felecia Angelle) back with him at her father’s request. Back home, Miu poses as Akatsuki’s sister and they are required to enrol in Babel High School, a school for magic users who have returned from otherworlds. There Akatsuki quickly comes into conflict with top gun and student council president Kyoya (Takahiro Sakurai, Jerry Jewell) and the green haired Haruka (Marina Inoue, Alexis Tipton), while Miu gets friendly with lesbian classmate Chikage (Kana Ueda, Ryan Reynolds) and class rep Kuzuha (Kana Hanazawa, Monica Rial). A few other issues also disturb the peace: Akatsuki has a fetish for removing girl’s panties and bras while Miu is more well-endowed than her classmates, creating wardrobe malfunctions much to her embarrassment. And just to make things interesting, if Akatsuki does not live up to expectations Miu may have to kill him. Oh, and Akatsuki could be the hero named in a prophesy to become an overlord, and someone on Alayzard wants Miu back. Complications enough for anybody!

     Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero (Hagure Yusha no Aestetica) is based on a series “light novels” by Tetsuto Uesu that commenced in 2010 and currently runs to, I think, eight volumes. The Blu-ray here in Australia is rated R for “high impact sexual references” and it is quite raunchy with more big bouncing bare breasts with prominent nipples and naked female bodies than an average episode of Game of Thrones. Even when Miu is trapped by the dragon towards the end of the series, the camera continues lingeringly to pan up over her bobbling breasts. Indeed, there is something very juvenile, misogynistic and a bit distasteful with a series making fun of the sexual harassment of females having their underclothes removed by Akatsuki and their breasts exposed. I guess with bare breasts and battles one can see the target audience here.

     The other issue is that there are far too many storylines and the anime tries to tie together too many genres. There is a fantasy otherworld, a super-secret organisation called COCOON, a terrorist group, magic and spells, juvenile sexual pranks, bodily humour, romance, a dragon and the concerns of high school teens for belonging and friendship. So one episode is all about shopping and buying a bra that fits while the next can be about a terrorist attack, a martial arts / magic contest, a magic super-motor bike, or a day at the beach. Two thirds of the way through the plot also changes radically when another hero is sent from Alayzard to get Miu back and the rest of the episodes concentrate upon this storyline. This means that some plotlines, such as that involving COCOON, the terrorists or student council president Kyoya are not resolved. This may work in a series of novels, but in an anime of 12 episodes there is a definite sense of unfinished business. Indeed, at the end of episode 12 Akatsuki, Miu, Haruka, Chikage, Kuzuha and mystery student Motoharu (Joel McDonald, Atsushi Abe) are about to return to Alayzard, so clearly a second series was intended. However, at this time I cannot find on websites any reference to a second series being in production.

     Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero can be distasteful in parts but is still a guilty pleasure as it goes along its merry way. It is exuberant and can be humorous; it is just so difficult to fit in at high school and make friends and here the relationship between Miu, Chikage and Kuzuha is nicely done. The series is also beautifully drawn with vivid colours and the characters easily distinguishable, mostly because of their bright and diverse hair colours! Battles are varied, using magic, spells and various weapons although the dragon at the end looked very static and underwhelming.

     Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero aired on Japanese TV from July 2012 and ran for twelve episodes. This Blu-ray contains all twelve episodes on two discs; episodes 1-9 plus two commentaries are on Disc 1, episodes 10-12 plus the rest of the extras are on Disc 2.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original release ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     The sharpness and colours of the print deliberately vary a good deal. Some flashbacks to the world of Alayzard look grainy and muted, and certainly at other times for effect the print looks hazy. When this is not happening the print is sharp and clear, with beautiful pastel colours. Spells and explosions produce vibrant greens and reds that look great. The long shots of the Babel campus also looked very good.

     I did not notice any marks, dirt or similar artefacts.

     It is anime so lip synchronisation is very approximate in either audio track.

     The English subtitles are in US English in a clear white font. They did not contain any spelling or grammatical errors in the sections I saw.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is a choice of Japanese or English Dolby True HD 2.0. Both share similar characteristics although the English dub is recorded at a louder level by about 4 stops. The audio (and subtitles) cannot be changed on the go with the remote – you need to go back to the top menu.

     Dialogue is clear and centred. The majority of the effects are from the front of the sound stage aside from the heavy metal opening song and the main battles with the dragon near the end, when some effects, including the dragon’s voice and battle sounds, were redirected to the rears. The subwoofer got a little redirected activity.

     The English dub for Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero is not too bad but to my ears lacks the depth of feeling and character of the original Japanese, so although I did listen to a few episodes in English I much preferred the Japanese.

     The original music by Kayo Konishi and Yukio Kondoo is varied and effective. The opening song Realization by faylan starts each episode with a heavy metal bang.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Disc 1

Trailer

     On start-up of disc 1 we get a trailer for Aquarion Evol (1:27).

Episode 2 Audio Commentary

     US voice cast members Alexis Tipton (Haruka), Monica Rial (Kuzuha) and Felicia Angella (Miu) sit together and laugh a lot. There is some information about their favourite parts of the show and jobs outside of voicing anime. They also talk about recording anime but say little about the episode they are watching. Limited value for any understanding of the series.

Episode 8 Audio Commentary

     US voice cast members Joel McDonald (Motoharu), Ryan Reynolds (Chikage) and Eric Vale (Akatsuki) also sit together, laugh and watch the episode. They talk a little about recording anime, their acting philosophy and some in-jokes, and they do joke about all the breasts and other body parts on show but say very little about the episode. Also of limited value.

Disc 2

Trailer

     On start-up of disc 2 we get a trailer for Oniai (0:53).

Original Videos

     Six videos each sub-headed “Embarrassing Original Video” which mostly revolve around girls losing or removing their clothing. The titles are:

Promotional Videos

     Five short teaser trailers concentrating upon five lesser characters (4:00). Then the menu adds three additional “promotional videos” concentrating on Akatsuki, Haruka and Miu (0:32 each).

Textless Opening Song (1:32)

     Opening song Realization without the credits.

Textless Closing Song (1:32)

     Closing song Ai no Sei de Nemurenai without the credits.

US Trailer (1:05)

Trailers

     Trailers for Maken-Ki! (0:55), Good Luck Girl! (1:06), We Without Wings (1:00), Ikki Tousen (1:11), Is This a Zombie? Of the Dead (1:04), Dragon Ball Z (1:11) plus promotions for Anime Classics (0:56) and Funimation (0:32).

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Our Region A/B release of Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero is identical to the Region A US version right down to the FBI warning. There are Region A Japanese Blu-rays of individual episodes that are not English friendly.

Summary

     With more bouncing breasts and naked female bodies than an average episode of Game of Thrones, plus battles involving magic and various weapons, one can see the target audience here. However, I must say that despite some tasteless misogyny Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero is a bit of a guilty pleasure!

     That visuals are very good and the audio fine. Extras are OK and are the same as available in the US.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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