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Witchblade : The Complete Series (Anime Classics)


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Product Details

  • Format: Box set, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Studio: Funimation! Unidisc
  • Release Date: Oct. 25 2011
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005DEUEYK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,063 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Lam on Oct. 15 2010
Format: Blu-ray
WitchBlade is one of the greatest anime series based off the ideas from the popular comic book series from the USA. The storyline centres around the ancient artifact called the WitchBlade & the incredible power it possesses towards the host it selects. Masane Amaha is the new bearer of the WitchBlade & now must find a way to balance both her instinct for battle & blood with her desire to be a good mother for her daughter. The plot has everlasting epic action & very interesting to follow. With no dull moments to interfere with any of the epic action or any of the comedic moments that occur within the anime series, this will keep the viewer sitting on the edge of their seat. Overall, one of the best anime series ever produced by GONZO studios that features exotic battle scenes, incredible suspense & mystery, comedy, compassion, & a lot of fan service.
The voice acting scores a bull's eye with the portrayal of the characters emotions & thoughts. The dialogue is like a pendulum where the mood of the storyline can be happy & joyful to being tense & panicked. No confusing or awkward conversations have been found within this anime series so it is understandable to listen to, especially since this anime series has a lot of mystery within the storyline.
I recommend this anime series.
Thanks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Lam on May 25 2010
Format: DVD
WitchBlade is one of the greatest anime series based off the ideas from the popular comic book series from the USA. The storyline centres around the ancient artifact called the WitchBlade & the incredible power it possesses towards the host it selects. Masane Amaha is the new bearer of the WitchBlade & now must find a way to balance both her instinct for battle & blood with her desire to be a good mother for her daughter. The plot has everlasting epic action & very interesting to follow. With no dull moments to interfere with any of the epic action or any of the comedic moments that occur within the anime series, this will keep the viewer sitting on the edge of their seat. Overall, one of the best anime series ever produced by GONZO studios that features exotic battle scenes, incredible suspense & mystery, comedy, compassion, & a lot of fan service.
The voice acting scores a bull's eye with the portrayal of the characters emotions & thoughts. The dialogue is like a pendulum where the mood of the storyline can be happy & joyful to being tense & panicked. No confusing or awkward conversations have been found within this anime series so it is understandable to listen to, especially since this anime series has a lot of mystery within the storyline.
I recommend this anime series.
Thanks.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 82 reviews
68 of 74 people found the following review helpful
If you expect sex and non-stop violence, you're in for a shock: Witchblade is actually a character-driven drama! March 1 2010
By Aion - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
"When I saw the pictures and the explanation of the story, I thought it was a coarser, scarier and darker anime. But once we started, I realized it had less violence and more heart." - Mie Sonozaki

-----

Before anything else, you need to understand the following: Witchblade is, first and foremost, a character-driven drama, rather than an action series. It has some fighting, yes, but the vast majority of the episodes are spent focusing on character development. Everything else comes a distant second. At first the suggestion is that it's going to be a The Devil Lady, 'monster of the week' type, but that isn't the case.

Whoever decided to market Witchblade as a violent, fan-service heavy title wasn't too bright. Likewise, the person who came up with the idea of taking the title of a popular American comic and then creating an entirely different story, with an all-new cast, didn't make the wisest of moves. By attempting to pass-off a slow-paced, heartfelt and very human drama as a generic action title with added boobs, all Gonzo achieved was getting the wrong type of viewers; pushing away the types who would appreciate a family drama about a mother loving her daughter with all her heart and being willing to do anything for her.

Judging the series based on the revealing Witchblade forms and boob sizes, it's hard not to expect an utterly tasteless anime. But you know what? Sex only occurs ONCE during the entire series, and NOTHING gets shown--the two involved kiss and then it's the morning after. That pretty much sums Witchblade up: there's a lot of cleavage but, that aside, Witchblade is surprisingly tasteful. In truth, there isn't even a huge amount of action once series gets past the introduction period.

:: Story :: 6/10

Six years prior to the start of Witchblade, Tokyo had been left devastated by a catastrophic earthquake. Two people were found alive at the ground zero of the quake: a 17-year-old woman (later named Masane; her having lost all of her pre-disaster memories) and a baby (Rihoko). Only the maternity diary held by the woman pointed towards them being related...

Once the series gets going, the two are heading back to Tokyo on the run; desperate to stay together and not be separated by the child welfare organization (created after the quake, to 'help' children). As jobless Masane struggles to keep Rihoko, she encounters the 'monster' responsible for a string of nasty murders, and that's when what had been sleeping within her for six years awakens--the power of the 'Witchblade'; something that has existed since the beginning of time, selecting its (female) hosts and forcing its hosts to give into their lust and destructive urges. Masane then gets caught between two organizations who seek the Witchblade, ending up working for one (Douji: a major weapons supplier) to support her life with Rihoko and hunted by the other (NSWF: in charge of the child welfare organization and with links to genetic research).

I'll be honest here: the story of Witchblade is full of anime silliness, ranging from fat men disguised as killer microwaves, genetic experiments, and women who use 'Cloneblades'--lesser, copied versions of the ever mysterious Witchblade. It's never explained why the weapons Masane hunts target random females, or why the Witchblade only selects women as 'hosts'... or what the Witchblade actually is. And I couldn't help but see most of the twists coming in advance; the writers actually intentionally spelling out how the series would end in order to impact on the viewers' feelings progressively rather than shock them.

While it does have a B-movie sort of entertainment factor in its favour, if I were to score Witchblade based only on its story, it wouldn't be very flattering... But this is where the negative ends because, like I've already pointed out at the start, the characters are where it's at. The story is no more than a means to an end; the backdrop for lots of excellent drama.

:: Characterization :: 9.5/10

Masane (nicknamed 'Melonie' because of her boob size!), the lead of the story, has nothing going for her apart from her six-year-old daughter, Rihoko. She isn't incredibly sharp, has no skills of note and, really, only has her love for her daughter. The child welfare organization try to separate them; Masane's ability to transform into a scantily-clad, sexulized version of herself (thanks to the mysterious Witchblade attached to her wrist) puts her in danger and powerful corporations involve her in their troubles, but, no matter what stands in her way, she fights to protect and give a better life to the one she loves the most.

Loud, simple-minded, direct type of characters tend to be hard to like and easy to hate, but Masane is very endearing. There are many simple things that made her into a likable character, such as when she went into a blind panic after learning that her daughter had been hurt; Masane ending up running out of her apartment barefoot. She's often called a primate by her 'boss', Takayama, because of how she acts without thinking and says what's on her mind, but that's what's so lovable about her: her honesty, maternal instincts and selflessness. It's little surprise that she eventually wins over even Takayama with her natural personality as the series progresses - she's just impossible to not like and respect.

The supporting cast backing up Masane aren't too shabby, either. Rihoko basically 'mothers' her own mother by shopping, cooking and caring for the more absent-minded Masane, and her being so mature at such a young age makes her have instant likability. Takayama plays the role of Masane's stern and somewhat awkward middle-aged boss, giving her orders to hunt down rogue 'weapons' for money, and it's his banter with her that provides much of the comic relief--the two later also becoming much closer; the writers doing a wonderful job of humanizing him and showing his softer, caring side as the series progresses. The rest of the cast are less developed and involved than the main three but all play important roles; the residents where Masane and Rihoko live, though never getting much time individually, are responsible for the 'family atmosphere' always being in the air during the more relaxing periods, for example.

:: Art / Animation + Sound:: 8.5/10

The first thing that made me think, 'Wow, Witchblade might not be so horrible, despite the title and fan-service!' was its opening. I watched/listened to the opening by chance, and as soon as I heard the fast-paced, exciting beat and saw the visuals that accompanied the music, which included a close-up of Masane's eye and a tear coming out of it, I just knew I had to watch it. The first opening is THAT good--even the 'GIVE ME YOUR XTC!!!' lyrics going with the show itself. Gonzo went on to regret changing it halfway through since they replaced the far less impressive second opening with the first for the final episode.

In terms of the overall art and animation, the best word to use when describing it is consistent. Why? Because Gonzo are known for running out of budget and forgetting to animate towards the end. That wasn't the case with Witchblade, though, since the final episode featured fluid animation; Gonzo not being reduced to showing movement through lines on the screen and actually showing the characters running. Aside from a few instances of laziness where there wasn't animation and a few stills were linked, it was great to watch. Even Japan's obsession with breast jiggling got attention throughout! And, though I can't say Masane's HUGE, could-suffocate-with-ease breasts appealed to me personally, overall the art did look pleasing.

As for the soundtrack, I have to say: it's excellent. One track that stands out is one used for action quite frequently; a track with an eerie edge and... a woman breathing in an 'erotic' manner in the background - the track having an action-oriented beat. I was ALWAYS pumped for the action - my attention focused - simply because of the music. Towards the end, I recall drums starting beating after what had been a nice 'family life' sort of episode, and I just knew some sweet action would be coming my way. If a soundtrack is good enough, it can make something great into something even greater, and that's the case with Witchblade.

:: Overall :: 9/10

Witchblade has its flaws: the story isn't anything special, Gonzo appeared to run out of ideas at the death and just ended it, and the near enough naked girl-on-girl battles might be off-putting for some. However, the good by far outweighs the bad, and the characterization is at such a level that, if you're anything like me, you won't give a toss. Once the introduction was over and time had been given for attachment to the characters to form, I was too engrossed in their struggles to concern myself with negative thoughts about a robotic monster with the head of a bug and the like.

To sum it all up: If you go into Witchblade expecting nothing, you might just get everything in return. It's always rewarding to find a gem, and in my eyes Witchblade is a gem that deserves to have more people look at it. Do yourself a favour and watch it!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I thought this would suck but now I see it is Raging RED HOT Anime! Nov. 16 2008
By Jay F. Grissom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I have passed over this Anime many times, because I don't like the American comic. I only gave it consideration because my brother in-law recommended it.

Well saying "I don't like the comic" is unfair... I'm sure the writing is good and Top Cow is known for producing quality products (high quality graphics, paper, toys, etc... etc...) But, the Witchblade logo reminds me too much of the Thundercats logo. And additionally I don't like the American style art that original source material has. Just MHO.

I'll stop talking about that before I find someone at my doorsteps upset with me for bashing the most popular new comic of the last decade. New is relative... considering franchises like Superman have been around for 60 plus years I think.

THIS Version of Witchblade However... is stunning! The story is deep and valid. It is the classic heroes journey, and it is absolutely fantastic!

Watching this immediately makes me think of one of my other absolute favorite anime franchises... Elfen Lied. Just like Elfen Lied they contrast hyper-violence with powerfully moving relationships... Beauty and the Beast wrapped into in one person then pumped up on "sexy-violence steroids" to end up with a really high contrast product.

The women are outrageously sexy and usually that just doesn't do it for me when it comes to anime. Sometimes I'm put off when the fan service levels are this high. See my reviews on Misuki Chronicles and you will see that I'm just saying this.

The fan service is REALLY REALLY high on this, almost to the point of ridiculous. But the content of the story and the high impact action just makes that something that has to be overlooked.

This is another keeper for the collection... and I feel it is a must own. Dare I say the success of this could set a new trend... I can see that many other comic producers would want to jump on this bandwagon the same way they did with "digital comic painting" back in the early 90's when Image Studios launched that boat for the first time.

Top Cow apparently gave Gonzo/Funimation creative freedom on this because it is remarkably different from the American version. In my opinion that is good...

The only constant is the Witchblade. Which really demonstrates the thinking of Top Cow... The Witchblade is a great tool for telling many stories... very clever... and remarkably strategic in the market place.

Should you own this? I would say... Sell what ever you gotta sell to get this into your collection... The images are so stunning, and the story is so powerful you would be crazy to pass on this one... (Like I did for quite a while.)

I regret not getting this sooner because I have picked up some pretty mediocre anime lately and that money would have been much better spent on this title at twice the price.

In summary:
The Action - Rivetingly Awesome. Complete edge of your seat stuff.

The Fan Service - Super sexy but not offensive.

The Story - Very compelling. (My wife and I watched the 4 DVDs that have the story on them in just 1 sitting. We pulled an all-nighter on the couch to watch all of this... it is that good.)

The Production Quality - Really high... very little in the market place is better today. (Perhaps the folks that did the new Appleseed might have higher production standards.)

The audio quality - Superb. I don't like the opening song but the audio is normalized well so you don't have to keep adjusting the sound when action changes to dialog. It is very easy to clearly hear what is being said. And the rest of the music is really good for the show...

The artwork - The quality of the cover art is not as good as the anime and the box cover art is pretty high quality. The overall artistic rendering during the animation is very clean and will likely stand the test of time. (Again I'm not real big on American Comic Style Art)

The box quality - This is pretty good. I would have to say this, while excellent, is the weakest link. The fold out thingy has some great artwork on it that is clearly a different artist than the cover artist.

Overall 5 stars but I wish I could give it more.

You will like this I'm 100% sure of it.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
A Taste for Killing Aug. 16 2008
By AMP - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Good Things
*Has good video and sound quality.
*Comes with a number of extras; making-of featurettes, interviews, textless songs, trailers, and outtakes. It is all allocated on disc five, while the rest of the show takes up the first four discs.
*Comes in a nice slim box, with all of the discs on a fold-out thing and all associated booklets in its own envelope (just like with the complete box set of "Burst Angel," "Speedgrapher," or "Samurai 7"). Has a lot of cool artwork.
*Good amount of exciting action and fighting.
*Very good animation style and quality.
*Very good production desgin. The characters look phenomenal, the settings look interesting, and the Witchblade weapon itself is incredibly awesome.
*The main character has some very big...ahem...fan service.
*Aside from that, the protagonist is a great character who shows compelling emotion and awesome wickedness. The other characters are great, and their drama is very immersive.
*Storyline is great, especially since this rendition is much more sci-fi and fantasy orientated.
*Look out for one or two inside jokes.

The Bad Things
*Don't know how accurate it is to the original comic book. It is certainly different than the 2001 live-action TV show. But this version is still quite enjoyable.
*Not for kids; rated TV-MA for bloody violence.

This anime version of the comic book "Witchblade" definately makes for some awesome anime. It is exciting, and a good story with good characters. There is hardly anything dull about this show, and is probably one of the best to have come out in recent years. Highly reccomended to any anime fan, and probably to most fans of the comics.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Witchblade: The Complete Series Nov. 22 2009
By R. Calvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Series was not particularly deep, but it was sexy and fun. It was pretty cool visually, with heavy innuendo (e.g., cleavage, crotch shots and the morning after scene) which led me to wonder about the intended audience. This could cause some adults to think twice about using this as a stocking stuffer.
The storyline provided a relatively good time, providing just enough intrigue to keep the viewer wanting to know what lied ahead for our heroine. Kudos to Funimation for the presentation. If there were anything lacking (in my estimation), I'd say it would have been the lack of supplemental material typically offered with boxed sets. If you're a fan of the series or you enjoy scenes with scantily clad women, dispatching a variety of villainous types, this would definitely be worth purchase or a rental. At $57.00, the set is a bit pricey. A quick search on Amazon could save the potential buyer nearly half off the list price (if you don't mind used goods).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Entertaining Look At The Witchblade Anime Style Nov. 7 2008
By Rich(Anime&Games Will Always Prevail!) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I actually have a few of the comics of the Witchblade from the 90's and also the live-action show so after seeing a few episodes of this series I decided to get this as well. The shows main Witchblade holder is a woman by the name of Masane Amaha who also has a young daughter she loves deeply by the name of Rihoko Amaha when Masane unwittingly becomes involved in the Witchblade agendas. Apparently their are certain factions that have been searching for the reemergence of the Witchblade after a faction had it stolen from them and it was later lost though. After an episode or two you find out Masane is the recent holder of the WB and is pretty much kidnapped by one of the factions to control the new WB holder and its power. The series is hard-core with plenty of action and bloody violence so it's definitely not for younger kids. There are also sexual undertones but not anything to r-rated so don't worry about any true adult scenes if teenagers watch this. The characters they made for the show are extremely entertaining Masane is a kind loving parent but seems at most time to somewhat of a ditz and the character of Reiji Takayama(One of the scientist from the faction that firsts kidnapped Masane) is also a nice character for the show. I like how Renji who after having been betrayed before by someone is at first stoic and just professional to Masane seeing her as just an experiment but after opening up to her more becomes a more caring and loving person again especially after meeting her daughter. The series is dramatic but has its humorous scenes kind of like Bleach a little bit. The video is wide-screen and clear and sharp so no problems with that. The audio is also great and the voice actors both for the English and Japanese cast did an incredible job for their characters. So if you like the hot action warrior women with plenty of fighting and a touch of sci-fi this series might just be a good set for your library....

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