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Review of Media Blasters release of Kanokon Vol. 1

May 18, 2010

Time again for me to talk about one of my favorite shows, and review the newly released Kanokon volume 1, released by media blasters

First let me refresh your memory of what the show is about…

The show is about a country boy named Kota, who lived with his grandfather in the mountains, and has moved to the city to attend high school. changes come with a new home and new school, but nothing could have prepared him in dealing with girls, especially a bombshell fox spirit named Chizuru. As if her aggressive advances weren’t enough, he also catches the attention of a frosty wolf spirit named Nozomu. Kota is dragged into supernatural events as a result of his contact with the two girls, and his school life only gets more chaotic by the day. But with a girl who gives “foxy” new meaning and another howling after him, things are looking up in his love life…

First let’s talk about the show in general. It is by no means a stellar show, What little plot it has is shaky at best, but what this show does offer is fan service, so much of it, you could almost classify this show as hentai (animated porn), but it does not cross that line. It may slap against it like crazy, but it never crosses that line. I personally enjoy shows of this nature, especially when I just need a laugh. This is not a show to sit and watch with your children, unless your son is a teenager. and even then he might look at you funny. I call shows like these “guilty pleasures”

New to the R1 American release is a English audio Dub track. After the first episode, I can summarize that they did not spend a whole lot of money on the English audio, now do not get me wrong, at least they did take the time to dub the show in English, other companies are just releasing anime with the original Japanese audio with English subtitles, so just the fact that they spent any money on a dub is a plus. The English voice actor for Kota is acceptable, but the rest seem to fall a little short in my opinion, If I could pick someone to voice the main female character Chizuru, I would pick Monica Rial, but that is just a personal preference. There is one voice actor in the show, that I believe English might be a second language for him, plus it sounds like he is just reading the script without any expression. In all, because this show should not be taken seriously, the dub works well with it, it enhances the cheesiness of the show, and makes it more enjoyable.

I am a fan of watching shows in their original language with the English subtitles on, so I also watched the first volume that way. I can say that the subtitles do not match the English audio that much, sure some of the lines match, but most of the time they are different, in one scene when Kota first sees Chizuru as a fox spirit, the first thing he notices is her tail, in the original language with subtitles, he says the Japanese word for tail, and says it in a way as if he was asking himself, is that a tail I see???, but in the English dub, he clearly says to Chizuru, nice tail. That in my opinion completely changes the mood of the scene, but maybe I just looking to hard at it. The subs are easy to read, and are yellow on the screen, I prefer white, but yellow seems to be a standard for some companies.

On the negative side, Media Blasters failed when it comes to extras. Sure it has the textless opening and ending, but it is missing the token short episodes that are on the R2 Japanese release. That alone is a huge disappointment in my opinion. The American distribution companies should give us all content that was released originally in Japan. There is still a few Gigabytes of room left on the DVD to add more content. Now Media Blasters might be holding onto the token shorts to put them together on the last DVD release, like Sentai Filmworks did with Tayutama ~Kiss on my Deity, so I will have to wait and see.

In conclusion I feel this is a solid release, and hope that it is received well in the American anime community, because I would love for Media Blasters to acquire the OVAs of Kanokon, as well as if a second season ever gets made, I have seen the entire show, but I will not spoil it for anyone who has not seen it yet, I will save those comments for when I review the final volume of the show. So I highly recommend you go out and buy this one, and sit back and get ready to laugh so hard, you might fall out of your chair.

now for a quick recap:

English audio…….: Not the best, but works well for this type of show

Subtitles…………..: Not the same as the Dub, more in line with the original language (also a good thing)

Video Quality…….: I find it watchable, no censoring (also a good thing)

Extras……………..: Missing the token short episodes, but maybe they will be released all together on the last volume, if not that is a shame

Conclusion………..: This is a must buy in my opinion

But what is a review without some pics for people to see what I am talking about…….

here I will post screen shots of both the new R1 release and the R2 Japanese release with custom subtitles

But first a look at the DVD slip cover
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Looks clean, easy to read and single sided
now for the DVD itself
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I think they did a good job on packaging

Now for the screen shots….

R1
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R2
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R1
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R2
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R1
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R2
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R1
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R2
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R1
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R2
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R1
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R2
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And last but not least 2 pics to compare picture quality

R1
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R2
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There is a noticeable dot crawl in the R1 pic

And as a final note. The R2 beats out the R1, not just for Video, but for extras, but at least the show was brought over here.

Special thanks to Blinx01 for taking the time to subtitle the R2 Japanese DVDs, and thanks to Ayako fansubs for translating it

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