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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » The Daily Lives of High School Boys: Complete Series (Premium Edition) (Blu-ray)
The Daily Lives of High School Boys: Complete Series (Premium Edition) (Blu-ray)
NIS America, Inc. // Unrated // August 6, 2013 // Region A
List Price: $64.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted September 12, 2013 | E-mail the Author
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Daily Lives of High School Boys Blu-ray Review

The Daily Lives of High School Boys is a pretty silly anime series in virtually every regard someone might consider. It's not your typical comedic hijinks show either as it attempts to seamlessly blend it's goofball humor with "slice-of-life" concepts that are less common in regards to the anime art form. For these reasons, The Daily Lives of High School Boys is something apart from your typical high-school themed anime comedy.

The series three primary characters are Tadakuni, Hidenori, and Yoshitake. The three are incredibly close friends who spend most of their time together simply hanging out and it becomes clear these characters are the basis for the "ordinary" high school boys of this production.

These students goof off and act silly most of the time. They attend an all-boys school. There are of course other characters as well, including older classmen, friends, and girls from an all-girls school. The show intersperses moments with the supporting characters and the main roles to ultimately bring even more comedy to the (metaphorical) table.

Produced with animation by Sunrise (Cowboy Bebop), this is a visually unique and interesting series. The character designs were nicely done and seem distinctive enough so as to never feel confusing. The artwork in general is accomplished and there is usually decent background art; something which adds an element of dimensionality to the art platform this show utilizes. The lush animation is not amongst the greatest currently found in anime, but it is certainly a stellar production regardless with a lot of worthwhile and notable scenes.

The direction and writing goes a long way to helping the show succeed. Sometimes the mere writing of character-based dialogue can bring laughs (in combination with the excellent VA work as well, naturally).  The show is simplistic in a lot of regards. Sometimes comedy is in spades but while art remains relatively static. Other times, of course, the animators seem so enthralled in their art-form that the fluidity and style of the show excels beyond expectation.

The series is not necessarily something many would define as a "must see" show in that there certainly are a lot of anime series already focused on high-school boys or high-school girls. I wouldn't think that this show would find as large of an audience as a result. Especially with a title that might actually make some viewers feel this could be a bland or generic comedy, as it doesn't exactly make one think this is going to be something all too different from the rest. The surprising thing is that the show actually is more unique than you might imagine at first.

The good news and the word that should exist on this show is that the series actually is unique; something special and that differentiates itself creatively and seizes the opportunity for anime referential jokes on a frequent basis (such as in the early appearance of a few Gundam robots, which would of course not belong on a slice-of-life show at any given time: or the use of the "BGM" (Background Music) pun when a school fight ensues at a concert, which plays on a concept only serious anime fans would get.

This is a quality series and one which will entertain many anime fans looking for something humorous with some quality characters capable of bringing the sketches/scenes to their top quality effect. It's never too ambitious and it's not interested in telling an ongoing storyline. Rather, The Daily Lives of High School Boys is far more concerned with making audiences laugh, smile, and simply have a good time while marveling in the beautiful simplicity it has offered in spades well worth appreciating.

The Blu-ray:


Video:

The Daily Lives of High School Boys features a strong and noticeably proficient transfer in the 1.78:1 widescreen ratio, which preserves the original broadcast exhibition. The show has some amazing animation and it is well represented by the transfers with the surprisingly high quality 1080p MPEG-4 presentation. The art is clean, sharp, and well-defined.

Audio:

The 2.0 linear uncompressed PCM presentation preserves the show's audio with lossless mix encoding that represents the best quality audio the show can seek to achieve. The show won't ever sound fully immersive without a surround sound option to be there for viewers, but a top quality lossless mix certainly doesn't hurt a presentation on the whole. Non-removable English subtitles are provided.


Extras:

The set features a few select bonus scenes, clean opening/ending animation, and trailers from the Japanese releases of the show. The biggest draw of all is actually not an on-disc extra but rather the incredible packaging by distributor NIS America, who have housed the show in a collectible art-box with an included book showcasing art and information that is relevant to the show.

Final Thoughts:

The Daily Lives of High School Boys is a fun, quirky, and unique high-school slice of life anime series and it is one that big-time anime fans will most likely enjoy experiencing the most. It's a silly show but it's also a quality one that should greatly entertain fans. This new release  by the anime distributor NIS America is well worth picking up with its fancy art-book and the box to accompany the show's release.

Highly Recommended.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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