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Bayonetta: Bloody Fate

FUNimation // Unrated // October 21, 2014 // Region 0
List Price: $34.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kyle Mills | posted November 2, 2014 | E-mail the Author
Based on the critically acclaimed PlayStation 3/X-Box 360 video game, Bayonetta, comes Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, a somewhat sequel/retelling of the original game. With the writers from the game and the studio behind the production of the aesthetically stunning, Last Exile and the anime powerhouse, Hellsing, all on board. With all of these seemingly winning ingredients, does Bloody Fate live up to the quality of it's predecessor?

At the beginning of time, there once existed two groups of European clans that served as overseers of history for the powers that be. The first were the umber witches, dwellers of the darkness. The second group was the Lumen Sages, the controllers of everything good (light.) The witches proclaimed their allegiance to the underworld demons, while the Sages served the Angels of Heaven.

Each side carried a piece of a treasure called 'The Eyes of the World' (seperately named Left Eye and Right Eye) which they used to oversee the world, working together to maintain peace throughout time. One day that peace was destroyed through the actions of members from each side coming together to form a union, resulting in a child. The after affect was grave however, eventually snowballing into a war between the two sides, leading to the two separate groups all-to-soon near extinction. The forbidden child whom was banished by the angels and grown as a witch, is now known Bayonetta, whom now hunts the remaining angels.

After waking from an undisclosed amount of years of slumber at the bottom of a lake, the witch Bayonetta awakens with no recollection of her life before her sleep. So in true Bayonetta fashion, what does she decide to do? Hunt down the remaining Lumen sages. With the help of a reappearing Luca (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) and a small girl who keeps calling her 'mommy', Bayonetta begins to realize her past piece by piece and embarks on a journey to rediscover her to fully realize her identity and what exactly happened in her past.

However, her journey will be anything but easy. While she may be hunting the Angels, they have also found out about Bayonetta's return, deciding to hunt her down at every turn, claiming that the rebirth of the creator of the universe, Jubileus, is soon to be resurrected. Bayonetta must stop the Umbra witches from bringing back the tyrannical Jubileus, whom will form a new world for the hell bent witches, before everything she knows, and all signs of her past, are wiped clean.

- Positives:

+ An overall fun film that fans of the video game should enjoy it.

+ Beautiful animation as per usual with Gonzo studios.

+ Well done action sequences.

+ Excellent dub work that should make all the fans of the game happy. Honestly, the Japanese voice actors do not come close to the English dub, specifically Bayonetta herself, Helena Taylor can not be matched.

+ Copious amounts of fan service for those who like it.

- Negatives:

- Not much substance to the story.

- Shallow characters.

- Some over obvious CGI.

- copious amounts of fan service for those who dislike it.

Video and Audio:
Gonzo knocked yet another project out of the park with Bayonetta: Bloody Fate, the production values are absolutely beautiful. There are some scenes where the CGI is a bit too obvious, but I can give it a pass overall. The action sequences are slick, the background shots are well detailed, the characters are unique in their appearance, and to those fans that like heavy fanservice, you can tell the studio spared no expenses in that department.

There are two options for audio. The first is a 5.1 TrueHD English track which was excellent. The second is a 5.1 TrueHD Japanese track which is also good if you're a fan of the original Japanese, however I'd personally go for the English dub on this one. There were no problems with the mix, the soundtrack was appropriate for the film and there were no signs of any dropouts or distortions throughout.

Extras: - Commentary on the film with Jonathan Klein, the ADR director of the film, Helena Taylor, the voice of Bayonetta. I actaually really appreciated this track on being included, as Klein had to travel all the way to England to be able to include Helena in the commentary. That extra mile on FUNimation's part is just fantastic, especially to fans of the franchise. Quite a bit of the commentary plays as two friends catching up and but they do go in depth about their past work and the film. Overall it was enjoyable and worth the listen.

- Storyboards. A gallery of the entire film shot for shot in the storyboard process. The gallery run for approximately 23 minutes.

- US trailer for the dub of the film.

Trailers for other FUNimation titles such as Hellsing Ultimate, Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, One Piece: Film Z, Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, Attack on Titan, and Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker.

While it doesn't really improve on the game, you're sure to have a hell of a fun time digging into this film. Bloody Fate doesn't really have any substance to it, but it's got some of the best animated action sequences in recent memory that truly impress, some badass characters, and a fun story. It's an enjoyable popcorn flick that you can enjoy. Bayonetta: Bloody Fate comes recommended.

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