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Hyperdimension Neptunia is an animated series spin-off creation based upon the massively popular video-game franchise by the same name. The series is by animation studio David Production (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure & Soul Eater) and it is directed by Masahiro Mukai (Puella Magi Madoka Magica).
The series is like a video-game because it is based on a video-game. The series franchise takes place inside a mythical video-game land known as the Gamindustri World. Within this video-game environment, the characters of Neptune (the leader of the goddesses) and others must undergo transformers to more powerful versions of themselves with different appearances, battling it out against bad monsters, powerful opponents, and other video-game bosses like godesses and an evil CPU that tries to destroy Gamindustri World.
The goddesses rule over each land and the four kingdoms are Lastation, Leanbox, Lowee, and Planeptune. Each of the goddesses is supposed to be like a video-game console as a character (with nods to actual video-game consoles like Playstation and X-Box). The result is a convoluted sci-fi anime which is basically an action series with poor attempts at comedy. It blends together bad video-game humor with sub-par action and storytelling.
Directed by Masahiro Mukai (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), the series is basically just the characters being thrown into absurd video-game situations, transforming, and battling with various CG video-game enemies. The style is ridiculously over-the-top. Written by Shogo Yasukawa (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure) and Hiroaki Tsutumi, Hyperdimension Neptunia is a production that seems more concerned with style (and poor humor) than any attempt at real substance or character-based storytelling.
Though the animation is by studio David Production (who has animated the immensely popular JoJo's Bizarre Adventure and Soul Eater), the style isn't exactly great, either. The art is directed by Masanobu Nomura (Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror) and it seems rather uninspired. The artwork seems to have a high-production budget but the quality of the production is lacking because the series seems to replicate the style of so many other anime creations.
Character designs are by Hitomi Takechi, based off the work done for Hyperdimension Neptunia video-games. The established fans of the games should be happy character designs were done in a style intended to be faithful to the original designs from the games.
The music score is composed by Kenji Kaneko and Masaru Yokoyama (composer of the upcoming Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans). The score has a high-energy electronica style to it. The score seems to be fitting given the video-game anime style.
Hyperdimension Neptunia is a massively successful video-game franchise but this is not a massively successful anime series. Having never played the video games before, the series cannot be compared well to the games. How fans respond to the series might be different to responses from those unfamiliar with the game frachise.
Even so, the Hyperdimension Neptunia anime series seems so poorly done with a terrible sense of humor that is often offensive, bad characterization, badly done action, and sub-par style that it's hard to imagine how the video-games could become so popular if it's like what was created for this bad anime. This is an easy pass for anime fans. Hyperdimension Neptunia might be fun as a video-game but as an anime it flounders.
Hyperdimension Neptunia is presented on Blu-ray from Funimation Entertainment with a quality 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer in the original television broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen. The image is sharp, clean, and with good color reproduction. This is a strong PQ presentation by Funimation.
The audio on this release is available in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD surround sound lossless and Japanese 2.0 Dolby TrueHD stereo lossless. Either option should be satisfactory but the English dub track will provide slightly more robust bass reproduction and is slightly more enveloping in surround activity.
For some reason, the audio on this release seemed quieter than usual and the sound needed to be turned up more than usual for reasonable sound output. This also means the release seemed a bit less bass-heavy. Just turn up the volume a few more notches than usual for a Funimation release and it should sound normal.
English subtitles are provided.
This is a Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack release.
On disc supplements include:
The Unaired 13th OVA episode: The Eternity [True Ending] Promised, which runs the same length as the other episodes and acts as the series finale.
Transform Collection - a collection of character transformations, Blu-ray/DVD Commercials, TV Commercials, Promotional Videos, Textless Opening/Closing Credits, the U.S. trailer for Hyperdimension Neptunia, and trailers promoting other Funimation Entertainment releases.
Hyperdimension Neptunia is an anime adaptation based on the bestselling video-game series. The anime series has convoluted writing, is all over the place, and is badly done. The series comedy is also unfunny and often offensive. This is a poorly done series which anime fans should consider skipping.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.