What They Say:
Yasuna Oribe isn’t your typical Japanese high school girl. For one thing, she’s a little slow on the uptake, and for another, her best friend, Sonya, is actually a highly trained foreign assassin who’s in Yasuna’s class as part of her assignment. And perhaps Yasuna’s definition of “best friend” is a bit strange, as Sonya as the habit of regularly attacking Yasuna, especially when startled. However, as noted, Yasuna isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, and while Sonya knows precisely what to do with every one of those sharp objects, even she is hard pressed to deal with the every day to day oddities that seem to fill their class schedule. Things like: escaped bears, voodoo curses, juggling and killer mosquitoes. And puppet shows. And, just in case Yasuna’s life wasn’t weird/hazardous enough, there’s her ninja classmate, Agiri, swarms of bees and assassins targeting just about everybody, a mysterious red haired girl with a personal vendetta and the perils of slipping in the public bath. They say a little education can be a dangerous thing, but with a school life like this, Yasuna will be lucky to keep breathing past third period in KILL ME BABY!
The audio, both the dub and the sub, is only 2.0 audio, which is a little disappointing. Usually the dubs have 5.1, but oh well. Either way, the dub sounds fine to me and there’s never an issue of not hearing what’s happening.
The video quality could be better, but there’s really nothing wrong with it. A show like this doesn’t require the best quality video ever and it’s not like its bad. Comes through clear.
This is a standard blu-ray package with some nice key art on the front and *drumroll* no swimsuits on the back. There’s even a description of a bath house on the back cover, so I don’t know why an ecchi photo is absent. I guess there’s the red haired girl wearing a sports bra(?) and boxing, so that’s gonna have to be close enough. Of note is that one of the discs was flying around, which happened sometime in transit.
The menu is pretty cute, with the first disc showing Yasuna doing some sort of suplex dealt to her by Sonya, who’s probably fighting off some invisible assailant or annoyed by Yasuna’s antics.
Nothin’ but clean opening and closing.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Anime based on four panel manga don’t often work all that well. The stories inherent in four panel manga often don’t last for longer than the four panels so stretching it out to a full length show, as Kill Me Baby does, makes it almost intolerable unless the comedy is really hitting you and I’ll admit that the comedy did not always hit me in Kill Me Baby.
What succeeds, however, is the comedy. It’s entirely dependent on the interaction between Yasuna, Sonia, and Agiri—usually just the first two. When it’s on, it works so well that the show had me laughing out loud on several occasions. The absurdity of the situations they’re placed in are an absolute joy to watch because of how well Yasuna and Sonia work off of each other. The jokes, while almost always dealing with Yasuna doing something stupid and Sonia hurting her as a result, maintain a level of comedy that I wouldn’t expect even after 12 episodes. It’s charm is almost in its repetitiveness. After the ridiculously violent actions toward Yasuna, you wonder why Sonia even hangs out with her. But after 12 episodes, you realize that this is the exact thing friends do with each other. It’s little bickering taken to an extreme level for the sake of comedy and oh also because Sonia is an assassin.
The jokes, unfortunately, were few and far between for me. While the ones that hit me, really hit me, the ones that didn’t I was left wondering why I was still watching the show. I was grasping for the next joke I loved. Fortunately, the jokes come at almost breakneck pace where there’s never more than a few minutes without a joke—a consequence of being adapted from a four panel manga and I’m thankful for it.
It doesn’t help that I essentially marathoned the show over the course of about five sittings. Kill Me Baby is best enjoyed week to week, or at most one or two episodes a day. Any other way and the deluge of jokes will just blur together without any semblance of meaning.
I checked out the dub—by the infamous Steven Foster—for the first two episodes. I watch dubs whenever I get the chance; in fact, I prefer dubs to subs. This dub isn’t that bad, in terms of straight acting though. I know a lot of the complaints about Steven Foster are his script adaptation and that may be affecting the dub because the jokes don’t seem to hit very hard—this without the context of the subtitled version (I have, however, read some scans of the original manga).
There are only four named characters on ANN, one of which is Brittney Karbowski’s Unused Character (she didn’t appear until the third episode, so I didn’t hear her). The other relatively minor character is Rozie Curtis’s Agiri Goshiki, the ninja. The only thing I’ve seen that she’s been in is Generator Gawl, as Masami (the main character who has a crush on Vic Mignogna’s character).
The two main characters are done by Hilary Haag, the idiot, and Luci Christian, the assassin. These two are veterans of voice acting, especially Luci Christian, who is perhaps my favorite dub voice actor. Both of the characters, who had to have known each other for at least a decade now, work great off of each other. Luci Christian’s deeper voiced Sonya (Sonia in the subtitles, Sonya in ANN’s description) is, once again, a standout dub performance. Her stoic demeanor is a perfect foil to Haag’s more energetic Yasuna. With less experience, it could work worse. But these three have had years of experience under their belt.
I have to say, though…the show because much funnier after turning the Japanese version on. The interplay between Chinatsu Akasaki and Mutsumi Tamura is just as good as Luci Christian and Hilary Haag, but the script is much better.
I don’t have much to say about Kill Me Baby because there’s pretty much a joke for everyone. The jokes are definitely repetitive at times, but the same joke can be just as funny the second time with the correct timing and characters saying them. Yasuna and Sonia work very well together and if you love them, you’ll love the show that much more.
English 2.0, Japanese 2.0, English subtitles, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation, Sentai Trailers
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: C+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: October 14th, 2014
Running Time: 325 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
PS3, LG 47LB5800 47” 1080p LED TV, LG NB3530A Sound Bar