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Leviathan Complete Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

5 min read

Absolute Defense Leviathan Blu-ray CoverAn overabundance of cuteness doesn’t make up for a lack of story.

What They Say:
War isn’t pretty…but if cute was a weapon, these girls could defeat any army!

The lands of Aquafall were a paradise, where life in all forms flourished in peach and abundance. But then the meteors began to fall, each impact spawning hideous monsters sent by an enemy that wants to claim the entire green world for itself. Fortunately, the fairy Syrup is on guard and knows exactly what to do. Working quickly, she begins to recruit an extraordinary team of young women to form the base of the Auafall Defenders. There’s the incredibly strong and athletic Jormungandr, the fire-conjuring Bahamut, and Leviathan, who has the bility to bend water to her will. Unfortunately, none of them is exactly ideal warrior material, and Syrup will have her work cut out for her when it comes to forming them into a team. And even if they do manage to survive and bond during adventures involving things like lovesick dragons and aliens attacking barbeques, can three lone girls really turn the tide of an alien invasion? Well, it might help that they’ve all got a little bit of Dragon in them! The scales of fate will turn as the future of Aquafall hangs in the balance in Leviathan—the last defense!

The Review:

Audio:
Each episode is presented in Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. English subtitles are provided for non-Japanese speakers. The overall quality of the sound was fine with no drop-offs or distortions. On a personal note, I tend to prefer dub titles to subs. I know this puts me in the minority, but I find that I process the story differently and don’t become quite as immersed in it. Of course, that’s just a personal preference.

Video:
The episodes are presented in 1080p high definition in 16×9 aspect ratio and it looks quite good. The quality of the transfer and the overall animation is very good.

Packaging:
All thirteen episodes come on a single Blu-ray disk housed in a standard Blu-ray case. The front cover features Syrup, Jormungandr, Bahamut, and Leviathan talking and enjoying each other’s company. The spine features the show’s title with an image of Leviathan standing under it. The back cover is largely taken up with a picture of Syrup. Next to her is the show’s summary, and underneath that are screenshots from the show and the Blu-ray’s specifications. It’s a fine case, but I have to say that if I were picking this up cold, the front cover wouldn’t really interest me enough to read what the show was about. It’s a fairly standard, generic design, which is an issue with the show as well.

Menu:
The menu is pretty standard from what I’ve seen from Sentai and other distribution companies lately. Three quarters of the left-hand side is taken up with a picture of the four main characters. The remaining quarter on the right contains the menu with all thirteen episodes laid out in order and a special features button beneath that. There is no “Play All” option, but choosing the first episode automatically does that for you. The show’s main title plays once for about ten seconds and then stops. I appreciate that as listening to menu music can become tiresome quickly. Overall, the menu is functional if a bit static.

Extras:
The Blu-ray comes with the standard features: clean op/ed and Sentai trailers. There’s nothing really to write home about here.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If the back cover is to be believed, cuteness can win wars. Well, that may be the case, but it doesn’t make for a particularly interesting or memorable story. If I were to boil my summary of Leviathan—the Last Defense to a single statement it would be, “cute girls doing cute things.”

Now this isn’t necessarily a problem. Three of my favorite animes—Azumanga Daioh, K-On!, and AKB0048—are essentially about cute girls doing cute things. However, the difference is that those titles were about something more than just cuteness. They were concerned with friendship, following one’s dreams, and the joys and sadness that comes from growing up. One could say that Leviathan is about growing up or finding one’s power, but the premise is rather weak and doesn’t truly play out, making this a highly forgettable show.

The anime is based off of a mobile game by Gree and the three main characters, Leviathan, Jormungandr, and Bahamut, are anthropomorphized dragons who command specific elements. They are brought together by the fairy Syrup to protect their world against an alien invasion. The majority of the series centers on their coming together as a group and realizing the full potential of their powers. Along the way there is also some family drama, repeated scenes of Syrup eating enormous amounts of food, and the girls accidentally destroying their favorite Inn.

And that’s about it. Even though there are only thirteen episodes, the plot is still thinly spread. This wouldn’t have been quite as much an issue if other aspects were stronger, such as the worldbuilding or the characters, but everything in this title is facile. There’s nothing below the surface to make this work interesting or memorable. The characters, the world, and the plot just come from the standard anime grab-bag with no attempt to make them into something new or interesting.

In Summary:
Cuteness only goes so far, and it becomes a hollow trait if it’s the guiding principle behind a show. I like kawaii as much as the next person, but not when it’s stretched over thirteen episodes. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this show is that this feels like a prequel of sorts. It doesn’t truly resolve anything, and I felt like I spent a day being prepared for a sequel that I have no interest in seeing at all. I’d skip this show if I were you.

Features:
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation

Content Grade: D
Audio Grade:A
Video Grade:A
Packaging Grade:C
Menu Grade:C
Extras Grade:C

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
MSRP: $59.98
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Panasonic Viera TH42PX50U 42” Plasma HDTV, Sony BPD-S3050 BluRay Player w/HDMI Connection

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