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Luck & Logic Season 1 Complete Collection Blu-ray Anime Review

9 min read

luck-logic-season-1-coverBeautifully animated but light on story, Luck and Logic is most style over substance.

What They Say:
When the gods were driven from their home in Tetra-Heaven, they made their way to the human world, causing unimaginable chaos. People with special abilities began to awaken, and terrifying beasts known as Foreigners arrived through Paradox Zones to wreak havoc in the world. Logicalists—a special police force with the power to enter Trances with goddesses—were employed to protect citizens from these otherworldly beings and maintain order. But the war against these incursions is only just beginning.

Yoshichika Tsurugi once held the power of the Logicalists and fought to protect his home, until an incident in Hong Kong caused him to lose his Logic Card and abilities. But when the goddess Athena appears with his card in hand and wants to fight beside him, he must choose between staying a civilian or embracing his powers once more.

Foreigners, Paradox Zones, and the fate of the world—Yoshichika and his team will face powers they’ve never dreamed of to keep their home safe!

The Review:
Audio:
The audio presentation for this series brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo while the English mix gets a bump up to 5.1 status. Encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec, the series is one that works well overall with its balance of action and dialogue. The action scenes have some good impact to them both with bass from time to time but more so with placement and overall movement. There are some very good sequences of action throughout with a lot of variety to it and it’s well handled here with both mixes, coming across clean and with impact as needed. The dialogue itself is done up right when it comes to the various levels it runs with and there’s some solid placement from time to time throughout it. Both tracks come across in a very clean and clear form where we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2016, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes are spread across two discs with nine on the first and three on the second. Animated by Doga Kobo, the property really looks fantastic here with beautiful character designs combined with some visually striking color choices. It has a level of pop and vibrancy to it that would be off-putting in a real-world show but works well here, both in the costume design of the characters but also in the creatures and others they have to deal with. These colors naturally stand out but there’s a lot of great detail throughout the show that’s solid and problem free as well as more standard color choices that are free of noise. It’s a great looking show whose encoding brings it to life in a way that really lets it stand out and define it.

Packaging:
The packaging for this release comes in a slightly thicker than standard Blu-ray case with the four discs of the two formats on hinges. The release also comes with an o-card for the first pressing that replicates the cover artwork itself, though the cardstock gives it a bit more color vibrancy. The design is a familiar key visual piece with the main cast arrayed around the logo in the middle and it’s filled with a lot of color that definitely make sit stand out while running dangerously close to being garish. But it also shows off the designs nicely, particularly for costumes and color, so you have an idea of what you’re getting into. The back cover keeps it simpler with green and white as the defining colors and that gives it a more cohesive and distinctive feeling. The character artwork to the right is solid and the small shots from the show are largely forgettable along the bottom. The bulk of what we get here is a decent breakdown of the premise in the middle while the technical grid along the bottom is well-handled with the color design to make it so that it can be read easily as well as being accurate. While there are no show related inserts included with this release, we do get a really nice piece of artwork on the reverse side with a two-panel spread of the main cast of characters.

Menu:
The menu design for this release keeps things simple as we get the static menu design where half of the screen is made up of key visual material, which looks great here with the pop of color and vibrancy, while the right side features the navigation. That stands out well with the white background combined with the green used for the logo and the block where the navigation itself is along the lower right. The navigation is very simple with little here overall but it’s easy to read and works smoothly both as a pop-up menu and as the main menu. Selections load quickly and everything is problem free.

Extras:
The only extras included with this release are the clean versions of the opening and two ending sequences. It’s very unfortunate that the web-based shorts were not included in this release, however.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the multimedia franchise that’s primarily a trading card game from Bushiroad, Luck & Logic is a twelve episode anime series that arrived in the winter 2016 season and has a sequel season coming up in summer 2017. I’ve had mixed luck with multimedia projects over the years, especially those that are heavily part of the TCG world, but sometimes you find something good amid the mediocre and terrible. Luck & Logic as a TCG didn’t catch on here, though at least it was attempted, and the anime adaptation is one that succeeds in that it’s a very appealing looking show. But it’s hard to find much more to say about it beyond that. Visually, the series from Doga Kobo looks fantastic and I really enjoyed the design work with the characters, the action, and the color palette used as it made it thoroughly engaging. But the story itself nearly made me feel disconnected from the start.

The design of the world is something that gets touched on from time to time but takes a while before it feels like it’s cemented. Taking place in an alternate world/future/other world known as Septpia, mankind is struggling after a hundred year war with creatures known as Foreigners that are trying to take over. When they arrive they create a paradox of sorts that changes the nature of things around them and it’s registered like an earthquake, which makes it interesting to see how people react to the various levels, especially the lower ones. What mankind has to defend themselves with against the invasion is a group known as ALCA, which has specially peopled power named Logicalists that are able to work alongside Goddesses from another world in order to defeat the Foreigners. It’s not that bad of a concept, but the explanation-execution of it is hampered in a lot of ways and it doesn’t resonate well.

The focus is on a young man named Yoshichika, who at seventeen is someone that I initially read as being a part of all of this as a Logicalist before but instead is someone who simply doesn’t have a Logic card that keeps him from working with the Goddesses. His card is found early on, to the dismay of his younger sister who doesn’t want him involved in all of this again, while his father is fairly indifferent overall – likely because he knows it’ll mean a lot of cute women will be hanging around his son and him. With the matriarch of the family having passed away previously, that leaves certain avenues open that aren’t actually explored. The opening episode throws a lot of things at us to get Yoshichika into being a Logicalist and working with Athena as his primary there in order to deal with the Foreigners.

From there, the show goes into the familiar pattern of introducing us to the range of Goddesses that exist, which are of course all pretty attractive with varied powers and personalities, as well as the human component that works with them, though it’s mostly Yurine that gets the bulk of the development as she’s the potential true pairing for Yoshichika until he realizes things can’t quite work out with a Goddess. The show works through a range of fight sequences in dealing with all sorts of Foreigners and their skill set but it also provides a bit of a twist along the way as we see one of the Logicalists brought over to the side of Lucifer from the Foreigners. This provides for things to heat up a bit in the final arc of the series to raise the stakes but it was so difficult to really connect with any of these characters throughout it that it just didn’t resonate well.

And, unfortunately, that’s what really hampers this series. It has some interesting ideas that aren’t executed well at all and delivers us a range of characters that aren’t anything but action oriented. Yes, there are silly moments and some fun stuff, such as the dinner at Yoshichika’s house where his father is amusingly playful, but the simple fact is that outside of things like that which are mostly forgettable it’s all about putting things together for action sequences. These characters don’t exist for anything beyond fighting, so there’s nothing to really get to know about them and their lives. What little we get of Yoshichika’s family life is reduced to mildly pervy dad and jealous/worried younger sister bits. When it tries to provide a bit more meat to characters like Lucifer it has the feeling of menace but no real threat to it, superficial and no more than that.

What does work here, and almost makes it entirely worthwhile, is the animation and design of the show. It was the main redeeming factor for me in that as much as the story stopped making sense or being interesting, I was engaged with the visual design of it with the characters and the action. The color design alone was really strong, as I’ve mentioned a few times, and that with the costuming really made it work. The flow of action is good, there are some creative sequences to be had in how this plays out, and even during scenes where they’d just sit around and talk it was easy to take in because of that look of it all. The high definition presentation just takes it up a few notches to really make it stand out all the more, which in turn made the show a delight to watch in that sense.

In Summary:
Luck & Logic is one of those shows that I know a lot of anime viewers simply write off because of its origins. There’s a certain logic to that stance but like video game adaptations of the past, things do change and there are some really interesting ones out there. Luck & Logic did not cut it for me in presenting an engaging story and really making the viewer understand the world design well enough so that it felt cohesive. There’s a superficiality about it that it just can’t get past, though I’ll very readily and easily say that the superficial side with the animation through its design and look is fantastic. If you’re looking for deep and rich you’re not going to find it here, unless there’s elements from the game that I’m oblivious to. But it’s fun and enjoyable in other ways and the work Funimation put into it to present it is clear and worthwhile as it looks and sounds great, which is what I want for fans of the show.

Features:
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Textless Opening & Closing Songs

Content Grade: C-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-

Released By: Funimation
Release Date: March 28th, 2017
MSRP: $64.98
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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