What They Say:
The boys of Kanagawa High’s rugby team are ready to prove they’ve got what it takes! And that means a full summer of training at camp. But while Gion may have the energy and drive, is he ready for a hot summer filled with tireless training, a cramped hotel, and facing teams with unbelievable talent?
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo while the English language dub gets a 5.1 boost, both of which are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The show is one that works a fairly standard stereo design to it with the action mostly feeling like it hits the center channel with the way the player interact with each other in up close and intense ways. The 5.1 side has a bit more impact to some of these scenes but both tracks handles it very well. The game itself is done up nicely with how it moves across the screen and you can get a good feel for it through here with the back and forth as the ball moves. The general dialogue side of the show is more straightforward, though there are some fun moments of yelling that make out well with both tracks. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
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 eight on the first and four on the second. Animated by Madhouse and TMS Entertainment, the series has a really great design to it as it provides a real world school setting that’s not too overly done but with a great focus on the characters and their designs, which goes for the muscular and well-built in a way that’s probably more for the adult players than a high school setting but works to provide the right feeling for the show. There’s some good color design to the show that comes across in a very clean and problem free way while the big action moments with the game play and practices is very fluid and really delivers a great sense of impact throughout it. It’s a great looking show with a clean and appealing transfer that brings the quality of the animation to life wonderfully.
The packaging design for this release brings us a slightly thicker than normal Blu-ray case to hold the discs for both formats and it comes with an o-card that replicates the case artwork. The artwork is appealing with our three newer players all mixing it up together while set against some traditional rugby designs and some plays setup alongside the left. The logo is decent but it’s just a kind of weird title to begin with so it never quite fits right, especially with the double exclamation marks. The back cover adds a little more character material and a couple of small shots from the show that are decent, but it mostly focuses on a pretty good summary of the premise and a couple of decent oversized taglines. The extras are clearly listed and the technical grid breaks down both formats cleanly and accurately. While there are no show related inserts included we do get artwork on the reverse side with more Japanese cover artwork that has different character pairings.
The menu design for this release goes for a static layout with the character cover artwork used across the discs. This works nicely as the color design is good and inviting with how bright it is and there are some good details to all of it in the expanded form with the plays mapped out and the stripes themselves. With the navigation along the bottom, it’s quick and easy to setup and move through both as the main menu and the pop-up menu during playback. There’s not much to the release beyond the show itself and a few extras so it’s quick and easy with a nice layout that has some mild thematic elements that make out well because of the artwork used.
The extras included are the various versions of the opening and closing sequences, which is always welcome.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first half of the All-Out series was one that I liked pretty well with what it did. It worked a fairly standard sports structure to it so there wasn’t a lot in the way of surprises there but it ventured outside of the game itself a bit. Not a lot as we didn’t get big character stories exploring backgrounds and other interests or anything but we did see various configurations of the team off the field both in school and out of school. It also gave us some good time with the teacher/advisor and the coach so that it felt a bit more lived in with what they’re doing. All of that was appealing so that when we did get to the games themselves we were a bit more invested in the characters and their experiences there. A lot of the focus was on Gion as you’d expect but it handled the cast as a whole good.
Coming into the back half a few months later and it feels like the energy of what we had in the first has been lost here. The show opens with some character-based episodes that deals with a few different things. I liked that we got some time with the coach dealing with a friend of his and how their paths haven’t gone as they might have expected years ago. While we don’t get a lot of their past shown or anything it was the kind of “elder statesmen” of the game kind of thing that’s appealing to watch play out. We also get some decent stuff with the various members of the team as they continue to practice so they can get better and become more integral to the team itself but it mixes in a bit of decent character material along the way, if you’re willing to really invest in it because it doesn’t make too much of an impact in the gameplay itself.
The Sugadaira training camp takes up a bit of time as well and that means some decent field time gets into the show and we see some of the growth, areas that have to be worked on, and a lot of the usual kinds of things that happen – including Gion being Gion which means he’s a frustrating personality at times. The show does work us through some good game material as Jinko ends up going up against a competitive team with Tenjiu that gives our team something they really needed in order to feel like they can move forward in a good way. Similarly, the final run has a match with Ryoin that they get invited to participate in after another team fell out due to too many injuries and that provides a new challenge. Both of the matches run a couple of episodes and they’re fun to watch just to see the kind of physicality of it all and the intensity that the characters we’ve known for two seasons bring to it, but it’s also the acknowledgement that there isn’t more after this so we’re only seeing the path so far (unless we dip into the manga run).
I enjoyed the first half of All-Out with the previous set and there are things to like with this set but it felt like it lost a lot of its momentum. Some of it may have been the wait between sets or just my mood but it didn’t connect quite as well. The matches are fun and the character bits are fun as well, particularly on the coaching side that appealed to me more since there’s more material to work with. Funimation put together a solid enough release here with a good-looking show, a solid dub, and a clean and appealing package. While there’s not a lot in the way of extras it’s the kind of show that often gets missed in getting the bilingual treatment so I’m glad it made out as well as it did for the bigger fans of it than I.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Openings, Clean Closing
Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: May 15th, 2018
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
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.