What They Say:
Mysterious invaders have attacked the Earth! As the Irousu roam the conquered lands, mankind has been driven back, but there’s one last weapon that may still turn the tide: super-powered schoolgirls!
At schools like the Shinjugamine Girls Academy, elite classes of Star Guardians alternate between regular schoolwork and learning to kick Irousu behind. It’s a duty that the members of the Shinjugamine Hoshimori force, like freshman Miki Hoshitsuki, take seriously, but as they’re basically normal girls who just happen to get their powers from a magic tree, there are normal life issues they have to contend with as well. With the arrival of their latest mysterious recruit, however, things are about to get deadly serious. Their final exam is about to begin and if they fail, the whole world is doomed!
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo only that’s encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The show works a fairly straightforward but solid action series mix where it balances between it and the dialogue pretty well. The action sequences along with the music stands out nicely with some good directionality as needed as we get the girls moving around and flitting about. That translates into the dialogue a bit as well during those sequences and throughout the rest of the show as there’s a decent sized group that forms here. Placement isn’t too critical but it has its moments and the mix throughout is pretty good in bringing everything to life. The presentation is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2017, 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 in a nine/three format. Animated by Silver Link, the series has a pretty good look about it with what it does as the character designs are nicely varied with colors and details that lets them stand out nicely. The settings aren’t overdone in terms of color or detail but they fit the style and intent of the show well while the action sequences come across with some smooth movements throughout. The show doesn’t have a budget feeling at all and the result is one where the encoding brings it to life pretty well and will please fans who had seen the simulcast with what they get here.
The packaging for this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case that holds both discs without a hinge. The front cover goes for a nice pairing of the two leading characters together in their battle uniforms and it throws in a lot of really nice background elements with shades of blue/green that gives it a very busy but not overdone feeling. With the bright pink logo against a white section that ties into the character artwork, the background overall has a really good cohesive feeling about it that lets it stand out nicely. The back cover is a busier piece with a lot of the girls arrayed over the whole thing a nice strip of shots along the top. That lets us get a feel for the design of the show well while the summary of the premise does the rest – though that’s a smaller black text on white that’s a little rough to read with the font size. Add in the extras clearly listed and the rest of it breaks down the production credits along with an accurate technical grid of how the release is put together.
The menu design for this title is a rare one where we get the navigation in horizontal form along the top where it’s basically the episode numbers and titles as a flag-ish dropdown spread out over the length of the screen. We get the logo in a deeper blue section above it and the whole thing has the futuristic design aesthetic about it that works well. The bulk of the screen is made up of the still image of the girls at school with the big building behind them and this lets us get a good look at several designs with some decent detail and color definition so that it pops well and sets the tone for the show.
The only extras included in this release are the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on a game by COLOPL for the mobile site, Battle Girl High School is a twelve episode anime series that aired during the summer 2017 season. Animated by Silver Link, it has a pretty good team behind it with Yosuke Kuroda working on the scripts with COLOPL and saw Noriaki Akitaya directing it. The show doesn’t skimp or feel like a budget project but it is something that is very much by the number. It’s the kind of series where, for the experienced anime viewer, once you saw the first episode you could map out most of the whole thing after the trappings were set. What hinders it more than anything else in a way is that it lacks any kind of really central opponent and that leaves all the heavy lifting on the girls themselves.
The series takes place in 2046 where we’re introduced to an Earth where an alien race known as the Irousu have invaded. Humanity has gone into hiding for the most part and there’s a training school for girls that exists known as the Shijnugamine Girls Academy. It’s in this place where they’re given a standard education as high school girls but are also trained to use an array of equipment and abilities to go after the invaders and defeat them. There doesn’t seem for much of the series to be any kind of rhyme or reason to the Irousu and what they do but they provide for plenty of dangerous moments for the girls and others to face throughout. Naturally, they aren’t just gifted kids but rather they get their abilities through a connection with a special tree but that’s given mostly just a cursory kind of look overall.
You can see plenty of pieces that are good to setup a game with and move into battle sequences but there’s not much to munch on in terms of a story to carry an almost five-hour-long series when all is said and done. The show brings us to know several characters as we’re introduced to it through the first-year student Miki that comes to learn about the place but there’s no real depth to be had here. There’s about a dozen other characters that factor into this that are like Miki and that means nobody really gets much in the way of time to be explored. But that’s “okay” in a way because most of the episodes fall into standard cliche material as we get a beach episode with downtime for the cast, a school festival one where a play is put on, and other similar school-based standalone concepts. It’s pretty boilerplate and while most do mix in some action with the Irousu in some way that doesn’t actually help all that much as it just reduces any potential character time further.
Battle Girl High School is a by the numbers show with a decent budget and a nice sense of design about it. But it’s also a series that doesn’t have much to say with paper thin characters going through familiar schoolgirl motions. Some of the action scenes are fun and the character designs are nice but there wasn’t much to really feel connected with here. Sentai’s release is a pretty clean one with a good looking encode and it’s no surprise that it skipped on creating a dub for it but for fans who saw the simulcast or play the game there’s more than enough to like here. It just didn’t do too much for me overall.
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing
Content Grade: C+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: July 24th, 2018
Running Time: 300 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.