What They Say:
The imbalance between worlds is traced back to Sae, and to save them all, the ray of sunshine that lit their hearts must now return to her roots. All hands are on deck as the beastly Basara continue to plague the land, and time is of the essence as the Twin Stars put heart and soul into saving their city in a battle that brings them closer than ever before.
Twin Star Exorcists Part 3 contains anime episodes 27-40.
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with the English language dub that gets the 5.1 bump to it, both of which are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The series is very much a traditional shonen one where there’s a lot of action, overacting, and activity in general so it’s a pretty busy mix. The stereo side handles things well across the forward soundstage with lots of fun moments of directionality to be had and placement when it comes to the dialogue. Action works in a similar way while the music has a good warm and rich feeling to it. The 5.1 mix bumps all of this up a bit with a few things thrown to the rears which may not be as distinct as you’d like but serves to enhance the action overall. It’s a good mix for both tracks and they both come across clean and clear with no problems such as dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2016 and into 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 fourteen episodes for this set are spread across two discs with seven episodes for each disc. Animated by Pierrot, the show has a pretty good look about it in general with some nice detail to be had in both character designs and backgrounds. It has a lot of the hallmarks of shonen series of this nature in the modern sense so it goes big with the action and keeps things a bit calmer elsewhere. Color definition is great with a rich selection to work from that holds up in a solid and problem free way while the encoding handles all the high motion sequences wonderfully with no visible breakup or issues to be had there. It’s a clean looking and very solidly done presentation that delivers the show in the best light.
The packaging presentation for this release brings us a slightly thicker than standard Blu-ray case as it holds the discs for both formats on hinges while also coming with an o-card that replicates the case artwork. Here, it works the Japanese artwork nicely with this set focusing on another of the main cast with Kamui on its cover against the grey background, which means we get a black stripe along the top. The back cover goes dark with the battlefield along the left that blends into a black background where the summary of the premise is handled well. The discs features are clearly laid out and we get a few nice shots from the show as well. The technical grid fills out the rest as it breaks down both formats in a pretty clear and accurate way. While there are no show related inserts we do get a reversible cover that lets Arima take the front side, so you can decide who you want gracing your case cover.
The menu design for this release goes with clips from the series which shows a little more effort put into it. The logo along the top doesn’t obscure much and I like the way it flows and the detail of it, which provides a balance to the navigation along the bottom that’s done with a black section and white borders to give it a little more class. The clips showcase characters and settings well with a lot of grim and darker tones to it but there’s also the vibrancy of the reds and oranges that work really well. The menu navigation is pretty basic but it works well to get around in with clean and easy selections that load quickly and accurately both as the top-level menu but as the pop-up menu during playback as well.
The only extras for this release is the inclusion of the clean opening and closing sequences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The opening installment of Twin Star Exorcists was a decent bit of fun that had me curious about more of it. The manga has been doing well and the anime was lined up for a four-cour run, so there was definitely something behind it to warrant that kind of investment. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the second setin for review so I missed what was likely a bit more of the usual advancement of character interactions and some of the backgruond that we usually get in that range, both in terms of anime productions and how manga series work. That made it a bit harder to reconnect here because the show is one that’s focused in a kind of old school way with lots of action and boldness and overacting to drive the whole narrative. So coming into it after missing thirteen episodes is a little dicey.
This run of episodes, which was pretty much ongoing with no breaks between each season, advances more of the larger push of growth. Benio and Rokuro are still pretty much the main characters here but it’s developed enough of a supporting cast to allow more deviations into side stories and for those characters to have their own small adventures. Focusing on Mayura working to do better is a fun piece because she has that kind of positivity and energy to do it, and the will to do so, but it’s a struggle. I like Mayura a lot even if most of the characters in general are a bit paper thin because she comes across as the most accessible. Benio and Rokuro have their reasons for being like they are but they don’t actually make you want to hang around with them in a more casual setting. Mayura’s time here is filled with some problematic moments as she’s still the occasional klutz and in the “doing her best” mode approach, but she’s enjoyable to watch over the season.
Generally speaking, however, the show is simply in that awkward place. We do get some forward movement as the leading pair finally make their Kyoto arrival as they’re following Sae to the Exorcist Union and that works nicely for an overall expansion of the concept and the setup for everything. But it also comes with a character expansion with a number of Basara making their way into it all and a whole lot of fighting. The enemy side of it all is just a bit of a disconnect for me since I had seen the last set back in the summer of 2018 and those that the Exorcists fight are kind of just sound and fury. Appealing and amusing sound and fury, especially with the bolder colors and outlandish attitudes during the fights, and we get some creative creatures to fight in how their powers work across it as well. But even these, which look neat in how they’re executed, are problematic because at times they look like animation shortcuts used to achieve that “coolness” factor, which you see in long running shows trying to balance its budget.
Essentially, this set delivers on the action. There’s a lot of character material but I simply felt disconnected from it when it came to Benio and Rokuro. They’re intense through a lot of this and do feel like they’re making progress but that’s secondary to the larger action sequences. And these are a whole lot of fun. There’s something to be said for just a lot of crazy big animated action and Twin Star Exorcists employs it very well. I like who they go up against, I like what we see from the Twelve Guardians when some of them show up to get involved in everything, and I like the way it runs roughshod over neighborhoods and cities in a pretty destructive way. But the story material to hold it together simply doesn’t come together, which made me enjoy the smaller moments outside of that, such as the whole subplot involving Benio’s cooking and how Rokuro is trying to manage that. These are the small humanizing moments that makes the action scenes more enjoyable since the bigger plot, as expected, is kind of in a holding pattern with the fights being made up of incremental progress.
Twin Star Exorcists is the kind of series that if I was just getting into anime would be all kinds of totes exciting. It’s big and brash, it runs roughshod over a lot of things, it has interesting character designs to it and a good sense of world about it. It also suffers in the way that a lot of long running shonen works do in that it’s decompressed and spread out with what it wants to achieve and moves through familiar cycles. There’s fun material to be had here and those that are enjoying the series so far will definitely findmore to like here. Funimation delivers a very solid release with a great looking encode, a dub that captures the energy well, and a package that brings good elements of the Japanese release here. It’s definitely an easy pickup for fans who want to dig into more of thise world as it begins to expand its offerings.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Hanae Natsuki & Han Megumi’s Twin Star Room 1-3, Opening Making-Of, Textless Opening & Closing Songs, plus Trailers
Content Grade: C+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: November 13th, 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.