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4.3 out of 5 stars15
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 October 2011
About the anime : Earth as been destroyed a century ago. Three 15 years old citizens of a lunar city devote themself to races, illegally modifying surface vehicules. Arrested, they have to serve their sentence on the lunar surface. Against all odds, they find recent photographs of children of the Earth in Florida, and a hand-written message : "we are alive and well, is anybody out there ?".

A wonderful and very optimistic adventure, dedicated to the space conquest. Many awsome scenes, impeccable design from Otomo (Akira). Only seven 30 minutes episodes, but worthing every penny.

The image looks great, the sound is amazing (5.1 DTS HD in japanese, optional subs in english ;5.1 DTS HD in english - the blu-ray said 2.0, but it's really 5.1 english, like it is written on the menu). Surprisingly, the first scene of the first episode is only in japanese with subs, but the english track takes over after the opening credits.

The bonuses ar only in low-def. There are two interviews of the creators of the anime. Apart that, these are only trailers.

There's one blu-ray for the entire serie in HD, and two DVDs for the low-def version. Four postcards of futuristic landscapes are included. Aspect Ratio 16/9 anamorphic.
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on 23 October 2011
While the show is worth discovering (beautiful animation with Otomo's usual character design and well paced and deep plot), the technical presentation here is more than sub-par.

First of all : Video quality.

3 years ago (!), Honneamise released a beautiful (but expensive) 4 discs + artbook US set. The UK boxset reviewed here have the same content (minus the artbook), except that it squeezes the 7 episodes on 1 disc, instead of 4 for the US set. The bitrate suffers quite a lot.
Moreover, if the extras are here put on a dedicated DVD (and thus, are presented in SD), they are also put on the BD (also in SD !), meaning that the episodes are losing even more space to breathe.
Furthermore, the 5 min Prologue is implemented twice : as a stand alone, and at the beginning of the 1st episode. That's another 5 useless and redondants minutes.

However, even if the bitrate suffers, and that every single bit is squeezed on 1 disc, the video quality is still quite good, but you can't miss the few instances of shimmerings and aliasings that pop out once in a while.

Audio quality :

This is where the real issues are.
First, the packaging states that the audio tracks are English & Japanese, both in 5.1 and 2.0, all 4 in DTS HD MA.

That's perfectly and completely wrong.

The audio menu on the disc, indeed, states only 2 tracks : English 5.1 DTS HD MA, and Japanese 5.1 DTS HA MA.

That's, again, perfectly and completely wrong.

In fact, you only have English 5.1 and Japanese 5.1... but in a 1.5 Mbps DTS lossy track.

However, both tracks are very good, and a 1.5 Mbps DTS track is still the best of lossy tracks, but still, this is false advertisement.

However, Japanese track on episode 4 and both tracks on episode 7 are fully out of sync.
It has already been heard on other sites and forums, and I confirmed that on my fully updated PS3.

It is very, very annoying, because the only option is then to watch the episode with the DVD.

And the DVD is a NTSC - PAL conversion, with the 24th frame repeated to go to 25 frames / sec.

Meaning it looks quite awful.

In the end, this is quite a bad portage of the beautiful US set.

If the tracks weren't out of sync on 2 (out of only 7 !) episodes, I wouldn't care that much. Extras are packed, PQ is still quite good.
But, in the end, this UK set really feels that a awfully cheap portage, that I quite regret having bought.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 May 2014
Amazon really need to find a way to pair reviews correctly to the product as some of these ones are plainly NOT for this set, but the 1 blu ray 2 dvd set.
This set is 4 blu rays with the 7 episodes spread over the 4 discs.
As a consequence the image quality is stunning hd .
It is strange however WHY the prologue episode is Japanese with subtitles and no English dubbed while the rest,1-7 have that option.The prologue however is only approx 8 mins in length so its no great problem just weird as why this is.
This is a beautiful set with great packaging and the image quality just screams out at you.
A great Anime series that at times can be quite moving.
Others have reviewed the storyline so no need for me to repeat it.
Im only a casual anime fan, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this series.
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on 12 August 2013
After seeing the trailer, I bought Freedom mainly because of Otomo's artwork. After his great 90s anime film Akira, I haven't seen much of his amazing work around, so this series was for me "a must" to buy.

About the anime:

Well Otomo's art is definitely there, with all his typical character styles, behaviours and reactions. One can even notice some characters that resemble ones in the Akira film, and there are also fast bikes in this one too!
On the other hand, even if the characters are drawn and penciled by hand, most of their movements are computer aided or sometimes 3D. There is always a long discussion between "old school" affiliates -like me- and "Hollywood 3D animation lovers".
In my opinion the movement in Freedom is not bad, but since the drawings are "natural penciled", I would prefer the whole thing to be traditionally animated, because the movements of the characters just do not feel natural enough!

Example 1 : I LOVED the first movie of Berserk, but still think it would be better off traditionally made. The battles were awesome though...it is when characters turn their heads or move their feet that you see the difference...Stick to drawing guys!
Example 2 : Akira has a spectacle of movement flow, even for today`s standards. Check these explosions!
Example 3 : Cowboy Bebop has also an amazing movement flow and traditional, drawn, 3D backgrounds.
So I gave minus one star for this not natural, computer aided movements.
Backgrounds, tech drawings and details are what you would expect from Otomo, and they are a delight to watch, especially on blue ray.

The plot is quite good and basically follows one teenager's never ending urge to find the truth behind things, change the status quo and follow his dreams.
It is emotional, has a solid base, characters are presented well enough but the series certainly DO NOT have the super strong impact of Akira. Maybe because there is not so much anger in this film. In general the story is adventurous but more "happy" and less serious, less "hardcore" than Akira.

Lastly, this collector's package is very good for its price. You get the series in blue ray and 2 dvds, plus 4 super nice postcards. Languages are EN and JP and you get the English subtitles (At first it might seem that you cannot change into English version, but wait a bit and the next main scene switches after a while).

Overall: good plot, but certainly not so good as Akira - good package.
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on 3 March 2013
Freedom is a seven-episode mini-series about a boy's struggle against authority and his quest for a girl, who he only knows from a photo found on the moon. The distinctive character and vehicle design by Katsuhiro Otomo sets this show apart, and was the main reason for me to buy it.

The story is okay, if at times too cliched. It also fluffs over details like having combustion engines in a closed environment on the moon. Not very likely. I think it's worth watching, even if it sometimes made me groan. The fact that it started life as a promotional animation for instant noodles is thankfully not too obvious, except for some product placement here and there.

The animation relies heavily on so-called cartoon-rendered 3D, which looks a little off compared to proper hand drawn animation. Particularly in the first three episodes the difference between the 3D and the 2D animation is a little too distracting. It starts working better later on, and this is certainly not the worst 3D animation I've seen. Don't expect this series to get anywhere near the quality of Akira or Steamboy. They clearly did not have the budget for that.

As already reported in some of the other reviews, this release is really let down by the out of sync audio tracks. In episode 4 the japanese audio track is more than a second too late, which makes it unwatchable. The same problem also appears in a lesser degree in both the english and the japanese audio tracks in episode 7. Very sloppy. Chapter placement is also not good. Skipping the opening makes you miss the start of the episode.

So for the show itself I'd rate it a 3 to 4 stars. There are better stories with better animation out there. The technical problems with the blu-ray and lazy DVD conversion drag it down to 2 to 3 stars for me. Had I known in advance, I wouldn't have bought the blu-ray version.
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on 3 April 2012
The collector's edition contains 1 Blu-Ray Disk and 2 DVDs plus four postcards.

I had a few doubts about this anime when I first bought this. By the end of the last episode those doubts disappeared and I highly recommend this to everyone I know. It is easily one of my top twenty favourite anime.

The animation and sound was excellent. The characters were likeable with exception of one or two annoying ones. The English language track is good, not outstanding but well done along with the Japanese language. The extras on ths disk was much more than your standard clean opening/closing parts/anime trailers you find on most anime titles.

The only major downside I found was it was only 7 episodes long as I ended up wishing for more by the end. The pace and plot was sometimes start and stop at times, and a few minor flaws and error there and then. Nothing too serious that could actually ruin the show.

Just one more thing, there is a game you can play when watching this anime. It involves counting a certain product placement that show up throughout the seven episodes. I won't spoil it but it is fairly clear what it is.
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on 23 June 2015
Great entertainment. No problems with the Blu-Ray. Well worth the price.
The DVD has slight sync problems during Episode 4 when played in my Sony Blu-Ray player, but plays fine in my Denon DVD player.
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on 30 August 2013
Very cool and nicely presented box set!!

The fact that the characters were designed by Katsuhiro Otomo, the man behind the classic Akira tells you all you need to know :)
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on 11 January 2015
was a gift. Arrived in time and was well received.
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on 30 April 2015
amazing anime love the story and characters.
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