- Note: Blu-ray discs are in a high definition format and need to be played on a Blu-ray player.
Maken-Ki! Two: Series 1 ( Maken-Ki! Battling Venus )
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Australia released, Blu-Ray/Region A/B/C DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Japanese ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Commentary, Interactive Menu, Music Video, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: The busty babes of Maken-ki! are back in a follow-up to the hit first season! When Takeru enrolls in Tenbi Academy, he discovers that he has a magical power called "Maken." The hornball might end up a great fighter--if he can keep from being distracted by all the gorgeous girls running around his new school. ...Maken-Ki! Two: Series 1 ( Maken-Ki! Battling Venus ) (Blu-Ray)
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Considering it's genre this show is undoubtedly only going to be seen by a niche amount of people, but for those who do indeed seek it out, I highly recommend they buy it. In my opinion it is right up there quality-wise with other fanservice shows like Freezing and Highschool DxD. I will keep my review as simple as possible... Maken-ki 2 has great art, even better than the first season. The studio that created it, Xebec, has already proven itself as a great fanservice studio. Hiraku Kaneko also worked on this project. For those who don't know, Kaneko is pretty much an legend in the oppai ecchi comnunity. Known for directing Seikon no Qwaser and Manyuu Hikenchou (other shows I definitely recommend), Kaneko brings his signature "boob"-design to the Maken-ki girls and it is great. You can recognize Kaneko's influence on a project typically by the way nipples are drawn, or audibly by the way the girl's breasts flop and smack realistically when they move as opposed to the comical "boing!" sound effects in most big boob shows. The final piece that makes Makin-ki 2 great is the Funimation dub. The voice acting is great for all the characters, but the true genius of the dub comes from the script changes. Funimation ecchi dubs are usually funny in their own special ways, but the dub for Maken-ki 2 is genuinely hilarious... and perhaps most importantly, it is VERY self-aware of the kind of show it is. I definitely recommend this show for any fans of the genre.
- Comments: Like the first one, the amount of fan-service is extremely high. There will be plenty of boobs throughout. Keep this in mind if fan-service isn't for you. Plot-wise, it is simplistic and doesn't have much. Since this is an Ecchi, it typically lacks substance as it emphasizes a light-hearted tone that isn't meant to be deeply analyzed. It's meant to serve as a guilty-pleasure, as well as an anime that generates plenty of eye-candy.
- Analysis: Some of the concepts I drew from this is that many guys are simplistic: perverted, easily manipulated, and may maintain the chivalrous mentality of protecting women. Of course, men and women can be perverted. Both genders are also easily manipulated depending on the situation. And certain animes, especially with a strong female lead, are the ones that protect the men. Which is pretty interesting with the swapping of roles.
Since interactions are emphasized, this may give implications that life heavily entails relationships and communication. That is, nobody is truly alone; regardless of religious views, even in death, people aren't perceived as being alone. As for communication, there is almost never a time when another person doesn't interacts someone. In the physical world, the virtual world, and in a person's dreams, this holds much weight and relevance.
- Features: English and Japanese audio, as well as English subtitles. Includes 10 episodes on 2 Blu-rays and 10 on 2 DVDs with a run-time of about 4.5 hours. A little on the short-side. This anime is designated with the TV-MA rating for some violence, and extremely high amounts of sexual content. Mainly nudity.
- Recommendations: Kampfer, Prison School, Shomin Sample, Shimoneta, Freezing, Cross Ange, High School DxD, Charger Girl Juden-Chan, Queen's Blade, Seikon no Qwaser, So, I Can't Play H!, Mayo Chiki!, Shokugeki no Souma, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, Akuma no Riddle, Ben-To, Sekirei, K, Lord Marksman and Vanadis, and Samurai Girls.
The heavy banding compression issues that have been frequent in both Funimation and Sentai Filmworks releases are barely noticeable in this release. It still isn't up to Japanese blu-rays but it will never be with 8 episodes on one disc. Finally Funimation is moving in the right direction.
The absence of the OVA specials are a big let down. They should definitely be included in shows like this.