The Series (2/5)
The original Utawarerumono anime series follows the adventures of the amnesia stricken hero, Hakuoro and the village he happened to land in. The series was based on a highly popular role-playing game in Japan under that same name. The game was released on the PS2 and a second version for Windows computers. Of course, knowing this beforehand could’ve saved me some confusion while watching this three-episode sequel OVA series.
A huge part of anyone’s enjoyment for this series will come from one’s previous knowledge of this world and its character’s. Unfortunately, that wasn’t me. The three episodes are all self-contained side stories with various goofy adventures. One story is about a mysterious infant, one about a youth potion, and the last one being a wacky fishing adventure. These stories are fine in themselves, but I had a hard time caring for the characters. In any regular series these stories would be considered filler.
The animation and artwork are simple and beautiful at times. The countryside looks gorgeous and the rivers are inviting. Everything is little and fluffy. The few battle scenes are decently staged but don’t amount to much. The character designs are a little flat. Maybe it’s personal bias, but I’ve never been a fan of half man half dog creatures that have human features just with added dog ears and tails. These features keep the series in the fantasy genre but it’s honestly not really needed.
These side adventures are watchable, but without a proper background with the game or series, I highly doubt these OVA’s will make new fans.
Utawarerumono looks and sounds great on this Sentai Filmworks Blu-ray. The series comes with its original Japanese language option in a DTS-HD 2.0 audio mix, with easy to read English subtitles or The English DTS HD track. The Subtitles are free of spelling errors. The picture is in full 1080p HD. The image is clear and the black levels are well balanced. The animation looks good even in some of its rougher patches.
For Extras we get the clean opening and closing credits, Picture Dramas, and trailers for Invaders of the Rokujyoma, Dai Shogun, Momokyun Sword, and Blade Dance of the Elementalers.
Utawarerumono OVA’s are light and fluffy like their half animal main characters, but these stories are mostly forgettable. This Sentai Filmworks collection will please fans, but I suggest a rental for newbies.