The Series (3.5/5)
The Muv-Luv franchise got it's start in the early 2000's, as a Japanese Visual novel published for PC's. The game was popular, but due to it's graphic adult content, it had to be edited down for release on console systems. The series was then spun off into other forms of media, including multiple manga series, and finally this anime which began in 2011. Earlier in 2015 Section 23 released the first half of the series, and now they are coming back with Volume 2.
Normally, I find that series that base themselves on games usually are too reliant on the pre-existing media, and base their stories and narrative hoping that viewers of the series had also played the game, and thus can fill in the gaps based on that. I did not find myself feeling that watching Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse. The series spent almost the entirety of the first season setting up the characters, their relationships, and overall plight. That is not to say that the first series was devoid of action, it was there, but the whole of the first series felt more like it was building up to something.
This season 2 release is that something, and while we still get character moments, and new plots added, and older ones resolved. The difference between the two is almost night, and day. The pacing is much faster than it was previously, and the action seems come more frequently, and offer a lot of excitement.
Muv-Luv: Alternative Total Eclipse is an alternate history science-fiction anime. It takes place in a version of Earth invaded, and entrapped by an alien species known as the Beta. To combat the Beta, the governments of Earth create a sort of Mecha the Tactical Surface Fighter aka TSF. The series follows the pilots of these fighters as they attempt to put aside their differences and work against the common enemy. Unfortunately, even with a common adversary the group, and the governments they are employed by cannot always put aside their differences for the greater good of man.
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse: The Complete Collection 2 is presented by Section 23 in a spectacular 1:78:1 1080p encoded transfer. The animation looks amazing here with colors popping from the screen, excellent detail ,and solid black levels.
The audio is presented in a DTS-HD MA 2.0 track in both Japanese and English. For my primary viewing I stuck to the Japanese track, as I am not a fan of dubbing. Both tracks, however, work nicely with dialogue, score, and effects coming through nicely.
A clean opening and closing credit sequence is all that on the disc.
I love a good sci-fi anime, and knowing that the series was based on a video game, I did not have high hopes. The series managed to subvert my expectations and create something truly fun and exciting. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic, but as is the common theme with Section 23 releases the lack of extras is definitely a negative. RECOMMENDED.