The Series (3.5/5)
As a reviewer I mostly cover classic films, and in those classic films I cover mainly horror and exploitation cinema with a bit of anime and classic animation. I keep my ears to the ground searching for new experiences in visual media, and I love things that just scream BIZARRE to me. When I read the description that surrounds the 2010-2011 series Qwaser of Stigmata, I knew that it was a series that would endear itself to my quite quickly.
The series follows two sisters Mafuyu and Tomo. They are two schoolgirls, whose Father, the Dean of the school has recently disappeared. They are also very busty, and this is quite important to the visual style, and overall plot of the show which offers equal parts fan services, and provocation with it's more extreme elements. The two almost literally stumble onto the plot of the show, when one day returning from classes Tomo falls on top of a person who at first they can't identify as a boy or girl named Alexander Hell. First deeming Alexander a pervert for getting entangled in Tomo's ample breasts they take Alexander home. This gets the pair caught up in the battle between the Qwasers, a group of magical beings who find their power through a powerful element contained within certain other humans breast milk. It turns out that this school has a lot of hidden secrets and has just become a battle ground.
Qwaser of Stigmata caught my interest quite early on with it's mix or provocative imagery including mixing nudity and violent content with religious iconography. In the past I've noted that when an anime series uses Christian iconography it is usually to offer a deeper more mythological subtext to the series narrative. It occasionally feels that way with Qwaser, but at the same time it feels like they are going one step beyond that and are aiming to provoke a possibly religious audience, and are attempting to shock and upset them.
The main object of desire for the villains of this piece is an artifact depicting Jesus breast feeding from Mary, which is sure certainly both keeping within the shows themes, but offers an example of the shows deeper provocative elements. The shows art style, certainly falls into a more modern anime aesthetic, and blends a more lighthearted style with a more darker tone which feels appropriate to the atmosphere of the program. The only negative I can really find is the show begins to feel a bit repetitive after a while, and while certain elements feel shocking at first, they the shock wears off after a few episodes. Still Qwaser of Stigmata is a delightfully bizarre anime, that seems to dwell within it's strange premise and offers a lot to the viewer.
Qwaser of Stigmama comes to Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks in a quite nice 1:78:1 1080p transfer that preserves the series original aspect ratio. The show looks quite good with nice fine detail, decent blacks, and an excellent colors. There are some minor issues with banding that I noticed, but aside from that it seems excellent throughout.
The sole audio option is a Japanese DTS-HD 2.0 track which is quite suitable for the content. The dialogue, score, and effects come through nicely, and I did not detect any issues with pops, cracks or hissing on the track.
Sentai have offered clean opening and closing animations.
Qwaser of Stigmata is a truly bizarre experience worthy of your viewing time. The Blu-ray looks quite decent, but is lacking in the extras department. Some viewers might be put off by the lack of an English dub, I am not I would have watched it in Japanese anyway. RECOMMENDED.