Review for Heaven's Lost Property S1 Collection
“It was on sale...” That will be my epitaph. Whenever anyone asks why I bought something, the answer will invariably be “It was on sale”. That’s the explanation as to why I bought Heaven’s Lost Property Season 1 on Blu-ray having reviewed the show on DVD. It’s a vintage show from the SD period of anime that will benefit the least from HD presentation. It’s a show that has spun-off an OVA episode, a sequel series, and two feature films, yet in the UK, we only got the first series and the OVA, so completists will be disappointed, or compelled to import. None of that is a reason to double-dip from DVD to Blu-ray... but it was on sale...
Tomoki Sakurai is a healthy teenage boy who loves the easy life in the quiet town of Sorami. He’s also got a healthy libido and a childhood friend in Sohara Mitsuki who’s quick to deliver a karate chop beating if ever his thoughts venture towards the lustful. This happens frequently. The odd thing about Tomoki is his recurring dream of a girl trapped in the sky, calling for his help.
Dreams become reality when Tomoki encounters an angel, fallen from the sky. She’s Ikaros, a pet-type Angeloid, practically a blank slate, and she imprints on Tomoki, her new master, promising to grant his every wish. Life is about to get a whole lot more interesting, although it most certainly isn’t easy any more.
13 episodes plus an OVA episode are presented across two Blu-rays from MVM.
1. A Full-Frontal Hero Arises in the World
2. An Airborne Prismatic Panty Adventure
3. Angeloid Directive Zero
4. Love and Triangles, Revisited
5. Hot Night With the Big Fish
6. Swimsuit Surf Brigade. Go! Go! Go!
7. The Brainy, Heart-Pounding Transfer Students
8. For Whom the Shooting Festival is Held
9. The Delusional Story that Began with a Lie
10. Where the Melodious Words of an Angel Go
11. Off We Go To My Bathhouse Paradise
12. Chains of No Escape
13. Queen of the Sky
14. Project Pink
Heaven’s Lost Property gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer on these discs. The image is clear and sharp, detail is good, but this is obviously an upscale. I can’t be certain if the subdued colour palette is a commentary on the art design, or the original source animation for the Blu-ray. Either way, it still looks like a DVD albeit with hardly any visible compression. The one positive to be had from the Blu-ray is the correct frame-rate, and no worries about PAL speedup chipmunking the audio. Heaven’s Lost Property is a comedy show, so the bright, colourful character and world designs are to be expected, as is the propensity for the characters to shrink to chibi dimensions (Tomo practically lives that way) and there are oodles of fan service too.
You have the choice between Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround English and Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo Japanese with optional translated subtitles and a signs only track, using the thin, white, easy to lose font of the early Funimation Blu-rays. With the Blu-ray, the immediate advantage over the UK DVD release is the correct frame rate, and no need for pitch correction. The audio is fine, the dialogue is clear throughout, and there are no issues with glitches or dropouts. The subtitles are accurately timed and are free of typos. I was happy with the Japanese audio, but what I tried of the English dub seemed acceptable enough. This show pulls the stops out for the music, as each episode gets its own end theme, and end animation.
You get two discs in a BD Amaray style case with one on a centrally hinged panel. There is some artwork on the inner sleeve, and the discs boot to animated menus.
Disc 1 autoplays with a trailer for Sekirei.
Disc 2 has the extras after autoplaying with a trailer for Yamada’s First Time.
You get the textless opening and 13 textless closings, some 21 minutes worth. There are also trailers for Dance in the Vampire Bund, Ikki Tousen, Fairy Tail, Rosario and Vampire, My Bride is a Mermaid, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom, and Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings.
To my recollection, I haven’t fallen out of love with a show as quickly as I did with Heaven’s Lost Property. It was an 8/10 show five years ago when I reviewed the DVD, and said this...
There are so many saucy anime sex comedies out there that it’s easy to drown in the flood of mediocrity. Shows these days have to do something a little more, or a little different to get noticed, shows like Prison School or Shimoneta. Heaven’s Lost Property is decidedly old-school in what it does, but it still does it exceedingly well. Tomoki Sakurai would definitely grow up to be Happosai in Ranma½.
I have a hard time recognising the reviewer who wrote that, as this is only the second time I have watched Heaven’s Lost Property, and I have had the exact opposite reaction. Yes, it is an old school, saucy anime sex comedy, but it doesn’t matter how well it hits the usual tropes and the expected clichés. It’s dull and uninspiring. I sat there for 14 episodes, daring it to make me laugh, and I didn’t once crack a smile. In fact it was harder for me to keep my eyes open for the duration, and there came a point where I just gave up, and surrendered to slumber, in no way motivated to re-watch just what I had missed.
The thing is that Heaven’s Lost Property is such a generic cross between Ah My Goddess and Mahoromatic that it not only pales in comparison to those two titles, but it doesn’t even stand up to scrutiny against the weaker titles in its particular genre. It’s very much a show made by committee, with cookie-cutter characters and generic storylines, designed very much to hit those particular selling points with its target demographic. With so much familiarity with this genre, I actually get a sinking feeling when I see the same clichés being wheeled out again and again.
It shouldn’t be a problem; I mean all saucy anime sex comedies really do the same thing, but I really need a hook, something to make me invest in a show. Whether that is depth of story, or some quirky aspect to the characters, it doesn’t matter as long as the show feels original and unique in some way. Even something as old and as generic as Love Hina got me caring about its characters, and invested in their internal lives. The characters in Heaven’s Lost Property are so obviously written to sell the show, wafer thin and single note, that I do not care what happens to them as the story unfolds.
Heaven’s Lost Property’s sole aim is to advertise itself, and that’s no way to tell a story. You can get away with that once, but when it comes to revisiting the show, it can only disappoint. That’ll teach me to buy something only because it’s on sale. From now on, you can be guaranteed that I will have more in the way of self-control and... will you look at that? Re-Kan’s Blu-ray is the Deal of the Week at Anime Online...
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