The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): Japanese/English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, Chinese (traditional & simplified), Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Korean, Norwegian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Directed by: Hirotsugu Kawasaki
Music by: Ryudo Uzaki
Written by: Naruhisa Arakawa & Hirotsugu Kawasaki
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 4, 2011
"Champion your destiny"
A spectacular journey of an unwilling young hero thrust into a mysterious past full of monsters, dragons, and strange hidden powers. Through a series of out of this world battles and adventures, Jun, a shy middle school boy, is transformed into a hero destined to battle evil and ensure harmony and tranquility in the world.
I am not thoroughly versed in Japanese Anime and had no prior knowledge of Legend of the Millennium Dragon before receiving it for review. The film opens with a battle sequence between the Nobles and demon like Oni in a small village during the Heian period. Their struggle is an ancient one that never results in a clear victor. Gen'un, the mystical leader of the Nobles decides that in order to shift the tide of battle in their favor he must travel to another time period. Flash forward 1200 years to modern day Kyoto and the introduction of Jun Tendo, a shy and typically awkward middle school aged boy struggling to find his identity. Through what appears to be happenstance Jun Tendo meets Gen'un and suddenly finds himself transported into the past. There he meets members of the Nobles council who explain to him that he is a descendant of the Magatama clan and capable of the release and control of the mighty dragon Orochi a powerful mythical creature which could be used to finish off the Oni. Jun Tendo isn't the fighting type and finds the faith placed in him by the Nobles misguided. Jun Tendo's perspective is further clouded when he meets Mizuha, a female Oni warrior who shows him that they aren't simply demonic murderers seeking to destroy humankind and asks for his help. Unsure of what to do Jun Tendo must make a decision as each side prepares for the final battle.
I found this to be a mildly entertaining animated adventure. The storyline and characters aren't thoroughly fleshed out and it has a little trouble sustaining its 98 minute runtime but it appeals to the imagination and the visuals are engaging. I suspect that Anime purists will find that it pales in comparison to the better films the genre has to offer. At a minimum I would say that it has enough substance to be of interest to fans and novices alike which makes it worth checking out.
The rating is for some violence and scary images.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Legend of the Millennium Dragon comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.3 Mbps.
This is an excellent video presentation that boasts visually enticing imagery that looks great in high definition. It offers beautifully crafted Japanese anime that exhibits resolute definition and clarity. The shading and lighting used results in a soft glowing outline during many segments. This is intentional and gives the video variable depth which can be scene dependent but never detracts from the high quality of the presentation. Colors utilize a limited and softer palette that is most decidedly a stylistic choice that mates well with the source in a satisfying way. The gradational stages in the white and gray tones enhance perspective and at times provide realistic dimension. Strong contrast delivers punchy blacks and crisp, bright whites. Detail in dark backgrounds and low lighting is estimable.
The DTS-HD Master Audio track features a fairly active surround mix that makes good use of the surround platform. The front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated which generates a stable and detail rich soundfield. Dialogue is clearly intelligible and suitably proportionate within the front soundstage. The surrounds are actively engaged either in support of the music or to handle the various sounds/effects associated with the soundtrack's active elements. Aside from the action sequences there is plenty of enveloping ambience that surrounds the listening position. Dynamics are excellent and bass response is authoritative, with a rich, punchy low end that adds room energizing extension to the soundtrack.
- (HD) Concept art gallery (slideshow)
- BD-Live enabled
- Bonus DVD
Legend of the Millennium Dragon is a mildly entertaining animated adventure that features great looking Japanese Anime imagery but suffers from a middling storyline and thin character development. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in a Blu-ray/DVD combo package that features excellent audio/video quality but is noticeably lacking in the supplemental material department. Despite its shortcomings Legend of the Millennium Dragon more than held my attention which may make it appealing to genre fans as well as those with a surface level interest in Japanese Anime.
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Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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