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Kannagi: Volume 1, Early Look/Review
By Marc | July 24th, 2009

It’s sorta odd to have a DVD in hand for a license announced just a week ago, but here Kannagi is.
After a year of oddity from Bandai in regards to quality and actually getting releases out (not to mention similar issues in the past), people are being a bit on the cautious side with Bandai disks, let’s see how this one fares.
I’ll go ahead and lead off by pointing out that the disk plays perfect with no issues or odd noises coming from the DVD player, and there is very little to suggest the disk itself was rushed despite it coming out one week after we found out Bandai had the license.
So onto the packaging then.  Kannagi comes in a plain white case.  The disk holder is a little loose, but likely won’t cause many people to get any disks bouncing around in the case.  The case itself doesn’t close very securely and seems a bit cheap.  The cover is a very nice picture of Nagi with a clean logo.  There is a small issue with the back, but that will be mentioned down with the extras.
The menu itself is basic, clear, and easy to get around in, and uses a brighter version of the coverart for the main menu.  Normally I only put up one menu capture, but based on your player the menu buttons can act up a little bit, so I put up two so you can see for yourself.   The button colors seem to glitch based on your player.  On some players they appear blue, others grey, sometimes (as seen in the capture on the right side above) it sorta splits between the two colors, and at least on one player, nothing appears at all.
As long as you don’t get the ‘invisible’ buttons, outside of a looking a bit glitchy, it works perfectly fine.  You can still select everything fine if you have the invisible buttons, you just can’t see what the selector is currently on.
As for the show itself, the disk includes the first half of Kannagi on this one disk.  The show itself is quite entertaining if a bit derivative.  At the very least it does a few twists on everyone’s favorite old school anime theme- meet guy, guy meets girl that is special in some way, girl moves in with guy, comedy ensues, throw in more girls, repeat.  Kannagi does it, but throws in a few twists (if not completely creative twists) that adds a bit to it.  Secondary characters while often matching anime characters we’ve seen are all done very well (a few to the point I look forward to them showing up more than I do some of the primary characters just to see what crazy stuff they are gonna do.)  The show is generally fun to watch, and has some great humor in it.  At one point I was sorta shocked that a character very nearly turned to the screen and basically started doing product placement (for a real product).  It did end up leading to a joke, but it was still sorta odd for, not even blatant product placement, but for the character to try and sell you on the product.  It worked in the situation, still odd and utterly yanks you out of the show though.  Lot of interesting little bits of animation, (there are quite a few detailed bits of animation work that were done very well, including one character brushing his teeth) such as a few cameos from a girl who looks oddly like Haruhi, and a man in the background who appeared to be Miyazaki (likely more, but those are the only two that jumped out at me).  Show definitely gets a thumbs up and I am looking forward to volume 2.
The video quality on the disk is quite good.  Colors are bright and vivid, and lines are crisp and clean.  There are a few minor problems at times with the color red (which is true of many DVDs) that aren’t distracting, but you may notice on rare occasions.  There is also a bit of color bleeding and banding during night scenes.  A very good video presentation in general though.  I mentioned some of the small animation details in my comments about the show, and the video quality of the disk makes those little touches stand out, even if you aren’t looking for them.
The audio on the disk is standard for a sub only release.  We get a 2.0 Japanese track and subtitles for it.  The subtitles are clean and readable.  The spelling and grammar is good (noticed one error while relaxing and watching the show).  Nothing special about the audio on the disk, but nothing bad either.
There is a bit of a problem with the extras on the disk.  The problem being that an extra is missing.  When a disk only lists three basic extras on the back, and one is missing that’s a pretty decent negative in my book.  We get the textless opening and the textless ending to episode seven, but the normal textless ending is nowhere to be found.  Hopefully it will be included in volume 2.  A basic extra selection is a bit disappointing in this case, as episode commentaries for the episodes are brought up in the show itself (and checking import stores, commentaries were definitely listed as an extra on some of the Japanese disks).  The extras is the only case where I have to wonder if maybe the disk was rushed a bit, since translating commentaries and extra clips would have taken extra time.
Kannagi is a fun show that will no doubt give quite a few people many laughs.  It has some good characters in it, although I’m hoping the story ramps up a bit in volume 2.  Some little details help flesh out characters and I think if you enjoy harem shows, or even slice of life shows, you’ll probably enjoy Kannagi quite a bit. It’s disappointing that you can’t just walk into your store of choice and buy it if you like to go and buy your DVDs, but the performance of Kannagi may give us an idea how that experiment works though.  Definitely recommend you check it out (either now, or when Bandai does a full retail release of Kannagi next year.)
Show: B+ (A great little show with fun characters, only complaint would be a few moments of ‘is everyone in this show nuts?’.)
Packaging: B- (Great cover.  The case holds the disk securely, but feels cheap.  Extras listed are inaccurate to what is actually on the disk.)
Video Quality: A- (Good video quality, a few minor problems.  Most people likely wont notice.)
Audio Quality: B (Good clean audio, nothing beyond good though.)
Extras: D (A clean opening, an episode specific closing credits, and a missing closing credits.  Grade was bumped down due to something missing.)
Overall (not an average): B+ (A relatively good disk for the show that helps me overlook some of it’s minor issues).
Gallery under ad. All caps are lossless PNGs taken in VLC, feel free to request more. (Caps are sized 853×480 so as to display properly on computer monitors, as encoded the disks are 720×480, but having the caps be 853×480 emulates how they are meant to appear).



Kannagi – © ERI TAKENASHI/Ichijinsha, Aniplex.

Categories: Anime Review, Reviews