Anime Spotlight: Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation

Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation is an anime based on the Hyperdimension Neptunia video game series, but it features a storyline that is independent of the games themselves. The anime was directed by Masahiro Mukai and was produced by David Production. The 12 episodes of the series aired on Japanese television from July 12-September 27, 2013. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation.

The series is set in a world called Gamindustri, and beings known as Goddesses rules over the four countries: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox. These goddesses are anthropomorphic versions of video game systems. In their usual form, they look like pre-teen or early teenage girls, and when they transform, they look like adult women. Yes, the anime has the typical “magical girl transformation” sequences seen in anime (think Sailor Moon). After fighting over Share energy for many years, the Goddesses have signed a “friendship treaty” that forbids them from taking Share energy from the others by using forceful means.

Neptune is the Goddess for Planeptune, Noire is the Goddess for Lastation, Blanc is the Goddess for Lowee, and Vert is the Goddess for Leanbox. The girls have very distinct personalities from each other but find themselves becoming comrades more and more as situations arise that force them to work together. Most of the Goddesses have at least one “little sister,” except for Vert. They look like young children, and at the beginning of the series, the little sisters haven’t learned how to transform yet. However, this becomes a major plot point about halfway through the series. Planeptune also has some notable side characters: IF, Compa, and Historie. The only one whose purpose is clearly identified is Historie, who serves as a personified version of the tome that contains the history of Gamindustri. The other two are just kind of “there,” without any real explanation for why they’re part of the group. Their roles would probably be clear to viewers who have played the games. However, I came into this anime without having any prior knowledge of the games… which probably put me at a slight disadvantage.

When it comes to adversaries, several appear over the course of the series. Arfoire wants to take over the world, and is accompanied by Warechu, a mouse who ends up developing a crush on Compa. There’s also CFW Trick and Linda (another grunt for Arfoire). Anonydeath wears mecha armor and is first introduced when stalking Noire. There’s also a “final boss” in the final two episodes who I’m not going to say much about because it would take away from the surprise.

There are two more characters of note that appear in the series. Plutia is a Goddess from another dimension, who is accompanied by her dimension’s version of Historie. She has been sent to recover something that was causing energy to flow from Plutia’s dimension into this dimension. Plutia also has a Goddess form, and it’s quite different from the shy and demure personality of Plutia’s regular form. In her Goddess form, Plutia is a dominatrix. The other character that is introduced is Peashy, a little girl who suddenly ends up in the care of Neptune. There’s an important storyline that revolves around Peashy, but I can’t give out any more information than that because it would provide spoilers.

One thing I can say about this series is that there’s quite a bit of “fan service.” It’s very evident when the Goddesses are in their transformed form, and they’re wearing skimpier outfits that highlight their “assets.” For the Goddesses with larger breasts, there’s emphasis on jiggling. We also see some of this in Vert’s regular form, since she’s the largest in that department in the normal forms. Admittedly, I didn’t care much for this “fan service,” because let’s face it, it’s not being aimed at someone like me. But I will say that in the last couple of episodes, it seemed like the “fan service” wasn’t highlighted quite as much as it did in previous episodes.

I did appreciate that when the characters visit an amusement park in one of the early episodes of the series, we got to see some video game references. I easily picked up on Tetris and the Mario franchise, and there may have been others that perhaps I missed. I thought that this was creative, and this is the kind of “fan service” I have more of an appreciation for.

Even though I went into Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation without any knowledge of the games, I still found myself enjoying the overall story. The Goddesses in their normal forms may have had some stereotypical personality traits, but at least it was easy to figure out what kind of characters each one was supposed to be.

Outside of the more overt “fan service,” the only other real complaint I had about the series was the animation. It just obviously looks like something that was animated in the early 2010’s. I can’t really put it into words, but there was a certain aesthetic and various hallmarks that were part of anime during that time period, and this series utilized those aesthetics and hallmarks. Even if I didn’t already know when it came out, I could have taken one look at this and guessed what time period it came out in. The animation isn’t necessarily bad, per se, but it does help make the product look dated.

While the Hyperdimension Neptunia anime was an enjoyable enough watch, I personally wouldn’t be in a hurry to watch it again. However, I think that anime fans who are already familiar with the game franchise will find more enjoyment than I did in this series.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Anime Compilation and OVA to Head to Steam in Fall 2020

Idea Factory International has announced that it will make the two compilation anime for the Hyperdimension Neptunia anime, as well as the Summer Vacation OVA available on Steam in Fall 2020. The release will include a new translation, as well as English and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified) subtitles. The releases will also include the complete opening and ending theme songs for the Hyperdimension Neptunia, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 – 3 games.

Hyperdimension Neptunia Hi☆Light: Crystal of Light compiles episodes 1-5, 11, and 12 of the anime and includes five songs in the release. Hyperdimension Neptunia Hi☆Light: The Blazing Bifrost compiles episodes 6-10 and 13 of the anime and includes three songs and the Summer Vacation (Chō Jigen Game Neptune The Animation: Nepu no Natsuyasumi) OVA with the release.

The compilation anime both streamed on YouTube in Japan on May 15, 2020. The Summer Vacation OVA screened in Japan in July 2019, and was also available for streaming on PlayStation Video and Bandai Channel in the same month.

FUNimation Entertainment streamed the 2013 television series as it aired, and released the series on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in 2015 and 2017 with an English dub.

The various anime are based on the Hyperdimension Neptunia role-playing video games created and developed by Idea Factory. The games are set in the world of Gamindustri, which is divided into four regions/nations which are each ruled by one CPU. Each region is completely different from the others in appearance and atmosphere, with each representing a specific video game console.

Source: ANN

Crunchyroll Adds More Catalog Titles and Adds Dragon Ball Super for Europe

Crunchyroll has announced that it has expanded its territories where fans can watch Dragon Ball Super. The following countries and territories in Europe can now watch the series: The Aland Islands, Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Libya, Macedonia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Crunchyroll also announced streaming territories for some of its previously revealed catalog titles, as well as some other new catalog titles:

  • High School DxD BorN (U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland)
  • Death Parade (U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, South Africa)
  • Freezing (U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland)
  • Last Exile (U.S., Canada)
  • Overlord (U.S., Canada, U.K., Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands)
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia (U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, South Africa and Premium members in Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark)
  • The Rolling Girls (U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, launches June 1, 2017)
  • RIN – Daughters of Mnemosyne (U.S., Canada)
  • Dragonar Academy (U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands)
  • Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 (U.S., Canada, South Africa)
  • Maken-Ki! (Seasons 1 and 2, U.S., Canada, South Africa)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (HD Remaster, worldwide except Asia)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny (HD, worldwide except Asia)

Source: ANN

English Cast for Hyperdimension Neptunia

FUNimation Entertainment has announced the main cast for its English version of the Hyperdimension Neptunia anime:

  • Melissa Fahn is Neptune
  • Erin Fitzgerald is Noire
  • Tara Platt is Vert
  • Wendee Lee is Blanc
  • Christine Marie Cabanos is Nepgear
  • Sarah Williams is Uni
  • Shelby Lindley is Ram
  • Carrie Keranen is Rom
  • Stephanie Sheh is Histoire and Abnes
  • Megan Shipman is If
  • Cristina Vee is Compa
  • Cherami Leigh is Plutia
  • Tia Ballard is Peashy
  • Morgan Garrett is Rei
  • Laura Post is Arfoire
  • Sara Ragsdale is Warechu
  • David Vincent is Anonydeath
  • Josh Grelle is Trick
  • Morgan Berry is Underling
  • Caitlin Glass us 5pb.
  • Whitney Rodgers is Setag

Mike McFarland is directing.

People who preorder the series from FUNimation’s online store will be entered to win one of two Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory Limited Editions signed by voice actresses from the original video games and anime.

Source: ANN

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Episode 2 – “The Terrorist (Lickorrist) of Lowee”

Hyperdimension Neptunia is an anime series set in an unreal world called Gamindustri. The four Goddesses that rule the four states have come together to make a treaty that forbids them from taking Share, the source of the Goddess’ power, by force.

This episode sees Neptune and Noire, along with their little sisters, visiting the state of Lowee. They were asked to come by Rom and Ram, the little sisters of Lowee’s Goddess, Blanc. It turns out that the fourth Goddess, Vert, is there visiting with Blanc. During some interactions in this scene, the subtitles show that Blanc uses a bit of swearing in her dialogue; however, I don’t know if this language is in the original Japanese, or if the translator decided to “fifteen” Blanc’s dialogue.

It turns out a new amusement park called Super Nittenland has opened up in Lowee, and the Goddess’ younger sisters want to go. Blanc asks the others to take Rom and Ram, because she is unable to go.

Super Nittenland makes several references to the Mario games, and there’s even a couple of Tetris references. There are warp pipes, mushrooms, and yellow coins that visitors can grab; there’s even Tetris blocks in the sky. In my opinion, these video games references were probably the best part of the episode.

While they’re at the amusement park, Rom and Ram and are kidnapped by this thing called Trick, and it has a long tongue. According to Trick, he likes to lick and he’s only interested in little girls. My first thought after that piece of dialogue was: “Ewww… a pedophile!”

While a search is on for Rom and Ram, a character named Abnes forces her way into Blanc’s castle and starts berating her on a live feed of her Internet show, Abnes Channel. Abnes makes it clear that she thinks that little girls shouldn’t be CPU Goddesses. The rest of the episode focuses on the Goddesses and their little sisters trying to find Rom and Ram and rescue them.

By the end of the first episode of Hyperdimension Neptunia, I found myself feeling rather bored. While I wasn’t bored by the second episode, I was disturbed by some of the things that take place in it. At this point, I have no plans to continue watching this series, and am giving it a one-way ticket to Dropville. So long, Hyperdimension Neptunia!

Review: Hyperdimension Neptunia: Episode 1 – “Planeptune’s Goddess (Neptune)”

Hyperdimension Neptunia is an anime based on a role-playing video game. The anime is produced by David Production, and is directed by Masahiro Mukai. The series is streaming on FUNimation’s website on Fridays. It should be noted that the streams for this series require viewers to have a membership at FUNimation’s website and that they are 17 years of age or older.

The story is set in Gamindustri, an unreal world that is divided into four states: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee and Leanbox. Each state is governed by a Goddess. The Goddesses fought each other for Share, which is the source of the Goddess’ power.

The Goddesses have a couple of forms they take on. In their human form, they look like little girls. In their Goddess form, they look like women; when they’re in Goddess form, most of them have noticeably large breasts that are flaunted by what they wear. I think this is probably one of the factors that led FUNimation to make this stream available to viewers 17 years of age and older.

At the beginning of the first episode, the four Goddesses come together to make a treaty which forbids them from taking Share by force, and it also causes the Goddesses and their younger sisters to have a new stage to their relationships with each other.

During the first episode, the Goddess named Neptune learns the power in the Sharicite of her state is decreasing, due to the people’s hearts drifting away from Neptune. It’s evident to the viewer rather quickly that Neptune doesn’t take her job that seriously, and is more interested in having fun. Neptune goes to a neighboring state to get advice from a Goddess named Noire; however, Neptune doesn’t seem to be paying attention to what Noire is telling her or truly trying to understand what Noire is trying to teach.

Noire receives a call that monsters are bothering some of the citizens in her state, so she has Neptune and the others with them accompany her. The monsters are called Dogoos, and kind of look like dogs that only have heads. Noire has Neptune go after them by herself; however, a couple of her friends join in when they see that she’s being outnumbered. During the battle with the Dogoos, the monsters start licking at Neptune and the others; sometimes, they’re trying to lick them in some rather inappropriate places. This innuendo is probably another reason for the age restriction on FUNimation’s site.

After the fight, Noire scolds Neptune for relying too much on others for her battles. Then, Noire goes to a cave to fight more of the monsters; but after defeating what she thinks is the last one, she is suddenly attacked by something that looks like a dragon. During the fight, the dragon knocks into Noire and she reverts back to her human form. Predictably, Neptune comes into the cave and saves the day,

Right at the end, two hooded figures are shown watching what’s going on. One of them looks kind of looks like an anthropomorphic mouse, and it comments that the two are looking for something while looking at a device that looks suspiciously like the Dragon Radar from the Dragon Ball franchise. I suspect that they were meant to be the hook to keep the viewers interested in what’s going on so they will tune back in for the next episode; however, they just appeared out of nowhere with little to no explanation, so it doesn’t work to make me want to watch another episode right away.

Since a lot of the story focuses on the Goddesses in their human form, the series has a rather cutesy feel to it. While it feels like the show is trying to present a plot, I just don’t feel that this is quite working. I really didn’t care enough for any of the characters to root for them to succeed; perhaps this is due to my not having any knowledge of the role-playing video game that this series is based on. By the time I finished the first episode, I was rather bored.

I’ll go ahead and give the second episode a chance to see if maybe there might be something there to make me want to continue watching this series. But it may be a couple of weeks before I can watch the second episode, because I’m not going to have access to streaming anime when the next episode becomes available at FUNimation’s website. However, I will try to catch up as quickly as I can.