DVD Review: We Without Wings – The Complete Series

we_without_wings_screenshot6

Prepare to be serviced as we take a look at MVM Entertainment’s upcoming DVD release of We Without Wings: Under The Innocent Sky in our latest DVD Review.

Synopsis:

Timid Takashi wants to escape to an alternate world where he is a heralded knight, but is held back by thoughts of his younger sister and his girlfriend. Part-timer and all-around upbeat guy Shuusuke has a disastrous first encounter with a woman who turns out to be his new co-worker. Handyman Hayato is a hard-boiled loner who has random encounters with two gangs and a girl with a uniform fetish. Throw in plenty of fan-service, random humor, an alternate medieval world, and your narrator DJ Condor, and you get We Without Wings – Under the Innocent Sky.

Our View:

I’ve said it once before but I’ll say it again, when it comes to Anime you’ll never realise what you are getting yourself into until it’s too late, and We Without Wings: Under the Innocent Sky, just so happens to be one of those series that ‘completely’ deceives someone looking from the outside in. For starters my inital impression of We Without Wings was a love story, a soft harem of sorts, whereby several girls attempt to grab the attention of one man, a vague impression left by the colourful front cover, however this impression shortly changed after seeing the trailer, at which point my impression of the series turned into a ecchi filled series, something like Highschool DxD but without the vampires. Now after diving out of the series I’m left at a blank to what I just witnessed, as it is completely different to any of my original impressions and expectations.

we_without_wings_screenshot1

Is We Without Wings: Under The Innocent Sky that bad I hear you ask? Well that depends on what you want to watch, for me my personal preference is a good story that develops over time and features a nice blend of action, entertainment and romance for good measure, such as Accel World for instance, however with We Without Wings we are instead treated to a wide-selection of characters with each one having their own stories shared within a mix of ‘adult-only’ appropriate content. Obviously this ‘raunchy’ side is to be expected, as We Without Wings, or more commonly known as Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa nai, is based off a visual novel game developed by Nomad for the PC, a game which featured some ‘questionable’ adult materials – so it’s only natural that the anime adaptation would feature similar content.

When you get right down to it though We Without Wings is a rather complex story, a story which becomes easier to understand it the more you re-watch the series. This is because the main storyline is centred around three different characters with each one considered a main protagonist of the series. For example Shusuke Chitose is often found hanging out in the Alexander bar and always attempts to pick-up women or gets friends to find him women, meanwhile Hayato Narita does odds jobs for anyone who requests them within the city limits, thus leading to some interesting work ethics. Finally there is the timid Takashi Haneda, a boy who wants to escape the reality’s of school work and take-up a new life within the world of Gredaguard.

we_without_wings_screenshot4

Each main protagonist has a story to tell within the series, and as the episodes progress the stories start to evolve into their own and over time overlap into each – and this is where things start to get complicated. If you’ve been heavily focusing on one characters storyline, Takashi Haneda for example, then you may have missed important factors discussed in other characters storyline and with all three protagonists being within the same episode this is easily a possibility. Luckily this is where re-watches come in, as simply re-watching the series, and focusing on a different characters perspective, allows the full story to be seen.

Maybe this is We Without Wing’s greatest asset, it can be watched multiple times for a further understanding of each characters storyline, none-the-less all three characters are looking for the same thing, and that’s some ‘hot’ attention from girls, even if they are not aware of it.

Extras:

While the series has some ‘questionable’ tastes there is no doubting the ‘relatively’ strong line-up of bonus features, as not only are we introduced to two English cast commentaries but we are also treated to some additional trailers and textless songs.

we_without_wings_dvd_extras_screenshot

The first DVD disc contains the first English Cast Commentary, whichs sees voice actors from the series discussing their roles within the fourth episode of the series and their experience dubbing at FUNimation, while the second DVD disc contains the full wealth of bonus content, including another English Cast Commentary, this time on the eighth episode, which yet again features FUNimation cast discussing their roles within the series.

The English Cast Commentaries can be a ‘hit-and-miss’ subject, as at times they can be informative while at other times they just laugh and talk about non-sense, but at least FUNimation opted to do some ‘audio coverage’ on a rather controversial series.

To round out the list of bonus content there is the inclusion of several textless opening and closing songs and the inclusion of several trailers. The first trailer is of course the original US FUNimation trailer, which doesn’t provide much insight into what the series has to offer, and then the final piece of bonus content is a selection of trailers for other anime releases. In this instance the trailers include Patlabor, Is This a Zombie and FLCL – all of which are currently being distributed within the UK by MVM Entertainment, so at least some changes have been made to showcase what other titles MVM have to offer to anime fans.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:43:56 (Disc 1), 2:40:17 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kbps (English) & Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

First impressions aside I was mostly disappointed from what We Without Wings has to offer, as it’s put simply a series designed to please fans of the original visual novel, or in short this is pure fan-service. If you’ve played the PC games fair enough, but from a stand-a-lone anime series point of view it’s unentertaining and quite disturbing at certain points, which probably explains the BBFC gving it an 18 age rating.

we_without_wings_screenshot2

What We Without Wings offers is pure fan-service covered up as a complicated love story, each character starts off by attempting to find their place in life, whether its be being in a virtual world, with cute girls or hard at work, each character has something they desire – at which point the sexual innuendos, panty shots and suggestive content appears – and with each passing episode it becomes more blatant and obvious. The only thing that isn’t obvious is the non-direct approach to storytelling, as each of the three protagonists gets their ‘daily activities’ shared within each and every episode, with transitions to other characters storylines occurring at infrequent times – like I said you’ve really got to keep up with what’s going off.

While the series left me ‘rather bored’ and confused there was some positives to be taken away from this DVD release by MVM Entertainment, as the picture quality was adequate, it featured a reasonable selection of extra features and it had both English and Japanese audio languages, which considering some of the series content I wouldn’t have expected. unfortunately despite being a FUNimation produced English Dub the voice acting becomes rather stale, with traditional funimation actors being used for the female voices and not doing much to alter their voices from previous roles. Luckily the Japanese audio track picks up this slack and makes it much more enjoyable to watch, especially when it comes to Alice who switches between Japanese and English dialogue during some of her conversations – it adds a bit more realism to a rather unrealistic series.

we_without_wings_screenshot3

So what can we take away from We Without Wings, well it’s a fan-service based series with an over-complicated story that does progress and evolve over time, however if you are new to these types of series then be warned as there is plenty of suggestive sexual comments, questionable content and nudity. On the other-hand if you want a series that provides a “no-holds-barred’ approach to questionable content and a few laughs along the way then We Without Wings might be perfect for you.

Score: review-stars-2

We Without Wings – The Complete Series will be available on DVD from the 30th June 2014 within the UK.

Advertisements

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: