Blu-ray Review: World Conquest: Zvezda Plot – The Complete Series
28/01/2016 Leave a comment
Kaze’s latest release isn’t quite ready to take over the world just yet; but it does provide some amusing situations with a quriky set of characters; so what exactly did we think of World Conquest: Zvezda Plot – The Complete Series? Find out in our review.
What does it take to conquer the world? Every leader of the past has thought of it… but all they have done was to merely dream of its greatness. World domination… nobody has been able to achieve it. Until one little girl by the name of Kate Hoshimiya came along.
Kate Hoshimiya will shock the world! How was she was able to carry out such a magnificent stunt? So frightful! So glorious! Could this be… the Zvezda Plot!? The light of Zvezda will shine upon the whole world!
Bat-sheet-crazy is the term i would use to describe World Conquest: Zvezda Plot and yet despite this ‘crazy turn’ the series is packed full of amusing moments that will keep you watching to the end. Personally it reminds me of Tsuritama, a show you assume you won’t like due to its colourful palette and quirky characters but in turn you actually like what it offers; even if it makes no particular sense.
The story follows Asuta Jimon, a typical middle-school student that gets caught up in a political cross-fire between the Zvezda Organisation and the government after running away from home; as a result he meets a young-girl known as Kate Hoshimiya who has big dreams of world conquest. It’s a rushed, but comical, series of events that leads our Asuta right into the hands of the Zvezda leader and after a quick-discussion, and a fight with the army, he is soon forced to become a member of their reigns.
From here you would expect Asuta to be shown the ways of the Zvezda and their on-going-attempts at world conquest; but in actuality it’s something a lot more quirky – and in turn – more interesting. For the next selection of episodes at least we begin to learn more about the other ‘main members’ of the organisation and become acquainted with their ideal lifestyles; for instance one particular episode explores the origins of Natasha Vasylchenko, otherwise known as Professor Um, the scientist – and brains – of the group while another episode depicts the past relationship of how Yasu and Goro met and became involved with the Zvezda group. Each characters background further refines their uniqueness and gives the show a bit more of a backbone; as while they may be considered support characters they have enough weight to them to be something much more meaningful… or at least thats the impression.
Alongside these back-stories each episode has their own ‘alternate’ agenda; be it stopping smokers from taking over the city – which seems like a true message from the director to smokers – or learning how to cook food in the kitchen; one particular episode even goes on about seeing Kate being able to swing round on bars; a feat which is called back upon in a later episode. Ironically though the real talking point of this show is the confrontations between Zvezda, the government and the White Knights; each of which have their own agendas and role to take part. For instance the sole existence of the White Knights is to protect the citizens of the city, and in turn stop Zvezda, and as such each particular episode will see them trying to foil each others plans; some more comical than others.
It’s an interesting setup – good versus evil – but in this particular scenario it is difficult to work out who exactly the enemy is; a question made abundantly clear when the real enemy, the government, steps in to take control of the entire situation. It iss at this point in the series you realise just how crazy, but addictively enjoyable, the show is; as every kind of logic is thrown out the window but more importantly its where the real story begins to unfold; and its one that sees Zvezda do everything they can to put a stop to it. Disappointingly however after this ‘final confrontation’ the show adruptly stops and leaves it wide-open for a second season which, by the look of things, looks quite promosing; that is if it ever comes into existence.
Kaze’s tradition of releasing barebone anime releases continues as with World Conquest: Zvezda Plot the only bonus content are the three trailers before you get to the disc menu; in this case KAZE produced trailers forThe Future Diary, Pengium Drum and Persona 4: The Animation.
It’s bizarre that KAZE have released this series without any supplementary content; as the previously released Australian DVD had the inclusion of textless songs and promotional trailers in addition to their own form of trailers. I can only assume KAZE didn’t have the rights to them; but in any case its a shame that they are not included.
Media: BD 50 x2
Running Time: 2:51:30 (Disc 1), 2:27:26 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: LPCM 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps
World Conquest: Zvezda Plot is a quirky show with an amusing pacing. The series sets itself up to see newcomer, Asuta, be trained up in the ways of the Zvezda group but instead shows the group going about daily activities and exploring their back-stories while defending themselves against the White Knight corp. It’s relatively simplistic but yet it doesn’t feel dreary or tiresome; i assume thats because the characters themselves are all uniquely entertaining in their own right. A switch off and enjoy type of anime series if you will.
Interestingly enough It’s not until the eighth episode where things start to get interesting and as such we see the true motive of the Government take control; and its one that spells disaster for Zvezda. This is where the ‘real action’ kicks off; and while its a shame that it ends rather adruptly (and on a conclusion) it has been a good ride. Of course its not just painful banter and jokes that Zvezda throws out at the viewer; as there is also a budding love story between two class-mates (Asuta and Renge) that builds over the series and thats just as interesting to watch as the escapdes made by the Zvezda plot.
Unfortunately however for this release of the series is not all fun and games as KAZE have once again managed to botch a release of their product. For starters the subtitle font used is, on this particular series at least, difficult to read – as it is plain white on bright backgrounds – and in some cases flicker on and off screen rapidly as if incorrectly timed (Episode 11) or jump around the screen due to other text (Episode 13). The biggest issue mind you is the incorrect usage of chapter markers and as such you may find yourself accidentally skipping half an episode (i did at least). Basically each episode is split in to Opening, Intro, Part A, Part B, Ending and Next episode preview however the chapter marker for the start of Part A is missing and as such you jump instantly from the start of the opening sequence straight in to the second half of the episode.
The combination of poor subtitle presentation, a botched chapter marker and lack of bonus materials really does make this release suffer as the series itself, albeit not to everyone’s taste, is one worth checking. In my eyes at least the show is great; but the release in general is pretty bad and – ironically enough – is worse than the general Kaze release.
World Conquest: Zvezda Plot – The Complete Series will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on the 1st February 2016 within the UK.