DVD Review: Kill Me Baby – The Complete Series
25/03/2016 Leave a comment
After a short delay the quirky colourful show known as Kill Me Baby is soon to arrive on DVD (and Blu-ray) within the UK; but what exactly can you expect from this much discussed release? Find out in our DVD review.
Yasuna Oribe isn’t your typical Japanese high school girl. For one thing, she’s a little slow on the uptake, and for another, her best friend, Sonya, is actually a highly trained foreign assassin who’s in Yasuna’s class as part of her assignment. Though perhaps Yasuna’s definition of “best friend” is a bit strange, as Sonya has the habit of regularly attacking Yasuna, especially when startled.
However, as noted, Yasuna isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, and while Sonya knows precisely what to do with every one of those sharp objects, even she is hard pressed to deal with the day to day oddities that seem to fill their class schedule. Things like: escaped bears, voodoo curses, juggling and killer mosquitoes. And puppet shows. And just in case Yasuna’s life wasn’t weird or hazardous enough, there’s her ninja classmate, Agiri, swarms of bees and assassins targeting just about everybody, a mysterious red-haired girl with a personal vendetta and the perils of slipping in the public bath.
Originally illustrated and written by Kaduho as a four-panel-manga series Kill Me Baby is a story which follows three school friends as they embark on all-sorts of adventures within their daily lives. This anime adaptation by J.C. Staff, which of course is the animation studio that brought us Shakugan No Shana, is no-different and while plenty of banter, amusing storylines and colourful characters are presented to the viewer I could not help but feel disappointed in what I was watching.
I’ll be honest; I was bored watching Kill Me Baby and, as with majority of the anime I watch, I went in blind. It’s hard to pin-point what I didn’t like about Kill Me Baby; is it the terrible English dub provided by Sentai Filmworks or is it the way that none of the episodes tie-in with each other to present a progessive story. All of these factors, and more, contributed to the fact that I just did not enjoy this show. Of course everyone has their own personal taste – likes and dislikes – and it’s easy to see that people would enjoy what Kill Me Baby has to offer; as it does have some entertaining merits.
In any event Kill Me Baby follows the exploits of best-friends Yasuna Oribe, an air-head oddball that manages to fail at everything she tries, and Sonya, a foreign trained assassin that’s always on guard and acts like she knows everything. It’s a natural blend of ‘seriousness’ mixed with ‘goofyness’ and strangely enough when both characters come together for some banter the results can be entertaining. As you would expect as the series moves forward more characters are introduced; case-and-point the self-proclaimed “Ninja Master” Aigri as well as an ‘unnamed’ character who vows vengeance on Yusuna. The unnamed character is only mentioned briefly – an inside joke from the production team- but it’s the main newcomer, Aigri, that manages to bring out the best out of what Yusuna brings to the show. The reason being is because Yusuna is gullible and as such believes everything Aigri has to offer – which turn out to be either be fake, such as ninja tools, or false information.
In terms of episode content then Kill Me Baby is thirteen episodes long with each episode offering around two-three different types of stories. Each story tends to focus on a particular topic, such as Yusuna trying to become a Ninja or getting Sonya to teach her assassination moves but in any event there’s no ‘real story’ to be had- it is short, simplistic fun at best. Majority of the episodes take place around the school campus while most notable episodes take place at the beach and festivals. For me Kill Me Baby mostly falls down at its story; as technically there isn’t one – sure enough there is a small selection of characters, each of which have their own quirks, but we don’t see them in any type of explorative situation. It’s just another day with a slightly different topic; and that’s probably why i didn’t enjoy it as much as others. Despite my negative comments Kill Me Baby can work well in ‘small’ bursts but even then after awhile it can be a tedious experience.
As with all MVM Entertainment published Sentai Filmwork releases there is only a very small selection of bonus content on offer; namely the inclusion of trailers and textless songs.
In total six trailers are included, all of which are presented on the first DVD disc, and as with all Sentai Filmwork trailers it is simply the opening animation music placed onto scenes of the anime its trying to promote. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. It’s also worth noting that while this set contains all thirteen TV episodes it DOES NOT include the OVA episode which was released in 2013; which is a slight disappointment on an already disappointing series.
Media: DVD 9 x3
Running Time: 1:39:32 (Disc 1 & 2), 2:04:35 (Disc 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
A thirteen episode long series, with at least twenty-six different stories, with three quirky characters is what’s on offer in Kill Me Baby and while it did nothing to satisfy my anime needs it does have some moments that others will find enjoyable. It’s a slice-of-life styled comedy series which sees Yasuna and Sonya take part in daily activities while discussing random topics – including one that sees Yasuna trying to win free ice cream.
As mentioned Kill Me Baby offers some fun with the way characters interact with each other; but on a whole it would have been a much more entertaining series if some form of progressive story engagement was had. For instance Sonya always mentions her abilities as a hitman/assassin so it would have been interesting for a story revolving her past assassination activities – or training – to take centre stage as opposed to mindless dribble between characters with ‘cheap-shots’ as jokes.
Mindless dribble is an important term to use; as Kill Me Baby is features plenty of dialogue and while this may not be a problem in the Japanese Dub track it could be a problem for the English Dub – which if of course produced by Sentai Filmworks. The voices for Yasuna and Aigri are quite suited; with Yasuna being monotone and serious with Aigri up-beat and light-hearted; but when it comes to Yasuna’s voice actor (Hilary Haag) it just doesn’t seem to fit well – especially when it comes to the high-pitched-sequealing. Hilary Haag isn’t new to Sentai Filmworks either and, as with most of her voice acting work for Sentai, it offers the same type of vibe with no difference.
In terms of this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then it’s business as usual; a small selection of bonus materials placed together with the entire series. Once again the series has been spread across three discs which present a better ‘constant’ picture quality and one that would only be better in High Definition. For me; Kill Me Baby is a questionable series but i understand its entertaining merits and i know it can be enjoyed by others, its just not a show for me. This DVD however is everything you would come to expect; so there’s no real complaints to be had other than the lack of OVA episodes and questionable dubbing abilities by Sentai Filmworks.
Kill Me Baby – The Complete Series will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 28th March 2016.