DVD Review: Re-Kan – The Complete Collection

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An unheard of ghostly figure just appeared in our DVD player and it’s known as Re-Kan; but what can you expect from MVM Entertainment’s latest DVD release of the series. Let’s find out in our review!

Synopsis:

Narumi Inoue has a problem with the new girl in school. It’s not that Hibiki Amami is impolite or a bully… it’s just that she sees, speaks with, and befriends ghosts!

Now, it’s at the point that when Amami’s around, Inoue sometimes sees them too, spelling disaster for a girl who’s terrified of anything supernatural. However, Amami’s genuine kindness makes it hard for Inoue to ignore her, especially when her friends Kyoko, Kana, and Makoto, as well as the other students, have accepted Amami’s habit of talking to thin air and walking around invisible obstacles.

With gentle coaxing (and the knowledge that her departed grandmother is watching over her), Inoue finds herself immersed in Amami’s strange, otherworldly adventures. Fulfilling the last wishes of the dead might not be a normal after-school activity, but at least they’ll always know why the ghost crossed to the other side in RE-KAN!

Our View:

Most anime series tend to focus on providing a unique narrative spread across several episodes with the final few episodes providing that ultimate conclusion to the story… with Re-Kan however things are a bit different as the series opts to focus on stand-a-lone stories with no real objective or end point. That’s not to say that Re-Kan is a disappointing experience, far from it as the series does manage to provide some rather stellar moments, it was just not how I expected the series to be presented.

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In any event; Re-Kan begins with viewers introduced to the ‘seemingly’ average high-school-girl Hibiki Amami as she prepares to start her first day of school and during her journey to school see meets another high-school student known as Narumi Inoue, who also attends the same school. This seemingly chance encounter makes Narumi Inoue and Hibiki Amami become a permanent duo as shortly after arriving at the school Inoue is tasked with showing Amami around the school campus which in turn introduces viewers to Amami’s ability of being able to see ghosts; which completely freaks out Inoue and everyone else around the school campus.

So far so good; but unfortunately thats where the ‘natrual progression’ of the anime ends; as shortly after this quick introduction phase – which spans the entire episode and mostly sees Amami being shown around school with ghosts interfering – we find that Amami’s entire class has already become familiar (with the exception of Inoue) with her ghost seeing abilities and the interactions she has with them.

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The result from this is a rather mediocre, and potentially stale, series of events which see Amami’s small group of friends embark on their own series of adventures around town. Basically as opposed to seeing Amami’s classmates become familiar with her and her unique ability we instead see Amami help various different ghosts around town; some of which later become regular occurrences.

This is not entirely a bad thing but it feels like the majority of the episodes are filler content rather than actual storylines as only the first three (and the last three) episodes feature any worthwhile story content. The first three episodes introduce us to the regular occurring characters of Amami while the last three episodes (or specifically episodes 10 – 12 as the 13th episode acts more like an OVA with its unrelated story) focus on Amami’s wish of being able to see her mother who had died several years prior.

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Of course this is just my opinion; but personally I think it would have provided a more natural experience to watch the series with everyone overcoming Amami’s unique abilities and the difficulties that come with it as opposed to singular storylines that serve no real purpose other than to highlight Amami’s ability. Of course Amami’s wish of seeing her mother does does overshadow the disappointing aspects but it is a real shame that the entire series couldn’t ave been a more progressive story; as the series has some great character design, superb animation and some good comical moments – just a poor choice of content.

Extras:

As per usual MVM Entertainment have opted to use disc masters produced by Sentai Filmworks which means we receive access to both text less songs and Sentai Filmwork produced trailers; all of which are presented on the first DVD disc.

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Reality there isn’t much to say except that from the trailers included only one of them has a UK release; and that’s via Animatsu Entertainment rather than MVM themselves.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 9 x3
Region: 2
Running Time: 1:41:08 (Disc 1 & 2), 2:07:25 (Disc 3)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow) & White (Translations)
Resolution: 720 x 480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 30 fps

Overall:

Re-Kan puts a fun quirky spin on the super-natural genre but for those wanting to watch a progressive narrative with a deep and potentially thought provoking story then you may wish to find something else. Re-Kan mostly follows the daily life of Hibiki Amami as she helps out nearby ghosts in their quest to find peace however along the way her new friends Kyoko, Kana, and Makoto use their phones to see the ghosts and try to help out in away possible. Amami’s other friend, Narumi Inoue, on the other hand isn’t so helping as she dislikes her ability and the ghosts that hang-around-her.

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For the most part each episode is an individual story but characters introduced in one episode will always show up in another; for instance the Roll-Call-Samurai (who secretly has a crush on Amami) will also be hand to provide some help. Although the episodes themselves are individual, with highlights being cooking food for a loved one or displaying an important message, there is a deeper meaning to the series with Amami wanting to use her abilities to see her own mother who died previously. For me this was an important part of the series and yet it was quickly side-lined for the more comical antics that the individual episodes tended to offer. Like I mentioned before; it is an interesting watch just not exactly what I had expected – which is a shame as everything else (animation style, characters and music) I really enjoyed.

As per usual for this UK release of the series MVM Entertainment have opted to use assets produced/mastered by Sentai Filmworks; the result of these means we have the thirteen episodes spread across three DVD discs which in turn offers a constant stream of quality throughout.  It’s worth noting that Re-Kan is only available in Japanese with English subtitles and (even more interesting) is that the subtitles are hard-locked so you won’t be able to remove them and that while the subtitles are yellow (which is Sentai’s industry standard) the subtitle colour changes to white depending on whats being translated on screen or spoken in the background; something which I find very useful and easier to read.

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Overall Re-Kan isn’t entirely what I expected to be and as such it disappointed me slightly; but ignoring this you’ve got a quirky super-natural styled show that puts light-hearted comedy into the mix for a rather unique viewing experience. In my mind it’s not a great series; but it’s not terrible either – just mediocre and worth giving a watch if you have the time available. This DVD release on the otherhand is pretty much how you expect it to be for a release of this type; sure enough the hardlock subtitles are a bit of surprise but it’s not unheard of for a Japanese-only release.

Score: review-stars-3

Re-Kan – The Complete Collection is now available on DVD & Blu-ray within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay 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 or Xbox One.

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