Blu-Ray Review: The Girl in Twilight – The Complete Colleciton

MVM Entertainment continues to distribute a wide-variety of anime releases and in our latest review we take a look at the Blu-Ray release of The Girl in Twilight – The Complete Collection.

Synopsis:

Every clear day at 4:44 pm, Asuka and four of her friends go to the temple tree on top of a hill, tune their radio to a different frequency, and pray to open the door to another world.

It hasn’t worked yet, but bubbly Asuka is determined that one day it will, even if some of her friends, like pragmatic Yu and Chloe, don’t necessarily agree.

And then one day, it does – the girls find the right frequency and suddenly their prayers land them in a golden twilight world where they are promptly attacked. They only survive because another girl intervenes – one who looks strangely like Asuka herself.

Our View:

The Girl in Twilight, otherwise known in Japan as Akanesasu Shōjo, is a short-lived multimedia franchise that was created in partnership by Dandelion Animation Studio and Jūmonji to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Animax channel and it saw this twelve-episode anime series launch alongside a free-to-play mobile game. Sadly both the series, and the free-to-play mobile game, were short-lived as not only was the series a one-off but the mobile game was shut down just four months after release.  Once you learn about the, rather disastrous, launch of the franchise you begin to understand why the series turned out to be as it is; a rather mediocre experience that acts as nothing but a prelude to what could have been.

Featuring an original conept by Kotaro Uchikoshi, who is a director and scenario writer for games such as Zero Time Dilemma and AI: The Somnium Files, but directed by Jin Tamamura and Yūichi Abe with the script written by Shogo Yasukawa, The Girl in Twilight follows a group of high-school students as they travel between alternate realities and learn of an evil threat attempting to erase existence. It all sounds rather enticing and chaotic; but sadly it fails to deliver on what could have been an interesting series and instead acts as an introduction, with a rushed conclusion, to what the future of the franchise could have been.

The Girl in Twilight follows the activities of the Crystal Radio Club, a group of high-school students, consisting of of Asuka Tsuchimiya, Yuu Tonaka, Mia Silverstone, Nana Nanase and Chloe Morisu, that formed an after school club to research the mysterious crystal music box that Asuka received from her relatives as well as learn more about wave frequencies in the world. In attempt to learn more about this item, and the radio fragments that emit wave-lengths of some kind, the group perform a ritual in front of a sacred tree; a ritual that is said to travel people to alternate universes that run in parallel with theirs. For the most this ritual is unsuccessful but when someone that looks like Asuka appears, and after receiving some guidance from a mysterious person, the group are able to transport to alternate universes and explore what life is like in these different scenarios.

After some experimentation with the rituals, and their first experience of a parallel world, the girl that looks like Asuka turns out to be Asuka from another world and she is fighting solo in order to stop the Twilight from destroying existence. This Asuka from another world travels to different worlds in hopes of stopping the Twilight from pursuing their advance in other worlds while looking for a way to stop her world from being destroyed. Interestingly Asuka also has another agenda as she is looking for her younger brother who mysteriously vanished several years prior, which is the same situation that Asuka from the Crystal Radio Club is trying to do. Once the realisation of the true agenda for this story is displayed it starts to deliver some enticing and entertaining prospects; but sadly the story does not pursue this avenue and instead goes elsewhere for its story.

In this case each character within the Crystal Radio Club finds themselves being forced into an unusual situation in order to bring out their “true” personality and in doing so they earn the power that Asuka from another world is able to wield; a power that sees them transform (like a Power Ranger or a Magical Girl) into a being able to defeat the Twilight. At first this began unexpectedly, but after one attempt the group decide to go forward in hopes of helping the other Asuka turn the tide of battle against the Twilight with each member acting as the anchor to travel to a new world and having their own personality explored.

It’s not until the final selection of episodes where a surprising, but almost comical, plot twist occurs that sees Asuka from the Crystal Radio Club make a life changing decision to save existence.  At this point however the interest within the series, and the franchise in general, has died down; as every episode until this point follows the same tried and tested method of exploring a single character before unveiling their power. The final three episodes meanwhile offer some refreshment, as well as a battle that sees everyone involved work together; but it doesn’t make up for the rather lacklustre story telling and presentation. A nice attempt, but there are better stories waiting to be told and while the CG animation is respectable the standard 2D animation is simplistic and average at best.

Extras:

This Blu-Ray release by MVM Entertainment is a re-author of the North American release by Sentai Filmworks and a such all of the supplementary content from the US release is included here in this UK release; but that being said do not expect too much as only a small selection of content is provided.

In this case viewers will find the usual inclusion of promotional trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases, such as No Game No Life and Golden Time, as well as clean opening and closing credits. One surprise addition is the inclusion of the original Japanese promotional material; which naturally included TV spots before and after the series began its broadcast on Japanese television. A simple but nice addition; and something I would like to see more of on other anime related releases.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:42:18 (Disc 1), 1:14:06 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

An anime series based on a media franchise is never an easy thing to achieve, especially if it is a new project; but while others may succeed The Girl in Twilight fails. Fortunately for us we are not basing the experiences of the series on its past Japanese launch, of which we would take pity on, and instead we focus on the pacing and presentation of this anime series as a stand-a-lone unit. The verdict is a mediocre one, as while it is presentable and offers some enticing bits of storytelling the general pacing, presentation and delivery is anything but good and is just OK. Not once was I excited by the prospect of where the story was going nor did I care what happened to the characters on screen; but I can see that this series and its story does have some interesting tendencies and will appeal to those who liked shows such as Battle Girl High School.

The Girl in Twilight follows the Crystal Radio Club as they learn to travel to parallel worlds and unlock their ‘true’ personality and mysterious powers along the way; all the while attempting to defeat an unknown enemy known as Twilight while helping Asuka with her troubles. It’s a group effort but each episode is rinse and repeat with characters personalities and abilities being brought to light through a different scenario. Whether it be a forced marriage to a superstar, a sheriff wanting to take charge, or isolation in a controlled location; the environment may be different but the pacing and presentation is the same. Only does the final selection of episodes redeem this rather bad series; but even then it is rushed and does not deliver on the expectations it had once set out to achieve.

From a Blu-Ray release perspective then it is business as usual with MVM Entertainment once again using re-authored Sentai Filmwork materials to produce and release the series on home media in the UK. This means consistent picture and audio quality with perfect chapter placements and yellow subtitles throughout. It’s your standard bare bones release with some novelty features such as trailers, textless song and Japanese promotional material. There is nothing abnormal about this release and remains consistent with MVM Entertainments past releases of Sentai Filmwork produced titles.

Overall The Girl in Twilight is a mediocre series presented as an average product on Blu-Ray. There is nothing really noteworthy, outstanding or entertaining and the set works as one would expect; but it certainly helps fill the void for those looking for a different type of “magical girl” themed series.

Score: review-stars-2

The Girl in Twilight – The Complete Collection is now available on Blu-Ray within the UK.

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.

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