Blu-Ray Review: Chidori RSC – The Complete Collection

If your school had a Rifle Shooting Club would you join it? That’s the question that is being asked in Chidori RSC, but does this Blu-Ray release by MVM Entertainment hit its target? Let’s find out!

Synopsis:

Due to firearms restrictions, sharp-shooting tournaments in Japan are held using special rifles that fire beams of light instead of bullets… and since devices that fire pulses of photons are so much safer than weapons that shoot live ammunition, there’s little reason for age restrictions at shooting matches. As a result, many Japanese schools now have shooting clubs that compete against each other, culminating in nationwide contests!

However, when Olympic hopeful Hikari Kokura transfers to Chidori High, she’s alarmed to discover that the Chidori High School Rifle Shooting Club she’d planned on joining has been dropped due to lack of interest. Convincing her friends and classmates to join this offbeat club will be just the first target in Hikari’s ambitious plans as a team of young markswomen set their sights on going all the way to the national championships!

Our View:

Adapted from the four-panel manga series by Salmiakki, and animated by studio 3Hz, Chidori RSC, otherwise known as Rife Is Beautiful, is a slice of life moe-styled sports anime surrounding the Rifle Shooting Club at Chidori High School. On the surface Chidori RSC is colourful, bright and a bit of a ditz, but look beyond the obvious cliché and you’ll uncover a story that focuses on the sport at hand. That’s not to say Chidori RSC is a good series, if anything its about average due to its similarities with other underdog stories, but it certainly offers something different with its topics.

Chidori RSC focuses on Hikari Kokura, a young and passionate marksman who enjoys the sport of Rifle Shooting, a sport which sees combatants shoot at a target in an attempt to obtain the highest score within the time limit. Hikari has dreamt of becoming better at the sport, and aims for the Olympics, and as such she enrols at Chidori RSC to make her dreams a reality. Sadly this dream is crushed short with the realisation that the Rifle Shooting Club has been shut down due to lack of members.

In similarities to K-ON! And Love Live! School Idol Project the objective becomes the revitalisation of the club, but sadly what should have been a drawn out plot twist is solved within half an episode. A bit unusual, considering it became a major plot piece earlier on that could have helped introduce and explore the idea of recruiting members, as with other ‘club’ related anime shows.

The dilemma of looking for members is, as mentioned, quickly resolved with Hikari’s childhood friend Izumi Shibusawa, quickly joining the club and chance encounters with Erika Meinohama and Yukio Igarashi; both of whom are skilled in the sport. Erika previously lost to Hikari at a middle school related competition and Yukio is considered a prodigy in the sport.

All-in-all what should have been a plot device to further explore the clubs foundations are solved within a matter of minutes, so what happens next? Well not a lot really. Of course I’m joking, but for the next handful of episodes viewers begin to learn what it means to be part of a Rifle Shooting Club and the rules surrounding it. From an educational perspective on Rifle Shooting it’s not the most beneficial, but it does well to portray the rules, and difficulties, of the sport without interrupting the flow of the moe-styled comedy that goes on between characters.

That’s right, the similarities and clichés continue with how the characters present themselves and interact with one another, so much so that it becomes quite predicable at times. Alas it’s still a fun show and has merits. Moving beyond the opening three episodes the series splits into two distinctive storyline arcs that showcase the Qualifiers and National Competition events. In this case the Qualifiers arc showcase the Rifle Shooting Club of Chidori High School competing against other schools in a bid to enter the National Championship, while the aforementioned National Championship arc showcases the events of that competition.

At this point in the series the objective shifts from a slice-of-life moe styled series to a competitive underdog storyline, where rivalries are formed and under achievers do everything they can to win. It’s an interesting take, but it’s nothing we haven’t already seen in other anime series and the only real difference is Rifle Shooting, which as exciting as it sounds it isn’t that exciting.

Extras:

While the overall story of Chidori RSC might be mediocre at best the selection of bonus materials included in this Blu-Ray release is nothing but exemplary due to the inclusion of promotional videos and a bonus recap episode alongside the standard textless songs and trailers.

As per usual all of the bonus materials are located on the second Blu-Ray disc with the highlights being the bonus episode, known as Episode 7.5, and the promotional videos for the series. It’s surprising that a series this short received a recap episode, but this Episode 7.5 provides a recap on the events that led them to the nationals. In reality you could watch this bonus episode and save yourself half a series in viewing time, but of course you’d miss out on some of the amusing antics surrounding the characters. Disappointingly this bonus episode is only presented in Japanese with English subtitles, and the same also applies to the promotional materials which provide a glimpse at how the series was promoted before its release in Japan.

The remaining selection of bonus features are the inclusion of textless opening and closing songs as well as trailers (or in my mind music videos) for other Sentai Filmwork licensed shows. The opening and closing are, as you’d expect with a series this colourful, are bright and cheerful but are not as interesting to watch as you’d might have hoped. The trailers meanwhile offer previews of Wasteful Days of High School Girls, Shirobako, The Demon Girl Next Door and Ajin: Demi Human, with the latter being available in the UK on Blu-Ray.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:40:18 (Disc 1), 1:13:26 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Chidori RSC, otherwise known as Rifle Is Beautiful, is a bright and colourful slice of life moe-styled series that focuses on the unique sport of Rifle Shooting, a sport which sees combatants use electric rifles to shoot laser beams of light at a target on the wall. The rules of the sport dictate that players have 45 minutes to shoot 60 shots, with each shot worth a maximum of 10.9 points and the highest total point scorer being declared the winner. On paper it’s an interesting sport, and combined with cute over-reacting characters, makes for an interesting combination, but sadly it’s not that active or engaging.

Firstly Rifle Shooting requires players to stand-still and shoot at a single target, with no noticeable movement or firing action other than the trigger being pulled, and so when the competition(s) do begin there’s not a lot of movement and it’s mostly dialogue with spectators sharing their views. Outside of competitions however is where it gets interesting, as we get to see the characters come alive and express themselves.

Hikari being the cliché airhead protagonist, Izumi being the mild-mannered best friend, Erika being the over confident leader and Yukio being the quiet shy type. It’s your typical formula for creating a club (and an underdog story) within an anime, but again like other shows in the market it works… to a certain extent at least.

Generally speaking Chidori RSC is an underdog story that sees fanatics of the sport team-up, practice and then take on the competition to try and become the best in their area, and along the way we get to learn more about their personalities, the sport and the challenges of becoming the best. There’s not really much to say and the same goes for this particular Blu-Ray release of the series.

Once again MVM Entertainment are using masters authored by Sentai Filmworks, and as such we receive access to all of the supplementary content and presentation styles as our friends in the United States. This means a nice selection of bonus features and clear subtitles throughout. It’s also worth mentioning that Chidori RSC has been dubbed in English and the English dub is pretty consistent, and relatively well presented, throughout – although I did find myself reverting back to the subbed version in order to keep me invested in the overall series.  

Overall Chidori RSC is a decent series, and it is well presented on this Blu-Ray release, but that aside it doesn’t offer anything relatively new or different (other than the sport) that makes it stand out from the crowd. This, in itself, is quite ironic considering how the characters within the show complain how boring Rifle Shooting can be for spectators, and it rings true with this series. It’s cleanly presented and offers a nice mixture of 2D and CG animation that flows naturally with one another, but there is nothing really compelling you to continue watching it unless you feel like you absolutely must. I guess you could say it is a filler series, a series when you’ve got nothing else to watch and fancy a break from the norm.

Score: review-stars-3

Chidori RSC – The Complete Collection is available on Blu-Ray in the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has produced content for 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 Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

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