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Assassins Pride Collector's Edition (Blu-ray Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000225202
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 30/3/2024 22:03
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    Review for Assassins Pride Collector's Edition

    7 / 10


    You might have noticed a paucity of anime reviews in recent months. It only took me a couple of decades, but I finally hit burnout with this particular medium. That isn’t good given how many unwatched titles I have in my collection, so I did the only sensible thing. I switched off from anime for a couple of months, only sneaking in the odd episode here and there. It seems to have worked. When you read the blurb for Assassins Pride, it might seem like half a hundred other generic fantasy anime that I have reviewed to this point, elite girls in an academy, magical abilities, sole male thrown into the mix... Three months ago, I would have drifted through these episodes on autopilot. But when I put the first two episodes on last night, I was actually drawn into this world. Maybe this show is just a cut above the average, or maybe I’ve got my anime mojo back. Hopefully it’s both.

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    Flandore is a city-state within a canbell, one of humanity’s last redoubts, surrounded by hostile Lancanthropes. Kufa Vampir is an assassin by trade with a dark background. He’s been given a mission to infiltrate an elite girls’ academy, to find a girl named Melida Angel, and if she has no mana, to kill her. The elite have powers in this world, mana which enables them to defend against the Lancanthropes, but the possession of mana is a sign of a pureblood heritage. It’s Melida’s grandfather who suspects she’s a child born illegitimately, and he’s the one that has put a price on her head. Sure enough, the girl has no powers, is bullied in school, and outshone by her cousin Elise. But unlike the rest of the aristocracy, she has a whole lot of heart, and rather than follow his mission, Kufa does something completely unexpected. He shares his mana with her. Now they both have a secret that would get them killed if revealed...

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    12 episodes of Assassins Pride are presented across 2 Blu-rays from MVM.

    Disc 1

    1. Mercy of an Assassin
    2. When the Girl’s World Changes
    3. Going Beyond the Limit
    4. Two Young Ladies Assemble at the Chained Castle
    5. The Golden Princess and the Silver Princess
    6. The Gray Witch
    7. No Guidance Above nor Below
    8. The Last Testament of a Certain Skeleton
    9. An Eternal Pact

    Disc 2
    10. Labyrinth Library
    11. Messengers of Death
    12. Pride of an Assassin-Instructor

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    Assassins Pride gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer on these Blu-ray discs. It’s a clear and sharp transfer, with rich and consistent colours. Assassins Pride is a show which has a darker aesthetic than most, and there does tend to be more in the way of digital banding as a result. The characters are typical of the medium, but they stay on model, and are appealing enough. There is a fair bit of effort put into the show’s world design, more than the usual fantasy anime, but by the same token, the editing and storyboarding isn’t as hot as it should be, and there can be some odd jumps in the flow of action sequences that break the narrative.

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    You get the choice between DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo English and Japanese with subtitles and signs locked to the appropriate track. I was happy with the Japanese audio. The actors are suited well to their characters, and the dialogue is clear, the subtitles accurately timed and free of typos. The action and effects come across well, and the music drive the story as it should. The show gets a couple of quirky theme tunes, which I was never tempted to skip.

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    Assassins Pride’s two discs present the content with static menus, and each episode is followed by a translated English credit scroll.

    The extras on disc 2 comprise the following...

    Textless Credits
    Episode Previews (7:29)
    Actors’ Promo (2:18)

    I haven’t seen the physical extras that come with the Collector’s Edition to comment.

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    Alas, Assassins Pride is another, somewhat average fantasy anime show, which doesn’t do enough to stand out from its numerous peers. On the bright side, after an anime hiatus of a few months, I could actually engage with the show the way I used to, no longer succumbing to attention drift when the tropes started flying thick and fast. Assassins Pride is a perfectly entertaining diversion, a nice way to spend five hours or so, with likeable characters and a fairly interesting story. It does fall into the trap that so many anime do, of throwing ideas at the screen willy-nilly, in the hope that some would stick, and throwing in a few short-cut clichéd episodes that serve as padding. Thankfully this isn’t a show where a swimsuit episode would work...

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    The strongest aspect of Assassins Pride is its world-building. It’s set in a future world where humanity has been pushed back into these enclosed cities in an epic structure that looks like some sort of organic lantern. They suffer from without from mysterious beings they call Lancanthropes (but which seems a catch-all term for supernatural beings like vampires and zombies). Those that defend against these beings come from the elite and the aristocracy for the most part, imbued with mana, magical powers that allow them to manifest fighting abilities, sorted into various classes, like Paladin and Samurai.

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    The show’s protagonist, Kufa Vampir is an assassin when the story begins, but a man with a dark past; the result of an experiment blending Lancanthropes with humans. Being part vampire makes him all the more effective a killer. He gets a mission to infiltrate a school for elite girls, where his target is a student named Melida Angel. She’s an oddball and outcast as her mana is yet to manifest, and the reason might be that she is of illegitimate parentage. This is something her elite family can’t countenance, and if this turns out to be the case, Kufa is to assassinate her. To the contrary, he finds the strength with which this powerless girl deals with her detractors and bullies to be inspiring, and instead shares some of his mana with her, to get her to awaken. A bond forms between them as a result, as well as shared secret to protect.

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    We also meet Melida’s cousin Elise, a more naturally talented warrior in training, but a girl who’s timid, and who has always looked up to Melida, powerless or not. But the culture in school is such, pitting the strong against the weak, that a rift has formed between the two girls that needs to be healed. It helps when Elise gets a mentor of her own, an exuberant girl named Rosetti Pickett, who also happens to have a mysterious shared past with Kufa, not that she knows it.

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    There’s a whole confrontational dynamic going on at the school with Melida effectively bullied. Kufa’s arrival, and his championing of Melida starts to change that dynamic, and Assassins Pride follows the familiar anime path of former adversaries becoming allies as the story unfolds. Of course there is an overarching conspiracy developing in the background through the series which comes to the foreground for the show’s conclusion. It’s all open-ended enough to leave on the kind of note that demands a second season, as so many anime do these days. Entertaining though it is, Assassins Pride is a little too familiar, a little too average to warrant a second season, although I have been wrong before. It’s watchable enough though.

    Assassins Pride is available directly from MVM’s webstore at Anime On Line, from Anime Limited and mainstream retailers.

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