Anime: Hyperdimension Neptunia Complete Series
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: June 9th, 2015
Retail Price: $64.98
In a place called Gamindustri, powerful beings called the Goddesses oversee the countries of this unreal world. The four different Goddesses rule over four states: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee, and Leanbox. For many long years, these countries fought with each other over something known as Shares, the main source of the Goddess power. The four Goddesses begin to become fearful that this conflict would cause damage to their countries’ power, which ultimately leads to the women creating and signing a Friendship Treaty (led by the lead character Neptune) that forbids each of them from taking Shares by force. Under this peace treaty, the Goddesses and their younger sisters are forced to make progress with their relations amongst each other; the agreement and budding relationships along with comedy, begin to indicate what you can anticipate from Hyperdimension Neptunia.
Hyperdimension Neptunia is actually based on a video game franchise, but does not coincide with anything from the game story itself, which could be either good or bad to hardcore fans of the franchise. As far as the anime goes, they try to introduce a larger plot at play, but mostly it feels episodic with constant reminders of the comedic elements used in Hyperdimension Neptunia. Each episode has different random side-stories that are meant to show other attributes to the core characters. The side characters (almost everyone but Neptune) waiver from interesting to not so interesting, making Neptune herself as the most interesting character in a series where ongoing plot isn’t necessarily being executed efficiently.
Once establishing that the anime series is more geared towards comedy and character interaction, the tone remains consistent enough to have that game premise from beginning to end. The characters themselves may not play the most crucial roles going forward, but they do each have unique characteristics in their art that do help you point out the different characters on a regular basis, with no or little time for mix-ups. From their different colored hair, to their different outfits (but all seem to be revealing) Hyperdimension Neptunia doesn’t fail at the art concepts with design or color, one of the actual strong suits of the series.
Another strong quality to the anime is the dub. FUNimation handles just about every English dub with the best quality in mind which is something I’ve come to expect from any FUNimation title, regardless of the series premise. Neptunia (the most interesting character) also has the most notable success in the cast, bringing back to back humor with her character, and setting up Neptunia as the main meta character (or the character who remains self-aware of the gaming world she lives in). The sharp witted dialogue is needed in many moments; however there are moments where they are placed on the back-burner because of the fan-service fueled moments that take charge of the series. What starts out as harmless fan service type jokes, turns out to be a major theme of Hyperdimension Neptunia using a character like Arfoire who seeks untapped power to put the goddesses in danger and compromising situations that confirm the anime has a male skewing audience in mind.
In the end, Hyperdimension Neptunia doesn’t have an elaborate seriousness to it, and even when you think that there is a possibility, the series finds a way to interject humor or fan-service into a scene. It’s an odd series to say the least, but Hyperdimesnion Neptunia will definitely resonate with the gamer niche and the anime-game fandom even more-so.
Aedan’s Final Thoughts
-The collectors edition Bluray/DVD combo pack is a must-have for fans of the series.
-The series is .hack// for its gaming aspects meets Freezing, in terms of portrayal of female characters
-Neptune is actually a very entertaining character in many moments, if not the most enjoyable character of the anime.
-The color usage in this anime is spectacular, with every character vividly animated and the world they live in is artistically beautiful as well.