Kazuki joins the cast with her, according to Ikkou, perfect breasts.
What They Say
There's a new priestess in town named Kazuki Kazusano who's formidable, aggressive, and fearless, all wrapped up in one cute little package. She's a girl who knows what she wants, and for some reason, what she wants is Ikkou. The gang is a bit shaken at first by her appearance. Their new school year is then turned totally upside down by a ghost's skirt-blowing antics, a sports competition where Ikkou's buddy tries to impress the new hottie, and a disastrous field trip for earthenware dolls called haniwa. And Saienji Temple's trainees may have bitten off more than they can chew when Hinata's spiritual power erupts.
While Media Blasters has been dropping dubs on a lot of series, they haven’t done it here since this is a show that should sell pretty well. This release has a pair of standard bilingual audio tracks done in stereo, both of which are encoded at 192kbps. The series is rather standard in its audio design as it’s keeping things very centrally focused with only a few areas where there’s noticeable directionality. Depth and placement aren’t really a big deal here and often we don’t have many characters actively talking at any time so it’s not really needed. The mix is good for what it is and everything comes across cleanly and without any problems.
Originally airing in 2005 for the first season and 2006 for the second season, Ah My Buddha is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The series has a nice bright and colorful look but never crosses to that line where garish lives. The colors have a very solid feel throughout, skin tones in particular look really good, and the animation quality is quite good all things told so that helps to raise the bar a bit. There’s a touch of line noise in a few panning sequences but cross coloration is essentially non-existent here. The only areas that had any significant noise are the ones that deal in the darker areas, such as the night time blues which are in the buildings as well, as they have a bit more movement than you’d seen during a daylight sequence.
Ah My Buddha has a really appealing cover design to it, another sideways cover from Media Blasters who seems to love them, where it features a close-up of Chitose without any sort of top on with an innocent look to her while we also have Kazuki in the center with her outfit falling off of her as she has a very knowing and confident look. The show exudes a good bit of fanservice from this cover and it’s nice to see it layered and framed the way they have it. The logo looks really nice and the entire layout is very eye-catching. The back cover is kept to a top to bottom format where it’s made up of a mostly pick background. The summary goes through the basic expectations of the series with notes on the amount of skin that shows and we get some nice artwork and several shots from the show as well. The discs special features are listed very largely, larger than the episode count. The remainder is given over to the production information and a clean technical grid. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu is nicely done as it uses the piece from the back cover of Chitose all stretched out naked with the flowers around her as she has a somewhat mild blush going on. The layout is done with a shade of purple that’s soft, using the symbol from the back cover as well, which gives it a very strong design. The navigation along the bottom is clean and easy to navigate which is a big plus and submenus load quickly and without problem. The disc doesn’t read our players language presets and defaults to English language with sign/song subtitles.
The only extra included in this release is a clean version of the opening sequence.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ah My Buddha plows ahead with plenty of fanservice and silliness but it’s also pushing more of the serious storyline alongside it, which is a really nice change of pace. The set gives us four more episodes (and a chance to recover a bit more from that bonus OVA in the last volume) that are pretty fun even if they do introduce a new character into the middle of everything.
Much of the focus of these episodes is around the arrival of Kazuki, a nun who is a year behind Ikkou in age which puts her in the same class as Hinata. Kazuki is very much interested in Ikkou right from the start and she does everything she can to get close to him by using every bit of her sexuality. This naturally puts off everyone else who sees it happening, particularly Chitose as she’s more and more interested in him even if she tries not to believe it, but Kazuki does it all with such a simple happy grace that it’s hard for most people to stay mad at her. Ikkou is unable to defend himself against her wiles since he’s pretty much your standard male who has an attractive blonde taking his hand and putting it on her breasts. Kazuki is doing all of this for a reason though as she’s trying to awaken him again and again so that his true power can come out for whatever reasons that she wants this to happen.
There’s some good behind the scenes sort of posturing going on as well which explains some of what Kazuki is up to, though you can practically guarantee she won’t go through with it at the end. Within the shrines and the larger branches and main organization, there is a power play going on among some of those who are rising in power and Lady Jyotoku and what she’s doing is a big issue for some of them. As some of them ascend in power, they try to change the dynamic because of old slights, including one slimy priest who obviously has issues with Jyotoku and is using his new position of power above her to get her to acknowledge him. It’s a pretty classic setup but it has the added twist of Jyotoku having a very powerful person in her midst with Ikkou and his awakened powers that they’re trying to rein in.
Much of this show does revolve around the spirits, the fun and the fanservice as opposed to the darker material. It does pay attention to it since it’s becoming the subplot that will likely be key towards the end, but right now it’s being fun for the most part. Kazuki’s arrival raises the fanservice a few notches because she does actively go after Ikkou which is in contrast to how the other girls are that he lives with. Ikkou for his part is all too accepting of it and the situations that get him into these kinds of moments but it’s amusing to see him react to a girl who doesn’t hit him or run away the minute he leers even a little bit. It doesn’t hurt that Kazuki’s forward nature and her design make her doubly appealing.
Ah My Buddha continues to be a fun show that gives me just about everything I want from it. It has a lot of the light moments, plenty of fanservice as the girls robes open constantly, and a larger storyline that’s slowly shaping up and being teased out. It is the fanservice that draws you in the most and they deal with it really well. Each of the designs has their appeal while still managing to not look like complete cookie cutter copies of characters from other shows. They move the show forward at times as well, such as advancing them a year in their grade which is a nice touch even if it is meant to bring them all together into the same school. The bigger storyline is still an area that I wonder if they can pull off when it comes down to it, but they’re doing everything else right so I’m still looking forward to seeing what will happen and enjoying the fanservice until then.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.