In 2009, Kyoto Animation continued their desire to produce original series by holding an awards competition designed for new authors to submit titles that could be adapted into an anime series/film. They announced 5 honorable mentions in the novel category in 2010 and published one of those winners in May 2011 with plans to produce an anime adaptation in 2012 following Yasahiro Takemoto’s Hyouka. With it being a romantic comedy, the producers turned to Key visual novel veteran Tatsuya Ishihara to helm this very important adaptation. They gave him 12 broadcast episodes, an OVA, and a bunch of web shorts to tell his tale and compiled all of those onto 7 Blu-Ray/DVD volumes. This is a review of those 7 Love, Chuunibyou,& Other Delusions Blu-ray Limited Edition volumes.
Each volume of L,C,& OD comes inside a three-sided chipboard case with a newly drawn illustration by character designer Kazumi Ikeda on the front and various shiny/reflective images around the remaining portion of the case. The folding digipak has a lock motif when folded and folds out to have a new illustration on the inside as it plays around with the disc art on the Blu-ray disc. Included inside the digipak is a small booklet filled with episode information, production materials, interviews with staff and cast members, and the endcard illustrations shown at the end of the broadcast. Also included are two postcards using the artwork from the eyecatches (the segments in the middle that commercials were inserted during broadcast) and a newly drawn artboard by original character designer Nozomi Ousaka.
Sadly, L, C, & OD is not a series that would be used to test the quality of home video equipment. The photography team used a lot of “soft” filters in conjunction with rich and soft colors to give a more painting-eqsue feel to the visuals rather than sharp lines/dark action, which are used during the delusional battle sequences. Pony Canyon/Imagica do a good job with encoding the video; no big errors to note. It’s just not a series where people are going to appreciate the artwork.
Included on each volume are three audio tracks. The first is a Linear PCM stereo track of the main feature’s audio. The second and third are Dolby Digital tracks featuring commentary by staff members or cast members. No complaints about the audio tracks from me.
Kyoto Animation and Pony Canyon included a variety of bonus features on each volume. Included on all volumes are an untelevised short featuring Shinpei Sawa’s mechanical designs, a live-action feature where the main four seiyuu visit Kyoto Animation Studio 1, and the next episode previews that were shown online. Volume 1 includes textless versions of the opening and ending animation along with a teaser uploaded online. Beginning on volume 3, the remaining volumes have an additional live-action feature showing a digest of the seiyuu at the Kyoto preview screening, Tokyo preview screening, and live radio recording event. Volume 7 has textless versions of the “Lite” opening and ending animations. All volumes have Japanese subtitles for everything except the live-action features.
Overall, Pony Canyon’s NakamuraP did a fantastic job assembling a product that fans would want to own. The physical feel of these sets combined with the wealth of bonus materials both physical and on-disc is a joy for any fan of this franchise. Western fans were left out of everything except the booklets (translated), postcards, artboards, and textless opening/endings from the deluxe release by Sentai Filmworks. It’s a joy to be able to see the show and the various people behind it. A must-buy for fans and a worthwhile look if you’re interested in the animation process.