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FREEDOM BD BOX SET (BLU-RAY)
The sci-fi OVA Freedom (2006) takes place in the 23rd century. Decades earlier, a space station crashed, initiating a series of ecological catastrophes that left the Earth largely uninhabitable: humanity survives in the rigidly controlled lunar megalopolis of Eden. Frustrated by this restricted environment, 15-year-old misfit Takeru and his friends Kazuma and Bismark run afoul of the authorities when they try to break into the illicit equivalent of street racing. While performing his sentence of "volunteer work" on the lunar surface, Takeru discovers a photograph of a girl. Smitten, he tries to discover her identity. Alan, an eccentric ex-scientist, reveals the picture was taken on Earth. But Takeru has been taught that the Earth was reduced to barren rubble: Humans exist only in Eden. The ruling council pursues Takeru and his friends as they search for the truth. Determined to find the girl in the photo, the teen-agers take the only way out of Eden: a century-old emergency rocket. Takeru and the fussy mechanial genius Bismarck escape just ahead of the police, vowing to return to get Kazuma. When the two exiles reach the Earth, they discover the planet is largely desolate, but plants, animals, and small colonies of humans still exist. Takeru meets Ao, the mystery girl, and resolves to break down the barriers that separate Earth and the Moon. At various times, all of Takeru's friends comment, "When I hang out with you, there's never a dull moment." Although some sequences reflect the influence of Akira a little too obviously, Freedom is an entertaining blend of 3D computer graphics and 2D drawn animation. The Blu-Ray set is a vast improvement over the HD release that only included one episode per disc and no English track. (Rated 13 and older: minor violence and risqué humor) --Charles Solomon
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With that said, the visuals and audio ARE awesome. Picture is georgeous from my 720P HD projector on a 92" screen and the Dolby True HD soundtrack through my 5.2 HT system was mostly impressive - especially the racing and launch scenes (combination Formula 1 sound with futuristic power plant screaming along nearly brought tears to my eyes and the lauch scenes had some great punch - vibrating the room very well.) Ambient sounds were ok but not spectacular, nowhere near what 5 Centimeters per Second has.
All together it is a title I would highly recommend to anyone; it's one of the best anime titles I've seen. Here's my favorite anime list of the last decade for reference in what I like and find really enjoyable to watch:
1. 5 Centimeters per Second
3. Ergo Proxy
4. Solty Rei
5. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
10.Initial D, 4th Stage (Project D)
How I rate Freedom Blu-Ray collection:
Story - 9 out of 10
Visuals - 9 out of 10
Audio - 8 out of 10
Overall HT viewing exerience - 9 out of 10
This anime took me by surprise. It has action, comedy, drama, and romance. The characters are likable, and the story is original and fantastic. My only complaint is the animation. The animation is very good; I just dislike the style. It's very different. You'll see what I mean if you watch it. the voice acting, and soundtrack are also quite well done. I think that this is something that everyone can enjoy. I strongly recommend it.