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In Aoba Tsuzaki’s world, everything appears to be normal. This model-building fanatic spends her days alone in her room, happily constructing the plastic robots that dominate her existence. But something sinister stirs beneath the Earth’s surface – and a violent threat to mankind rumbles towards it’s deadly unveiling. In the calm before the storm, a cross-dressing kidnapper brings Aoba face-to-face with a brutal fighting machine, and her dreams of robots give way to horrifying nightmares.
As the world crumbles around her, Aoba is recruited into the clandestine Angel – an elite fighting force which pits giant robots against the ancient Jinki while an unseen evil lurks in the shadows. JINKI:Extend is a world of blinding explosions, intrigue, and battle-hardened beauties hell-bent on revenge. Nothing is as it seems. No one can be trusted. And you fight till your last breath.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 4 Ounces
- Media Format : Animated, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Run time : 5 hours and 25 minutes
- Release date : September 8, 2009
- Studio : Funimation Prod
- ASIN : B002FOQXSC
- Number of discs : 2
Best Sellers Rank:
#253,976 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #8,405 in Anime (Movies & TV)
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"Jinki:Extend" is a 13-episode anime series that debuted on TV Asahi back in 2005 and is based on a manga series by Shirou Tsunashima. The anime series is directed by Masahiko Murata ("Gilgamesh", "Shikabane Hime" and "MazinKaiser") and features music composition by well-known anime composer Kenji Kawai ("Dai-Guard", "Death Note", "Maison Ikkoku", "Patlabor", "Ranma 1/2", "Blue Seed") and character designs by Naoto Hosoda (who worked on series such as "Boogiepop Phantom", "Gurren Lagann" and "Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade").
The series is quite interesting as it featured 13-episodes but the 13th episode was never aired, the manga series was never completed due to creative differences between the creator Shiro Tsunashima and Comic Blade's publisher and the anime series was released in the US through ADV Films but was one of the titles relinquished to FUNimation Entertainment.
"Jinki:Extend - The Complete Series" features a total of 13 episodes on two DVD's. Here is a spoiler-less summary for each episode:
* EPISODE 1- The Battlefield the Girl Saw - The introduction of the main characters and how Aoba came to learn of the Jinki.
* EPISODE 2 - After the Tears - Aoba learns about Angel and trains to pilot the Moribito.
* EPISODE 3 - Quality and Quantity - We learn about Akao Hiragi and when she was introduced to the Angel team. And how Aoba meets the other members of the Angel team.
* EPISODE 4 - Face-to-Face - Aoba and Rui train and become rivals on who would pilot the Moribito.
* EPISODE 5 - Of Enemies and Allies - We learn about the past between Kokushou and Genta and why he became evil.
* EPISODE 6 - The Pilot in Black - We are introduced to a Jinki pilot named Kouse who is sent by Shizuka to battle Aoba. But it's hard to fight when the both Kouse and Aoba become friends.
* EPISODE 7 - The Ends of Ambition - Karis Nohman targets Satsuki Kawamoto and how Akao decided to use her power to help Angel.
* EPISODE 8 - Silvery-winged Visitor - We learn that Shiva and Akana are trying to reach out to Akao for some reason. Meanwhile, Akao continues to train in the Moribito.
* EPISODE 9 - Winner of the Game - We are introduced to Mel J. Vanette who is going after J. Harn of the Hachishoujin.
* EPISODE 10 - Red and Black - Akao is captured by the Kyomu.
* EPISODE 11 - Family - Aoba Tsuzaki returns back to Angel and both she and Shiva confront each other.
* EPISODE 12 - Blue and Red - Kyomu's Shiva along with the brainwashed Akao take on Aoba Tsuzak and Angel in a battle to the death.
* EPISODE 13 - And Then... - The unaired episode featuring what happens to the main members of Angel and the direction they go with their lives.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Jinki:Extend - The Complete Series" is featured in 16:9. For the most part, the animation for this TV series is pretty good as we see detail and grime on the mecha's after battle, good painted backgrounds and really cool character designs.
As for the audio, audio is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound and Japanese stereo. The English dialogue is featured in 5.1 and is front and center channel driven. Some sound effects during battle is heard through the surround channels. Japanese dialogue is only stereo. I watched the series in both languages and for the most part, both audio is quite solid but more emotional on the Japanese vocals for certain scenes. But really, both are well done. For my preference, I chose stereo on all channels on my receiver for a more immersive soundtrack on both audio dubs.
Its important to remind people that this is a television series and not an OAV or movie, so audio is quite satisfactory for a television series but not very immersive. Also, in terms of animation, the series tends to use a lot of blurring on backgrounds but still uses a good amount of painted backgrounds to show buildings that are destroyed and detail on the mecha. For the most part, for a television series, animation is good and audio quality is satisfactory but not great.
Subtitles are presented in English.
"Jinki: Extend - The Complete Series" comes with the following special features:
* Clean Opening and Ending theme - Textless theme songs sung by Unicorn Table (OP theme: "Fly Away") and Angela (ED theme: "Mirai to Yuu na no Kotae").
* Trailers - FUNimation Entertainment trailers
"Jinki:Extend" is an interesting series because in the beginning, it had potential to be like a modern "Gunbuster" style of anime series. But by episode 3, the series starts to go back and forth with the 1988 Venezuela arc and the 1991 Tokyo, Japan arc and it happens so frequently that at first, I was thinking why was the pacing off but then you start to realize that these are two different time periods.
With that being said, the shifting of the two time periods definitely throws off the pacing, especially if you get involved in one storyline over the other. First you are invested in watching Aoba learning how to pilot the Moribito but then the storyline shifts and focuses on Akao and how she learned to pilot the Moribito and then we get episodes of other characters of Angel and you start to realize that perhaps, 13 episodes may not have been enough for this anime series.
And reading about the manga and anime differences, you realize that perhaps there was too much story involved in the Jinki and Jinki: Extend manga series that only certain things made it in the anime series and thus you feel certain things were rushed, pacing was off and storylines were not as easily smooth as one would like.
But nevertheless, a mecha fan can find enjoyment in "Jinki:Extend" as certain episodes are entertaining and fun. I can understand why episode 13 was not shown on television. Where episode 12 concludes a certain part of the series, the storyline continues in the manga. But episode 13 was more like a finale that wanted to keep people content of knowing where the characters are going and that there is much more potential storyline out there. But if anything, the series makes me wish that Shiro Tsunashima's manga series were released in the US because I would love to see how this battle between Angel and the Kyomu really ends.
As for those who own the original "Jinki:Extend" DVD's and wonder if it's worth the double dip? With the single volumes, those volumes had interviews with the Japanese voice talent and also a primer of the characters and Venezuela location notes and more. So, single volume owners may want to keep it. But assuming you don't have the complete series and for those who never saw "Jinki:Extend" and are mecha fans and curious about the series, the fact that this complete series is being offered for a much lower price than it was offered several years ago is great.
Overall, "Jinki:Extend - The Complete Series" is a series that is lighthearted at times, dramatic at times and even dark at times. But for the most part, it's enjoyable but also can get a bit confusing with the continuing transitions with Aoba (present) and Akao's storyline (past). But if you enjoy cute girls who can pilot huge mecha, this one is for you!
This anime is pretty boring. I realized about 7 episodes into the series that all these battles that took place for no reason. There is no clear enemy. It's like a child playing with with toy soldiers. There is no point to anything that happens in this series. The good guys and bad guys have no goals or allegiances. It seems like they have a simple code: "Wow! Another mecha, lets blow it up!" They simply fight for the hell of it. The animation is average, the voice acting is pretty good, and the soundtrack is okay. Nothing important happens in this series. It just kinda exists. I can't recommend it. It's a serious bore.
Originally released both as individual volumes and a complete collection sets by ADV Films, Funimation has recently acquired the rights to the show and has wasted little time in getting a Complete Series release out to the public. Coming in at a total runtime of 325 minutes, Jinki: Extend the Complete Series spans 2 discs and comes packaged as a pair of thin packs within a cardboard slipcase.
The show wears an appropriate TV PG (13+) rating, which is due to some grandiose violence, and a bit of non-nudity fan service (breast jokes and some lesbian insinuation).
Language options are typical sub & dub meaning the option of original Japanese dialog trackor an English dub (either of which is in stereo) and English subtitles available under either language choice.
Extras include textless opening and ending and of course, a nice host of Funimation trailers.
The simple summary of the show's entirely specious plot would look something like this: Based on a manga by Sirou Tunasima, Jinki Extend combines cute bubbly girls with giant robot elements. In 1988 Aoba Tsuzaki, a seemingly ordinary 13-year-old chick, who just so happens to spend her time building and painting robot models, is kidnapped by a cross dresser and taken into a war where giant robots, both new and ancient, engage in an ongoing struggle.
Fair enough so long as you don't stop to think too hard about the whole cross dresser element (which is used here merely as a gimmick) but in truth this represents one of the more logical portions of the overall prose.
Fascinated by the gigantic robot (Moribito-2), Aoba comes to know the machine's pilots, Ryohei Ogawa (the cross dresser who kidnapped her) and his father, Genta. In addition to loving robots all her life, it turns out that Aoba is a cognate, a human with special abilities to control such complex machines.
It's all downhill from there! The first sign of things unraveling is when the plot jumps to Japan in the year 1991 (without telling us this) where a branch of the Angel organization attempts to recruit a seemingly unrelated kid to pilot a Jinki (while another girl we haven't met yet) mysteriously looks on.
Suddenly our buddy Aoba (back in 1988) is torn between what she considers right and wrong when she starts to have feelings for a boy who happens to be the pilot of an enemy robot.
This may not sound too bad when written out like this, the truth is that whatever charm the first volume of the series introduced is almost immediately taken away by the start of the second disc. It would have helped tremendously if ADV Films would have had the presence of mind to toss a subtitle up whenever the story happens to alternates between events in 1988 Venezuela and 1991 Japan.
Instead the plot jumps between the two timeframe/ locations with alarming frequency, leaving the viewer with the daunting task of figuring out when and where they are. If the wacky editing made sense in the original Japanese release, it was definitely lost in translation!
The bigger problem then becomes the pacing of the plot. The fact that it bounces around so often never allows a full (or connected) story to take place. Instead the information is provided in small, meaningless fragments. Countless 1988 story threads fizzle out never to be touched upon again and several characters and events crop up in the 1991 timeline without explanation or congruity.
As frustrating as this is, there may be an even bigger flaw that takes away from the entertainment value of the show: The fact that many of the character models look identical! Especially when you factor in the physical aging that comes with treating 3 years time as if it were twenty seconds. Add names like Minami, Shizuka, and Shiva to the formula and good luck figuring out who is who in any given scene.
Jinki: Extend suffers continuously from a failed attempt to cram a huge (and confusing) cast of characters into a big clumsy story with only thirteen episodes to do it. Suffice to say, viewing the show in conditions other than those that allow for absolute dedication and concentration will result in confusion.
While I'm a fan of the logic that there's nothing inherently wrong with experimenting with narrative structure, Jinki:Extend's use of constant narrative cutoffs, flashbacks and unpredictable timeline jumps comes off as incredibly cheap. It feels like a half-hearted attempt to emulate more complex shows like Rahxephon and Neon Genesis Evangelion by "artistically" chopping everything into pieces. Worse still is that if you have the patience (and internet access to look things up) to finally make sense of the muddled plot line, it becomes alarmingly clear that what's actually there is thin and predictable.
About the only viewer who will surely adore Jinki: Extend despite its shortcomings would have to be those seeking attractive females in tight clothes strapped into the cockpits of giant robots. There is no shortage of almost nude encounters (bath house scenes), puberty references, and giant robots blowing things up here in J:E. If this sounds like your kind of anime, add two stars and don't even hesitate to pick this one up.