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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Vandread: Ultimate Collection (Classic)
Format: DVD|Change
Price:$25.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

VINE VOICEon March 3, 2017
Maybe it is the result of the all but incomprehensible anime studio Gonzo, but no matter what you are expecting this series will surprise you. To begin with it most closely resembles (of all things!) Star Trek: Voyager: a band of incompatibles are forced together as a single crew in order to successfully journey a long way to their home planets. The twist is that these human men and women have grown up separately through cloning and initially regard each other as enemies! (Boy, are they in for a surprise!)

The story begins with the launch of a Taraak (male) converted battleship running into a Mejere (female) pirate ship; in the confusion the oldest part of the Taraak ship is abandoned, but its attempted destruction by the men results in a whole series of Paxsis Pragma controlled incidents: three men are left behind, the pirate ship and the old core are fused together, one Taraak mecha and three Mejere fighters are "modified", and the lot of them are wormholed far enough away from home to face a long journey back. In the process the three men: a skilled doctor and engineer, a cowardly helmsman and navigator, and a heroic idiot of a mecha pilot are gradually worked into the crew by Mejerens out of necessity and with reason enough to doubt the lies taught them by a government they do not trust, having become criminals in the first place in order to survive their own government's stupidity. What follows are bizarrely alternating scenes of wacky comedy and deadly seriousness. It is kind of like every anime you've ever seen: lots of drama and stress over having no sex with each other; the difference is that these characters don't know why there is all that drama and stress in the first place!

Defects? Well, the regular animation is nothing to write home about, and the computer animation is blatantly obvious, both signs of its age. In addition while the motivations of the central villains make a certain kind of sense, the motivations of many of the lesser, unintentional villains who did so much to create the situation make no sense at all. In addition the main hero is something of a blithering idiot, faithfully supported by the long-suffering ditz of a main heroine, who take up too much attention in contrast to far more interesting secondary characters.

Finally, while the inclusion of the two season summarizing OVA's, but subtitled only, on disc 5 might seem a useless excess, there is method to the madness because the extra effort to explain the main plot in the much shorter OVA's clears away much (though not all) of the confusion left from watching the TV series. For once at least it is definitely worth watching both. One might only wish for an English version of Vandread: The Extra Stage, a light novel containing several stories that extend past the ending of this series.
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VINE VOICEon January 20, 2015
I've been a fan of GONZO's work for some time now, ever since watching their first show Blue Submarine No. 6. They have released many popular anime over the years, but it seems like for some people this one slipped through the cracks. The premise is...unique, to say the lease (two planets at war, each populated only by a single sex), and things just get more bonkers from there. If you look closely, however, beyond the silliness and strangeness there is a shockingly good show to be found.

I hear voices

First of all, if you like your shows in English this show is absolutely incredible in the voice acting department. It's a shining reminder of just how good English dubs got for a while as we have main characters voiced by the people who played:The Major (Ghost in the Shell), Tanya (Battle Athletes Victory), Spike (Cowboy Bebop), Milly (Trigun), Count Cagliostro (Lupin III:Castle of Cagliostro), Toph (Legend of Korra)....and last but not least...

Rick Hunter from the Robotech Macross Saga!!!!!!!!

I mean seriously, GOOD GRIEF!!!! This HAS to be the greatest voice cast ever assembled!!!!! Er..umm...moving right along...

The characters

Voice actors smoishactors you say? Well these awesome voice actors who could make the stupidest, most shallow character even sound like Shakespeare or Star Wars have some GREAT material to work with. This show has character development for EVERYONE. There are no minor characters here. Absolutely ever character (though some might call them stereotypes) is positively dripping with personality, to the point where it's darn hard not to love absolutely everyone in this show. For the first half of the show, there isn't really much of a plot, but there doesn't need to be one because the English voiced characters just so dang entertaining!

The Story

There actually IS a great story to be found, it's just very convoluted and confusing, and a lot of things aren't really explained at all until halfway through the show. Be patient grasshopper. DO NOT judge this show by the first "season" because the story improves drastically, along with everything else once you are into the second half. The characters get more depth, the story gets more fleshed out, and oh yeah...

The Animation

No bones about it, the first half of this show has HORRIBLE CGI that makes it look very low budget. the animation itself is fine (if very computer-assisted looking) but the cell animation and pure CGI blend about as well as oil and water (on Earth). Fortunately, the show seems to get a HUGE animation bump in the second season, to the point where it's almost like watching a different show. And that's really great because...

A Really Great Story

You might have a hard time believing it from the start, but this is a really great story. You have genuinely inspiring speeches, compelling examples of understanding and tolerance (I try to be as patient and understanding as the Doctor), heart-warming devotion, and heart-breaking loss. There is one episode in particular that has a newly introduced character die...that honestly made me cry. Because a character underwent a drastic change as a result of that loss, even though he very briefly knew the character introduced. And if there is one way to describe the style of this show, that would be it. Despite throwing things out you suddenly and between comic silliness, it still makes you CARE.

This show's style is very hyper-active and disjointed. It rapidly cuts between people and locations and everything happens very quickly. There's a lot of planet hopping, fast action, and people talk fast. If you don't like that sort of things and like your anime slow and ponderous this is not the show for you. If you don't mind watching a show where you can just kind of hang on for the ride and have a wild time this is probably more your speed.


Needless to say, if you are ultra-conservative this show is going to be all kinds of offensive to you. It doesn't force you to watch anything graphic (heck I think there's like one kiss in the entire series) but there's plenty of innuendo and references to everything from mono-gendered societies (duh!) to religious fanaticism and body-part harvesting. There's also of course tons of fan-service as just about every woman is dressed in a provocative way (which absolutely makes sense if you consider the fact that they were raised on a world with no men to leer at them).

Al that is arguably not a real flaw though. The REAL flaw is that this show is letterboxed, not presented in animorphic widescreen. That means that even if you have a widescreen television like mine, there are still black bars on the top and bottom. Yuck! The show badly needs an animorphic transfer/remaster for that reason alone!

In the End

If you love the great dubs of the 90's on shows like Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Battle Athletes Victory, Giant Robo, and the Big O, there is absolutely no excuse not to pick up this show. It is superbly voiced and hilariously entertaining. Highly recommended to fans of 90's anime.
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on July 19, 2011
Vandread is just one of those shows. If you read the manga, it is at times a bit sloppy and it doesn't really fill in much more than the show. The characters cut from that for the show are not missed and the execution is much better in the anime. The show itself fixes a lot of problems from the manga and generally makes you want to watch it again from time to time.

This series gets classified as a harem comedy at times but after watching it, I wouldn't quite classify it as that. There is a harem concept but it is not exploited in Vandread to the fullest. Very much unlike shows like Love Hina where it is clear there is a mass of women all fawning after 1 guy. That said, the characters and setting are quite enjoyable in a Disneyized version of two same sex societies. If you are expecting a fanservice feast, you won't be totally thrilled with Vandread. There is fanservice for sure but it is rather mild compared to other shows.

If a 4.5 star rating could be given, I would. Because it is not perfect. The aspects not quite perfect are simple. It gets a little heavy on psychology aspects later in the show. "Proving one's existence" and such. Thankfully it won't leave a horrible sour taste in your mouth but at times you will wish it would just move the story along. Then the second aspect one would complain about kinda ties in with the aforementioned. That is the main protagonist. Hibiki is quite a weak character throughout much of the story. He has his moments but, there just isn't a whole lot to like about him. He is an echo of the Tarak male society but also one which opposes it. These two factors constantly clash, sometimes for the better but often as a jerk. This does affect the harem concept because he is just not a character all women would be drawn to.

In the end, despite it's issues, Vandread is a show you can watch more than once and enjoy. There is some decent CG work done and you can really see a far deeper storyline set in the Vandread universe. The potential is there and it is a shame the storyline was not continued further. When the story ends, it provides very good closure but also shows this potential. Always a good sign. Whether the show gets revisited again or not, who knows. For now, enjoy it for what it is. A fun romp through space with great characters and super Vandread Pyoro!
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on July 9, 2017
This is a great item. I had watched it on Hulu but I wanted a copy for myself. The storyline is great. I have always been a fan of Japanese Anime and I considered this one of the best
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on September 26, 2017
The whole story in English edited TV version, with a BONUS of the none English version, extra unedited cuts, all in English subtitles story line. it was more then I expected.
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on January 3, 2012
As an anime fan since the mid-90s, I grew to love typical genres - harem, mecha, comedy, romance and first-love stories, mystery, drama and sci-fi - thanks to the amount of anime being shown on TV. Luckily for me, I ended up finding this little gem of a series called "Vandread". Even now, this is still one of my all-time favorite series compared to today's current choices of shows.

This series, in my eyes, is one that mixes all of the popular genres into a two-season anime that easily shows many of the popular themes right off the bat. Men and women are on different planets in the near [or is it far?] future, and after a long time apart, a small trio of men end up as the captives of a pirate spaceship filled with women... and hilarity definitely ensues. Okay, so the main situation may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm sure that you'll find one or two characters within the large cast [of mostly women] to personally grow fond of. Many of the major characters are given some good character development with some backstory, and some even manage to take me by surprise once the series dove into Second Stage. I'll admit that I ended up admiring once-annoying characters by the end of the series. There are moments of funny, heartwarming, and maybe even some tearjerker moments too - something that any fan will love.

This complete set is absolutely a great deal for both the first season and Second Stage, as well as for the two never-before-released OVAs. I was disappointed to see that the OVAs were nothing but condensed recaps of each season, but I did like the little additional scenes of filler that didn't make it into the series. The fact that the OVAs only had subtitles was also disappointing, but I didn't mind it much; I enjoyed both the English dub and the subbed versions of the series.

In the end and overall, "Vandread" is definitely worth many more viewings and a permanent spot in one's anime collection with this set!
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on July 7, 2013
I first saw the series on Showtime and got a big kick out of it. CG mecha, ships, robots, plus anime hijinks. It had some good story lines too, it wasn't a one off, each story built onto others, and some had threads that carried through to other seasons. Fun to watch.
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on July 10, 2012
If your a fan of anime you have to own Vandread. It is one of the best anime I have ever seen. It's a little bit different but in a good way. You will want to to start re-watching as soon as your finish it. It has a great story with tons of laughs and even few parts that will make you wanna cry. There is an incredible cast of lovable characters you will remember forever. This is a must own for any anime fan.
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on February 21, 2015
I love this collection. I saw this on the internet and was very happy that I got it to add to the others that I bought. It is great to have it so that I can watch it as much as I can and when I can. It has a good story.
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on February 13, 2013
cute, funny , hours of enteraintment
like how its put together ,havent watched the extra episiodes
but dont need to
show keeps me happy as is
watched 12 times all the way thru so far
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