On Aug, 14, 2012 anime publisher Sentai Filmworks released “This Boy Can Fight Aliens” on Blu-ray and DVD so we decided to check out this science fiction/action short film.
“This Boy Can Fight Aliens” follows Kakashi, a young man who was discovered under a tree by a defense command staff member named Arikawa. With no memory, Kakashi struggles to cope with his new role as the first line of defense for Earth as aliens threaten humanity, but before they can advance in the fight for some unknown reason they want to defeat Kakashi first.
Because each day a new alien appears to face off with Kakashi, Arakawa moves Kakashi in with him and his commander, Shiro, in order to keep the population safe. Cut off from everyone else the three of them go about their days like they are the only people around. Because of the film’s length this is as far as I will go into the story’s key events to avoid spoiling too much.
“This Boy Can Fight Aliens” has some interesting ideas as far as story goes, however because it is only 28 minutes long there are a ton of lingering questions. The film does have its good qualities though, as Kakashi begins to wonder about his purpose and question his past it can get emotional, maybe even leaving you a little teary-eyed by the end.
Given the title of the series you would think that there would be more action but the fight scenes ended quickly, without a whole lot of flash. The main focus of the series seemed to be drama, namely the relationships between Kakashi, Arikawa and Shiro, which are much more complicated than they first appear.
Visually the anime had a good look, the picture quality was clear and everything was bright and vivid. The anime seemed to resemble a manga in some ways; especially the moments where cut-out like versions of the characters have conversations with one another along with the entire screen being used, covered in text, which can seem a little too busy at times with so much going on.
The Japanese voice cast seemed to match up with their characters well and they pull off the comedy as well as the drama nicely. The English cast didn’t do a bad job either, but they just didn’t have the same effect that the Japanese voice cast did. The subtitles were all clear and easy to read while also remaining on screen for a fair length of time.
The film comes in a standard Blu-ray case featuring a nice looking image of the three-man cast on the cover. Included as on-disc extras are trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases, an interview with the film’s director, Soubi Yamamoto, as well as three other shorts from the director, each with a similar theme.
All-in-all “This Boy Can Fight Aliens” is an entertaining short that feels like it could have been so much more. What could have easily been a full 12 episode anime series is crammed into a half hour, so the storytelling suffers quite a bit. But it does still offer some great drama and a story that is a lot deeper than you may think.
If you’re looking for a dramatic series with complicated relationships between young men though, “This Boy Can Fight Aliens” might be right up your alley. Just be sure to get it at low price, 30 minutes of anime (if you add up the three shorts it is more) just doesn’t feel like $20 worth of anime nowadays.
3.5 out of 5
This Boy Can Fight Aliens
Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Runtime: 30 minutes
Number of Discs: 1 Blu-ray disc
Languages: English, Japanese with English subtitles
Age Rating: TV-PG
Release Date: Aug. 14, 2012
(A review copy of “This Boy Can Fight Aliens” on Blu-ray was provided by Sentai Filmworks.)