Speed Grapher Complete Series: Volume 1-6
Saiga earned his reputation as a top-class photographer during wars in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. His pictures portrayed a haunting beautiful sadness and how desperate the times of tragedy were. However, all the wars are over, and all he has to shoot now is the boring subject of political figures in modern day Tokyo. Saiga finally gets back his passion in most unexpected ways. In an attempt to photograph one of the city’s most elusive politicians, he discovers an underground cult for the richest of the rich and the most powerful of the powerful.
A tangled web unfolds as he ends up rescuing a young rich girl Kagura from being used as a slave for the exclusive club. But it’ not so simple as rescuing the damsel in distress and sending her on her way. They’re hunted viciously by the man behind the club Suitengu. But there is much more then money and politics at stake as secrets about cruel scientific experiments, conspiracies and much more begin to arise. Saiga and Kagura suddenly find themselves in a mystery that threatens not only to change their lives, but the world as well.
Saiga and Kagura are immensely likeable main characters. Saiga is your classic grizzled grumpy old man, always down on his luck but never gives up, while Kagura is the sweet innocent naive girl. It’s a brilliant match. The sinister elements of the story were truly interesting as well, it was full of dark secrets among politics, wacky powers, and the main “bad guy” Suitengu turned out to have a lot more depth then I expected and was even relatable. I’ve done reviews of the previous two volumes, but as I progressed in the series it became clear that I couldn’t do disc synopsis without ruining the entire series for the fans. There are twists and turns around every corner, suspense and plot lines that will blow your mind. There was just no way to write it up without giving away important bits about story and the cast.
The animation was nothing short of spectacular, interesting character designs were complimented by excellent backgrounds and smooth animation. The fight scenes were especially clever in using different characters special powers to give new perspective on the action. The sound was equally on par with the animation. Hip to jazzy to classical, the music changed with the episodes adding ambiance and emotion. The voice acting was also very well done. I couldn’t imagine a better cast line up for the Japanese or the English.
The extras in this series were so spectacular they get a whole paragraph of their own this time. My favorite was the documentary that was split up into hour long segments over several discs about the Japanese voice actor for Kagura. It gave an inside look at what it takes to get into the business, as well as telling a wonderful story about how a complete amateur broke into the industry on sheer skill and guts. The series is being released in normal discs as well as collector’s editions and I have to say that it’s worth it to put out a little extra money for the collectors editions. They come with spectacular art post cards, in depth booklets with character information and pictures and the box is loaded with breathtaking fold out art.
This is by far one of my favorite anime series I’ve ever seen. It’s smart and witty, heartfelt and simply amazing. The voice talent in both English and Japanese were stellar, the animation top notch and the music perfectly placed. This series is a must-see for all fans that like action and twisted dramas.
DVD Features: Englihs, Japanese with English Subtitles