Plot: What’s it about?
Kazuto Tokino has continued in the tradition of his family, as he operates the Tokino Bathhouse. The business isn’t booming, but he wants to keep the place open for his family, who built the business. One day, a spacecraft crashes through the roof of the place and lands right on top of Kazuto. The pilot is Valkyrie, a beautiful woman who is a member of the Intergalactic Royal Family of Valhalla, not to mention a terrible pilot. She is shocked by what has happened and in order to try to save Kazuto, she offers up half of her soul. Her plan works and Kazuto is brought back to life, but Valkyrie is changed in the process, reverting to half her previous age, which is another shock. Soon enough, the two even have a spark of romance between them, but Kazuto has to run his business and things are not going so well. Can Valkyrie, with a little help from some unexpected places, manage to turn around the business and in the process, will she and Kazuto find true love?
I had some doubts about an anime series that takes place in a bathhouse, but UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie looked interesting enough to take a look. As it turns out, the show is pure fan service, with more panties than the stage after a Tom Jones concert, so if that is your style, you’ll love this. I am not a huge fan service devotee, but I do like the outrageous humor that usually accompanies it, which this series also has. As the show began, the humor was off the wall and unique, as were the stories, some of which were quite memorable. But once the bulk of the set-up exposition was in place, the series rests on its laurels and things start to go downhill at a solid pace. The episodes still had some bright spots, but it was the same stuff over and again, not the irreverent and perverse humor found in the first few episodes. UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie is not a bad show, it is just not as good as it could have been, so don’t expect the world from this first season.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The show looks good here, with some minor quibbles to tend to. I saw some compression issues at times, while some scenes show some grain. These problems never amount to much of a distraction, but on larger screens, the flaws become more evident. Even so, the visuals still come across and the show’s bright design is showcased quite well. The colors are bold and vivid, but no errors crop up, while black levels are spot on. The image is sharp and clear to boot, so detail is high and the animation looks as good as it can. So a few issues do surface here, but for the most part, the show looks good and I think fans will be pleased.
Audio: How does it sound?
For this release, ADV Films has included dual language tracks here, so you can choose between the original Japanese soundtrack and an English dub version. Of course, I recommend the original language track, but it is nice to have additional options. I found both tracks to be basic, but solid and without serious flaws. Both are stereo soundtracks, so don’t expect too much, but each one has a good overall sound. The audio is clean and crisp throughout, with no pops or distortion to mention, so all the elements come through well. The music has a little more presence than expected, while sound effects make good use of the limited directional resources. So not all that memorable, but well crafted and more than effective soundtracks. This release also offers optional English subtitles, just in case you’ll need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes no bonus materials.