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Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter Blu-ray Review

Ronja

“Ronja The Robber’s Daughter” is an endearing anime series, but it runs a bit long.

Based on Astrid Lindgren’s novel, “Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter” is a 26 episode Studio Ghibli animated series directed by Goro Miyazaki. The story revolves around the titular character who is the young daughter of Chief Mattis and Lovis. Mattis runs one of the two local robber clans (the other being their rival the Borkas). Much of the story deals with the feud between these two clans. The primary story, however, revolves around the growing bond between Ronja and a boy named Birk who happens to be a member of the Borkas (sense a Romeo and Juliet esque scenario here?). Other key stories involve The Sheriff’s guards searching for robbers, housing situations, creatures such as the harpies and gray dwarfs, seasonal changes, Ronja getting into troublesome ordeals, treasure raids, horse taming, tension between Roja and her father, hunts for food and supplies, Roja and Birk living in the wild together, and death.

With it’s beautiful cel-shaded animation and heartfelt themes about family, kindness, connections, unity, and nature, “Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter” is a charming coming-of-age anime series about life, learning, obstacles, discovery, and forging your own path. The series plays like one big continuous story as viewers get to explore this fully realized world through the eyes of Ronja. The show is certainly at its best when we embark on Ronja’s own journeys with or without Birk by her side.

On the downside, the series does overstay its welcome at 26 episodes. Yes, the series does get to explore the characters and world build more at this length, but the themes and ideas are a bit overstated at this length. It’s quite clear where the story is headed and, as such, it feels like a bit of a trek to get there. Truthfully, this story would have worked just as well if not better as a 13 episode anime series or even a movie. Additionally, I could have done without some of the more exaggerated character moments. Mattis in particular acts utterly ridiculous at times with his tantrums and overly dramatic actions. It’s rather distracting to say the least.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.77:1 1080p. How does it look? The colorful anime series has been given a gorgeous hi-def transfer.

Audio Track: English and Japanese 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The English track features embarrassing voice acting with accents that are all over the place. The quality original language Japanese track is the only one to go with.

Extras include an interview with Goro Miyazaki, a 6 minute press conference with cast and crew members, and the 38 minute “The Making Of Ronja” which contains behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, a look at the animation process, and more.

August 17, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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