Vital Stats:Title: Special A Collection 1
Format: TV Anime
Based On: Manga by the same name
Genre: Shojo, Romantic Comedy
Release Info:Release Date: 11/10/09
US Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Length: 12 episodes (300 minutes)
Special Features: Textless songs, trailers
Story: 3.5/5.0While not breaking any new boundaries, Special A just has one of those plots you enjoy. Extravagant private academies, competing rivals, all S.A. really needs a scrappy can do heroine who's hard work overcomes a poor upbringing... oh wait, that's the main character.
Everything is pretty much by books though. If you're expecting revolutionary new techniques in story telling, you're probably not looking at the romantic comedy section.
Characters: 2.5 out of 5.0
But hey, it lacks characters defined entirely by fanservice, so that's a mark in its favor.
Visual 4.0 out of 5.0In general, the visuals are pretty sharp and bright. The style tends to mix reality and an exaggerated comedic reality together. This is to say the show is rife with logic defying scenes. Now, I love this style of animation, but some episodes are spare on such sequences, while others are consistently over the top. Once again, not necessarily a big deal, but it meant the show occasionally defied my expectations when I'd spin up the discs.
Audio 2.5 out of 5.0
Subtitle only. That's pretty much sums it up for you. There's no English dub, so checking out the show involves a good amount of reading. Not necessarily a problem, but there's a lot of text in addition to spoken dialog (one character communicates entirely in written text) so differentiating, or absorbing them simultaneously can be a little taxing at times.
Overall 3 out of 5 (but sorta actually 4 out of a 5)
39.98 MSRP, I'd say its a bit too pricey to earn the 4 Fists I really wanted to give it. However, since it took me 2 minutes to find it at 19.99, I'd say this ride is definitely worth the price of admission.
Do want Collection 2 (which will be out later this month.)