Review for Heaven's Lost Property S1 Collection
I get a sinking feeling now whenever I get Madman authored DVD check discs, as they’ve really just given up on the format, and simply go through the motions to cater for the fans that have yet to upgrade. I’ve recently reviewed MVM’s Girlish Number, which used Madman’s discs for the DVD release, and they are the textbook definition of ‘cutting corners’. So when the Heaven’s Lost Property discs arrived, and they booted up with the Madman logo, my heart hit the floor of my stomach. I’ve wanted to watch this series for several years now; Sora no Otoshimono quickly became a fan favourite, and has spun off a second series, OVA episodes, and movies too. Yet in the end, the ‘several years’ thing winds up redeeming this release. Madman Entertainment released Heaven’s Lost Property way back in 2012, back when they still made decent anime DVDs. MVM’s release uses those masters, although the Australian release is well and truly deleted at this point. If you’ve moved on from all this standard definition nonsense, Heaven’s Lost Property Season 1 is also coming out on Blu-ray from MVM.
Tomoki Sakurai is a healthy teenage boy who loves the easy life in the quiet town of Sorami. He’s also got a healthy libido and a childhood friend in Sohara Mitsuki who’s quick to deliver a karate chop beating if ever his thoughts venture towards the lustful. This happens frequently. The odd thing about Tomoki is his recurring dream of a girl trapped in the sky, calling for his help.
Dreams become reality when Tomoki encounters an angel, fallen from the sky. She’s Ikaros, a pet-type Angeloid, practically a blank slate, and she imprints on Tomoki, her new master, promising to grant his every wish. Life is about to get a whole lot more interesting, although it most certainly isn’t easy any more.
13 episodes plus an OVA episode are presented across two DVDs from MVM.
1. A Full-Frontal Hero Arises in the World
2. An Airborne Prismatic Panty Adventure
3. Angeloid Directive Zero
4. Love and Triangles, Revisited
5. Hot Night With the Big Fish
6. Swimsuit Surf Brigade. Go! Go! Go!
7. The Brainy, Heart-Pounding Transfer Students
8. For Whom the Shooting Festival is Held
9. The Delusional Story that Began with a Lie
10. Where the Melodious Words of an Angel Go
11. Off We Go To My Bathhouse Paradise
12. Chains of No Escape
13. Queen of the Sky
14. Project Pink
Heaven’s Lost Property gets a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer on these discs, in native PAL format with the 4% speedup that implies. The image is clear and sharp, detail is good, and the show scales up to a flat panel display very well. There are some moments of compression around fast motion, but that’s what you’d expect when you have a screen full of thousands of airborne panties, flocking like starlings. Fortunately there is the Blu-ray option in this case. Heaven’s Lost Property is a comedy show, so the bright, colourful character and world designs are to be expected, as is the propensity for the characters to shrink to chibi dimensions (Tomo practically lives that way) and there are oodles of fan service too. Regarding disc 2 and the practically three hours of video including extras, you don’t have to worry about compression in the episodes (some of the trailers are pretty janky though).
You have the choice between DD 5.1 Surround English and DD 2.0 Stereo Japanese with optional translated subtitles and a signs only track. The one downside of a native PAL transfer shows up here, with a bit of pitch correction causing a wobble to sustained notes (particularly piano), but other than that, the audio is fine, the dialogue is clear throughout, and there are no issues with glitches or dropouts. The subtitles are accurately timed and are free of typos. I was happy with the Japanese audio, but what I tried of the English dub seemed acceptable enough. This show pulls the stops out for the music, as each episode gets its own end theme, and end animation.
Two discs present their content with static menus and jacket pictures.
Disc 2 has the extras.
You get the textless opening and 13 textless closings, some 21 minutes worth. There are also Madman trailers for Hetalia World Series S3, Sekirei Pure Engagement S2, Love Hina, Shuffle!, Rosario and Vampire S1, and Baka & Test S1.
A show like Heaven’s Lost Property shows up, and I have to step outside of myself to review it, step away from the reviewer with a few hundred anime reviews under their belt, and come at it as if they’re watching anime for the maybe the fifth or tenth time. I could say that this is a cross between Ah My Goddess and Chobits, with a male protagonist who makes Ataru Moroboshi seem restrained when it comes to perversion, and those in the know would get exactly what Heaven’s Lost Property is about. Quite frankly, shows like Heaven’s Lost Property are a staple of the anime medium, a saucy comedy genre that no season lacks for a couple of examples.
Tomoki Sakurai is the protagonist, a boy who wants an easy life, and the fulfilment of his perversions, in that order. His childhood friend Sohara Mitsuki is the kind of girl who beats him back onto the straight and narrow. I mean, how dare he wake up with morning glory when she does him a favour and wakes him up for school in the morning! It’s a good thing that Tomoki can heal quickly. There are a lot of anime comedy protagonists who suffer through that kind of treatment at the hand of a girl, but given Tomo’s propensity for peeking, wandering hands, and lustful thoughts, few have been as deserving, but it’s all done in a comedy way. It’s hard to be nasty and exploitative when your main character goes super deformed at the drop of a hat, shrinking to toddler size for comic effect.
Like Belldandy in Ah My Goddess, Tomo winds up with a divine visitor who swears to grant his every wish for as long as he remains her master. Ikaros isn’t a goddess though, she’s an angel, or rather a pet-type Angeloid, a machine like blank slate who knows little of the human world and with clamshell ears ala Chi from Chobits. Tomo has one grand day of fulfilling his every perversion, before he makes a careless wish, and almost ends the world, before wishing that that the whole day was a dream and getting a lucky reset.
Thereafter Ikaros moves in with Tomo, while Tomo helps her become more human, while trying to censor his wishes. It doesn’t always work, as when all of a sudden, girls’ panties are coming off and flying away. Ikaros’ first act in being more human is adopting a watermelon and carrying it everywhere with her. Just when Tomo’s lust has ceased causing constant mayhem, and Ikaros is beginning to fit in, things get even more complicated when another Angeloid arrives and moves in, although Nymph certainly isn’t taking orders from Tomo or acting submissive in any way. Things get even more hectic when both of the Angeloids start attending school with Tomo and Sohara.
Heaven’s Lost Property is pretty old-fashioned when it comes to its sense of humour. For a show from 2009, it could easily be ten or fifteen years older than it is, with a saucy comic approach that has been prevalent in anime for as long as I can remember. Tomoki is the poster child for anime perversion, an obsession with peeking, groping, and women’s underwear that he takes to extremes. With the aid of Ikaros, he even goes as far as changing gender to sneak into the girls’ changing room at school. And in the style of all saucy comedies, he always gets his comeuppance, usually at the fists of Sohara. It’s great fun, and Heaven’s Lost Property has the approach to its humour just right.
And while all this silliness unfolds, there’s a bit of a serious story happening in the background, with regards to the Angeloids, their origins, and their true purposes on Earth. It never gets too serious until the final episode, but it’s just serious enough to give the relationships in the show weight, give a little heart to the characters, and enough of a dramatic focus to give the viewer reason to invest in the show. So by the time the final OVA episode in this collection ends, with a preview for the next series, Heaven’s Lost Property – Forte –, you’ll definitely be in the mood to watch more.
There are so many saucy anime sex comedies out there that it’s easy to drown in the flood of mediocrity. Shows these days have to do something a little more, or a little different to get noticed, shows like Prison School or Shimoneta. Heaven’s Lost Property is decidedly old-school in what it does, but it still does it exceedingly well. Tomoki Sakurai would definitely grow up to be Happosai in Ranma½.