Ever since watching classic anime series such as Record of Lodoss War and Fushigi Yuugi, I’ve been a fan of fantasy based anime that sometimes mixes in Japanese legends into the mix. So I was pleasantly surprised when I was sent Laughing Under the Clouds: The Complete Series on Blu-ray from our friends at Funimation to review. Upon watching the twelve episodes, I quickly realized it was one of the best animes I knew nothing about, and is sure to be the same for any who watch.
Taking place in 1878 Japan where the age of the samurai is fast reaching its end, this series follows the simple lives of three brothers named Tenka who is the oldest, and his siblings Soramaru and Chutaro. Tenka looks after his family with pride and just happens to be quite the expert with a sword which comes in handy during this dangerous time. Most of their living has been easy going up to this point, but now an ancient evil known as Orochi threatens to throw not only their lives in peril, but all of the Japan as it takes control over someone and creates chaos. If that wasn’t enough, this evil causes people to panic and rebel against those who keep the law, which makes life tough for the brothers as they contend with criminals rising from this conflict. They’ll have to fight to a war on many fronts to survive and remain together, if the bonds that tie them don’t break first.
I love being surprised by entertainment I never heard of, and this anime is one of the best ones I’ve experienced this way. The episodes are well written and really show the bond between the brothers and the adventures they go on dealing with crazed criminals and the ever looming threat of Orochi. It may be a bit slow at first for some who watch, but I loved every bit of it and it just continues to get better the further you go. The visuals and audio are spot on thanks to them being in high definition, and bring plenty of detail to the artwork, animation and sounds to keep you watching until the end. There’s also a few special features like audio commentary on two episodes, textless opening and closing songs, and some promo videos and trailers.
I’m so glad I was sent over Laughing Under the Clouds: The Complete Series for review, as it is one of the best things I’ve seen that I knew nothing about. A great and well written story, fun characters you actually care about, along with some touching and action-filled moments at the right places make this a series that’s sure to place viewers on cloud nine as they watch.