If there’s one series that has really come along over the past decade it’s Compile Heart and Idea Factory International’s Hyperdimension Neptunia. From the PS3 to the Vita, with the Rebirth Series, before jumping over to the PS4, PC and soon to be PS5, there’s one thing they all have in common. Other than the retcons, each adventure is loaded with over the top video game nonsense that if you were to take out the adventure and combat? You would have an anime which is exactly what happened several years ago. Back and in a new format, Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation is now available on Steam.
The list of our almost two dozen Neptunia reviews can be found in our Reviews and Previews Database by searching for Neptunia.
While still available for purchase in DVD + BluRay and streaming on Funimation’s online service, the re-imagined stories of MK2 / Rebirth 2 and Victory / Rebirth 3 have been repackaged into three separate viewings. Now, instead of either sitting through or skipping opening and closing credits, you can sit back and just enjoy a full amount of non stop video game homage nonsense from the CPU Goddesses.
Having done away with the opening and closing credits really makes for a much more cinematic experience which I found myself rather enjoying. Where things may be a bit odd however, is in the packaging of these cinematic packages which are broken down as follows:
- Hi Light: Crystal of Light (episodes 1-6, 11 and 12);
- Hi Light: The Blazing Bifrost (episodes 6-10, 13 (OVA)); and
- Neptune’s Summer Vacation,
For anyone watching for the first time, the order may not seem that bad though some questions may arise during Hi Light: Crystal of Light when it hits the content of episode 11 and 12 where you start to ask yourself, who are these people? With how short the overall anime is though, the lack of context is immediately made up for in a huge Dragon Ball Z type fight scenario that makes up for it. Once you finish though, the context will soon become available in The Blazing Bifrost that covers that in between and who some of the out of context characters are.
From a “packaging” standpoint inside of Steam, the set of videos could have been cleaned up a bit as for the three videos I was looking at eight separate files in which five of those were listed as (Deleted). I’m not quite sure what happened along the way for that, but it may not be a bad idea in order to clean those out.
In regards to the animation itself, it plays rather smoothly in the browser and offers a few options to help you along. Voiced in Japanese, there are options for English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese subtitles. Changing between these is as simple as clicking on the Closed Captioning option that opens up a window allowing you to pick the font, size, color, if you want shadows, the line height and background colors before worrying about the opacity and text wrapping on your screen. Having watched this on both my 34” curved monitor and then just my 17.3” Laptop screen, there’s an appreciation for these options as reading text from left to right over an ultra-wide is a lot harder than a standard widescreen even for someone used to subtitles.
Otherwise, the player has a few other options such as moving back or forth 15 seconds in case you missed something or wanted a replay. Pausing and playing is fairly easy too with the standard option to hit the spacebar as your play and pause button. Perhaps my only “issue” isn’t with the player itself which loads rather fine in the browser, but more along the lines that you couldn’t just download and take one of the three or all three parts with you if you wanted to. You have to be connected to the internet in a steaming fashion.