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Time Jam Valerian & Laureline (anime review)

Title: Time Jam Valerian & Laureline

Directors: Eiichi Sato, Philippe Vidal

Creator: Pierre Christin, Jean-Claude Mézières

Studio: Satelight, EuropaCorp, Dargaud

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: July 18th, 2017

Format: DVD / 40 Episodes / 1000 Episodes

Genre: Sci Fi, Fantasy, Comedy, Adventure

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Grade: B-

Synopsis:

Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline the complete collection contains episodes 1-40.

The first rule of time travel is to never change anything. Otherwise, the resulting “butterfly effects” can ripple through time and wreak untold havoc on the unwritten future. But on his last test as a Space Time Agent, Valerian messes up. Not only does he save someone who would have been killed, but he’d have died himself if Laureline hadn’t rescued him! As a result, nothing in the future is where he left it, including the Earth!

Now he and Laureline, his accidental passenger from 10th century France, have to put the universe back in order without writing themselves out of existence! Across a million worlds and an infinite number of possibilities, it’s the ultimate adventure in time and space as the multi-verse from the groundbreaking graphic novels by Pierre Christin and The Fifth Element designer Jean-Claude Mézières becomes the stage for Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline!

Commentary:

It is interesting when beloved series from non-Japanese countries are given a Japanese adaptation. It was very successful with series like Witchblade and missed the mark with series like Batman. In the case of Time Jam: Valerian & Laureline I am afraid that the French production misses the mark. I realize that this was a French visual novel and also a French production, but maybe just maybe the 2007 -2008 release was not given the thought that the graphic novel was given that made it so popular.

I found the English release to be almost childish in nature and reminded me to of many anime series that were produced for Cartoon Network in the late 90’s and early 00’s. I continually gave the series room to improve to just end up being let down. The animation style is also very hard edged and could have used more of the smooth rounded aspects that the Japanese production team (Satelight) could have brought to the production. This softening of the graphic styling was seen in Witchblade and it proved to be very successful and help gain more fans that what the U. S. graphic novels already had.

Overall Grade: B-

Time Jam is interesting because of the new release of the live action film and could benefit from it, but it looks like the acting in the film has left people missing the overall strength of the story. I think that Time Jam suffers from the same issue. The production value and overall care for the beloved series is less than sterling. I still see the strength in the writing and what could have been. My grade is only saved based on the overall quality in the story and wish that more care would have been given to the animation.

Anyone who is interested in what the French love should check this series out. Those who enjoy a solid Sci-Fi story should also check it out. Please do not judge Time Jam on the animation and voice acting. I loved the story.

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