Level E: The Complete Series

Level EUnbeknownst to its native inhabitants, Earth is frequently visited and even shared by members of various alien species. High school baseball player Yukitaka Tsutsui is no exception to humanity’s ignorance—until the day he arrives at his new apartment only to find a stranger who claims he is an alien and has lost all his memories. The infuriatingly annoying stranger turns out to be Prince Baka, the crown prince of the planet Dogra. Prince Baka is a genius who delights in tormenting those around him with elaborate and sometimes dangerous pranks. And now he’s been let loose on Earth.

In Level E, first impressions—in terms of the story itself and its characters—are deceptive. Viewers will meet an assortment of diverse and curious characters, each with their own unexpected complexity. The story twists and turns, and at times it seems to forget its purpose and even slip into other genres. But in the end, the seemingly frenetic story possesses layers of well-planned plot, just like one of Prince Baka’s pranks.

The English voice acting in Level E is superb. The show has an imaginative array of characters and each one is excellently cast. As the voice of Prince Baka, Vic Mignogna exercises the full range of his comic abilities. In perfect contrast to Mignogna’s crazy vocal antics are the deeper, moderated tones used by Micah Solusod for Yukitaka Tsutsui. Likewise, Jason Douglas skillfully captures the prince’s bodyguard Kraft, who flip-flops from gravely authoritative to utterly maniacal.

The bonus features are also a treat. There are two episode commentaries, one with the actors behind the Color Rangers, and the other with Vic Mignogna and Micah Solusod. The audience will enjoy hearing the actors’ views on their characters, how they chose to portray them, and their thoughts on the show in general. Another bonus is a special interview with Vic Mignogna conducted by none other than Vic Mignogna, a humorous feature that will thrill fans.

There are some mature themes that make this series best for those aged 14 and up, although mature 12 and 13-year-olds could also enjoy it. In one episode, the prince pretends to be a princess and tries to stall a monster by appearing in a variety of role-play outfits, including a dominatrix ensemble. Although it is a comedy, the show also has some dark and violent parts. One episode deals with the brutal murder of a high school girl by an alien classmate, while another episode encourages the audience to sympathize with a revenge-seeker and murderer. There is also an episode involving gender identity with which some conservative parents may take issue. In this episode, an alien girl falls in love with a boy, only to find out the boy is actually a girl. Because the alien girl needs to mate with a male to ensure the survival of her species, her people perform an operation on the human girl that will slowly turn her into a physiological boy.

Fans of shows such as Sgt. Frog and Birdy the Mighty will enjoy this sci-fi comedy. It is also a must-see for devotees of Vic Mignogna, who has voiced numerous characters in popular anime series.

Level E: The Complete Series
FUNimation, 2012
directed by Toshiyuki Kato
325 minutes, Number of Discs: 4, Single disc/Blu-rayDVD/Blu-ray Combo Set
Company Age Rating: TV-14
Related to: Level E by Yoshihiro Togashi

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