The other day I was talking with a friend about the new advances in video compression that make it all the easier for high-quality HD content to be streamed to an end user via services like NetFlix or Crunchyroll. He thought it was all a good thing, but then added, "At the end of the day, I want to own something."
He was speaking of Blu-ray Disc, the successor to DVD that has slowly but steadily been making inroads in the home video market -- and in the anime market as well, of course. The number of anime titles on Blu-ray coming out each month has been gradually on the rise, and with that being the case it seems about time to inaugurate a list of the best-looking anime shows (as opposed to movies or OVAs) currently on Blu-ray.
My criteria for kicking off this list was simple. The shows had to be themselves excellent; they had to be on Blu-ray Disc in the United States and Canada (sorry, no imports); and they had to be both shows and discs that demonstrated the format at its best. To that end, visually stylish shows like C: Control (shown here) had an edge over more visually sanguine shows like kimi ni todoke, and shows that had been mastered in 1080p from film or native HD elements were preferable to shows mastered from upscaled sources.
Image: C: Control - The Money and Soul of Possibility, © C-Committee. Image courtesy FUNimation.