3x3 Eyes Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: 3 X 3 Eyes

3x3 Eyes Vol. #1

By Luis Cruz     August 01, 2007
Release Date: June 12, 2007


3x3 Eyes Vol. #1
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
The Sanjiyan

Long before the age of man, legends whisper of the civilization of the Sanjiyan, powerful three-eyed demons that possessed the secret of immortality. Yet, despite their power they mysteriously disappeared...

Humanity

Our blind arrogance has built a civilization that believes only in itself. However, our sense of security is only preserved by refusing to perceive the dark shadow-world lurking just beneath the surface of our own...

NowOne man will be forced to confront this hidden world and discover the curse of immortality. What he finds will force him to embrace the demon world to find its humanity and his own..."

The Review!
Geneon dips way back to deliver the mildly entertaining tale of a schizophrenic demon, her zombie bodyguard, and their quest to become human.

Audio:
I listened to the original Japanese Dolby Digital stereo track for my viewing session. Given the age of the series, the track performs as well as expected; it is not a lively track but is free from any distortion or other issues. It is a clean, clear track but will not exercise your sound system much.

Video:
Produced in 1991 and 1992, the animation style and quality shows its age, but the print itself is remarkably free from scratches and other print damage. There were no signs of artifacts or other issues from the digital transfer. It may not be as crisp as more modern titles, but the colors and detail rival the better titles from its era. The original Japanese credit sequences are not present.

Packaging:
Packaged in a clear case, the cover is reversible and features plenty of gorgeous artwork. The front cover is a collage of Sanjiyan Pai, Fujii holding his friend Natsuko in his arms, and a frog demon. An intricate scroll work frame surrounds the collage, and the title is placed at the top. The back cover features the requisite disc and story information in a clean, readable format. Reversing the cover will show off two more collages of the series.

Menu:
The main menu is a simple affair consisting of a picture of the Statue of Humanity on the left with the menu options on the right. The background is a stormy night complete with thunder and lightning. A small loop of music plays in the background; transition delays are negligible allowing you to setup and launch into the content quickly.

Extras:
Biographies are provided for the English dub actors. An art gallery and line art gallery round out the extras for this volume.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Back in the days we old timers call the "Golden Age of Anime", 3X3 Eyes was a title I was always interested in picking up but never quite had the ramen money to spare for it. Geneon has re-released the series on DVD allowing me to finally sit back and see if it was worth the wait.

Pai seems like an ordinary young girl from Tibet; however, she is the last of a demonic race known as the Sanjiyan. Due to the immortality magic known to the Sanjiyan, she is over 300 years old, but she longs to give up the magic and become a mortal human. Professor Fujii discovers her but dies before he can help her achieve this goal. His last message to her Pai sends her to Tokyo to find his son Yakumo. Yakumo is an ordinary sixteen year old boy just trying to make a living in a transvestite bar. When Pai finds him, his life is irrevocably changed due to an accident involving Pai's demonic bird companion.

The bird is slowly crushing the life out of Yakumo when a third eye opens up on Pai's forehead and absorbs Yakumo's soul. With his soul bound to her, Yakumo has become Pai's immortal Wu, a bodyguard able to withstand nearly any injury including the ability to regenerate limbs. Pai's quest for humanity is now his quest; if she dies, he dies. If she becomes human, he regains his own humanity.

Their quest takes them to Hong Kong in search of the Statue of Humanity sent there by Yakumo's father. Along the way, they make friends, enemies, and allies whose motives may not be what they seem. Yakumo also takes an enormous amount of punishment and spills plenty of blood, as he struggles to become a powerful Wu.

Adding to Yakumo's problems is Pai's schizophrenia; most of the time she is a naïve but charmingly cute girl. When extreme danger lurks, the Sanjiyan personality comes out to deal with and incessantly berate Yakumo for his weakness. Hidden in this personality is the secret behind the cult of the Kaiyanwang. They too are after the Statue in order to resurrect their dark master.

The story is entertaining, but the four episodes fly by far too quickly. You are introduced to the core characters and concepts and then quickly dumped into a cliffhanger ending. There is just enough interaction and development between Yakumo and Pai's personalities to tantalize you with the possibilities. There is plenty of action and humor that keeps things paced well, but you can't shake the desire to see the world and characters fleshed out more.

In Summary:
3X3 Eyes has the material to be a classic series -- immortal schizophrenic demons, gory demonic action, humor, and a mystery to unravel. However, the OVA format limits its potential by constraining the amount of time it can spend building the characters and their world. It does a great job of introducing the characters quickly and in a manner that allows you to grow attached to them immediately. The mystery surrounding Pai, the cult, and her quest for humanity is intriguing, but it just does not have the time to do more than scratch the surface. While only mildly entertaining, I am still eager for the final volume to be released and see how the story ends.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Actor Biographies,Hidden Features


Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable

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