3x3 Eyes Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: 3 X 3 Eyes

3x3 Eyes Vol. #2

By Luis Cruz     September 06, 2007
Release Date: August 14, 2007


3x3 Eyes Vol. #2
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Yakumo:
Yakumo has finally gained the power to make him worthy to be Pai's guardian, but now she can't remember who she is! How can he help her to become human if she believes she already is one?
Pai:
The cute and friendly girl that turns into the cold and ruthless demon has achieved the illusion of a normal life, but only because some other entity has sealed away her memories as well as her Sanjiyan half...
Benares:
Yakumo's counter-part is the guardian of Kaiyanwan, the ruthless and bloody destroyer of the Sanjiyans. Benares mission is to restore his master to power and to prevent Pai from regaining her memories until the summoning that could bring about the end of the world...

The Review!
The 3x3 Eyes anime tale ends well but without a complete sense of closure.

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 1995, 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 and Yakumo. 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 Kaiyanwang's stone prison on the left with the menu options on the right. The background is a stormy night complete with thunder and lightning. Images flash in time with the 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 Japanese voice 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)
Where the first volume feels rushed to cover a lot of ground in a short time, this volume of 3x3 Eyes tells a cohesive, flowing story from start to nearly the finish. While ancillary characters are introduced, the focus is squarely on Pai and Yakumo's journey to the Sanjiyan realm of Kunlun. Four years have passed since Pai's Sanjiyan personality left to battle Benares alone.

During that time, Yakumo has traveled to Tibet to rigorously train with Shaolin monks. He has wandered across Hong Kong and back to Tokyo searching for Pai; fate intervenes when Pai walks right by him on the streets of Tokyo. Overjoyed, Yakumo embraces Pai, but she screams and tries to run away. Suffering from apparent amnesia, Pai believes she is a normal junior high student whose parents died in a car crash. However, evil forces have sealed her memories away with powerful magic. Together, they must travel back to Tibet and find a way to restore her memory and return to their quest for humanity.

This is a much stronger story than the first volume and allows Pai and Yakumo to grow and develop their relationship. Yakumo has a singular purpose left in life; he simply wants to protect the woman he loves. Where he lacked self-confidence before, he has honed his mind and body to reach his full potential as Pai's guardian Wu. Despite her amnesia, he is simply happy to be next to her once again. No matter how much of his blood is spilled (gallons of it), he refuses to back down from any challenge; he will protect her and ensure she will be able to live the life she wants.

Pai undergoes much strain having to accept she is less than a normal human being; her only desire is to find a boyfriend and live a happy life with him. She slowly grasps how deep Yakumo's love is for her and begins to return it. Her Sanjiyan heritage keeps getting in the way of her true happiness; eventually, she must decide between accepting her heritage or remaining ignorant of her true self and embracing a false but happy life.

Visually and thematically, this was an engaging story until it reaches the climax. It is a beautiful albeit violent and tragic love story. Pai's dual personality was barely touched on over the series; as the story reaches its end, we discover that a third distinct personality was thrown into the mix. The details of this third entity are rushed through and serve to further confuse what exactly is going on in Pai's head.

The conclusion decisively shows that the three personalities have been separated, but you never fully understand how this actually affects the Pai and Sanjiyan portions of the trinity. It is maddeningly frustrating because you know this split personality is a key plot point and ingredient in the relationship between Pai and Yakumo. Unfortunately, this is another great series hobbled by a conclusion of a story arc but lacking a proper ending due to the continuing manga series.

In Summary:
3X3 Eyes closed out with a strong, tragic love story. Rather than rushing through and introducing numerous plot points and characters, it focuses completely on Yakumo and Pai's journey together. It only falls short by being hobbled with a story arc conclusion rather than a proper ending; the manga continued on, but your animated story ends with more questions left hanging than answered. However, the story stands well enough on its own and provides nearly two hours of action, humor, and intriguing mysteries.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

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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