Ah! My Goddess Limited Edition Boxset - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Bandai Visual
  • MSRP: 13440•
  • Running time: 152
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ah! My Goddess

Ah! My Goddess Limited Edition Boxset

    June 20, 2001
Release Date: June 20, 2001


Ah! My Goddess Limited Edition Boxset
© Bandai Visual


What They Say
Initial pressing limited edition* High quality DVD edition of the acclaimed anime show based on the work by Kosuke Fujishima. It's a 2-disc set. Disc 1 contains the main feature, and Disc 2 containsspecial features. Comes in a memorial box. DTS audio. Extra bonus features include: 16-page all-color liner note with illustrations by the art director, large-sized postcard, 9 trading card of featuring art from the theatrical movie, 16-page booklet.

The Review!
This is, by far, the best Anime, no, the best MOVIE, I?ve seen in a long time. I first found out about this Limited Edition package here at animeondvd.com and knew I had to have one. After several weeks, CD Japan received another shipment and I jumped on it. It arrived and I watched it ASAP. I do not regret this purchase at all, even at the $130 (after shipping) price tag..

What I was expecting and what I received are two totally different things. I was expecting a movie with the same quality as the previous Ah! (Oh) My Goddess OVAs. What I received was a movie with animation almost as amazing as Princess Mononoke.

As I do not understand a lick of Japanese, with the exception of a few minor words, watching this would have proven to be an exercise in confusion. I scoured the internet for several hours until I located a page where someone had translated the movie to the best of his ability, and I must say he did a wonderful job. So with my English script in hand, I proceeded to watch this film.

Packaging
This has to be one of the greatest packages for a DVD I?ve ever seen. The artwork of Belldandy sitting on an egg on the cover and her back on the reverse side is simply breathtaking. The reverse side of the front cover has the outlines for what look like the vaccine program that is used on Belldandy in the movie. This box is covered in beautiful sky blue color.

The first disc, which contains the movie, has a picture of Belldandy stretched from the upper portion to the lower portion, cradling the earth in her hands. The bonus disc has a picture of Belldandy and Keiichi in their racing gear. High quality stuff.

Menus:

Menus on the movie disc are kind of generic, with there being a picture of Belldandy sitting on an egg in the background (like on the cover of the box) with 4 options to chose from. The options are Play Movie, Audio Selection, Trailers and Chapter Selection. Play Movie does just what it says, Audio Selection takes you to a menu with a picture of the Ygdrasil system in the background and you basically choose between Dolby 2.0 and DTS. The Trailers Menu takes you to the movie/TV trailers, where you can select between the trailers shown in theatres and the trailers shown on TV. The Chapter Selection also does what it is named. The menus are serviceable but not remarkable.

The menus on the extras disc are serviceable as well, nothing too fancy, and quick to respond. As with the movie disc, I was honestly hoping for a little more flash, but what is there, works well enough.

Audio:

This is where this release truly shines. The DTS track is simply amazing. I am personally glad they used the DTS track for this release, as the quality of the voices; sound effects and music are of the highest caliber. For the most part, voices are passed mainly through the center channel, with excellent directionality throughout; my favorite example being when Urd flies in from the back left, while yelling at Celestin, and the sound of her broom (yes, she rides a broom in the movie) flows nicely and evenly from the back surround speaker to the front. The music in this mix is where DTS really hits home. The music really does set the mood in several spots, almost flooring me when Morgan and Keiichi are in the school ?clinic?. For those who have seen the movie, you know what I am talking about and for the rest; I won?t spoil it for you. The music is beautiful and moody, the music nicely spreads throughout the sound field and on occasion, overpowers the voices, which is somewhat annoying but it is more than acceptable, as the producers seem to have a good reason for doing it when it is done. The sound effects are amazing as well, the attention to detail startling at times; like when Keiichi and Belldandy are riding on Keiichi?s bike, you can here the rustle of Keiichi?s clothes in the wind. The stereo track is nicely done as well, but if all you want is stereo, you can go for the regular edition DVD.

The other piece of the audio that impresses me is the voices. The voice actors seem to actually be feeling what the characters on the screen feel, which translates really well with the movie. In my opinion the voice actors make the characters; Skuld being the best example of how voices actors should be. There are several parts in the movie where Skuld?s (Hisakawa Aya) acting is almost over the top, two prime examples being right before she attacks Celestin and when she is pleading with Belldandy not to use the vaccine; heart wrenching.

Video:

The video, coming from an extremely recent Japanese theatre run, is rightfully clean. This is an excellent transfer. There are no rainbows or stair-stepping at all. I never noticed any of the common artifacting during some of the more animated scenes, or any artifacting at all for that matter. The colors are extremely clear with no bleeding. They did this movie justice. Belldandy?s eyes haunt me, they are a wonderful and clear blue, absolutely beautiful.

Extras:

The extras on the first disc are the standard fair, with the Movie/TV trailer spots being the ONLY extras on this disc. They are interesting if you are into that sort of thing, if not, watch them once and that?s that.

Now the bonus disc (again, only available in the limited edition set) is excellent. The sound is the standard stereo mix, not great, but definitely not bad. There are several short ?making of? clips; Behind the Movie, Behind the Music, Behind the Voice Actors, Behind the Sounds and The First Showing of the movie to the people who worked on it. Good stuff. There is also a storyboard to animation section, which is the highlight of the disc. You can go through a ton of storyboards, see what they cut out of the film and, where they took the storyboard and made that portion of the movie, you can watch that piece of the film as it translated from board to film. Very cool. The final piece of the extras disc is the Memory section. When you make this selection, you are presented with two more selections, Belldandy and Urd and Skuld. When you select Belldandy, you are presented with a lot of the animation of Belldandy throughout the movie, with one of the vocal tracks playing (track 12 for those who own the CD). After playing for several minutes, they then present you with highlights of some of Belldandy?s lines. The same thing goes for the Urd and Skuld section, the animation being a collection of Urd and Skuld (track 6 playing in the background) and lines being from both. Here?s hoping they bring the extras out with the domestic (US) release.

There are also the 4 postcards (who in their right mind would send these away!?), a bonus 16 page booklet (not sure about the contents, looks like interviews with the crew behind the movie), a 16 page book as liner notes to the movie (I am assuming that?s what they are) and the 9 collectible trading cards. Plus you get the amazingly well done box to fit it all of these things in.

Content: (may contain spoilers)

Belldandy?s teacher, Celestin, returns from imprisonment on the moon with the assistance of Morgan, a fairy princess (?). Belldandy is infected with a virus, which spreads to the Ygdrasil system, and she loses her memory of Keiichi and only Keiichi.

The movie revolves around Skuld, Urd, Keiichi and the Nekomi Tech Motor Club coping with the problem of Belldandy?s memory loss, jeopardizing the upcoming racing competition and Celestin trying to destroy and recreate the world so that everyone is granted their wishes (killing everyone on the Earth in the process). The story isn?t completely original, but is excellently done and deserves high praise.

Conclusion:

Excellent film, high quality, top notch packaging, wonderful extras? who could ask for anything more? If you are interested in the DTS track, I highly recommend you pick this up, as I have low expectations for Pioneer releasing it here in the states. If you can understand the Japanese language or know where to find a script, go for it. If you only want a Dolby 5.1 track and aren?t concerned about the extras, buy the regular edition or wait until it is released here in the States. I personally can?t wait for the US release, as I will gladly buy this movie again. Belldandy strikes again!

Features
Japanese DTS 5.1 Surround sound,Special Edition second Disk,TV Trailers,Movie Trailers,16 Page booklet,5 Movie Postcards,Premium 9 Cards for Limited Edition,Full color booklet insert

Review Equipment
Zenith Inteq 27" TV Model# IQB27FW, Sony HTD-W820 DD/DTS Receiver, GE 1101P Region Free DVD Player, Panasonic Gold PLated SVIDEO Cable, Panasonic 6 Ft. Optical Cable, Sony Speakers

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