Angelic Layer Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Angelic Layer

Angelic Layer Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     January 19, 2004
Release Date: January 06, 2004


Angelic Layer Vol. #3
© ADV Films


What They Say
"Miracle Rookie" Misaki and Angel Hikaru continue to battle it out on the Layer, but at the Kanto Regional Games, the competition is tougher than ever, and players are disqualified after only one loss.

Misaki gets singing lessons from popular idol, Ringo Seto, and learns lessons of a different kind from the ambitious Fujisaki sisters. And "Kindergarten Kid" Hatoko reminds us that age and size don't matter in these contests.

What does it really take to be an idol on the Layer? Do Misaki and Kotaro really make a date? And what does Sai mean about Hikaru's weak point? The next four episodes heat up as contestants strive to advance to the semi-finals. Do your best, Misaki!



The Review!
The Kanto regionals are underway and Misakichi works her way through the ranks, but only if she can deal with some idol worship and the fact that there may be some cheaters in the game.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to a mix of languages on this release. We started off the disc listening to the English 5.1 mix and listened to the Japanese 2.0 mix for the middle episodes. The English 5.1 mix comes across nicely with some clear distinct voices to it but we ended up favoring the Japanese 2.0 mix as it felt more full and natural. Dialogue throughout on both tracks comes across nice and clear and we didn’t notice any dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally airing back in 2001, Angelic Layer is a fantastic looking show with this transfer. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent, aliasing is very minimal and only in a few areas and the colors are rich. The colors are where this show really shines with very vibrant lush pieces, mixing between the real world and the Layer itself. Blacks are beautifully solid and there’s no visible over saturation.

Packaging:
The cover gets a bit lighter this time with an orange flowered style background underneath the hexagonal pattern that lets the white uniforms of the kids become really eye-catching. Misakichi and Hikaru come across prominent here while Icchan and her friends provide some relief behind her. The back cover has a series of shots from the how and several paragraphs of good summary for the premise of the show. The discs features are clearly listed, though not all the extras are listed there. The insert is a two-panel poster of Misakichi in the bathtub while Hikaru gets a little cup next to her to bathe in the reverse side provides some background for the Layer team characters, including Icchan’s own angel.

Menu:
Set up in a competition/athletic style theme, the main menu here plays some of the action oriented music from the series while various images from the show roll behind the top layer. Selections are quick to load and access times are nice and fast.

Extras:
The extra material for this installment mirror the earlier volumes but with a few differences. The opening and closing sequences are presented once more and the production sketches section has a fresh batch of pieces to it. Also making another appearance is the voice actor commentary track, which is done for just the second episode, and features the voice actor Shelly Black and the series ADR director David Williams.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Comfortably into its own groove, Angelic Layer builds smoothly upon what came before by shifting the focus up to the next series of matches, namely the Kanto regional matches that will determine who will go for the bigger prize. Misakichi continues her winning track and tries to repeat her past successes in this tougher venue.

The Kanto event brings Misakichi back into contact with someone unexpected as she learns before heading there that the blonde girl she met previously. Seeing an advertisement for her latest CD on TV, Misakichi realizes she had met an idol previously, namely Ringo Seto, who is also an amateur player in Angelic Layer as well. This completely bamboozles her since she does still fit the role of the naļve country girl come to the big city, so when she does meet up with her again in the Layer complex, the two manage to hit things off nicely. This continues to be the biggest thing that becomes evident about Misakichi, in that she’s able to seemingly win over anyone no matter what.

Misakichi goes through some interesting competitors this time around, Ringo Seto’s angel is interesting in the way she uses dance to get across her attacks, providing a different set of challenges for Hikaru to overcome. The one that proves to be the most interesting since it takes control away from her is when she goes up against Mao, and thereby her younger sister Madoka as well. Pretending to be nice before the match, Madoka slips onto Hikaru a device that creates interference between her and her Deus, making her movements wild and unreliable. Madoka and Mao are so dead set on not losing to her since they intend to win over Hakoto due to a past disgrace that they’ve sunk to this level. The match is very interesting to watch, both from the fight sequence itself to how the “authorities” intend to deal with it once discovered.

Some of the lighter moments throughout these volumes are the real pluses. The last episode gives some time over to Misakichi and Kotaro in terms of a date, which is just comical in many ways. Watching how Tamayo watches the way Misakichi and Kotaro interact with each other is priceless; but almost as good is when she meets up with Ringo in person for the first time and the two come across as mirror images of each other in their personalities. You can almost expect Kotaro to wince in fear of another woman who will try to rough him up. One of the areas that continue to bring a lot of laughter is with those who work with Icchan and how he abuses one of them in particular. These episodes bring even more of his special brand of office cruelty about with his off the wall demands and promised punishments.

In Summary:
With the tournament style firmly going forward here, these episodes fly by. With a good chunk of each of them given over to the fighting sequences, there isn’t a lot of growth along the way but there are some really good moments scattered throughout that helps things progress. With the style employed, the bulk of it comes after each match as Misakichi wins over her enemies and builds a solid following. And with each volume, Angelic Layer continues to build its own following, one that I’m glad to be a part of since this is just a really fun and well-executed show. Wow, fun anime, whodathunk?

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Clean opening closing animation,Production artwork, Voice actor commentary, Character profiles,Mini poster

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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