Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: C
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: D
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Europe
- Released By: Other
- MSRP: 180 FFR
- Running time: 85
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: City Hunter
City Hunter: Services Secrets (French PAL)
City Hunter: Services Secrets (French PAL)
What They SayThe Review!
The story is typical for City Hunter : Ryo Saeba (Nicky Larson in French !) has been engaged by a president-to-be to protect his daughter who is herself a secret service agent who is to protect the president (his father) understood ? Not too bad for a City Hunter release, Ryo is equal to himself and Kaori's club always hit his target : Ryo. Main characters have enough depth to keep you alive during the show.
For those who are not familiar with the City Hunter series it has been created by Tsukasa Hôjô (Cat's Eyes, Sakura no hana Sakukoro, Family Compo...). City Hunter was born in 1985, just after the Cat's Eyes series. Secret Services was produced by Kenji Kodama in 1996, he also made the City hunter series (from 1987 to 1989) and Meitantei Conan. If you take a look at the cemetery scene you should see Kodoma Kenji on one of the tomb (!). The show was produced by Sunrise, also known for Gundam and Dirty Pair.
City Hunter is the first anime DVD published in France by AKA Video. This firm is almost the only one to publish anime in France (Eight Man, Reincarnations, Blackjack....) but only in VHS. Nevertheless it's hard to obtain because you can't find it easily in several great stores. Well...let's get back to the disc !
The Audio is good, on both languages it's a standard 2.0 stereo mix....in MPEG-2 format. Although the sound is clear, it obviously lacks of stereo effect and is quite linear except for actions sequences. The good thing is that AKA decided to keep the original French actors for all the voices Youpi! so there are no differences between the anime and this movie.
The video is hmm....excellent -I think this is the most appropriate word ;) - colors are bright and there are no noticeable defects on this disc. It's quite a performance for a 1995 show. hats off guys !
Packaging is good, the front artwork is gorgeous and the back cover gives you all the information about the disc (including original staff). Inside notes provides information on the chapters and some information about the disc (including a hidden menu inside the main menu).
and now...'le menu du chef' it's where the worst meet the best. The time between each menu when you make a selection is simply boring, I don't know if it's my player's fault but it's VERY annoying. Well....anyway this is a musical static menu and the transition between each options is very funny. Inside the main menu is a hidden add-on which is a game. It's a sort of 'punch the monkey' game where you have to kick Ryo's head with a club (remember something ?).
Subtitles are great, they are made of solid Yellow outlined with black. They are well synchronized with the characters. But (yes there is a compensation) the audio and the subtitles are not the same ! it's only weird if you are listening to the French version and watching the subtitles. Bizarre....
The animation is good but it's missing a bit of action. Fortunately, Ryo is always keen on women and it's always a pleasure to see him in trouble with kaori. A really good show, well designed and well entertaining.
* Last Minute Update * a few weeks after buying this title I've noticed that it is no longer published by AKA Video but by SONY Music Department Video and it seems like all the AKA Video releases will follow that way. Two good news, the first one : the copy I own is a collector (groovy baby !!), then if SMDV is in charge of the editing process we can hope that it bring serious and quality in DVD animation in France.
Creditless opening and ending,5 original TV trailers,Exclusive footage,Characters review,Filmographies
AKA Video trailers,French Language,Japanese Language,French Subtitles
Widescreen TV Philips 32PW8504, Toshiba DVD SD-2109 (zone free), Yamaha DSP-A595a DTS-5.1 Amplifier, Davis Accoustic Speakers, standard cables.