Mania Grade: C
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Media Blasters
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 110
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cleopatra DC
By Chris Beveridge
February 02, 2002
Release Date: January 29, 2002
What They Say
© Media Blasters
The Cleopatra Corns Group, aka Cleopatra DC, is a powerful financial conglomerate controlling most of the United States economy, almost as powerful as the US government itself. At the top of the organization is the beautiful, smart and brave Ms. Cleo, the Group's young, talented Chairman. This is good--it means she can handle the repair bill when that airplane crashes into her bedroom. With stolen artifacts, corporate kidnappings, and top-secret cyborg projects gone awry, her luck only gets worse from there. The Review!
Cleopatra D.C. is a three episode OVA series that was originally released between 1989 and 1991. While the animation does feel somewhat dated and definitely in an 80's style, it's the poor Bond-style plots that really weakens it. Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. It was also after we loaded the disc that we realized that there's no English track here at all, which is just not normal in this day and age of domestic anime releases. The show sounds pretty much like a mono track split to stereo and basically filling up the forward soundstage with no real directionality. Dialogue is clear and the sound effects are decent if a bit flat. Video:
Let's get right to the real horror here. This disc is hardsubtitled. Yes, that's right, the subtitles are burned right into the print. With only one language track on it, they must have figured with it being such a niche show, since it wasn't worthwhile dubbing, they could get away with only annoying a few people by doing so. Once you get past this, it's a fairly decent transfer with probably most of the little problems with it being due to the older source material. Colors are a bit washed out and there's some cross coloration in a few areas, but otherwise things look decent.Packaging:
Probably one of the brighter spots of this release is the cover, which has Cleo in a nice bright pink gown which plays well off of the New York City skyline. The back cover provides a number of shots of Cleo in action and a brief summary of the storyline and the usual array of production credits and the discs features. The insert provides the chapter listings for the three episodes on the disc.Menus:
With nothing on the disc besides the show itself and a few trailers, you can imagine how barebones this menu is with just a static piece of animation and no music. Access times to the scene selection and trailers menu is nice and fast though.Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Cleopatra D.C. is a show that really wants you to stretch believability in an otherwise normal looking world setting. Cleo is Cleopatra Corns, the inheritor of the massively powerful Corns Group. The Corns Group is said to essentially own half the world and they use their resources for good. We don't see much of what the Group does outside of taken on various mercy cases that come across Cleo's lap though, so it's just a given.
Cleo's lucky though as she's surrounded by a group of good folks who work for the Corn Groups and take charge of the various subcompanies. You've got her gorgeous blue haired friend Swen, the plucky and adventuresome Natsuki, or Nakky as they like to call him, you've got Eric the bishonen and you've got your older male figure who handles a lot of the logistics. When Cleo finds something that piques her interest or her sensibilities, she gets them all together to gather the resources and execute the mission.
The plots in the episodes are all like bad Bond plots told poorly. A girl gets kidnapped so an oil tycoon can control a smaller company, so the Corns Group goes and buys everyone out after a big attack on one of the oil facilities. Another has some commandos come swooping in to kidnap another girl at a party only to find out all the attendees are armed and it's a trap. And after an hour since watching it, the remainder of the plots are all slipping from my mind that were that memorable.
Of course, with any powerful group, there has to be a counter group. This comes in the form of the Sleider Group, which is an underground economic power that's considered the dark side to the Corn's light side. They eventually become the main opposition backing the various efforts that go up against the Corn group, but all of it just feels so flat and lifeless in the end. And it's surprising considering some of the cast, such as Hiromi Tsuru who will always be Ayukawa to me and Sho Hayami, having moved on from Macross to this and eventually to the Wolfwood role in Trigun.
The show just doesn't have the spark in it to really move above being almost a parody of itself, and in the end just retreads things we've seen before without anything to make it unique to itself and stand out in the crowd. And while the technology doesn't make the show, it can distract, and having hard subtitles here doesn't help.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.