Hand Maid May Vol. #2 (of 3) (Mania.com)

Review Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2001

What They Say
Full scale lunatics! Cyberdyne pursues May's recall due to Kazuya's failure to pay the million-dollar invoice. However, thanks to Kasumi's kindness, Kazuya and May share some wonderful last-minute memories.

Still, with Nanbara "assisting" to Cyberdyne and the introduction of the mysterious Cyber-X, Kazuya's little troubles may become a full-sized affair of the heart!

The Review!
Panty shots and tender moments. No need for a relationship diagram- just get Kazuya some tissues!

The sound was bright, though not very deep, and it filled the room nicely. There were no glitches or problems that I could tell on either language track. In this rare case, I actually watched the entire show with both tracks. The dub was amazing! The script was both relatively accurate and normal-sounding, which made it possible for the voice actors to concentrate on expression and character, rather than on trying to get the words to fit the mouth movements or to make awkward sentences sound casual. If this is an example of what American companies and actors are capable of, I want to see more!

As before, bright and clear. I didn't notice any rainbowing or blockiness, despite a number of scenes with dark backgrounds. The transfer appeared to be flawless.

More risqué than last time. May is on the front cover again in pink and white, appropriate for her, though it makes the box look like it belongs in a child's collection- which it doesn't. The back shows a screen shot from each episode and three more of various characters. Again, the Mac-desktop layout is cute. Inside, the disk is pink with a metallic chibi-May and a fuzzy Ikariya and logo. The features May in a panty shot on the front, Kei and Rena wearing nothing but underwear on the back, and all the girls in the series on the inside, draped with see-through cloth. Hmmm, wonder who they're marketing this to?

The original Japanese menus are here again, with the same style as before except you can get into the disk without having to stare at Nanbara's face. The menu setup is cute, has quick access, and follows the style of the show. Besides, if you switch the language track, you get instructions in Japanese. That doesn't mean you get subtitles, unfortunately.

The subtitle situation carries over to the extras, so you'll need to set the language on English if you don't know Japanese. As expected, we can now access most of the rest of the extra Cyberdoll bits (which are still interviews with the characters). "Kasumi file 2" is a cute ad for Kasumi apartments. "Movie appendix" is a smooshing of lots and lots of trailers and ads for the show, most of them only slightly different from each other. If you go "up" from "Movie appendix", you get the textless closing, and going "up" from "Kasumi File 1" gives you an image gallery with about 30 nice-quality (if a little graphic) pics. For the grade, I did not consider these to be "hidden". Of course, all the files you could access on the last disk are not here, but if you get all three disks, that shouldn't be a problem. This is a rather large collection, probably made possible by having only three episodes on this disk.

Er, um, bouncy? Oh, you meant the *story*.

Actually, there is rather a lot of story here. Kazuya is the sort who always pays his debts, so there's no question that May will have to go back. Kasumi shows her sweet side by arranging for Kazuya and May to have one last day together. After losing her, Kazuya reveals his secret plan- to spend years learning how to make her himself.

Before we can get bogged down in this insanity, events intercede and May comes home with a slight upgrade. This first episode is incredibly touching.

So, for that matter, is the second. Everyone is making plans to see the fireworks festival, and May has hung out little charms to ward off bad weather. They don't quite work in the traditional sense, but Kasumi does give the lovebirds a little time alone, which they don't use. Besides all of that, Sara has fallen for Kazuya, and Nanbara has decided he is in luuuuv with May. Gag. But the rest of the festival is funny, with Kei and some of Kasumi's baseball kids providing lighthearted character moments. It would appear that May has fans of all ages.

As does Kazuya. A very strange woman appears in the final episode of this disk.... Mami can cook and clean incredibly well; so well, in fact, that May doesn't have much to do anymore, and even messes things up trying to do better. But Mami has a kinder heart than almost anyone else in the show, and in her typically silly way, sets up a parody of a "marriage meeting", where everyone is supposed to figure out who they should be with. Kasumi spends the entire time wearing a sweatdrop.

As did we, the viewers. Big sweatdrops, that grew bigger and bigger until finally my roommate let out a "gah!" and fled the room.

But the guys might like it.

Except for the second half of the final episode, this was a very cute disk with nice character focus (Kei learning to get along in the human world, Kazuya realizing his feelings for May, Kasumi trying not be jealous of Kazuya's feelings for May, and May "doing her very best" 24x7). All in all, it's a funny little story that I recommend to those who like or don't mind gratuitous underwear.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
25" Samsung Stereo TV, code-free Pioneer 333, Sony STR-SE391 receiver, Sony speakers, and the cables that came with the set.

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1..33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hand Maid May