Hyperdoll (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000
Release Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2000



What They Say
When Earth is threatened by attacks from a super-sized jellyfish, a giant, intelligent worm and other assorted villains, super-heroines Mew and Mica are here to defend the planet! Posing as two cute high school students to conceal their secret identities, these two alien androids are ready to defeat any enemy - if they ever stop goofing off and eating on the job, that is!

The Review!
During the days of laserdisc only releases of anime by Pioneer, I showed my support by scooping everything up and enjoying it. Then came Hyperdoll...

Audio:
Being one of the earlier releases from Pioneer, the English audio track isn't bad, but it definitely isn't up to par of their later releases, especially the familiarity the Tenchi voice actors have with their characters. Both audio tracks are pretty solid in terms of quality, with the majority of dialogue and sound effects going through the center channel.

Video:
Being an mid 90's OVA, Hyper Doll has some very good looking animation and character designs. The show itself is for the most part a very bright and shiny one, which translates well onto DVD and doesn't give the opportunity often for problems with darker sequences. The presentation here is pretty solid throughout, but there were several instances, notably in the second episode, with some edge enhancement that caused some jaggies and rough pixellation around the edges of characters that detracted things a bit to me. For the most part, people will be very pleased by how this looks.

Packaging:
Even with the original release being similar to the Japanese cover, it was one that I didn't care much for. The characters looked uninteresting and the pale yellow color was just very unappealing. Thankfully this version is given a much better piece of cover art, one that is really eye-catching. The back gives a brief summary of the two episode on the disc and the insert is really nicely done. Even the disc itself is colored nicely.

Menus:
As there's not much here, the menus are pretty simple. The main menu has some looping music and a spot of background animation, while the submenus are static. Access times between each of them is pretty fast and error free.

Extras:
None at all, though I'm told that there was a live action segment from the original release (which I no longer have) which is not included here.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hyperdoll is made up of two OVA's and is fairly open ended.

Two.

That's it.

For a good reason.

The show revolves around two young girls in high school, Mew and Mica. Both are seemingly cute, though a bit odd. They're lusted after by several of the school boys of course, but one of them wants nothing to do with them. He knows their secret, that they're really aliens who are some sort of intergalactic police working on Earth.

And Mew and Mica take advantage of this fact by threatening him at every turn while using him for information and general fun. They're just playing around, though he doesn't realize it.

The two episodes focus on the big "rubbersuit" style monsters invading the city. Mew and Mica really don't care much about their jobs and would rather just do anything else. Through a variety of mishaps and coincidences, the monsters get smacked down and life continues on.

Hyperdoll is definitely intended to be a goofy parody of sorts on the super hero genre of anime, which is pretty slim to begin with. The problems inherent in its execution though are pretty strong. When starting off with the first episode, you feel like you're at least on the second if not a few more down the line. There's so much information that's not given that you're almost expected to know we actually backed out of the show to make sure we didn't select the second episode.

The other problem is that it's generally not all that funny. There's a few cute lines throughout, but most of it fell pretty flat to us. Enough of it seems pretty clichéd, especially now. It seemed pretty clichéd back in 95 when I first saw it as well.

The one thing that really irked me about the release was the same thing that bothered me with Phantom Quest Corp; no subtitles for the opening or ending songs.

Pioneer has priced this title nicely though, with a 14.95$ retail price, which means you can get it dirt cheap and not feel bad about it. The show definitely does have its cult following, I just don't happen to be a part of it.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: D
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 14.98
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hyperdoll