Marriage (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, October 09, 2001



What They Say
It's been several years since their high school graduation, and a few long time friends are starting to talk about marriage. While each of them has their own love dilemmas, Shizuka is the only one who has no interest in a relationship. The others are concerned about her quiet ways and unrecognized beauty. Her best friend Maki finally registers her in a dating service called 'The Wedding Club' and Shizuka reluctantly agrees to meet her match. But when the man she meets is not exactly her type, Shizuka wonders if her red string of fate has already been cut...Five beautiful young women are all sisters, each a year apart. after Mami, the youngest sister, gets engaged, Kiyomi is the only single girl left. She's not interested in a relationship, but when her co-worker asks her on a date, the four sisters intervene. They talk Mikimaro into proposing to Kiyomi, but her cool attitude proves to be quite daunting. Will Mikimaro finally build up enough courage to pop the big question?

The Review!
Ah, the stories of young Japanese women trying to find Mr. Right and be happy. Color me odd, but I do enjoy these kinds of shows. Marriage unfortunately doesn't gel quite well enough to be something worth hoping that there's more of.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. This is very much a dialogue driven show, with very little in the way of sound effects or even music, so the majority of things are through the center channel. Dialogue is pretty clean and clear, though there's no directionality or much else to it. Pretty standard stuff.

Video:
Originally released in 1995 and obviously not being a high quality OVA to begin with, things look passable here. Colors are a bit oversaturated and there's a fair bit of cross coloration through the show, notably along the characters hair. There's a fair number of soft sequences where the detail is lost, but this may be intentional by the animators.

Packaging:
I really like the cover here, with the logo and its artwork as well as the way the characters look against all of it. It's really quite good and lets you know exactly what you're getting into here. The back cover provides a couple more pieces of animation while giving a fairly lengthy look at both OVA's. The insert is a variant of the front cover that also lists the chapter stops.

Menus:
The menu system is pretty minimal, again using a variant of the front cover. Since there's nothing here besides trailers and disc setup, access times are nice and fast and there's little trouble getting around the animationless and musicless menus.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The two OVA's here go into different areas of relationships and marriage, though both are linked together with many of the same characters.

The first OVa revolves around the group of women at the office and the way relationships go within the business environment and for those women who have no boyfriends and are looking. The main focus is one young woman who has no boyfriend, but believes in the red string on her pinkie belief. We follow her shy ways around the office and with friends, as we learn what they're like (outgoing) and how they try to get her to try different things to find someone.

As the tale goes, the moral is that love is often found where you least expect it. It's a nice little tale that's broken up with some super-deformed moments of men telling the women what the real score is in what men look for by using charts and graphs. Unfortunately these charts and graphs are all overlays.

The second OVA follows the same pattern, but on the related girls themselves and the upcoming wedding of the youngest sister. The talk of plans and love is abound, but things take a different turn when a suitor arrives to try and take out one of the more aloof and fairly oblivious sisters. The others realize that this is a really good guy, and they cajole their sister into going out with him.

Much like the first tale, it's a simple nice romantic story that's just fun to watch unfold. There's not a lot of depth to it, or replay value for that matter, but it's good to see something like this after taking in several shows of swords and starships and weird aliens. The show would be better if it was more focused in its plot, or the characters names were more memorable.

The disc release is a 5$ savings over buying one of the VHS versions and you get both languages. If you're a fan of the show, you can pick it up pretty cheap out there and save some space by replacing your tapes. If you're looking for a little getaway from the mainstream stuff, this is a good afternoon hourlong rental.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B-
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: Media Blasters
MSRP: 19.98
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Marriage