Weather Report Girl (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, September 29, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2001
What They Say
Hurricane Keiko has arrived!
The newscast weather segment. Usually the last thing anyone ever thinks about (unless they said "sun" and it wound up being "rain") but Keiko Nakadai's going to change all that. Toiling in obscurity for years at a horribly rated TV station, Keiko has figured out what the weather report needs and doesn't mind taking off her top (or lifting her skirt) on the air to do it. The ratings aren't going to go down, that's for sure.
Of course, some of the people at the station don't find this appealing, and decide that Keiko's got to go. They devise a series of horrible "accidents" for her, but Keiko usually seems to be about a step ahead of them. Eventually, everyone at the station will discover that there's far more to her than meets the eye as Keiko's star rises incredibly quickly ... and as her importance increases, Michiko Kawai's (the old weather girl) drops. Something has got to be done, but who can do it?
Keiko may be the boss now, but it wasn't always so. In fact, only a few years ago there was someone else who appeared to be the one running the show at ATV (and who wasn't the chairman). And, when these two forces meet, things will become very unpleasant indeed!
Not only has the manga for Weather Report Girl made its way to anime form, but a live action variant made it as well. And from what I've been able to tell, all three are fairly distinct yet similar, allowing those who enjoy one not to feel like they're seeing the same exact thing in just another medium.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The first noticeable thing was that the volume level, at least on the Japanese track, is fairly loud, so we had to take it down several notches to a more normalized level. Dialogue throughout is nice and distinct without any noticeable dropouts or distortions. There's a couple places of decent directionality, but this is a fairly straightforward OVA audio mix with little surprises.
In terms of the transfer, it's fairly decent based on the low budget of the show and the age of the materials. There's some pixellation in a few areas and a few rainbows throughout. The colors used for the show are very tame for the most part, almost dull in a lot of places, but very much the norm for the time and style. While this looks ok, we did run into a few weird problems. When playing the individual episodes (of which there are two), selecting Play for the entire episode works, but as soon as it hits the end of the first chapter, it boots it back to the menu. And when going back to the scene selection to jump back to where we should be, it works fine but loses the audio selection, defaulting back to English.
There was also a truly strange thing going on with the clock counter. During episode 2, at 17 minutes or so, it would go to the next chapter and jump to 25 minutes. It did not miss any content, and plays fine. At around 35 or thereabouts, it jumps BACK to 25 minutes or so on the counter, and plays out normally. The show does run its full length of 45 minutes, but don't go by the counter.
Another weird issue that hit is was in the second episode, where during one of the characters speaking, the single line subtitle simply doesn't leave. You can turn it off, but when you turn it back on it picks up the same line instead of where it should be. To get it corrected, I had to rewind and then play again for it to actually grab the proper subtitles.
The front cover gives a good indication of the anime style and coloring scheme used for the show, and also highlights two of the beauties you'll see in various forms of undress throughout the episodes. The back cover shows a couple more pieces of animation while giving a full summary of the show. No mention of the running time or the other usual bits of technical information are on the back, which is fairly normal for their releases.
The menus are static pieces of animation with music playing over it. Moving the cursor from selection to selection is fairly slow, as it also causes the music to start over again (and this is on just the same screen). Access times between menus is nice and fast. The language selection menu is pretty weak though, as once you make a selection, it doesn't indicate that it's the set selection, i.e. the screen doesn't really change in any way.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ever since I saw the live action version of this show, I've been a huge fan. It's style, it's leaps of insanity... it simply hooked me big. Of course, there's just something about women lifting their skirts that appeals to me as well.
Weather Report Girl is the story of Keiko Nakadai, a young woman whose been working for the ATV channel for over a year as an office assistant. When the current News 9 weather woman Michio takes the evening off for a school reunion, she picks Keiko, who in her office dossier looks very plain, bordering on blech, to be her replacement for the night, keeping her position secure. In the world of broadcast news, the weather girl can be the secret idol of thousands and thousands of men.
Unbeknownst to them all, Keiko is actually an amazing beauty, whose kept herself looking the way she did so she could move and advance within the company, as good looks are a dime a dozen in a TV station. With her big break here, she pulls out all the stops. Now completely sexy looking, she takes the stage to do the news. In a most casual way, describing just how much difference there is in measuring centimeters, she shows it by hiking her skirt up and showing her panties.
Boom. Ratings through the roof, Michio thrown to the morning team and instant stardom for Keiko. People suck up to her, Michio plots for her job back and Keiko keeps building upon her agenda of conquering everything and becoming in charge of it all. There's an interesting cast of secondary characters, as well as the introduction of Kaori in the second episode, that provide a good ensemble to play along with the outrageousness of Keiko and her costumes.
This version of the concept is fun, but lacks some of the utter wackiness of the live action version. The ecchi parts of it (which is what it is mostly, as opposed to outright hardcore action) is amusing, but not as central to things as the live action version. The character designs are nice to the women, while cruel to the men. Only Michio comes off as unattractive, while Keiko and Kaori make out the best (which is amusing, since I found the live-action variant of Michio's character to be the best looking in that show).
Weather Report Girl has a lot of actual plot and story as opposed to full out hentai-ness. This helps it become more memorable and more accessible to the mainstream crowd. It's a fun little show that elicits a good number of chuckles and a couple of "I can't believe they said/did" that, especially in regards to Keiko's past encounter with Yamagishi. Who would have thought you could leave bite marks there.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Slideshow
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: N/A
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 18 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Critical Mass Video
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Weather Report Girl