Hyper Police Box Set (of 1) (Mania.com)

Review Date: -



What They Say


The Review!
After watching the first few episodes of Hyper Police at my local club, it was an instant hit. The cel animation was excellent, had an all-star cast of voice actors/actress and was fun to watch. A combination of those elements enticed me to impulse buy the DVD set.
The story is set in the future city of Shinjuku where beast-humans have reappeared. Most beasts are good beings, but some use their enhanced abilities for crime. The local police have more than enough trouble enforcing the law and rely on bounty hunters to fill the void. In this world, a cute cat girl named Natsuki is trying to make it as a bounty hunter. She idolizes her werewolf sempai, Batanen, but isn't great at her job. Sakura -Natsuki's partner- is a fox woman who has an ulterior motive for hanging around her. This is mostly an action-comedy with Natsuki and her friends searching for some of the most notorious criminals.

The box set was released in late-May and contained 25 TV episodes on 5 discs, 5 episodes per DVD. Like the Magic Knight Rayearth I DVD Box Set, each disc is held in a jewel case and encased in hard cardboard box with a nice ironic twist, a mini mouse pad displaying Natsuki and Sakura as an added bonus.

The set is in 4:3 ratio with no subtitles or English soundtrack. The Japanese soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 2.0 and is clean and crisp. The video quality is superb in contrast, sharpness and carried an overall low bit rate. However, it would seem that some scene cuts were done poorly. The only way I can explain this discrepancy is that a following cel would be misalign for a very brief moment during a scene cut and then realigned itself until the next cut. Good examples of this can be seen in the Tenchi in Tokyo and Battle Athletes Victory TV series.

Extras are always a treat when purchasing any DVD box set and this one was no exception. The menu system on all discs (with the exception of fifth disc) lists 2 main options, a Movie hierarchy and a Data hierarchy.

The Movie hierarchy contains 5 menu selections -- Play Whole Episodes, Episodes (wo/op, end, prev), Previews, Opening Sequences, and Ending Sequences. The first option plays the entire episode with opening/ending and preview sequences. The second option runs the main body of each episode, ignoring the opening/ending/preview sequences. The third option plays the preview-to-the-next-episode sequence while the fourth and fifth options plays the openings and endings of each episode. A little note when playing each of the menu options, there is no continuous play after each episode. It only plays the episode selected then returns you to the menu system.

The Data hierarchy contains 5 menu selections - Story, Staff, Cast, Visual Data 1, and Visual Data 2. The 'Story', 'Staff', and 'Cast' options display a brief synopsis in Japanese text about the storyline, staff and cast involved in a particular episode. The last two options, 'Visual Data 1' and 'Visual Data 2', are picture galleries of various characters in the show. A really nifty extra to these galleries is the ability to 'zoom in/out' on various parts of the images.

The fifth disc of the set contains all of the above menus with the exception of the picture galleries. Instead, it is replaced with a new menu selection, Profile. The 'Profile' option lists all main and support character background information (age, weight, height, birthplace.) which is pretty neat. Another bonus is an Animex Club interview of Miyamura Yuko, the voice actress of Natsuki and is probably better known from Neon Genesis Evangelion as Asuka Langley. The interview was really interesting from an editing perspective since it combines behind-the-scenes filming before and after the actual interview on the DVD version. The actual interview was broadcast on TV in Japan. The disc also contains credit less opening/ending sequences and 8 TV commercial segments.

Unfortunately, there is no North American license holder to Hyper Police, not even rumors. Was it an unfinished series? As far as I know, the DVD set contains 25 TV episodes and is packed with extra features. I have heard some rumor that states there were 26th episodes but cannot find a reliable source to confirm it. Scripts are available at Central Anime's website.

This is currently the undisputed champion out of all my region 2 box sets. It is a superb, well made set with more than enough extras and bonuses to feed your anime DVD needs. Assuming that this title will never be released as a region 1 set, it is a must for the vivid R2 collector.

Features
Japanese Language,Credit less opening/ending sequences,Bonus mini mouse pad,Interview with Miyamura Yuko,Picture Gallery with Zoom capability,TV Commercial Segments

Review Equipment




Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 2 - Japan
Released By: Bandai Visual
MSRP: 38000
Running time: 650
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Hyper Police