To Heart Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: -
What They Say
The Audio is very clean, I liked the music enough to buy a CD.
Only one complaint with the Video, "white crap". That dropped the rating from A to a B. Like several of the recent AIC/Pioneer titles (Tenchi in Tokyo, Battle Athletes TV...) To Heart suffers from white fuzz at the bottom of the screen on the frame before each scene change. If you are watching on a TV with the avarage amount of overscan you will not see it. Colours are strong, outlines sharp, with no visible artifacts at all. The bit rate on this disk runs at the maximum supported by DVD (around 10MB/S), the disk contains a little over 2 gig of data for 30 minutes of Video.
The packaging is similar to a standard keep case but about 1/4" wider so it sticks out a bit on the shelf, the outer support ring lacks a finger notch. I'd rate it between an Alpha and an Amray. For those who care it's white. Inside the case with the DVD you find a nice LD size colour poster (folded to fit the DVD case), three high quality cards (much nicer then the Pioneer cards we get here), and an offer for an extra (collect all seven disks and send away for a special bonus).
One thing that surprised me about the To Heart DVDs is that there is no menu at all. There is a good supply of chapter stops though, 6 for the episode, one for the next show preview, and one for the "video extra".
The first DVD only contains one episode, the rest of the series is two episodes per disk (5,800 yen) with a total of 7 disks (13 episodes).
To Heart is high school series (yes another one), but better then average. I'd call it shoujo but there are some shounen characteristics as well (it's rarely pure black or white). It's loosely based on a manga series and Sony Playstation game of the same name.
The series starts with the first day of a new school term with Akari Kamigishi, the main character stopping at the home of her childhood friends Hiroyuki whom she has to wake each morning (akin to Project A-Ko) and follows them through the first day of school. The series is character driven with a diverse group of well developed characters. Very early in the series it's clear that Akari is attracted to Hiroyuki and wishes to be more then just a friend but it too shy to act on her feelings. It starts out as a strait high school drama but later in the series we meet more unusual characters. Aoi (martial arts), Kotone's (a psychic), Multi HMX12 (a robot and one of the most popular characters in the series). Even though To Heart includes a lot of standard anime elements the story is quite original. I purchased this disk at the CNAnime convention. I liked it enough to go back and get the second disk the next day and I've ordered volumes 3 and 4.
Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital,Voice cast chat,Collector cards (3),Poster
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 2 - Japan
Released By: KSS Films
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: To Heart