Galaxy Fraulein Yuna (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Wednesday, August 07, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 06, 2002



What They Say
Start with Yuna, Savior of the Light, Galaxy Defender, and the number one fan of Polylina, who not only plays a super-hero on TV, but actually is one in her spare time. Add Yuna?s friend Yuri, an android with an astonishing appetite. Multiply by Misaki, the new girl in class, who is actually a spy from the Galactic Council, sent to assess a charge that Yuna is trying to take over the galaxy. Divide by the sinister Fraulein D, who is using Misaki as a pawn in a larger game to put Yuna, Yuri, the mechanical sprite Elner, and the slow-talking Shiori out of commission, so that she can take over the galaxy. Confused? Then we won?t factor in the cooking contest, the lost puppy, Fraulein D?s hench-women, or any of the other girls who help Yuna save the universe. It all adds up to great fun in Galaxy Fraulein Yuna!

The Review!
Compiling together the previously individually released episodes, Galaxy Fraulein Yuna is a catalog title done right.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Throughout the track, we got a basic stereo mix with a couple of moments of directionality across the forward soundstage. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and there were no noticeable dropouts or distortions that we noted. We did listen to parts of the English track and noted no issues there either.

Video:
Originally released back in 1995, the five OVA?s looks very good here, holding up quite well against the age of brighter and flashier looking shows. The transfer here is pretty solid, with only a few areas of cross coloration showing up and some minor distracting aliasing during certain panning sequences with things such as moving vehicles. Colors look nice and solid without any bleeding and backgrounds maintain a good solid feel throughout.

Packaging:
The front cover provides a very flashy and attractive image of three of the female leads in their various outfits. While they?re not showing much skin, they?re definitely showing a cute feel combined with the bright and attractive colors. The back cover shows off a few more animation shots and a rather lengthy summary for an ADV disc about the show itself. The discs features and technical information is all nice and clearly listed. The insert provides another look at the main cover while the reverse side has different artwork and provides the chapter listings.

Menus:
The menus are setup similar to the cover, with the logo and some of the artwork showing the same bright style. With little on the disc outside of the show itself, selections are almost all on the main page for episodes, with only language selection off on its own. Menus are nice and fast to access and the layout is pretty simple and straightforward.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having not seen Yuna in a number of years, I struggled with this viewing in trying to find what I found appealing about it the first time around. The show jumps right into a larger story, a story that is in fact based on the video game that this show originates from. There?s almost no real character introduction, with the expectations that you?ve played the game and know everyone. We?re essentially introduced to Yuna, the heroine and Savior of Light who is the defender of the galaxy, and her friend Yuri. Yuri?s the happy go lucky sidekick who can never ever get enough to eat, from the smallest anpan to the largest boxed lunch you?ll see. The two are inseparable for the most part and their pairing works well.

Yuna?s life is pretty normal on Earth when she?s not off in the galaxy saving the day. But she?s being set up to take a fall, as someone is impersonating her Galaxy Fraulein image and giant robot transformation gig and causing havoc on the land. This causes one of the Galaxy Alliance operatives to investigate and bring Yuna to trial, not knowing (or even really trying to find out) if Yuna is indeed the one behind everything. The show moves frantically from Earth to space, where the larger evil that needs Yuna out of the way gets revealed.

There is a rather amusing puppy-saving sequence in-between all of that though.

Those two episodes are fairly well self-contained for the original story, with only Misaki of the Galaxy Alliance being the newly introduced character. She does make a stronger appearance in the three episode sequel though, where the Three Demonic Sisters of the universe have a plan to eliminate Yuna for their own evil deeds. Things don?t go so well though when one of the sisters ends up becoming friends with Yuna and takes up residence with her. But these episodes play out pretty simple, with each episode focusing on one of the Demonic Sisters.

The character designs for the show are nice and light, almost bouncy. The style of the show is fairly reminiscent of Project A-Ko, with the energy of the show giving it a rather strong feel. There?s also some hints of Tenchi Muyo in here in the character designs of Misaki (Ayeka) and Ayako (Sasami). I think you even see Tenchi in a few backgrounds. The shows animation style and design really doesn?t have any flaws to it and is nicely polished.

So what?s wrong with it? With the almost complete lack of introduction to the characters, and the large cast that continues to build, and a general lack of knowledge of the build of the shows background, it?s pretty darn easy to feel lost as to what?s going on, which means its very easy to lose interest as it goes along. After the second episode, when the question comes up of, ?Well, do you want to continue or put it off till some other time?? you know you?re in trouble. I just couldn?t bring myself to really get all that interested in the show, and by the fifth episode, I was checking the time remaining counter more than I was the actual plot.

Fans of the series are going to be quite pleased by this release, especially if they?re eliminating five VHS tapes from their shelf for one DVD. The disc is well put together, but the show just didn?t do it for me at all. My tastes have certainly changed a lot since I originally saw this back in 1995.

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: C-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 150
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Galaxy Fraulein Yuna