You're Under Arrest Vol. #04 (of 13) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Thursday, October 16, 2003
Release Date: Monday, March 24, 2003



What They Say


The Review!
The fourth installment of YUA begins to shift the focus to general comical episodes of the folks at Bokuto station.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Both tracks are pretty standard stereo mixes with some good moments of directionality during some key scenes, but otherwise is solid with little standing out. Dialogue is crisp and clean throughout and we noted no dropouts or distortions on either track.

Video:
Originally airing in 1996, the animation style for the show is definitely showing its roots. The transfer here is pretty good with solid looking colors with some cross coloration showing up along the edges of characters. Aliasing is pretty minimal and overall the transfer looks good. Some areas look a bit soft, but that?s pretty much seen across the board in the episodes we?ve seen so far.

Packaging:
The volumes in this second box set utilize the same cover layout as the first box set. The front cover itself features a nice shot of Natsumi and Miyuki in an action pose and even with a gun while there?s a solid looking logo below them. The discs volume is listed here as well as the four episode numbers and titles. The back cover is setup similar to the computer menus in the show and the main menu itself, with a list of the main Japanese production folks as well as the episode numbers, titles and a two-line summary for all four episodes on this disc. There?s no real insert as we?re used to, but we do get the translation recipe cards for the four episodes on this disc that goes into a variety of interesting cultural notes.

Menu:
The menus are setup in a fashion after the computers available in the girls mini patrol car, which gives it a good feel. Selections are available along the top for language and a play all feature while you can also browse down along the file folders to open each episode. Episode numbers/titles are only shown when you actually move to that folder, so when you initially start up you only see the first episode. Also, when selecting an episode from here as opposed to the play all, it only plays that episode and then returns you to the menu when finished, unlike most discs that continue on to the next episode. Access times are nice and fast, though transitions from the main menu to subsequent menus are a touch slow as a piece of animation plays out along the top each time.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a break between box sets, this volume kicks off the second round of You?re Under Arrest goodness and brings that episodic police comedy back into my living room, which means it provides me with an evening of simple smiles and enjoyment.

The first box set pretty much set about introducing the main cast and its supporting characters, the general setting of the series to start with and giving several of the cast their own episodes to shine in. With that fairly well accomplished, this round looks to go forward in telling the stories without having to spend the time to try and get you to understand their base motivations. This pretty much lets us have an episode that plays out quickly from the start and just has fun with what it?s doing.

Of the four episodes here, there?s some good fun to be had. Since every series needs at least one hot spring episode, they kick one off right from the start during a celebration of New Years holiday where they go to a place that Nakajima suggested. Snuggled away in the country and buried in snow, this is a small hot springs hotel and is showing its age, but also has a fair amount of charm and character. With most of the main cast there, it?s a pretty full group with lots of drinking going on when they aren?t outside skiing or having other kinds of fun. While there is a police related crime at the end of the episode, something to give it some real action, the episode instead deals more with two locals who continue to go after Natsumi and Miyuki since there are so few local girls.

This ends up in one hilarious scene where they slip into their bedroom and one of them proceeds to slide up under the covers and begins to group the woman laying there. Unfortunately for the pervert, the woman laying there is Aoi. The reaction is priceless and is even used in other episodes.

Another fun episode has us seeing Natsumi being a bit overeager in her love of the manju, so much so that she ends up getting into an accident that causes her to mentally transport herself to the Edo era as a detective for the government of Edo. With everyone re-appearing in this timeline under various guises, we get to see a series of murders play out that Natsumi and her faithful goofy sidekick Nakajima have to solve. There?s some good use of messing with the characters and their cores here that makes it very enjoyable. While I generally dislike this kind of story in a show like this, it does play out nicely and they manage it well enough.

Also enjoyable here is an episode that features the return of Chie Sagami-Ono and her continued desire for one-upping poor Yoriko. When they end up crossing paths at the station?s firing range, a new challenge gets issued where Yoriko can get three friends to help her in a survival paintball game, and Chie will have three on her team. It?ll be a match of skill and strategy. Yoriko of course gets her friends to help while Chie hires on some of the best of the best. The actual event is quite a lot of fun and meshes in an amusing subplot about a couple of bank robbers who feel like they?ve stumbled into a real shootout between cold vicious women.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Liner Note Cards

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 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: AnimEigo
MSRP: 24.95
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: You're Under Arrest