Please Twins Vol. #2 (of 4) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, January 04, 2005
What They Say
If Maiku is a healthy teenage boy, why won't he show any interest in girls, especially when two gorgeous girls are living with him? Could it be that Maiku has interests in the same sex? Well, that's all it takes for Miina and Karen to flaunt their nubile bodies in front of him to test this theory. But they both may be starting to develop feelings for Maiku that may not be appropriate considering that one of them may be his sister.
To prevent this from going any further, Miina and Karen form a 'love alliance' to not make any advances toward Maiku and prevent others from getting too close to him. This alliance will be put to the test when the three of them win a free trip to a tropical island with some unexpected company showing up!
Continuing to learn to live with each other, the barriers break down pretty quickly and it's 24/7 love.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a good stereo mix to it with a solid use of dialogue across the forward soundstage. There’s a bit of nice depth to it and some well placed directionality. The music comes across very good as well with no noticeable dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2003, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Much like Please Teacher, the show is filled with a lot of real-life settings and the colors to fill it well. What makes it shine though is the colors used in the outdoor settings with all the greens and blues and then the sunrise/sunset scenes are just so lush and beautiful here that it goes up a few extra notches. The green fields in particular that captivated me in Please Teacher are once against present here. The transfer in general manages to make out very well as there's no noticeable cross coloration and the colors used avoid the gradation problem. Aliasing is very minimal, especially with the limited amount of movement throughout here, and in general this is a very pleasing transfer.
Using the cover artwork from the Japanese DVD release but with a different background, the cover has an amusing image of the three female love interests for Maiku with two of them giving each other the evil eye while set against a somewhat blurry background shot of the town itself and lots of green from it. Volume numbering appears only on the spine, and Bandai goes the additional distance of listing the episode numbers and titles on the back cover. The back cover is nicely laid out as an operating system window with numerous pictures and brief bits of summary, features and production information in small bits throughout it. Unlike Please Teacher, we don't get reversible covers here. The insert replicates the art from the front cover and opens up to a two panel piece that has a variety of full color character shots of Miina. The last panel on the insert has the full production credits and a bilingual cast list, though it goes in more detail with the Japanese cast. Also included in the keepcase is a postcard, this time of the trio off in the mountains after tumbling down skiing.
The menus used for this release are among the more animated ones to come out of Bandai lately. The center of the menu has a trio of panels with each of the characters in one and they move and swoop around each other, rotating in other pictures or creating a triptych image with all of them. It doesn't go on too long as the looping is fairly brief but it's set to a well enough piece of music that it won't drive you insane if you let it play for awhile. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly. Unfortunately, the disc did not read our players language presets on two different players and default to English language with no subtitles.
The extras for this release are reminiscent of Please Teacher a lot and are scaled down a bit from the first volume. The bulk of them continue to be image vocal pieces of which we get three more of them here. Also included is a textless ending sequence.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first volume of the series certainly set things up well enough, though there is plenty that you can't imagine really happening, it did make for a very easily accessible setup and with plenty of familiar characters, a very easy show to get into. While it didn't have the same charms as Please Teacher for obvious reasons, much of what made that show so enjoyable beyond the primary characters is infused in this one and helps to elevate it a bit higher than it probably would be otherwise. Even still, Please Twins manages to stake out much of its own territory to become its own show.
Things have changed slightly since the last volume and we've now got both of the girls in the same school as Maiku and right from the start it causes problems. The biggest problem is that Maiku ends up feeling so overly protective of them that when he hears all the commotion and talk of the other boys he gets so agitated and nearly riled up over it that watching his expressions are priceless. What's really amusing is just how much Shimazaki is during all of this as he continues to play his faux-gay mode with Maiku and the girls, being as gullible as they apparently are, fall for it so completely that they have to really prove it to themselves that Maiku is gay since it would crush many of their dreams.
This proves to be a very amusing segment in the show as both Karen and Miina go overboard at home to try and get Maiku to react to their femininity. While at the house, the two of them come up with their plan the covers everything from sleeping in his bed together to being practically naked in front of him to exercising and a multitude of other ideas. It's all quite amusing and certainly serves up a huge dose of fanservice in the process because these two characters are quite attractive, though they are a bit too singularly focused on how their relationship with Maiku is. This actually becomes more of a problem when they're somewhat competing for his attentions and Karen ends up accidentally kissing him, which leads to Miina forcing herself on him so as to catch up to Karen and still be in the running. But as each of them grapples with what they've done, there's also the background idea that they're actually related to him.
This does turn into something of a one-trick pony for a good chunk of this release as that's the background and foreground thoughts for all three of the characters for a lot of the time here, though they do talk and act about other things. Maiku has it even worse since the girls are actively either trying to prove he's not gay or just being themselves which is often quite attractive. But he's also got the problem of dealing with Tsubaki who is also trying to win his affections and she's got Ichigo on her side, which in itself leads to a number of very comical moments where she sets things up but not necessarily just for Tsubaki's benefit. More often, things are done to benefit Ichigo's humor which is usually just good enough.
One thing that I did like that they did here is that they found a way to get the trio to head to Okinawa to the same hotel as we saw in the Please Teacher! series. Naturally, others end up tagging along and there are some great recollections about it from the secondary characters, especially the "my friend became a man here" comments. This places it firmly a year after the same events of the Teacher series and it gives the newly formed alliance between Karen and Miina a chance to really work as they're not competing anymore but just going to enjoy their time with Maiku until they figure out who is related and who isn't.
The result is a fascinatingly enjoyable show that I wish could be retooled only slightly, because the concept of a show where the male lead has two women in love with him and he's able to love them back and to play up the dynamic of a working threesome would be such a great change of pace and open all sorts of new story possibilities. It's so close to that here in this episode with the exception of the thoughts lurking in the back of their mind. The way they're all so much more open after the formed alliance works in their favor since it frees them from feeling jealousy or having to compete and instead simply lets them enjoy the time and presence of the other two. It's so close to a working triad that it's easy to root for all three of them to work in that direction.
Though something at its core tells me I shouldn't be enjoying this, much like I felt throughout parts of Please Teacher, the overall presentation of the show, the highly attractive character designs and the simplistic plot and setting just manage to drag me in and make me feel warm inside. The visuals are a huge part of the appeal here as the backgrounds are just stunning when they move to outdoors scenes and that does have an impact on things, particularly on a set like I've got. Taking in the slightly over the top scenes on this kind of canvas just changes how it's perceived, especially when comparing against the 23" set in my office. Presentation can be key and a show like Please Twins uses it to its advantage.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Image Vocals,Clean Ending
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Please Twins