Petite Princess Yucie Vol. #6 (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2005
What They Say
The race is on for our princesses to face their final challenges and see who will become the Platinum princess. As our ladies near graduation, tough decisions will be made and Arc’s life hangs in the balance! If what we wish for dosen’t kill us… it makes us stronger. But will someone forget all that has come before?
Bring it all together for the Final Scene, the girls all set their hopes to be the chosen one, the Platinum Princess.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its original language of Japanese. The series has a fairly standard stereo mix to it that has some decent moments of directionality across the forward soundstage throughout it but it still doesn't really feel like all that of an immersive mix. It comes across well though and there aren't any problems such as dropouts or distortions during regular playback, but it doesn't have any oomph to set it apart from any other series. We listened briefly to the English mix which is in 5.1 and other than being a bit louder and a bit more defined in vocal location, it sounded roughly the same.
Originally airing in 2002, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The materials here look really good but not exactly what you'd normally expect from Gainax these days. It doesn't have quite the same vibrancy as some of their other releases in the past couple of years, but the show is angling for something a bit more fairy-tale oriented and with its fantasy setting, something that doesn't stand out quite as strongly. The transfer in general does look really solid though and free of most problems like cross coloration and aliasing as well as any notable blocking. Sometimes Glenda's legs look like they have some slight cross coloration going on with a bit of green showing, but it's so minimal on our setup that it's really hard to tell.
Using the same artwork as the Japanese DVD release but with a different softer and less busy background, the final cover ends things as they should with an image of Yucie wearing the tiara and in full princess mode that's just perfect looking. The artwork here really does reinforce the Forehead nickname for her though. The back cover keeps things simple as well with a row of shots from the show and some character artwork for Yucie mixed around the summary of the shows premise. The discs features and episode titles are listed as well as the usual production block and the always useful technical grid at the bottom. The reverse cover in this clear keepcase is done in the same style as the front cover but breaking from tradition of the last early volumes it has different artwork, this time of Arc reaching down to Yucie. No insert is included in this release.
The menu layout for this release goes for the simple approach with just a couple of shots of Yucie here while some static flower petals are scattered around and some moving ones go by below that. Each episode is accessible directly without any direct scene access, which is fine since there are only a few basic chapters anyway. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load with my player's language presets without issue.
The same as previous volumes, the extras for this release are a set of production sketches and the clean versions of the opening and both ending sequences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Petite Princess Yucie finishes out its run with these last four episodes and brings the series to what's essentially a near perfect conclusion. While this show has plenty of bits and nods aimed towards the adult crowd, it is fully a girls princess show and as such has to have some sense of a happy ending. That doesn't mean they're not going to put you through the wringer first however.
Much of what's come before has been wrapped up well enough but this volume does bring to a conclusion the problem in the fairy world about Diabolos and the spread of evil that it's caused to that land. With Beth now fully feeling the friendship thing and working with the four girls, they head there to take down the beastie and to try and save Beth's father before the world is consumed. This fills the void of the big epic battle that's needed and it brings into play some characters from other areas and even has Drago and Arc arriving in the time of need to help out. The fight is key to one thing though and that's having Diabolos making a strike against Arc that wounds him deeply and mortally.
Arc manages to keep this secret for some time but the girls do find out about it as they prepare for what Ercell tells them is the "Final Scene" in the process to be chosen as the Platinum Princess. All five of the girls will have their gems used to open up a doorway to a place where they will be judged by Maga Sentell and from there one of them will become the new Platinum Princess and have her true wish given to her. But with the changes that have gone on, the girls are already trying to figure out the best way to deal with each of them wanting to be an adult as well as trying to help the prince that has helped them all. What's even worse but unknown to the girls, Maga reveals to Ercell that one of the processes of going through the Final Scene is that the four who do not pass do not come back, they will simply no longer exist after the process.
All five of the girls have to grapple with this when they learn about it and find themselves trapped in a very different place called the Magical World. It's one of the worlds that used to be connected like the others but died out a thousand years ago and is on the verge of ending completely now. It's while in this world that the five of them try to come to terms with the reality of what the Eternial Tiara really is and how it affects everything they've gone through and what it means to their futures. The show gets surprisingly dark here for a princess show and with Gainax behind it I wouldn't be surprised with a less than happy ending, but they do a wonderful job of taking all of this and really making it dramatic and engaging to watch as it all plays out.
Petite Princess Yucie has been an interesting show from the start that had some weak areas when the girls were dealing with the jobs, but it was going with the tried and true formula of getting them all to work with each other and easily introduce more characters. Though the later girls never got fleshed out in exactly the same way as the first three of them did, they all came together nicely as it moved forward and more of the plot was revealed. The combination of a well told story with some interesting areas to it tantalizing along the way with solid animation and design allowed this series to grow at a good pace. It's not a knockout grand slam out of the park kind of show, but it's the solid quality piece that is really for kids of all ages. This is a series that will be revisited in our household in the years to come as kids get older and their appreciation for it will change.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Clean open and ending animation,Production sketches
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, 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: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Petite Princess Yucie