Virgin Fleet (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, January 09, 2001
Virgin Fleet teaches one harsh lesson in life: don't buy stuff just cause it has "virgin" in the title. You'll only be disappointed that way.
I thought this might be a cute little story when I first read about it. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it would make HyperDoll look like the best anime of the year. Maybe it was just me, but when it says "From the creator of Sakura Wars!" I expected it to mean same creator, different story. As it is, Virgin Fleet is "same creator, same plot, different characters."
There isn't much redeeming about this purchase, in my opinion. The video on it is, in typical CPM "Hey look! We can put a VHS directly onto a DVD!" quality, fairly average, if not below average. The audio is about normal, but the music is pretty low compared to the voice audio level, which may be intended, but I can't figure it out.
The packaging is also typical CPM: clear keepcase. The cover is alright, with Shiokaze on the cover showing off more leg than she shows in the whole 90 minutes. Pretty much a bummer...if there were some fanservice, it might be a redeeming quality. The back cover is, in my opinion, the best quality about it, because there's a VERY cool picture with Shiokaze and Satsuki. Nothing amazing, I just happen to really like the art style used for the pics. Too bad the animation wasn't consistently that style.
Anyways, the menus for Virgin Fleet are also nothing particular to write home about, and the character profile extras are pretty disappointing, since they just show the character and their voice actors (which you can read by opening the DVD case and looking at the credits which were printed there). There are some DVD-ROM extras, supposedly, like wallpapers or something like that, but I haven't had a chance to take a look. Unless they are EXTREMELY incredible, though, they won't float the Extras grade above a C+, so no big deal.
As I said a couple times outside of this review, Virgin Fleet is basically Sakura Wars, but with "spirit energy" replaced by "virgin energy" and most of the charm removed from the characters. I liked Sakura Wars, despite it's being disjointed and at times, really hacked together, because it had cute characters. Virgin Fleet has pretty much no cute characters. Shiokaze is cute sometimes, but doesn't really charm you over the way Sakura did. Oh well.
At any rate, Virgin Fleet is about girls who try to use their "virgin energy" to fight off the bad guys. Again, right out of Sakura, the setting is decades in the past...and the girls trying to get into the Virgin Fleet don't seem to get along. Oooo, imagine it! Well, anyways, this is getting painful writing about it.
Let's just hope it suffices to say that Virgin Fleet isn't in my high-tier of anime DVDs, either for its production value, or the content itself. CPM's Lodoss TV box set had the advantage of characters I liked, and an alright story...despite average video. Virgin Fleet doesn't have any of the above, really, and will likely join Tenamonya Voyagers in the "watched once, never again" pile.
Pioneer Elite 610 HDTV, Pioneer Elite DV-C36 DVD Changer, Pioneer Elite VS-35TX Receiver, Pioneer ISO-drive speaker setup, Monster component cables and digital coax cable
Mania Grade: C-
Audio Rating: B-
Video Rating: C-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Central Park Media
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Virgin Fleet