Kimagure Orange Road: Summers Beginning (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, February 14, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2001
I watched this DVD, the most anticipated of my collection this year, as a pure Kimagure Orange Road "Otaku".
Obviously therefore in Japanese language with English subtitles.
It was worth the wait for the cover alone. And the menus, insert and disc illustration.
The insert (alternative cover) and first menu have the same picture as on the movie's CD soundtrack cover. The second menu and disc illustration pictures Madoka in her famous orange hat.
Onto the movie:
Chris has already described the plot in his review, so I will just give my impression as a KOR addict.
I was a very happy fan for the saga to have this ending. The first movie was a tear jerker and "Summer's Beginning" had a much happier ending.
The Japanese VA cast was the same (for the main 3 characters anyway). IMO an absolutely essential casting to ensure continuity and revive the feeling of both TV and OVAs, given the time lapse between when both the original storyline ended and release of this second movie.
ADV have rated "New KOR" 15+. Accurate, considering this is a story about 3 young adults, doing what comes naturally (ahem). The audience is young adults upwards.
"Summer's Beginning", has our 3 school/college, mid/late teenagers more or less grown up (older than Buffy!), ten years from when the TV series began.
Critics who dismissed this film as outside the original continuity seem to have conveniently forgotten this.
Because Madoka was the most mature, her personality has changed less than Hikaru's, but fans will notice she is less moody. Hikaru is less inhibited,(& a year younger as well), but she was always an extrovert. Kyosuke, as usual, is in the middle.
Kyosuke's accident induced time travel/paradox had been used as a story plot in at least 2 of the TV episodes. The plot therefore is not totally original, but instead like re-visiting an old friend. This helps the nostalgia appeal, which I have no doubt was the makers'intention.
It was also good to see appearances from the TV series supporting cast, even if only briefly.
I thoroughly enjoyed receiving, savouring and viewing this DVD. Only one negative point. The disc was in a 2 piece hub Amaray case. When it arrived the disc was loose and scratched on the back. One half of the hub had been torn off and was also rattling in the case. Not good.
Case apart then, an excellent product. Overall marking A-. AnimEigo your turn next!
Panasonic TX24-TI 25", Pioneer DV-525 region selectable player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: C
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 16 & 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: Kimagure Orange Road