Princess Nine Vol. #4 (Mania.com)
By:Abraham Chinchilla Jr.
Review Date: Friday, May 31, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Finally getting volume four, this disc brings both laughs and tears as Princess Nine continues to be one of my favorite anime series.
While both the English and Japanese audio tracks are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, they both sound very nice. The show has a great soundtrack, and this disc really let's the music stand out greatly. Voices, in both languages, also stand out nicely as well. I didn't notice any disortions or drop-outs. A note on the subtitles, the first three discs had three subtitle tracks: English, Signs & Lyrics, and Signs Only. Now there are only two (English, Signs & Lyrics).
The video quality is still good. M.O.F.C. is a pretty good authoring house. The only things you could nitpick is the slight artifacting in darker colors, and the jaggling that occurs in panning scenes. Other than those two things, the video is just really nice.
The cover image features Ryo and Izumi, with Seira getting a place at the top left corner on a blue-ish sky background. The back features a wacky image of Hikaru with a few screen captures and a few shots of the DVD menus. A summary, disc info, and credits are also laid onto the back. The insert and the disc itself feature the same cover image, and the back of the insert lists episode titles and a listing of ADV previews. A note, the first three discs were packaged in black Scanavos, now it seems a new case is being used, which I haven't found it's manufacturor name anywhere on the case, I will say that it's quite easy to pop the disc out.
Starting again with the animated intro, the main menu features the cover image. The episodes menu doesn't allow you to access certain chapters, you are only able to be taken to the beginning of the episode (chapter skip works on the episodes, as they are still cut into five chapters). The extras menu features Yuki, and the languages menu features Mao. Access times are good, and ADV manages to continue to make great Baseball-themed menus.
On this disc, English and Japanese Voice Actor profiles for the last five players, which provide great information, including past voice creditds.Credit-less versions of the second Opening and the Closing are also here.
But the big reason why I gave the Extras an "A+" grading is because of the "Karaoke with Princess Nine" extra. The opening song, "Princess Nine", and the closing song, "Passionate Days", are featured here... IN THEIR FULL VERSIONS! Two tracks are available: Vocals and Non-Vocals (Karaoke). The video has hard subs for the songs, which isn't a bad thing, since they did a spiffy thing, as the Romaji lyrics (if you're singing along or have the karaoke track on) have a Baseball floating over the words, bouncing on all of the words. Really nice.
As I've said, this disc will bring laughs and tears, mostly laughs though. Princess Nine is now one of my favorite anime series!
(POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING)
The game against Rinkai continues, as Ryo tries her best not to let her teammates down, but as it comes to their last inning, their only hope of winning is if Ryo can learn how to throw the "Lightning Ball". As the game ends, Ryo succeds in learning the "Lightning Ball", and the Kisaragi Nine wins the game.
But, the Parents Association is trying to stop the team, and Kanako is quickly pulled from the team by her father when he finds out who she was pretending to be, and Yoko has been scouted, and later begins to forget about the team and their practices. Things become worst when an old story is brought up. It seems Ryo's father was part of a game-fixing scandal. The rumors about this drives Ryo to the point where she can't take it anymore, and she quits Baseball and runs away.
She meets a man who owns an orphanage who knew her father. The man helps Ryo decide that the rumors of the scandal aren't true. Fortunatly, she tells everyone where she is and Hiroki goes to pick her up. Hiroki also gives Izumi the address, just in case she's "walking near by". Unfortunatly, there is a big rain storm, and Ryo has two save two young orphans who are stuck on a small piece of land, surrounded by a flood of rain. At the bar, where the girls had been helping out Ryo's mother, Yuki is told by Fifi that something bad was going to happen.
Thankfully, Ryo was able to save the kids, but she passed out, and is taken to a hospital. Hiroki gets to the orphanage and he is told that Ryo is at the hospital, so he went to it. Hiroki sees Ryo at the hospital and calls Kido and Ryo's mother to let them know. They leave along with Miss Himuro to the hospital. The girls decide to go too, and when they all arrive there, they wonder where Izumi is. Izumi, surprisingly, is at a movie, thinking to herself what a loser Ryo is, but then she snaps after a while and rushes as quick as she can to the ophanage that Hiroki gave her the address to. She was horrified to find out Ryo was at the hospital and rushes over there.
Still in critical condition, Ryo begins to have visions of her father, and she is able to speak to him. They have a conversation, and Ryo's father tells her that the scandal isn't true. Ryo then hears another voice calling, and begins to hear the voices of all her friends and teammates. Will she be able to recover?
By the end of the disc, I started to cry because it was such a good story, and that is was very sad too. But now I just gotta get volume 5! The two-month wait is killing me!
Philco 21" TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: A+
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: Princess Nine