Princess Nine Vol. #3 (Mania.com)
By:Abraham Chinchilla Jr.
Review Date: Friday, May 31, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Bringing viewers to the middle of the show, ADV has put together a pretty good disc this time around. And the Kisaragi girls play their first game!
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.
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.
Taking a break from Ryo, this cover features Izumi, in her Tennis outfit, holding a bat, with an orange background, also featuring Izumi. The cover is very good indeed. The back features nude Ryo from the closing sequence with screen captures of the show and a few shots of the DVD menus. A summary, disc info, and credits are also laid out on the back. The insert and disc itself features the cover image as well, and the back of the insert lists episode titles and a listing of ADV previews.
With the same intro, the main menu features the cover image of Izumi. The episodes menu doesn't allow you to select a specific chapter in an episode, it simply takes you to the beginning of one (though there are chapter stops). The extras menu features a nice swim-suit shot of Yoko, and the Languages menu features Kanako. The access times are very good, and so are these menus.
We get a couple more good extras this time around. First is the "History of Baseball in Japan" which is done in text on different menus, and was very interesting to read as well. There are also English and Japanese Voice Actress profiles for the first four players, and their manager, Nene. These profiles featured some spiffy info including past voice credits. Also provided is the Credit-less version of the second Opening, which was a joy, since the credits clutter up too many of the good scenes. There is also a credit-less closing.
Getting to the half-way point, Princess Nine just gets better and better! And for those who waited, yes, they start playing games this time!
(POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING)
Miss Himuro is able to plan a practice game with a Junior High school boys' team. The girls prepare for it, and are surprised when they see Nene in a Baseball uniform. Yep, Nene will be playing with the Kisaragi Nine! As the girls manage to do quite well, it doesn't become enough once the boys' team figures out some of their weak points. Mao is unable to catch many of Ryo's pitches, Yoko isn't doing anything on right field, causing Koharu to leave her center position to try and catch fly balls, and Nene is also unable to catch balls at third base (nor bat), so Kanako (short stop) has to cover for her.
At one point, the girls manage to pull a Triple Play (with a surprise out by Nene), but the game is at its last inning and the girls need four runs in order to win, with the bases loaded, the Kisaragi Nine are upset when they find out Nene is next to bat! Not only that she can't bat, but now her hands are too exhausted (from catching a ball!) to even hold the bat. But, the team is in for a big surprise when an unexpected team mate arrives.
With Izumi now on their team, the girls are now a complete team. But, Izumi decides to get rid of some of the things that may get in their way. Mao knows exactly who Izumi is talking about, and gets depressed about it. Izumi makes a challenge for Mao, she must catch at least one of Ryo's 100 pitches, or she will be off the team.
Miss Himuro also tries to do her best to get the Kisaragi Nine to play against a more advanced team. With a little help, she is able to get a game againt Rinkai High School, who had previously gone to Koshien. As the girls get ready for their first real game, they come to a few problems. But, with the help of Kido's secret plans, the girls manage to get the boys' attention, and keep them from winning. But with the game drawing near to its end, the boys discover what the girls are trying to do, and completely begin to ignore them. The only chance left of the girls being able to win is if Ryo can learn her father's "Lightning Ball"!
As the disc ends with a horrible cliff-hanger, I'm just dying to see the next disc for the series. I can only expect for the series to continue to be excellent.
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: 13 & 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