Pretear Vol. #2 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, September 09, 2004
Release Date: Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Just as Himeno gets into the rhythm of her new responsibilities of being the Prétear, things are about to turn for the worse.
For my primary review, I listened to the Japanese stereo soundtrack. The soundtrack is clear of distortion and makes little use of directionality. I took a quick listen to part of the English soundtrack while writing the review and didn't hear any problem.
The video on Prétear remains top notch, not surprising since it came out in Japan in 2001. There is little cross coloration or aliasing on this digital production. Colors seemed a little muted though, but I have a new video setup from the previous volume.
The front cover features Himeno in her water Prétear outfit, with Mawata, her step sister, reaching out to her, an image which really doesn't make much sense until volume 3. The cover is also very flowery, featuring green flowers. The back cover features a short description of the show, 3 images, episode titles, and a description of the features on the DVD. There is an insert inside that replicates the front cover and back cover information.
The main menu starts with a small animation that loads the menu but after that, all the menus are static. You can choose to start any episode, scene selection, languages, and extras. Menu transitions were quick, and a language indicator was present.
This volume is filled with extras, especially ones geared towards dub fans. There is a clean opening and closing and production sketches. The big extra is a 44 minute feature where David Williams, ADR director for Prétear, interviews four of the male voice actors in the series: Chris Patton, Victor Carstud, Spike Spencer, Greg Ayres. The Suck Bunny makes an appearance in the background. They cover a variety of topics such as their roles in the past, how they got started at ADV, and some Craig Kilborn style 5 questions.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In the second volume of Prétear, the plot moves along. The first episode seems a bit like filler, but Himeno is learning more about being the Prétear.
In episode 5, Smile of Darkness, Himeno begins to have her first encounters with the Princess of Disaster through her dreams. Hayate is spending an inordinate amount of time around Himeno, and also seems like he's stalking her. The demon larva makes a major attack and drains the electric power from the city. The Knights gather on the bridge leading into town, and the Princess of Disaster makes an appearance and drags Hayate away to have a conversation, which leaves Himeno alone to deal with the larva. Luckily the rest of the Knights arrive in time.
Himeno continues training herself in the next episode, The Story of Rouge, by practicing karate in the yard of her new home. She's one tough cookie. In fact, she tries out other tools to improve her skills. Meanwhile, Sasame and Hayate have a conversation in a church, regarding the background of the Princess of Disaster, something they are keeping from Himeno. Himeno, in the meantime, goes around talking to the other Knights trying to understand her purpose as the Prétear and to try to understand the Princess of Disaster herself. Of course, another demon larva appears and everyone gathers again to defeat it.
In Can't Protect Anyone Anymore, Himeno is finally told the truth about the Princess of Disaster; her world is shattered. The truth behind her makes her question being the Prétear, and even causes the Knights to start arguing among themselves. Himeno steps up to the plate and gets everyone to stop arguing, but is she really just hiding all her emotions inside?
The truth behind the Princess of Disaster finally comes out, and things have really begun to change. After some of the light-heartedness of the first volume, this volume really turns up the seriousness. Of course, the comedy is still there, but doubt begins to creep into Himeno. This from a girl who's normally very light hearted. In the background, we have one of Himeno's stepsisters, Mawata, seeming to play a bigger role, but what role will that be? The three episodes on this volume fly by as you are sucked completely into the world of Prétear.
Samsung DVD-HD931 to a Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV via DVI, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: A
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2