Corrector Yui Vol. #1 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Corrector Yui

Corrector Yui Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     January 01, 2004
Release Date: July 01, 2003


Corrector Yui Vol. #1
© Viz Media


What They Say
In the year 2000-something, a massive central network called COMNET links the computers of the world, forming a single global computer system. COMNET, designed to serve the interests of mankind, is managed by the supercomputer, GROSSER. But when GROSSER decides to take over the world, a savior is needed! A computer-illiterate girl named Yui Kasuga happens upon software program IR, which recruits her as savior of COMNET and pulls her into the virtual world inside. There, Yui is given the power to become Corrector Yui so that she can fight against GROSSER and his evil CORRUPTORS.

LET’S GO TO COMNET
In this volume, inside the virtual world for the first time, Yui must face one of GROSSER's henchmen. She must also battle another of GROSSER's minions, this time one who's infecting the e-mail passed between Yui and her friends. And finally, Yui and IR suspect foul play when Chef Kirch, a family friend who can never get his recipes quite right, has to face customers who've turned into ravenous zombies.

The Review!
Kia Asamiya takes another stab at the cyber universe but this time with a cute young girl.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series sports a good stereo mix that has a number of good sequences where there is some solid directionality across the forward soundstage. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback. We listened to the English mix while writing this and had no problems there either.

Video:
Originally airing back in 1999 and running for fifty-two episodes, Corrector Yui’s transfer here looks decent for the most part but does suffer some issues. The most noticeable problem areas are the opening and ending sequences, which has a lot of pixilated cross coloration, partially due to the tight lines in the artwork. I initially thought it was due to the editing of the video to swap out the Japanese credits for English translated ones, but even the textless versions in the extras section exhibit the same amount. In the show itself, things look much better. There’s still some cross coloration scattered throughout and some of the dark blue and black sequences look grainier than they should but avoid being blocky.

Packaging:
Going with the bright and in theme look, the cover here is definitely eye-catching, especially if you have an eye for young girls in colorful outfits. The front cover for the opening volume has a very nice shot of Yui in her Element Suit while IR floats next to her set against the backdrop of the circuit board imagery. The back cover continues the background design and has a premise section for the show and then talks about each of the five episodes, providing the episode number and title as well as several shots from the show itself. The discs features and production information is clearly listed although the extras listed are completely wrong (line art and storyboard galleries are not included and there’s no mention of what’s actually included). The insert provides a chapter listing for all five episodes as well as their titles while the reverse side has several paragraphs of setting information for the series. There’s no real indication of a volume number on this release, but the inclusion of the episode numbers helps to offset that.

Menu:
The main menu is nicely set up with a static background layout of a circuit board with a nice shot of Yui in her element suit. There’s a block where video from the show plays along with music from the series, but it unfortunately also plays some of the dub. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly. Other than the inclusion of the English dub, these are good menus.

Extras:
The extras included with the first volume are pretty much standard of what we like to see, which is a good textless version of the opening and ending sequence. Neither of which contain song subtitles.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Corrector Yui is the kind of show where you can picture Asamiya sitting down at his desk and thinking, let’s take a little of this and a little of that, add in my favorite concepts of cyber space, mix and pour into the children’s timeslot. The result is Corrector Yui.

The series feels like equal parts of Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Saint Tail and Tron all done to a more children oriented mindset. Taking place in the near future where the usual all powerful and all invasive ComNet is the way of life, we meet young Yui. She’s the daughter of a top programmer but has the problem of not being terribly PC friendly. In her first class where she has to set up her PC alongside all the other students, hers is the only one that pretty much looks like it’s about to explode on her. Even the most basic concepts and words fail on her, such as misinterpreting things like “bug” and “buck”, leading to her being generally clueless when people talk anything PC oriented.

Yui’s got something that will change her life though, as during her attempted set up, she ended up copying something to the disc that she takes home for her homework that will change everything. Self-installing there, the form of a robotic raccoon appears on the screen and introduces himself as IR. He lays out the spiel that sets the stage for the story, that Professor Inukai has taken eight programs and spread them across the ComNet. These eight programs, IR included, are needed to fight off the evil program Grosser and his crew of Corrupters that are infiltrating the network in Grosser’s bid for power.

Yui finds that all she has to do is say a phrase out loud and poof, she’s magically inside the cyber universe. In there, IR downloads various Element Suits onto her that can give her the power to fight the Corruptors as they come across her, either as they try to trap and erase her or while they’re trying to track down the missing Corrector programs. Yui, known as Corrector Yui in this form, works with IR and the other programs she eventually finds against the Corruptors and Grosser.

Of course, there’s the array of friends and potential romances in her school, there’s the hunky older bioscientist who lives next door that she’s all dreamy about and then there’s her fun family. It’s all pretty standard fare in that setup, though things move forward surprisingly fast in a few areas, particularly in the friends-romance section during one episode. The first four episodes on this release are nice single stories but the fifth kicks off a multi-part episode that leads into the next volume.

Having read the manga for this series previously, I wasn’t terribly surprised by what I got here. It really does feel like a strong mix of other shows, the wand magic from Sailor Moon, the find/capture aspect of Cardcaptor Sakura in dealing with the eight programs and the oblivious parents and self-contained feel of the early episodes that felt like it came out of Saint Tail. This is the kind of show that in the first episode, you’re able to pick out very quickly which segments are going to be reused in future episodes. The transformations become pretty standard as it goes along, but at least they do shorten them here and there.

The animation for the show is decent but nothing terribly strong. There’s a number of areas where you can see just how many corners they cut in the budget, sometimes so bad that you can just imagine someone’s hand moving a cel across the screen. Add in that most of the outfits are the same from episode to episode and you lose one of the other potential charms that one or two other series used to their advantage.

Viz manages to correct some of the problems I had with their last batch of new titles in late 2002 with this release, giving me more hope for the future. The opening sequence contains only the Japanese translated credits and no mention of the English production crew, as it should be. The end credits provide the Japanese production information and then the English production information including the English cast. What is not good with this release is that the Japanese voice actors are completely absent and the opening and ending songs continue to be unsubtitled. I honestly cannot comprehend this being done anymore. It happens absolutely nowhere else these days and that’s including a number of titles that have opening and ending songs by very high profiles Japanese stars of the day. The lack of translated song lyrics and the lack of Japanese voice credits are two serious blemishes on this release. If it weren’t for that, I would have thought Viz had corrected all of its issues and been very excited about future releases. I’m definitely happier than I was after Project ARMS, but there are still issues to be dealt with.

Corrector Yui isn’t a bad show, but I can’t imagine how they’re going to fill it out to fifty-two episodes without a lot of filler. It’s definitely aimed at younger kids, so I wasn’t surprised when my three year old became very interested while watching it and asking questions. There’s nothing really new here, but I’m curious to see how it’s going to vary from the manga. With a good episode count and a low price, this is definitely an easy pick if you’re a fan. Viz just needs to fix the two blemishes and then all will be good.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Opening,Textless Ending

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic DMR-E20 DVD Recorder, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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