Cromartie High School Vol. #4 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: ¬£19.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cromartie High School

Cromartie High School Vol. #4

By Bryan Morton     April 24, 2007
Release Date: October 16, 2006


Cromartie High School Vol. #4
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
A monumental high school comedy.
Time for the graduate volume of Japan's #1 high school comedy: Cromartie High School! This time, your finals include:
Biology - where the delinquents of CHS bring their own pets to school!
Geography - get lost on the annual high school field trip
Economics - silent Freddie becomes head of a powerful corporation
Lunch - Gorilla serves up sushi
And everyone's favourite subject:
Co-Ed - visit the girls' school of delinquents where the young ladies look strangely... familiar. And, frankly, very unattractive.

Episodes Comprise
21 - A Trip for Heart
22 - You Never Gave Me Your Name
23 - Stone Cold Crazy
24 - Gorilla Suchi
25 - A Hole in Lotta Love
26 - Suda!! Cromartie Girls' High School

The Review!
Cromartie High comes to an end, and if these pupils have learnt anything over the last 26 episodes, I'd be surprised. At least Gorilla looks like he has a career in mind...

Audio:
Audio is provided in English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 versions " I listened to the Japanese track for this review. There were no obvious problems with the track, which makes only limited use of the soundstage, mainly as the material doesn't really lend itself to creative use of positioning. There are one or two scenes where there's some movement around to match on-screen action, but for the most part it's kept simple.

Video:
Video is presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame format. Cromartie uses a very simple animation style " a lot of the time there's very little actually happening on-screen " with plenty of bold colours, which come across very well. There were no apparent problems with the encoding.

Packaging:
I'm reliably informed this volumes cover is another album parody, although for once I didn't catch the reference. I can't say the Cromartie gang manage to look overly Presidential, either. The back cover has the usual screenshots, technical information and promotional blurb, while another 8-page booklet of background information and cultural notes is included in the case.

Menu:
Possibly the simplest menu I've seen in a while, the main screen has just a slightly smashed-up desk with the spray-painted outlines of the Pootan characters behind it. Direct access is provided to the episodes, and there are submenus for language setup and extras. With no animation of any sort to slow things down, they're very quick and easy to use.

Extras:
The usual suspects appear here - clean versions of the opening and closing credits (several different versions of the ending), two of the original Japanese "please sit back from the screen" warnings (each done in a typically Cromartie style), and an extensive set of cultural notes explaining some of the show's more obscure references. Very useful.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Six more episodes of Cromartie High School provide more of the same, really, as the delinquents continue their usual philosophical discussions and probably never even think of getting down to the important business of studying.

Takenouchi returns from his unplanned trip to the US, just in time to join the class on their latest out-of-town venture (just what his travel-sickness needs), Hokuto's Lackey causes confusion when he announces he's leaving the Hokuto Corps " what's everyone going to call him now that they can't use "Hokuto's Lackey" anymore!? " Kamiyama ponders just what it is that makes someone seem like a hard man, Gorilla gets into the sushi business, bring-your-pet-to-school day results in predictable chaos, and we pay a decidedly scary visit to Cromartie Girls' High School.

Mechazawa fans will feel a little short-changed here are the metallic one doesn't make any substantial appearances here, but apart from that the usual suspects all get an outing and one last chance to prove just how daft they can be. Bizarrely, perhaps, Gorilla looks like being the student most likely to earn a living after graduation, thanks to his new-found skills in sushi-making and resolving family differences, although I'm with Yamaguchi when it comes to his reaction to seeing a hairy primate making his lunch. It probably wouldn't do great things for the appetite.

The highlight of the disc is the Girls' High episode, which takes the guys and puts them in uniforms that are scarily similar to those from Maria-sama ga Miteru. The story itself is pretty much a rerun of episode 1, just with female characters. As a short it works really well, but it's probably a good thing that they didn't drag the gag out too far.

Otherwise, the episodes here are pretty much as you'd expect " Cromartie settled into its routine very early on, and hasn't really tried to go off on a tangent or do anything different since then. With each episode being so similar in tone, this isn't a show you'd want to marathon " even doing a single disc in one sitting can be a bit of a stretch sometimes " but if you can appreciate the show's sense of humour, there's plenty to like.

In summary:
All the stories here play to the same off-beat sense of humour that has set Cromartie High School apart from the high-school comedy crowd, so if the previous volumes have worked for you, this disc will be equally enjoyable. If they wound you up the wrong way, then stay away. The series doesn't end on anything spectacular, just another run of episodes in the same comic vein as the rest of the series, but what Cromartie does, it does quite well.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,Cultural Notes and Comments,Clean Opening & Closing Animations,Original Japanese TV Warnings,Production Booklet

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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