Divergence Eve Misaki Chronicles Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: TV 14
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Divergence Eve

Divergence Eve Misaki Chronicles Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     April 24, 2006
Release Date: May 02, 2006


Divergence Eve Misaki Chronicles Vol. #3
© ADV Films


What They Say
Deep in the quantum core, a tearful reunion provides Misaki with the answers she has been seeking all her life. Unfortunately, the path through which Misaki arrived at her goal has left LeBlanc a means to take complete control of Watcher's Nest and its Residential Ring. In a bold move, Lieutenant Commander Lyar von Ertiana severs all links across the temporal barrier to prevent this takeover. But the Ghoul have already breached the wall holding them back and begun pouring into the universe at an astonishing rate. The pilots of Seraphim must collapse the Inflation Hole to halt the invasion, even if it costs them their ticket home...and their connection to Misaki. The trickling tributaries of time converge into a roaring river as Misaki and her friends engage the enemy head-on in the electrifying final battle of Misaki Chronicles!

The Review!
As convoluted and twisted as it gets sometimes, the Misaki Chronicles comes to a close with echoes of Gunbuster to it.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series has a fairly standard stereo mix to it that does have some rather good directionality during a number of scenes, particularly the exterior ones inside the armor suits. With the characters, it's a fairly decent dialogue show and there is a lot going on but it's never excessively going to one side or the other though it does shift from time to time. Overall, the dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we haven't had any trouble with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either language track.

Video:
Originally airing back in 2004, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. In watching the five episodes on this volume, I'm hard pressed to find anything to complain or nitpick about. With such bright colors, solid areas and great looking computer animation mixed in, the transfer is essentially flawless here. Colors are solid without any noticeable blocking, cross coloration is non-existent and color gradient issues simply aren't here. Add in a lack of grain or aliasing and this is just a beautifully detailed transfer.

Packaging:
The final cover for the series brings all the women back together in their full dress uniforms with the variety in color and design that helped to really draw the eye and showcase some really vibrant pieces. Everyone looks great here in their prime with mostly smiles and full poses for most of them. The back cover provides a few shots from the show alongside a summary of the premise as well as a listing of the extras which all works well and doesn't crowd each other not provide more than is really necessary. The bottom half is filled out with the production credits and technical grid and contains all the useful information in very easy to find format. The cover for this release isn't reversible but the other side is taken advantage of through the clear keepcase with an illustration of Misaki, Kotoko and Lyar in some of the more creative bathing suits I think you'll see. It's a great looking lengthwise shot that's perfect for ending things here.

Menu:
The menu layout is well done here as it continues the same kind of font as the previous season and uses a grid style faded in background that lets the character artwork of Susanna and Kiri in the foreground really stand out with its colors and shading. The layout itself is fine and navigation is easy and the colors work out nicely compared to the previous volume. Access times are nice and fast and the disc correctly read our players' language presets without issue and played accordingly.

Extras:
The basics are included here such as the clean opening and closing sequences and a new round of production sketches. Another neat but somewhat awkward inclusion is the mini-manga for the show; it's done with the pages as their own screens and translations to the left but it is unfortunate it couldn't be printed.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the end of this series, taken in context with the original series as well, the full twenty six episode run manages to be one of the more intriguing, complex and convoluted hard science fiction tales to be done in anime in quite some time " especially with breasts this size. But as we've said throughout practically every review, the physical nature of the girls is something that rarely comes into play and is for the most part relegated to all of the marketing and promotional side of the series. And if that's what it took to get it made then I've got no complaints.

The Misaki Chronicles series has been an interesting look at the original series as we've seen the split aspects of Misaki searching through the multiverse for a world where there's no pain or sorrow in her family's life and that of her friends so she could call it home. But such things are just a constant in every universe in some form or another that she's had no luck as we've seen play out to date. This volume goes back to telling the true tales as LeBlanc calls it at one point and we see how the Misaki-prime's origins came about. An entire episode, though told in shifting times, covers the meeting of her parents, their romance and how they went about the goals in life that they had. It's late in the game to be seeing it but it unearths some fascinating new bits of information about the larger program that's been going on, engineered by the folks at Alchemy. The nature of Misaki and her father is radically changed but what they've done hasn't changed.

Misaki's being able to finally understand what they went through and suffered with each other for, as well as revisiting all the good times, has finally opened her eyes to the reality of all the universes and given her a sense of closure that she's needed that will allow her, along with the help of Lyar, Kiri and Suzanna to be able to stop LeBlanc from his own goals which are apparently far different than what Alchemy had in mind. Though it's not covered beyond a few words here and there and hinted through some visuals, his oedipal complex is fueling his desire to take the universe to a null state as we've seen in past episodes where he's intending to use the Inflation Points to allow the Ghoul to invade everywhere and destroy it all. The motivations are simple if relatively unexplained but seeing how he's been working through it without anyone knowing makes up some interesting moments in this volume.

What becomes important as these final episodes play out among those that are left that are able to stop LeBlanc is how their friendships have grown over the course of the show, how close they are to each other now while still serving in a military outfit. The importance of the bonds that have been created has been evident along the way, particularly with Lyar having gone to so much trouble dipping into the timestream to find Misaki. Where it all starts to get confusing is in how they continually jump back and forth along the timeline, often without actually dating it in this series unlike the first, which makes you wonder which piece of reality we're dealing with. This set of episodes also brings to light some revelations about what the entire Nest has been undergoing all this time.

In Summary:
Misaki Chronicles doesn't shy away from hard choices that the characters have to make just like they did the first time around in Divergence Eve. It doesn't shy away from the interesting science fiction concepts that are often kept out of other shows, for what little science fiction really gets made these days as opposed to harem shows set in space. The series avoided romantic relationships in general and other than Misaki's father even avoided having any real sense of a male character that could be considered strong. LeBlanc spent most of this series off-screen or in monitor so it's hard to even call him human at times. They also decided to really show a well done epilogue in how it deals with the consequences of fixing everything in the long term by bringing in more theoretical physics and possibilities which was quite reminiscent in ways of Gunbuster, a piece of praise that I really try to not use often. In the end, Misaki Chronicles is a hugely satisfying series that you have to work to enjoy but the payoff is fantastic. If you've passed this over because of the big boobs, you've fell prey to the oldest cliché in the book by judging it by its covers and not its content.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Misaki Chronicles Mini-Manga,Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation,Production Sketches

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Toshiba HD-A1 Progressive Scan HD DVD player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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