DNA2 Vol. #3: Mutation - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: DNA2

DNA2 Vol. #3: Mutation

By Chris Beveridge     June 12, 2003
Release Date: June 10, 2003


DNA2 Vol. #3: Mutation
© Central Park Media


What They Say
Beautiful but bungling time traveler Karin Aoi accidentally transforms a high school loser into the super-charming Mega-Playboy, with disastrous results. The Mega-Playboy wreaks havoc throughout the school, wooing every female in his path. Worse, Karin finds herself falling for her own flirtatious creation. If she cures him, she’ll lose the only man she’s ever loved, but if she doesn’t, the Mega-Playboy will break the heart of every girl on Earth! Contains episodes 7-9.

The Review!
Junta continues to hurl and Kotomi continues to let the farts fly as we explore another three episodes of DNA 2.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese and then a few episodes dubbed while writing the review. The show is very much center channel based with all of its dialogue and a good amount of the music and ambient effects. Dialogue on both tracks is nice and clear and we noticed no dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
The transfer for this series looks good so far, though there’s some minor mars throughout it. The main thing that crops up throughout the print is some basic damage in the form of nicks and scratches as well as a bit of dust and dirt here and there. There’s nothing hugely distracting unless these things really attract your eye. Aliasing and cross coloration are very minimal and won’t even register to most people likely. Colors look good, though the show is intentionally soft in areas, giving the colors a slightly muted look in certain scenes.

Packaging:
The front cover is a bit weak this time around as the image of Ami just doesn’t look all that right here for some reason. Junta’s in panic mode set off to the side. The cover looks decent, but something just doesn’t click with me. The back cover continues with the format established on the first with several character shots in bubbles and a decent summary of what’s going on here. The discs features and basic technical information is all nice and easily found here. The reverse side of the cover highlights the same back cover artwork but in black and white and bigger while listing the episodes chapters and bilingual voice actor information. The usual basic production information is also found here.

Menu:
The main menu is a nice piece that plays parts of the opening sequence in the background while you have the shows logo and menu selections layered above it, all while the great opening song plays along. Access times to the submenus are a bit slower due to some transitional animations, but there were no issues in navigation. Access times in general are good and the layout is pretty much the typical for a CPM show.

Extras:
The extras continue to be on the light side here. First, there’s a conceptual artwork section done as a video gallery that runs just under a minute. The US trailer is included again as well and there’s a brief single page bio on the manga creator Katsura and other works he’s been involved with.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Getting past the halfway mark with this volume, the three episodes here takes its time in completing an arc and then setting the stage for the second half of the series. Puking and flatulence abound.

Junta and Kotomi turn into something of a rather hot item, at least as seen by everyone else. After her revelations to Junta about her problem, he’s insisted that he’ll help her in any way possible to cure her of her condition. As she can’t perform her rhythmic gymnastics without letting the gas fly, Junta has quite the challenge ahead of him. As we watch him and Kotomi work hard to deal with their respective problems, since she is wearing tight leotards after all, Karin and Ami end up misinterpreting everything that’s going on.

It gets even worse later when Karin spies them together on the floor, Kotomi half undressed and laying on top of Junta, and Junta changing into the Mega-Playboy. Her realizations of failure are strong now, especially once she remembers that failure also means execution. Ami handles it a bit more calmly, but you can see the underpinnings of the relationship she’s not sure she wants starting to become much more obvious. This all leads up to an amusing climax of sorts that sets brings some solid closure to the first half of the series.

The second half definitely looks to be taking an interesting shape as Karin finally receives the right bullet from the dimensional transport chamber of the future and now has the ability to properly fix Junta. Of course, this decision is agonizing for her as she starts to realize she really does have feelings for Junta and knows that he has the same for her. The mission of course comes first and she works hard towards ensuring that the future is safe, but it’s easy to say that if Junta is involved in some way at all, it’s not going to go pretty. That’s pretty much the result here as Karin tries to bring closure to the entire Mega-Playboy problem.

The setup for the second half looks both romantically tragic and uproariously funny as the characters are set to undergo a variety of changes. Though the series has managed to avoid being a one-trick pony with a lead character who pukes a lot, it does more fairly slowly and can keep those with short attention spans some discomfort. But enjoying any form of Katsura’s work on the small screen gets me juiced and DNA2 is now exception. Lots of fun, if flawed at times.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Creator Biography: Masakazu Katsura,Art & Sketch Galleries

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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