DNA2 Vol. #5: Epiphany - Mania.com



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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: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: DNA2

DNA2 Vol. #5: Epiphany

By Chris Beveridge     October 16, 2003
Release Date: October 14, 2003


DNA2 Vol. #5: Epiphany
© Central Park Media


What They Say
From the creator of Video Girl Ai and the main staff of Geobreeders, comes a romantic sci-fi comedy for all times! Is this the end of the
mega-playboy? Junta's teenage great-granddaughter Lulara appears from the future, but not for a joyful family reunion. To save her own life and the future of all her kin, she's determined to transform Junta into the Mega-Playboy for good. His one chance for survival may be to destroy his flirtatious alter ego...but if he succeeds, his great-granddaughter might disappear forever! Contains episodes 13-15.

The Review!
After the TV series ended, a three-part OVA series was commissioned to wrap things up and provide something rare for anime – closure!

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 the OVAs is essentially the same as the TV series itself. 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:
For the final volume of the series, things go bright with the new character Lulara taking over and showing off a nice skintight outfit. The back cover continues with the format established with earlier volumes 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 standard 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 included extras are fairly minimal, with a fifty second art gallery that’s essentially shots from the show itself and the karaoke songs. The karaoke songs are nicely done in that there’s an actual karaoke moment in these episodes so they use that as a prequel to it before going into the actual songs from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the end of the TV series, things got wrapped up in its own way but with the knowledge that the series actually continues on a bit. With the OVA series, the show plays it cute in bringing Karin back into the picture and providing the actual reasons behind most of the plot of the TV series itself.

Just as Junta and Ami are ready to really tell each other about their feelings for the other, Karin’s time ship drops back in on the present and she’s all bubbly as she explains that she’s been sent back to make some follow-up reports about the status of Junta’s DNA and to ensure that he’s free of the MegaPlayboy. You get the feeling there’s a bit more, especially since Karin is still hot for Junta even though she fights it somewhat, but they do provide a reasonable plot device for bringing her back.

This time, she’s not the only one to come back. After settling into a routine a bit and shacking up with Junta, carousing with his friends and mother and drinking much while doing the karaoke, another time ship drops into the present. Before Karin’s ship can really determine anything about it, the two passengers inside exit it and send it back to the future, essentially leaving them stranded. The two of them have plans though, and the first is going to get Ryuuji out of the hospital.

Ryuuji’s really out of it after all of his experiences from the DCM bullet, but the strangers here use a device that turns him cold and emotionless, letting him be controlled and ordered about easily. After breaking free, he provides something of a bodyguard status for the male of the two strangers as they go off to Karin’s time ship to implement the plans while the young female heads off to take care of Junta.

What we learn is that the man, Mori, decided in the future to take advantage of the megaplayboy situation by creating his own DCM bullet that would allow something of a genetic code be written into Junta’s body and that of his descendants that would allow him to control them as he saw fit. With twelve thousand relatives running around a hundred years from now, that would give him quite the power base with which to work – one that’s continually expanding.

The young woman is actually Junta’s great granddaughter, and she’s come, under the control of Mori, to be the one to shoot Junta with the right DCM bullet since Karin failed and ended up shooting Ryuji with it instead. This starts bringing in more clarity to parts of the TV series itself and does a rather nice job of wrapping things all together and actually making some sense of it all. Though it doesn’t impact the TV series in a way that distorts what happens, it complements it nicely. Even better, the show ends with some actual closure. Or at least as much as one can really have in anime.

After hearing about this show over the years and the amount of time it was believed that it would never be seen, it’s been great to finally get a look at it and to see more of Katsura’s material animated. While it doesn’t reach the level of something like Video Girl Ai for me, it’s definitely got similarities to it and his style is one that really stands out. This is definitely a keeper.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art & Sketch Gallery,Karaoke Songs

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP 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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