DNAngel Vol. #6 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • 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: DNAngel

DNAngel Vol. #6

By Christopher Homer     February 21, 2008
Release Date: June 19, 2006

DNAngel Vol. #6
© ADV Films UK

What They Say
A tragic love lost in time has Daisuke under its spell! The mysterious Second Hand of Time has suspended time for the lovely Freedert, who awaits the return of her knight in shining armor, Elliot. Still, all good things must come to an end and this idyllic world is fading away and only Daisuke can save it. But separate from Dark, who will save Daisuke? And what of Krad and Satoshi?

The Review!
We lose an episode, but fortunately none of the drama or quality. And Riku bickering with Dark never gets old.

Due to the commentary track on this volume, for this review I listened to the volume in English. There were no noticeable distortions in quality of sound when switching from English to Japanese, with the 5.1 track being noticeably quite clear on my speakers. Everything is clear on the stereo side in Japanese as well and came through cleanly with no problems upon viewing.

Again, the video quality is near perfect – the affect of 3D/CG doesn’t work in several other anime that I could mention, however in DN Angel it’s spot on perfect and the transition works perfectly. There were no cuts and with the wide screen it gives you a true movie experience. Several scenes involving the 2nd Hand Of Time show how well the effects mingle with the 2D Animation and just how a flawless transfer this is. The colours look really good here and no glitches found, making the show seem completely serene and just stunning to look at. No problems whatsoever.

The front cover is a shot of Dark himself, which is good as after the last volume he hardly got a look in and he returns with a vengeance – the cover is him in his bad boy glory, winking with his bare chest out as his black wings cover most of the background. The back has a few screenshots of the episodes with the DVD Extras showing clearly underneath with the summary also easily visible. On the inside, it repeats the back cover on the left exactly whilst on the right side we get a nice shot of the 2nd Hand Of Time in her human form along the background usually present in the DN Angel boxes of character shots on a grey background. Again, it’s quite plain regarding the backgrounds and no insert sheets (and the repeat of the back on the inside cover feels a bit unnecessary) but the shots of Dark and the 2nd Hand are very eye-catching.

The menu is presented neatly with the opening theme True Light in the background as black feathers surround Dark as he’s shown on the front of the disc. The menu itself is quite simple for scene selection, languages and special features. Selecting languages or extras presents you with a beautiful piano or acoustic version of True Light, which is almost a shame that the loop has to cut it and repeat it – the extras also has the same picture of the 2nd Hand of Time in human form as the box, which was a bit of a shame considering they had the Mio pictures in Volume 6 when Satoshi had the cover. The disc had no problems switching languages or on the last episode, to switch to the audio commentary as well.

The extras for DN Angel volume 5 continue to be very good indeed. Along with the usual clean opening and ending animation, there is something for both dub and sub fans to enjoy.

For dub fans, there is a commentary track for episode 23 involving Kira Vincent-Davis (Saehara), John Swasey (Daiki), Christine Auten (2nd Hand of Time) and Sasha Paysinger (Freedert). Whilst on the last commentary we got a good look into the series with David and Mariela along with a bit of comic goodness, here we have the 4 of them being minor characters simply having a joke around – it’s not informative about the show, but it’s very silly as John refers to this as slave labour, we get to learn about some of the other work that the actors do, such as Sasha being a flight attendant, some of their other roles they’ve done including their first roles, how they spent New Years 2005, and why John does like playing Daiki due to the fact you rarely see his mouth moving.

On the Japanese side, we get another DN Angel Talk, again with the Japanese voice of Daisuke Miyu Irino and the songwriter of much of DN Angel’s music including the opening Shunichi Miyamoto. This time however, it’s a lot more informal and nothing regarding the show, rather discussion about themselves, like their nicknames, hobbies and even a bit of comedy as they try to not cause a penalty game by being too polite – they both failed once…

There is also the second part to the 3D Scene Production – again, it showcases how various scenes are made and gives examples of both this volume (the Wedge of Time), previous volumes (the windmills during Krad/Dark battle) and a minor spoiler for a future volume. Interestingly, it also shows how they originally show the characters during the creations of the scenes, and let’s just say that a little bit of censorship is needed…

Lastly, we have another musical extra, this DN Angel Unplugged focusing on Miyamoto peforming the piano only version of True Light, the opening theme song with production of him working on it without sound shown during the song.

Basically, there is a large varied amount of extras, with something for everyone, it’s all both informative and amusing, and up to date DN Angel hasn’t let me down with the extras side. Very good stuff.

As mentioned, this disc drops to 3 episodes and after the cliffhanger of Mio’s vanishing last volume you wonder how everything is going to shape up as the series gets to it’s conclusion.

Depending on whether you like Mio or not, it barely mentions her sadly (or not) aside from Saehara missing his true love – it’s a bit of a surprise starting with comedy as the class prepares for their production of their play, with Risa joking about the Satoshi/Daisuke relationship – however Daisuke is feeling under the weather and in his dreams, he sees an unusual girl. Right on cue, Satoshi makes his presence known (much to Emiko’s annoyance) and it’s a nice sight to see Satoshi now genuinely caring for Daisuke as well as trying to help him (though again, their relationship on the shounen-ai level is added to humour when Riku drops in). However, suddenly a mysterious entity called the 2nd Hand Of Time is shown which an unusual power which seems to hypnotise Daisuke and drags him to a building. Satoshi tries to help but can’t as the 2nd Hand of Time reveals to be the same unusual girl in Daisuke’s dreams, and even more remarkably, is able to separate Dark and Daisuke from each other, and drag the young boy into her world. It turns out the link between the two worlds is in fact Daisuke’s snow painting he made which Riku has. So to help him, Dark decides to pay the Harada’s a visit to steal another art form…

…needless to say, Riku is not too happy which leads to Dark, Riku and Risa be transported into this world which resembles Daisuke’s painting. It leads to some great Riku/Dark banter as well as some nice moments with Risa as her developing as a character continues from spoiled girl into growing adult. It appears the 2nd Hand Of Time is blocking out Daisuke’s memories – whilst the humour is still there courtesy of Dark and Riku, Dark’s plan to find Daisuke is successful and he’s able to snap him out of his hypnotic state. As Dark plans his escape with Daisuke and the girls however, Daisuke decides to remain behind…

…the plot of the story comes into the final episode as the story of Ice and Snow is discovered and the true story behind it. Daisuke meets Freedert, the heroine of the book and the true Freedert as the 2nd Hand Of Time was masquerading as her, she (and Kosuke back in the real world) explain the true story of Ice and Snow, really called Ice and Dark. She tells to the tragedy involving her two friends Elliot and Kyle, that Freedert and Elliot were lovers, but Kyle was jealous of his best friend. When taking a sword given to him by Freedert, Kyle wishes upon the 2nd Hand Of Time for Elliot to lose his life, which is definitely not how Ice and Snow tells the story. The story of Freedert giving her life to save Elliot is true as is Elliot wishing to reunite himself with his beloved, but it’s a lot more tragic as Dark plans to break the curse of the 2nd Hand of Time. Satoshi makes his presence known in trying to save Daisuke with Dark’s help, however just as they are able to break the Wedge of Time, Krad emerges…

This volume has some wondrous animation which has to be seen to be believed. Mostly the animated forms of the Wedge/2nd Hand of Time, but just some of the simple backgrounds such as the snow painting world they are walking on shows the beauty of the animation. There are a few quibbles I had with the story – firstly considering Mio’s dramatic end last volume, she is barely mentioned aside from asides from Saehara, Daisuke and the remains of a crushed doll in Mr. Hiwatari’s hands – it was like her role was quickly discarded and they moved onto the next part. Also, whilst the plot is linked with the play the class is doing, it did feel episodic, almost filler like until the final episode when Krad emerged and the connection between Freedert and the 2nd Hand of Time was revealed. However, with Dark and Satoshi back in focus, the drama returns and whilst the focus of romance isn’t as much compared to the last volume, there are some sweet moments between Riku and Daisuke (or Daisuke and Satoshi if you prefer) and the development of Risa is a great thing considering I wasn’t a huge fan of her at the beginning of the series.

And anytime Riku and Dark are on screen together it’s comedy gold. Their faces alone make the episodes worth a good rewatch.

Whilst the loss of an episode is a shame and the focus of the show didn’t really reflect the development at the end of the previous volume, D N Angel showed that they can continue the story along and bring a combination of romance, action, drama and comedy into one. Whilst this volume felt episodic and a little bit disappointing, the end of the volume brought it back and eagerly awaiting the final 3 episodes. It’s been a while since Dark and Satoshi have been focused upon and as the true fate and curse of the Hikari family is being revealed and Krad returning after a while, it’s going to be a heck of a ride as we roll into the sunset – add some decent character development for Risa and Daisuke, the addition of a new plot and characters didn’t seem overdone and is setting up for a finale for things to come. Definitely recommended.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening Animation,Clean Closing Animation,Staff Commentary with Kira Vincent Davis (Saehara) John Swasey (Daiki) Christine Auten (2nd Hand Of Time) and Sasha Paysinger (Freedert),D N Angel Talk 4 with Miyu Irino (Japanese Seiyuu of Daisuke) and Shunichi Miyamoto (Songwriter of True Light: D N Angel opening),3D Scene Production: Part 2,D N Angel Unplugged: White Night, True Light

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37C3030 - 37" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV – Tangent Ht-50 Home Theatre System Multi-Regional DVD Players/Speakers – Tangent Subwoofer 50-150 Hz, Impedenced 8 OHM.


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