Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 39.99
- Running time: 300
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Don't Leave Me Alone, Daisy
Don't Leave Me Alone, Daisy
By Chris Beveridge
December 05, 2000
Release Date: December 05, 2000
Don't Leave Me Alone, Daisy
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
Surrounded only by his inventions, Techno doesn't really interact with other people much. However, one day, a girl attempts to "break into" his fortress. This hapless passerby, a girl named Hitomi, becomes the object of his affection. Techno decides to name her "Daisy" and begins planning to make her his, but can Annie and Yamakawa X protect Hitomi or will the science nerd Techno win Hitomi's heart? "Don't Leave Me Alone Daisy" promises outrageous adventures and non-stop laughs. All 13 episodes in one 2-disc set!The Review!
In yet another of the more bang for your buck releases, Don't Leave Me Alone, Daisy contains the entire 12 episode series that was based off of a manga series of the same name by Noriko Nagano. Due to it's very limited appeal here in the U.S., the series never received a dub and so is presented here in its original language and without any credit changes at all. Audio:
The Japanese language track was a straightforward stereo mix, with the majority of it being dialogue based. The center channel certainly got a workout with the number of lines spoken in this show while our left/right speakers cranked out the great sounding punkish intro musical number. Throughout the show we had no audio dropouts or distortions.Video:
With six episodes to a disc, there's usually always some concern as to how the quality of the video will come out. I believe it originally came out on TV back in 1995, and being a twelve episode series the animation isn't top notch to begin with, but this is yet another flawless looking transfer. The show has a number of scenes that vary from sharp to soft, vibrant colors to an almost washed out look, and they're all recreated here right on the money. Even the usually troublesome nighttime sky scenes looked solid. Definitely some good looking material here.Packaging:
Other than this being packaged in an double Amaray (boo, and yes, I don't blame Bandai for it) this is a nice looking little package. The front cover has the entire main cast and looks pretty bright/happy and catchy. The only thing really missing from it is a big sticker on the shrink-wrap that pushes just how chock full of anime this thing is. 300 minutes is nothing to sneeze at. The back cover gives a few small shots of animation as well as some of the main cast and creative team. The insert folds out into a listing of all the episodes on each disc with titles and the full cast translation and the majority of the main crew, as the video side of things don't provide an end-credit translation.Menus:
The menus are pretty simple and static, though they work with great speed. About the only trouble we had was moving around the episode selection from one episode to the next, as the second episode on each screen was on the left, moving down didn't move us there but rather to the third episode. This is why I usually play the entire disc straight though.Extras:
No extras at all. Zip.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
On the back cover it states as the header, "Love is Strange". While indeed it can be, it can also be substituted with "This show is strange". Sometimes cute, sometimes bizarre and to some people, offensive. Though not too many people have probably seen this show, those who saw it when originally released on VHS here found it to be pretty darn offensive to their sensibilities. The majority of the reviews tended to classify it as one of the worst things out there.
The show revolves around teenager Reijiro Techno and his obsession with fellow classmate Hitomi. For most of his life, Techno has been kept locked in his grandfathers underground nuclear shelter, away from interacting with other people. The grandfather is one of those Armageddon fearing types, and with such a destructive child as Techno was, decided the best thing was to keep him secured away from people. The less damage, the more time for his own experiments.
This all changes though when Hitomi's hat blows into Techno's yard. His cameras pick it all up, and he's fallen instantly in love. Everything in his life has led up to her and he's going to make her his. For most people, this isn't a bad premise of the show, if somewhat of an overdone idea. The part that bothers people is the length that he goes into to make her his.
He rejoins society and starts attending school so he can be with Hitomi. Well, he doesn't really rejoin society so much as tries to make his reality the dominating one. He views himself as the center of it all, and everything as an enemy or roadblock to true love with Hitomi. And having spent his life to date dedicated to creating advanced technological devices, he has some pretty strong ways of making his reality the forefront.
Hitomi doesn't take well to all of this. She doesn't quite understand it all, tends to be the typical presentation of a Japanese woman and ends up for the most part barely protesting Techno's advances. She does make her voice known on occasion, but as the series progresses, her own views of Techno begins to change and she sees just what kind of normal may he may very well become.
There's a pretty good secondary cast in this show. The buxom and scantily clad new teacher, Ms. Rarako is eternally confused in what she's doing since it's her first teaching assignment and tries to make everyone happy (including signing off on a bill of ownership for Hitomi to Techno). She shows up at the oddest times and often in the strangest outfits for the occasion. In the end, she's practically no help outside of comedic relief and fan service.
Stealing the show at times is Yamakawa X. This rebel without a clue does his best to be on the outside of school society yet all the while just wanting friends. His long walks, when the camera catches him, result in some humorous confessions to the audience, only to have his family members come running after him demanding he conform to the rules of society. Techno for some reason finds Yamakawa to be a threat to his relationship with Hitomi and strikes up an odd friendship with him. Well, if you consider being stranded in Siberia something a friend would do that is.
One character that I've noticed people find really interesting is the school senior named Anii Noe. She starts off with keeping an eye on Techno and trying to minimalize the damage he causes in his quest for Hitomi and ends up with one of the most convoluted stories within the series. What she starts out as in no way is similar to what she ends up as.
So where does the show bother a lot of people? The lengths Techno goes to. He often completely ignores Hitomi's denials and non-interest. He starts off with writing his name on her blouse, thereby claiming her. He renames her to Daisy (which supposedly is what Hitomi means, but not in my dictionary) and calls her only that. He insists that they'll be together forever. One sequence has him placing huge cuffs of some kind on her hands and feet, giving him control over her movement. Later he places a necklace on her that keeps anyone but him fron touching her. There's even a sequence with the two of them attending a fireworks festival where he has her on a leash.
Suffice to say, you can see where a lot of women would not care for it at all. Being different, my wife found it to be a pretty cute story overall. Neither of us found anything to be really bad, though a few things such as the leash really did seem to be pushing it. A lot of it will depend on your sensibilities and what you find to be uncomfortable to watch. Though many will focus on the stalker-like feel of Techno, the gradual and changing feelings of Hitomi throughout the show points to a real relationship forming. Though she does resent what he does to her for a lot of things, she does have a lot of dreams about him and finds a lot to really like about him. When she ends up learning the reasons behind the way he is, she turns to like him even more.
With the wacky humor throughout, much in the Urusei Yatsura style, there was plenty to laugh at. Techno has for pets a couple of missiles, which gives him great mobility. Hitomi's best friends are pretty amusing in how they push the two of them together and keep the relationship alive. The often completely out of the blue nature of a lot of the incidents was a lot of fun and kept things from being predictable in how they'd get resolved.
Don't Leave Me Alone, Daisy certainly isn't for everyone. It's got enough potential to alienate a lot of folks, but those who find it funny will find it extremely funny and love it. We laughed through a lot of it and had a good time.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.