Dual Vol. #1 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Dual

Dual Vol. #1

By Troy Williams     February 07, 2002
Release Date: September 26, 2000

The Review!
Content: 5.0
Audio: 5.0
Video: 4.99
Packaging: 5.0
Menus: 5.0
Extras: 5.0

Wow. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we are about to add a new member to the
essentials collection.
Remember the quality and care that was meticulously poured into the Lain series? Well, I'm proud to say that Pioneer has indeed done it again. This is a prime example of everything an anime DVD should be.

Dual is an excellent series brought to us by the same folks who brought us Tenchi Muyo. Many characters in the show look very similar to characters in the Tenchi Muyo series, and some character concepts are borrowed heavily from Evangelion (D and Rei Ayanami would make REAL good friends) and Bubblegum Crisis. However, the story is entirely original. There's plenty of comedy to be found along with lots of thrilling mecha action.

'Dual' is a story revolving around Kazuki Yotzuka, a young high-school teenager who is always seeing visions of giant robots fighting in the street. These visions don't come simply as dreams, he sees them as if it's actually happening. He could be sitting in class while out the window he sees two robots battling it out with several stray projectiles heading right for his classroom. Nothing happens, of course, but the students find it pretty funny when he closes his eyes and shields his face from the imaginary attack. During most of his day he usually is writing stories of his visions and posts them online.

Mitsuki Sanada, a very popular (and very attractive) schoolmate, takes interest in Kazuki's stories. She eventually introduces Kazuki to her mad-scientist father who believes that Kazuki's visions are proof that a parallel world exists, and is intent on sending him there to prove himself. How is Kazuki supposed to get back? Simple... Mr. Sanada's parallel would likely have a similar machine to send him back with, right? Wrong. The parallel Mr. Sanada gave up his experiments when he took a Gendo Ikari-ish position of commanding the defense force which controls those robots.

Shortly after Kazuki's arrival in the parallel world, he witnesses a fight between one of these robots and an enemy attacker. The pilot becomes critically injured, and Kazuki makes an effort to rescue her out of the cockpit. While doing so, the robot acknowledges him as it's pilot, in which case he uses the robot to achieve a narrow victory. Much later after he is captured and about to be interrogated by the defense forces a certain someone makes herself known... and a few interesting facts are revealed as to who is capable of piloting those robots.

Technical Details---------------

I found the video quality to be just as much of an eye fest as the Lain series was. Just watch the intro credits once and you'll agree. For the show itself, picture quality was crisp, and sound quality was superb in Japanese and English modes. People with subwoofers, prepare for them to be used. As for the reason why I gave video quality a rating of 4.99 instead of 5.0 was because of one small scene (which isn't any fault of the DVD itself) where the CGI just did not go well with the rest of the show at all. The scene I'm speaking of is the ones where the mecha are being launched. It switches from animation to a CGI shot that looks like something you'd see in 'Reboot'. Blame the show's makers for that. Seems like they still need more work before they can marry animation with CGI.

The casing is the standard black folding case that we've all come to know and love. Included is a large Mitsuki Sanada sticker and an insert which, strangely enough, has a great recipe for Spaghetti and meatballs. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, and the only way I can think that it could be made better is if they used the same glossy inserts that they used for the Trigun covers.

The menus were quick and pleasant to navigate. Everything was functional and meticulously designed. The main menu had cute random quirks such as the main characters on screen blinking, and now and then a flock of doves would fly across the top of the screen while a small panoramic view of the city scrolled slowly along the bottom.

Extra features included a Character Data screen, a 'non-credit' opening intro, and character sketches. A hidden mini-comic can also be found by going to the language selection screen (accessed via the 'Corrective Vision' menu). At the language selection screen, highlight the English subtitles box, then push right, then hit OK/Enter on your remote. A second mini comic can be found by highlighting the subtitles box, push right, push down, then hit OK/Enter.

So, in short, I highly recommend this to you. I loved what little of this show I had initially seen of it at a fansub meet I went to months ago, and now that I own the DVD I was enthralled by the quality and care that this series was treated to. Get it. You will not be disappointed.

Review Equipment
Sony KV-13M40 Television, Sony STR-AV900 Home Theatre System, RCA RC5910P 5-Disc DVD changer, Advent 'Baby Advent II' and Technics SB-CR77 speakers


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