Dual Vol. #4 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • 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. #4

By Chris Beveridge     April 10, 2001
Release Date: April 10, 2001

Dual Vol. #4
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
The barriers separating the parallel worlds are breaking down the existence of both Earths! In theory, the process can be halted by the elimination of elements unique to one of the two Earths, but that means either the alien technology must be destroyed, or Kazuki must die! Episodes 11-14.

The Review!
The final volume of Dual has arrived, bringing this 13 episode series to a conclusion as well as providing the Special File episode 14 that I believe was part of the laserdisc release and not broadcast on TV. After enjoying the earlier volumes, this final volume stacks up pretty well in terms of story and fares better than many other series for a conclusion.

For our primary review, we listened to this disc in its original language, Japanese. Throughout this fairly standard TV series stereo mix, there were a few moments of directionality. The majority of the dialogue of course is through the center channel, but the music and sound effects came across well through the left/right speakers. Dialogue is clean and clear with no noticeable distortion or other problems.

This show continues to look nice and shiny, but maybe just a touch less this time around or I'm just getting used to it. The opening sequence continues to be the shiniest part of the series with a lot of well represented vibrant colors and fluid movements. The transfer is very comparable to previous releases of this series with only one or two areas where some minor grain/fuzziness and pixellation can be scene. Colors are solid throughout and black levels look good in the few areas where you see them. The complete and utter lack of rainbows continues to be a blessing and there's hardly any noticeable line noise.

The final cover for the series is pretty nice, though I had been hoping for a group shot of everyone, but Kazuki with his artifact behind him works pretty well and provides a nice clean looking image. The back cover gives a brief summary of the show alongside the episode numbers and titles and the usual technical listings. The insert provides a humorous new dish, D's Instant Curry!

The design has great music and some small animation going on all about it and the access times are still quite fast. It's not quite as flashy and bright as the first two volumes, but it works good. Language selection, always one of the trickier sections, works pretty good and makes it easy to figure out which one you've actually got selected.

There's a couple of nice extras this time around, most notably the 4 minutes worth of ADR reports that show the Japanese cast voicing their roles and talking briefly about them. Of interest is Mitsuki Sanada's voice actress in this being her first role. The character art has some interesting pieces in it and some of the character data sections are just highly amusing (hobbies: surfing the internet"). Unfortunately there weren't any Japanese release covers.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the results of the last episode, things pick up right where we left off... sort of. Kazuki and Mitsuki have arrived back in their own world, but that month difference kicks in again with Kazuki arriving much later that Mitsuki did. In the meantime, her father and Rara have been working together to build equipment better able to travel between the two worlds as well as working on the robots the kids have piloted.

Kazuki also learns how Mitsuki's father handled their disappearance since they've been gone for awhile. Apparently Kazuki and Mitsuki have eloped. Heh, this causes some interesting reactions from Kazuki, especially since they dissuade him from going to see his parents. Mitsuki does feel bad for him after awhile and they sneak over to his house and give him a chance to touch base with his reality (and for Mitsuki to find his porn magazines!). But as always, Kazuki is faced with the choice of staying in his world or heading back to the other parallel world and continuing the fight.

Upon returning back (you knew he would), the one month difference kicks in yet again but with a serious problem; Mitsuki's been kidnapped by Mitsuki Sanada's mother Ayuko and has been holding her hostage. The good guys are now blacklisted by the UN as rebels and are on the run. The Rara army has won and taken over the world.. What's a young guy like Kazuki going to do?

Grab his Zinv robot and head off to Paris to save her of course. From here things begin their downward spiral towards the conclusion of the series with the final gigantic battle, the manipulating of people and decisions on the part of one character as to who they really want to be. The series concludes very well with episode thirteen, but also provides a special 14th episode that follows up on the finale.

*** [Spoilers: I really liked the way they concluded the worlds colliding problem by combining them both via Kazuki's wish. Sanada's wife being the UN woman was hilarious, especially her reactions to it, and then to be given Ayuko as her sister was even more hilarious as well as her delivery of the line when Ayuko is present. Having at least the main characters remember both of their lives in some fashion was pretty different and an enjoyable twist on the whole "it was a dream" resolution.

The final episode did a good job of providing a look at what life is like for everyone in this new world, which I enjoyed a lot more than just being given the final couple of minutes of episode 13 to tell everyone. It was pretty amusing how D changed the most and seemed to be really into her new life. And finding Mitsuki Rara in Kazuki's bed was done quite well. The meshing of most everyone into a makeshift family was humorous but stretched the believability factor just a bit too much. It would have been nice to have some things finalized and for someone to fully express their feelings for someone else, but that's just not done. :End Spoilers] ***

There's a lot to enjoy in these final episodes, especially Ayuko's rise to power and her husbands variations between worlds. Mitsuki Rara fans are going to feel somewhat let down, but D fans will be riding high as well as those of Mitsuki Sanada. I'm not sure of Yayoi has any fans, she's definitely one character I felt the series could have easily done without.

Dual was a very pleasant yet lite treat. Those who wrote it off as an Eva meets Tenchi clone missed out on some fun episodes that really have little to do with either of those series. The series had very little filler overall and flowed quite well. We'll definitely be rewatching this series again now that we have all of the volumes.


Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,ADR Reports (2),Character Data,Line Art

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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