Elf Princess Rane - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Elf Princess Rane

Elf Princess Rane

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

Elf Princess Rane
© Media Blasters

What They Say
Move over Indiana Jones! Here comes Go Takarada! He’s brave! He’s smart! He’s Handsome! But how many treasures can a High School student find in his own hometown? Well, that’ll never stop our energetic hero from trying. His abundant enthusiasm does pay off one day when, while running away from a very aggravated priest whose shrine he has just trashed, he runs straight into an Elf Princess named Rane.

Ignoring a language barrier of titanic proportions, Go starts tearing through the city trying to find the secret treasure that is foretold to appear. His treasure hunting plans put the wealthy Yumenokata Foundation and the brave members of the Fire Department into a free-for-all melee of confusion, explosions and intrigue. Meanwhile another Elf named “Leen” appears before Mari, Go’s neighbor and childhood friend.

Will Go ever realize how Mari feels about him? Will Mari ever notice how her fathers right hand man feels about her? How many sisters does Go have anyway? Will Leen ever remember what she came here to do?

The Review!
This title should be selling well. It should be selling in mass amounts. Why? It's directed by Akitaro Daichi. You know, the guy responsible for Jubei-Chan and Animation Runner Kuromi? (now there's a title for Media Blasters to get!). If you liked Daichi's other work, you're going to find yourself grinning like an idiot through most of this.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. And after watching the first 10 minutes, I couldn't imagine how this could be pulled off in English. The show is very much dialogue based anddialoguebasedinthefactthatit'sspokenveryfastandinalotofonereallybigwordsentenceslikethis. With dialogue like this, it's usually hard to pull off the same frenetic and frantic pace in English, but the English voice actors do an amazing job and really pulled it off. Dialogue in both tracks, when slow enough, sounds spot on. The music and ambient effects are good, but just about everything feels center channel based.

Originally released in 1995 by KSS, the two OVA's on the disc are fairly good quality, though the emphasis isn't really put on superb looking animation as comedies don't benefit much from it. The transfer looks good overall with the exception of rainbows throughout. Media Blasters gets a definite thumbs up for releasing the disc with the original credits and having their own translated ones follow afterwards. We didn't notice much in the way of line noise or pixellation, but there were a few areas where the color banding was strong. Otherwise this really is a fairly solid release.

A light and fluffy looking cover sets the mood for this show, especially if you look at it closesly and notice several SD versions of the characters running along the bottom. The main attraction of course is Rane, the big haired blonde elf with super long legs that takes up most of the cover. The back cover provides a number of animation shots and a good summary for the show. The insert provides the chapter listings with part of the artwork from the back cover and the disc is nicely silkscreened as well.

With little to do on the disc, the menus are pretty simple with a static piece of animation overlaid by the selections. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is pretty straightforward.

The only extra included is an image gallery which contains about 10 images, most of which are shots from the show itself. The other artwork is pretty nice looking though.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
For those that like the style of Akitaro Daichi, Elf Princess Rane is a real pleaser. The only downside to it is that it's only two episodes and there's no more. And you're definitely left wanting more. Maybe everyone involved in the production died from overacting?

The story is set in some weird alternate present day where the main city, presumably Tokyo, is vastly different from what we know. Buildings are built into mountains and hills, causing various parks to have 30 floor drops off of them. The setting of the world is weird but interesting. And that sums up the cast as well.

Our central character is Go Takarada, a wanna be adventurer whose parents are archaeologists off in another country. Go's trying to discover some sort of mysterious treasure and ends up only causing trouble and destruction. When an elf appears from another dimension, he snags her quickly and figures she'll lead him to adventure and treasure.

Too bad she doesn't speak the same language. much confusion and weird dialogue ensues between the two, but Go is convinced "Elfie" will lead him to riches and adventure. This doesn't sit well with his childhood girl friend (and potential love interest). She's usually tagging along but not really believing what's going to happen, and simply letting Go end up in whatever weirdness comes his way.

To complicate matters, "Elfie's" friend, whose actually an enemy, named Leen also arrives from the other dimension and searches for Elfie to try and eliminate her. There's some rivalries there, where Elfie is oblivious to it, but causes mass trouble when she hooks up with her in this realm.

Honestly, this is a near impossible show to really talk about. The plot (discover treasure!) is paper thin. What this is all about is just random whacked out comedy. Characters running miles per second, cloned redheaded women, the Fire Department being all powerful, a mayors plans to turn the city into a theme park and naked evil witch elf butt.

Honestly, if you've liked what you've seen of shows Daichi's worked on in the past, you're likely going to enjoy this and then rue the day that the decision was made to only complete two episodes. But at least there are these two episodes, as they're hilarious fun. It's also one of those rare dubs that, while there are some sizeable dialogue changes in places, it works with the material (which seems adlibbed to begin with) and serves to produce a hilarious dub.

Very recommended for an hour of laughs.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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