Fencer of Minerva Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: D+
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Fencer of Minerva

Fencer of Minerva Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     August 14, 2001
Release Date: August 14, 2001


Fencer of Minerva Vol. #2
© Central Park Media


What They Say
Diana's spirit was freed through enslavement to her beloved prince. Now she is revered throughout the kingdom as the beautiful Slave Queen. But traitors abound, and to save herself and her love, Diana must escape the most treatcherous of plots.

The Review!
After surprising myself by enjoying the first volume, I was curious as to whether things would hold up as well in the second volume. While the hentai factor drops considerably, the plot (flimsy as it is) is still enjoyable and things move along pretty well, bringing the series to a decent stopping point.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Throughout the show, we didn't hear any dropouts or other distortions, but there were a few times where the track just sounded a touch lower than what we're used to. Otherwise there were no problems here.

Video:
Things are decent here, but not really great. Colors look good, there's very little cross-coloration throughout and only some line shimmering when the camera pans across some backgrounds. Some of the long range shots with characters tended to suffer the most, with the characters looking more indistinct and somewhat blocky. This is probably related to both the animation and the authoring. Some of the mid-range shots look kind of iffy as well, with the royal advisors round glasses sometimes looking more blocky than they should.

Packaging:
The cover for this volume really doesn't work well at all here, since the characters are all from the first volume and the first two episodes as opposed to anything that's really related to this disc. The art also looks fairly manga-ish and just doesn't look right here. The back cover has a brief plot summary and a few pieces of weak animation shots. Technical listings and features are nicely laid out while the reverse side of the cover provides some more black and white animation, chapter listings and the English actors.

Menus:
The menus are decent with the exception of the English voice over being used ("Do you want to be whipped?!"). Some animation plays in the background with the music. Selections work nice and fast and the layout is pretty straightforward.

Extras:
The only video side extra on this disc is the meet the characters section, which is nicely done and has a great layout of mixing the animation with the menu, but it's the only extra here, which is pretty weak.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As much as it may boggle people, I still find this to be a fun and almost charming little show. Even my wife was surprised, having not seen the first disc, that there was a sizeable amount of plot going on in this episode than she had come to expect from hentai releases.

The show picks up about three months after the events of the first disc with the ascension of Teo to the throne of Doria and the "disappearance" of Prince Dunan from Gupta. Doria's become quite the place in the time since he took over, with alliances forged with the nomads and with the Saas merchant council that has turned the city around and made it prosperous. Prosperity that would take others a dozen years or more to accomplish.

Gupta is still out for blood though, and has sent off an assassin to take down Teo. With Teo's trusting nature and general jovialness, he's taking daily walks throughout the city with only his slave girls attending him, much to the frustration of his royal advisor and the royal guards, both of whom skulk around a bit and try to offer some protection. But even this is worthless when the assassin arrives and manages to take Teo down with a lizzard poisoned blade.

During their travels (and having gotten another slave girl hooked up with her master in an even better way) Diana and Sho learn of what happened back in Doria and make their way back. Teo's down for the count for awhile, and in working with the royal advisor, Sho and Diana become King and Queen. This ascension works well and surprises many people, especially those in Gupta who they end up dealing with to try and stave off a potential war.

The interplay between the characters when Diana and Sho ascend is pretty good and fairly amusing. With Diana breaking down the usual stereotypes, we eventually learn that she becomes known as the Slave-Queen and inspired many people. This is tied into a portion of the show where we learn that the planet is also apparently being considered for colonization by someone from Earth. Go figure.

While these two episodes (both running about 45 minutes) aren't as good as the first disc, it's still interesting to see the way consensual slavery is done and the way the world is laid out with it. It's not something you normally see in anime and when you add in the lack of tentacles, it's providing something for a segment of the audience that's been denied for awhile

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Meet the Characters

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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