Fushigi Yugi: Eikou Den Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 2 - Japan
  • Released By: Bandai Visual
  • MSRP: ¥4800
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Fushigi Yugi - The Mysterious Play

Fushigi Yugi: Eikou Den Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     May 11, 2002
Release Date: April 26, 2002


Fushigi Yugi: Eikou Den Vol. #3
© Bandai Visual


What They Say
Taka, Chichiri and Tasuki visits a village, led by a girl whose face reminds them of Nuriko. The village was called "Suzaku village", and there they meet with a reincarnated being of Hotohori... This DVD includes a track that has a stereo version in English! Also comes with data of the characters from Fushigi Yuugi.

The Review!
This episode of the Fushigi Yugi OVA saga picks up a bit more, but overall still feels like there?s not all that much going on beyond exposition. With only one more episode to go, the pacing has really suffered during the 2nd and 3rd episodes.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in English. That still sounds weird. To help facilitate the release times between regions, Pioneer USA has worked to have their English language track ready alongside the Japanese track and the animation. To the surprise of many, the English track was also included in the Japanese release, which was the main reason I ended up snagging it. On both tracks, dialogue is nice and clear though the show is still essentially a stereo mix.

Video:
Freshly animated, this is just gorgeous looking. Taking the designs used in the previous OVA series and bumping the characters ahead in age by three years, the designs are slightly different but still recognizable. The animation style is pretty similar to the OVA's though with what seems to be a bit better budget or at least a much more vivid color palette. Some cross coloration shows up very briefly in one or two backgrounds, but the bulk of the show is very pleasing on the eye with lush colors and some very stunning backgrounds.

Packaging:
A great image of Touga and Yui dealing with the book against soft fabrics and the pink background with Suzaku there make this a good looking cover. The back cover provides a few animation shots and the usual summaries and various bits of information about the shows features.

Menu:
If there's one area where the Japanese releases tend to truly underwhelm me, it's the menus, and this release is little different. Using the character artwork from the cover, we get a nice simple static image of Taka and Miaka to the right while selections are listed along the left. Since there's not much here, you get the individual scene selections listed here as well as a play-all feature and access to the language and extras menu. It's a nice looking menu, but the lack of music or anything else to just makes it bland.

Extras:
There's really only one extra included, though I'll make mention of a second one. The main extra is the character profiles section that is broken up into five characters, each presenting one still page. You get a nice standalone piece of character art as well as a shot from the animation, the characters stats and then a little bit of background on them. The second extra that's not really an extra is two pages of English language credits for the show that list all the people we've seen many times over the past couple of years from Animaze, ZRO Limit and Pioneer USA. Voice actors are also listed but not with their respective roles.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The second episode brought the series to a much slower pace than the first one, and that feel continues here. There?s a lot of exposition going on, but with only one more episode to go, I?m getting a bad feeling about it being able to wind itself up nicely enough without feeling very rushed.

The bulk of this disc deals with backstory. During an encounter between Mayo and Hotohori?s son, she goes far over the line by telling him about his fathers past and how he was just a toy to be used by Miaka and how Taka as Tamahome wasn?t a real friend to him. The past is heavily distorted here, and the young boy almost begins to fall for it. His mother is listening in as well, but she knows better than Mayo to be sure, and later on sits down and tells her a tale about Hotohori and his discovery of his brother, and the ramifications of that encounter. These bits serve some larger purpose, but it?s not revealed here unless it?s just to show what a spiteful person Mayo is. And frankly, we already knew that pretty well.

Taka, Chichiri and Tasuki are still on their journey to find the other Suzaku seven, and end up coming across a young female version of Noriko. A good amount of the time is spent on the three of them trying to figure out what to do with her since she has no memories of Noriko, and things turn into one brief situation after another, with little actually happening. They lead up to a point where something important may be revealed, but it doesn?t go much further than that.

Those still on Earth get some screen time as well, with some actual communication going back and forth between the two worlds as they find a way to talk with Mayo. Miaka gets hardly any notice here beyond laying in bed unconscious. There?s such a sizeable cast being moved about in such a short amount of time that nobody is making out except Mayo, and I?m finding her the least interesting and the least layered of them all. And that?s really saying something considering how flimsy some of the Suzaku seven were over the course of the TV series.

The OVA series started off really fast and wowed us, but these follow-up episodes haven?t held up the promise of it. Taka?s practically relegated to a wallflower in this episode, and with this being the story of him trying to save Konan and recover his wife?s unborn child, that?s just not right.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,Japanese Subtitles,Character Profiles

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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