Hare+Guu Vol. #7 - 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: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: AN Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Hare+Guu

Hare+Guu Vol. #7

By Chris Beveridge     March 16, 2007
Release Date: February 27, 2007

Hare+Guu Vol. #7
© AN Entertainment

What They Say
The bonds of love connect beyond time and distance, and bring Clive and Weda back together while also connecting Hare with the grandmother he's never known. But reconciling Weda with her mother may take a miracle. Normally that'd be impossible, but with Guu around, anything is possible!

From a thrilling spy mission in drag to literally turning life into a game and trampling the city as a giant Guu Robo, you can trust Guu to ensure that reunions are anything but routine!

Contains episodes 24-26:
Rest Stop
Terror! Humane Game of Tag
Over... It's All Over.

The Review!
The TV series draws to a close and we get a bit more insight into Weda as well as a good bit of Guu action.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series is fairly standard when it comes to the audio track here for a TV series so there aren't too many surprises to find here. The mix is very well done though with some good directionality throughout some of the more wacky sequences as well as some good moments that suck you in with the depth. We did listen to both tracks in the end and had no problems with dropouts or distortions with either of them during regular playback.

Originally broadcast during 2001, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. Having seen only some second hand versions of the show in the years prior to its license, this transfer was simply surprising with how vibrant and smooth it is. The show has a very good sense of color to it with the kinds of palettes it uses, such as some very vibrant colors for the character designs and things they interact it while the backgrounds have a much more natural and muted sense of color. The characters tend to stand out a bit more but they still feel like they belong where they are. The materials here look really good with a clean look, solid colors and an essentially problem free transfer.

The release uses the same cover artwork as the Japanese release but with the logo translated into English but still retaining the same style and elements to it which really just work perfectly. Bright and almost garish, this cover is a close-up of Hare and Guu side by side while the bright yellow background has outlines of most of the main cast of characters in small bodied form. The back cover is fairly busy here with lots of little shots and dialogue added to some of the shots so you get a feel for the wackiness. Episode numbers and titles are included as well as a good rundown of the discs features. The production information is kept from taking over a large chunk of territory and AN Entertainment once again nails the technical grid perfectly. While most companies are moving away from inserts, at least the completely useless ones, we get a really good multi paneled one here entitled Jungle News that covers various liner notes for the show in general, particular parts of episodes and other areas such as character designs and other illustrations. Some of this is translated into the on-disc extras which is good but enough of it is unique to the insert as well.

The menu layout for this series is really nicely done with a straightforward static image in the foreground of the character pieces from the front cover while the logo and selections are arraigned around them in very much the word and graphic style of the series. It's very cute and fits very well overall. Our players' presets didn't make out too well with how the disc is set up though; the audio selection was fine as it could correctly read the label for Japanese however the sign/song subtitle were the first selectable English subtitle track so it went with that instead of full subtitles.

The extras included for the release are solid and while changing volume to volume have a number of similarities between each release. The opening and ending sequences are done in their clean form, a good portion of the cultural and liner notes from the insert are carried over onto on-disc "language lessons" and there's also a production art gallery.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Hare and Guu has certainly been a welcome release in this household. After I get done with it, the disc tends to disappear for a couple of days as my girls watch it. And not just watch it, but laugh uproariously at it. There's just something about this show that really gets to them unlike most of the other kids comedies that they watch on broadcast television here. My only fear is that one of them may be just like Guu.

With the final three episodes, the series actually does bring some amount of closure to the initial storyline. Not the one dealing with what Guu is of course, but the story of Weda. With her return to the city and all that it brings, we've seen her essentially act like she's still in the jungle. She drinks plenty, lays about all day and does whatever she wants. At least within the confines of the sprawling mansion since her servants won't quite let her do whatever she wants. Owing to the general stupidity of those around her, she's able to sneak out easily enough and get a taste of the city without a bodyguard or other servants. The amusing part is that she does this just as Clive arrives for a conference and the two spend the day together.

Clive and Weda is the kind of relationship that amuses me to watch. Weda gets close to being a bimbo in a lot of ways while Clive is a male who thinks things over too much. Put them together and Clive easily finds himself relegated to the friend category and unsure of how to get past that. With the two on a date, circumstances lead them to his hotel room where there's a chance for them to get closer. The way he overanalyzes every move she makes is very amusing as is her reactions. You almost expect her to be thinking things like "I'd like an ice cream" while he's wondering if she's thinking of him in a romantic way. What makes their meeting all the more amusing is that Hare, Guu and Robert end up trailing them after they find out that Weda snuck out. Hare freaks out nicely over Clive and seeing them go to his hotel room just pushes him closer to going over the edge.

Guu hasn't had too many moments of going wild in the last few episodes but these last two provide some good fun for her. One episode has Hare proclaiming how bored he is which in turn gives Robert the idea of having the three of them play tag together. The downside of playing any kind of game with Guu is that, well, she's Guu and she'll take it to a bad place. She ends up getting tagged as it first, and with the game being one where the person that's it is a "demon", she takes it to the logical level for her and starts to eat anyone she captures. While only the three of them are playing, Guu eats up the entire staff, so much so that she starts spitting out others like Yamada. Interactions with her and the others on the outside are just right, even to the point where Hare ends up agreeing to date Yamada.

The larger storyline about Weda and her reasons for leaving the mansion all those years ago to give birth is given some decent time. We start to see more of the things that pushed her out with her father as well as how her mother reacted to all of it. With it having been almost ten years later, everyone has changed. What's been odd is that nobody outside of servants seem to be in the house, which is really odd after we learn that Weda has both a brother and a sister. Hare of course is the one that starts to figure things out and he tries to work things to reunite some of the family members. As always seems to happen in these kinds of situations, it's the children that lose out the most. But as Weda has to come to realize, she's a mother now herself and has to take a different look at what her own mother did.

A good bit of comedy is mixed into it as well, not only from how Hare and Guu deal with Weda's mother but Guu herself. She gets into robot mode and her whole body becomes one, allowing a miniaturized Hare to get inside her head and pilot her. It's all over the map with the way Guu controls others, going to the point where she shows Hare how she can control folks even back in the jungle. If there's any real complaint with this volume though it's in that we don't get any hint of what's to come. While Weda's story is given closure, Guu is left with plenty of material left. I didn't expect that to get resolved here, but AN Entertainment dropped the ball by not providing any kind of trailer for it. There's a brief note about it in the insert, but depending on how you read it you may think it's more talking about the Japanese release than the US one. Something needed to be on-disc to let people know there is more to expect. Otherwise, this feels like the end.

In Summary:
Hare and Guu has been a very enjoyable series to watch. While Hare would at times drive me nuts with his frantic overreactions, it's easy to see his usual nature becoming heightened after living with someone like Guu. Hell, even after living with someone like Weda. This set of episodes closes out some of the material nicely while ensuring there is plenty of wacky unreal comedy. Hare and Guu is the kind of show that I do think would do rather well in broadcast form as the comedy, while cultural, isn't too much. There is a lot of broad comedy and sight gags here that appeal across the ages. With a solid dub, generally solid production values and a sense of fun, Hare and Guu has been one of the best comedies I've seen in the last year.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Openings and Closings,Art Gallery,Lazy Sensei's Language Lessons (Translation & Cultural Notes)

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-ray Progressive Scan player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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