Hyper Police Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Image Entertainment
  • MSRP: 19.95
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Hyper Police

Hyper Police Vol. #5

By Chris Beveridge     April 26, 2003
Release Date: April 15, 2003


Hyper Police Vol. #5
© Image Entertainment


What They Say
In "Kids Floating, Natsuki Fainting," Sakura has become a mother, but her liberal parenting techniques wind up driving Natsuki away. Natsuki enters "An Era of Cohabitation" at Batanen's apartment; however, her crush on him ignites some unexpected romantic tension.

After a year of investigation, Nupu and Batanen discover the hideout of the Cat Crusade, a band of thieves, while Natsuki gets close to these sympathetic criminals in "There Is No Tomorrow for the Cats?" Finally, Natsuki discovers "A Mysterious Dome" which emerges from a long submerged time capsule. Everyone who enters the dome seems to disappear, including Sakura!

The Review!
The series gets closer to the end and changes are fairly significant right out of the gate here.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese but in the newly created 5.1 remix. We listened to this new mix and found it to be decent, but the source doesn’t really offer up much of a chance to do a lot with it. Most of the audio is still through the center channel with mostly the music getting some playback in the rear speakers. Throughout what we heard, there were no discernable dropouts or distortions.

Video:
The transfer for this release is pretty much on par for what we were expecting, which is a solid but unexceptional looking release. While there’s no cross coloration or all that much aliasing, there’s some bits of dirt throughout the print. Colors look good though the show doesn’t use a very vibrant palette. There’s little to complain about with the transfer, but it’s not something that’s going to stand out based on the way the show was designed.

Packaging:
The cover for this release isn’t anywhere near as bright or gaudy as the earlier ones, though it’s still a fairly solid background of purple that turns to orange at the bottom and provides a look at Sakura, Natsuki and Kondo in their bounty hunter outfits. The back cover provides a number of screenshots and gives a summary for each of the four episodes. The basic creative staff is listed as well as the technical features and language formats. The insert provides another shot of the front cover piece while listing the (9!) chapter stops for each of the four episodes

Menu:
The menu is a nice static image one brief pass of music that shows two of the female leads in a nice vibrant piece of artwork. All four episodes are selectable from the main page as well as a play all selection and the audio selection menu. Selecting an episode brings you to a chapter selection section. The menus overall are nice and fast, but we experienced some slowdowns in moving through chapter selection and trying to get back to the main menu.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With this volume bringing us up through episode twenty, the series is getting quite close to the end, and it looks like there’s not much of an overall arc that’s really going to be dealt with. On the plus side, the character interactions get really good in this volume and give hope for some fun in thefinal volume.

To make things different right from the start, the show opens with Sakura and her three children that she gave birth to a month ago. And like wildfire, these kids grow and are basically acting like four year olds at this point, causing chaos left and right while running around playing and exploring life. Her life with Sakunoshin has certainly borne some fruit, though the two still aren’t married and definitely have a non-traditional outlook on things. Of course, the real problem is that while all of this is going on and Sakura is recovering from the birthing, it’s all taking place at Natsuki’s house. So the kids are chasing the cats around, Natsuki gets beat up a lot and Sakura tends to not notice any of it. It’s quite amusing and brings some interesting new angles to the show.

Things don’t go terribly well though, since in the end Natsuki loses her house completely, which puts her out on the streets. She ends up shacking up with Batanen for the time being, which leads to the usual kinds of awkward situations that you’d expect. These aren’t bad at all, and we end up getting some really nice Natsuki fanservice out of it that we wouldn’t normally get. But poor Batanen is getting driven mad by having her so close, but also realizes a number of things about her that he hadn’t realized before.

But Natsuki does her best to keep things going along as they should, and we get two self contained episodes of regular bounty hunter action. There’s an interesting one about the Cat Cross Army that’s playing a Robin Hood like role in the city by stealing from banks and other places and then giving the money to others. Since it’s cat based, Natsuki gets sent in to try and discover things about it, and ends up in a situation where she becomes more attuned to the thieves than her job and goes through the difficult choices of what path to follow. That’s then followed up with an amusing episode where the town is slowly turning back into what it used to be during the Showa age, so there’s almost just humans about and the regulars being warped in different ways. This really presented some interesting views of the entire area and what the world has changed into.

I’m still enjoying the series quite a bit, though I wish there was just a bit more oomph to the overall production in terms of something to tie it together. The character growth aspect is really done nicely once we got past those early episodes that felt like they came too early and the show has progressed nicely. This isn’t an out of the world series, but one of those nice ones you settle into and just enjoy.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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