Idol Project Vol. #2: Final Concert - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 19.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Idol Project

Idol Project Vol. #2: Final Concert

By Chris Beveridge     May 08, 2003
Release Date: April 29, 2003


Idol Project Vol. #2: Final Concert
© Media Blasters


What They Say
The girls have all landed in the Idol Dimension. This is the home of super-idol Yuri. Her popularity became so widespread that everyone wanted to be her. This wish was so strong, every living being in the Idol Dimension physically transformed into Yuri. Mimu and the Excellent Idols must once again save the universe with their unbound stage skills. If they can't prove to the masses that Yuri isn't the only idol out there, everyone will turn into the beloved singer!q

The Review!
Picking up where the first volume left off, Idol Project brings more bounce and music to the screen in a way only anime can.

Audio:
With its enjoyable cast, we hit this show up in its original language of Japanese first. Being an older OVA show, it’s got a nice stereo mix though most of the dialogue is pretty much center channel based. When things like the opening song or other musical areas kick in though, it fills out the soundstage nicely. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we noticed no dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally released in 1995, Idol Project was one of those OVA releases that looked quite good and held up the standards of what an OVA should look like, but not at the upper end of the spectrum. By today’s standards, it looks very good though, with very fluid animation, lots of bright solid colors and a pretty much problem free transfer. The colors are nice and bright, but not of the CG brightness level we’re getting used to these days. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and there’s only some very slight aliasing during some of the busier panning sequences. There’s a slight softness to the picture overall, but the show has always looked that way, giving it some of its fantastical feel.

Packaging:
The second and final volume of the series is very vibrant, much like the first release, with some of the other Idol members getting the nod here, both in regular and super deformed form. The back cover provides more super deformed goodness of the characters and a brief summary of the show. The discs production and technical information is nice and clearly listed here as well. The insert has a mix of the cover artwork on one side with the chapter stops while the reverse side has boxart advertisements.

Menu:
The menu is a nice simple piece that has a static piece of artwork while part of the opening song plays along. The layout of the menu is done in much the same color and style design as the cover which gives it a great feel. There’s hardly anything on the disc other than the show itself, so the menus are pretty minimal and quick to load and problem free.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After an over the top first volume following the adventures of young Mimu and her desire to sing for Yuri, we get two more episodes that go even farther, if not quite as wacky, in her quest to sing and to be a part of the Idols.

The show picks up three weeks after the events of the last volume where the BaliHawi resort world was saved and all the fun and sun of the events where all the Idols were racing and participating in. Mimu is now back on Wollyhood and at a normal waitressing job, though it’s still the kind of really out-there place with all sorts of aliens and critters about. Mimu still dreams of her day when she can return to the stage with the others and perform, a dream that continues to mess with her day to day life.

Events change fast from her daydream to the point where Pal ends up in the same area fighting off a giant robot monster, only to get Mimu involved. One thing leads to another, and eventually we’re whisked off to the Idol Dimension where things have turned from bad to worse. While we’ve seen through the first two episodes that Yuri is quite popular, and things she did saved the world and apparently the universe as well, it looks like that popularity has gone too far.

All the creatures in the Idol Dimension have so wanted to become her that they’ve started transforming physically into her. So when we revisit the resort place, you’ve got a pool, hell, an entire resort full of Yuri look-alikes! Even the Idol’s themselves start taking on attributes, most notably through their hairstyles. While a universe full of Yuri’s would be bad enough in its own way, since men would be turning into women, it gets worse due to the Burning Dimension starting to overlap due to all the events going on. That’s right, a dimension that on average is something like 80,000 degrees.

How to get everyone’s mind off of Yuri? The Idol’s put on a musical/play!

The final two episodes of Idol Project are amusing in their own way, though I think for the most part the series could have ended nicely on the first two episodes, especially since some areas of this one feel a bit like overkill. One of the fun things about these two episodes is that it just flows by so well, building on the basic premise so smoothly, that it just goes by so fast that it’s like a blur. When the show was over, I had forgotten everything except the last five minutes. Ten minutes after that, I just remember enjoying the show! Idol Project really is the kind of show where you end up checking your brain at the door and just enjoying the experience. Trying to relate it afterwards proves futile.

It’s been great to finally see a clean official release of this show, one of the more overlooked ones from the 90’s. A lot of its appeal for me continues to be nostalgia, especially since the entire idol concept has seemingly dropped off in the past few years as the focus has shifted to maids and robot maids. That’s definitely influenced my feelings about seeing this release, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. Your mileage may very, but I just had a fun time watching this show.

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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