Kimagure Orange Road: Summers Beginning - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Kimagure Orange Road

Kimagure Orange Road: Summers Beginning

By Stephen Lerch     July 06, 2002
Release Date: August 21, 2001



The Review!
I picked this movie up on a whim, having never seen the series before. I remember watching it and enjoying it quite a bit when I first got it last year, even without a fully developed back story on it. Now, after having watched the TV series, I decided to watch the movie again and see if it was better/worse than what I remembered... and I must say that this movie is totally amazing, whether you've seen the TV/OVA series or not!

Video:

The quality of the video on this DVD is pretty high, with only the occasional diagonal crawl (type of thing you see when looking at a fence with tight lines) and other minor video glitches. No other serious or minor problems worth noting. The source material is relatively new, so there didn't appear to be any noticeable dirt or scratches on the film.

Audio:

I watched this movie with the standard stereo Japanese mix. I didn't notice any dropouts or volume variations at all. Overall very good. It sounds like, in a couple of scenes, (most notably when Kyosuke is speaking to Master at ABCB) that they try some stereo placement by giving the full reign of the left or right speaker to the character who is slightly off screen, or off screen totally. In my opinion the results are decent but not overwhelming.

I cannot comment on the English mix as I refuse to watch it when the Japanese mix is so well done (well acted and well encoded).

It should also be noted that I enjoyed the soundtrack quite a bit, enough so to purchase it. Kyosuke #1 is an excellent song, and all the tracks in the movie are just as high a quality.

Packaging:

The movie comes in a standard Amaray case. The cover artwork on the package is a very nice picture of Ayukawa in the "infamous" red straw hat. Fits perfectly with the feel of the show as far as I am concerned. Back is a standard description and technical details, along with a little more art (stretching onto the back from the front). The insert is a very nice picture of the hapless threesome (Kyosuke, Ayukawa and Hikaru). Picture on the disc basically matches the picture on the front cover of the DVD... which doesn't hurt my feelings at all considering the great quality of the artwork.

Menus:

Standard menu fare. Nothing spectacular, Play Movie, Language Selection... the standard. There aren't any extras on the disc either. The opening menu has the song from the movie, Kyosuke #1 playing in the background.

Extras:
None. I would have gone for some more quality artwork like the cover, but that's just me and I don't run an Anime company.

Content:(May contain spoilers)

Kyosuke, Hikaru and Ayukawa have been long time friends (the entire TV/OVA series revolves primarily on Kyosuke's indecisive nature in choosing who he was truly in love with. Anyone who watched the first couple episodes of the TV series should have been able to tell who he was to choose long before he actually does.); Kyosuke having chosen Ayukawa over Hikaru when he finally decided who he was in love with for real, I believe at the end of their Junior High School "career". I also believe this is where Ayukawa and Kyosuke separated from Hikaru. She moved to another part of the country, while Ayukawa and Kyosuke stayed in the same town.

The movie revolves around the feelings of Kyosuke, Ayukawa and Hikaru (who never really got over Kyosuke) and the crisis of returning a 1994 Kyosuke to '94 (from a pocket dimension where time doesn't exist) and the 1991 Kyosuke back to '91 while keeping the timeline in tact.

One day Kyosuke receives a phone call from someone who claims to be HIM, warning him to "watch out for the car". Heeding it no mind (as he is running late), he leaves his apartment for school. Well, as fate would have it, Kyosuke is hit by a car and sent to the hospital... in body anyway. When Kyosuke is hit by the car his "spirit" is sent forward in time 3 years, leaving just his body in '91. We learn that THIS Kyosuke is here in '94 and at the same time he was hit by the car, his self from this time (1994) was in another crisis, thus the 1991 Kyosuke displaced the 1994 Kyosuke.

Obviously the 1991 Kyosuke has no clue, at first, that he has time shifted. He gradually learns something is amiss as he tries to visit some of his old hangouts. He tries his apartment, to find that his family no longer lives there and the ABCB, where he learns that Master has sold the restaurant to a new owner. Eventually he meets up with Hikaru, purely by accident, who we learn moved to New York and is only in town to try and get a part in a production, with the auditions being held in the town Kyosuke calls home. The two temporarily part ways only to be reunited after Kyosuke's failed (and miserable) attempt to come into contact with Ayukawa. From here on out the movie focuses on the other problem facing Kyosuke, that is, returning the '94 and '91 Kyosukes to their proper timelines.

Conclusion:

It isn't very often that a movie can touch me the way this movie, and this series, has. It shows the true power of people's feelings for each other and what they can do when motivated by these feelings. There is so much power and feeling behind this movie that it's hard to NOT be motivated by it in one form or another.

This is so much more than a great animated movie, this is an AMAZING film. This, in my opinion, is the type of movie any movie fan should be able to enjoy, with the exception of people who are hard core action fans or dead set against movies in which



Review Equipment
Zenith Inteq 27" TV Model# IQB27FW, Sony HTD-W820 DD/DTS Receiver,Sony Speakers, Pioneer DV-434 Progressive Scan DVD player connected via Monster Component Video Cables, Audio connected via Monster 6ft. Optical Cable

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