Kimagure Orange Road TV Box Set - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: AnimEigo
  • MSRP: 240.00
  • Running time: 1200
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Kimagure Orange Road

Kimagure Orange Road TV Box Set

By Paul Grisham     January 20, 2004
Release Date: June 05, 2002


Kimagure Orange Road TV Box Set
© AnimEigo


What They Say
High School student Kasuga Kyosuke has problems with women. Big time!

First, he thinks he's falling in love with the beautiful and somewhat mysterious Ayukawa Madoka, but he's not at all sure if Madoka feels the same way about him.

Second, he's being pursued by the exceedingly sweet, cute and bubbly Hiyama Hikaru, who has taken to calling him "Darling" and asking him if she'll make a good wife.

The two girls are total opposites – and best friends since childhood. Which means that Kyosuke's love life is somwhat complicated.

But wait – Kyosuke's women troubles are far from over. He's got two bratty sisters to worry about, and his two sex-crazed buddies ar stalking them! And one of the toughest guys in the Karate Club, who is rather annoyed about him "stealing" Hikaru, is stalking him!

Now, Kyosuke does have one thing going for him. Both he and his sisters have inherited the family gift – Paranormal Powers! Teleportation, Telekinesis, Precognition – they can do it all. Unfortunately, if anyone catches them using their Powers, they'll have to leave town. And it turns out that Kyosuke's Powers are much better at getting him into trouble than out of it.

All this means that life is rarely boring (and always hilarious) on KIMAGURE ORANGE ROAD!

The Review!
The Kimagure Orange Road TV series is a very good series, a near classic, which should have a broad appeal to many anime fans. The box set, though, is somewhat disappointing, and hopefully, Animeigo can work out some of the problems before they release the movies and OAVs to DVD. The set’s problems, though, shouldn’t dissuade curious buyers from checking out the series, however, as it comes generally recommended.

Packaging:

The Kimagure Orange Road TV series box is a strong and sturdy box, similar to the one Animeigo used for the Macross TV series. Unfortunately, the art design for the box leaves a lot to be desired. The basic design uses character art from the show on the sides, and in a move sure to leave a lot of fans unhappy, prints marketing information on the back side. Since many fans prefer to store their boxes on their shelves back side out, and since the box is unavailable at typical retail outlets, the decision to use the largest space on the box for text rather than mural art is a blunder of epic proportion.

In addition to the back side design, the box itself simply isn’t very attractive, using a pale yellow color that doesn’t stand out next to the high-quality art boxes being released by other anime companies today. In addition, while the box itself is sturdy, there are some construction problems, including sloppy printing and labeling. My box includes off-center text and exposed seams.

One last complaint about the box, which isn’t exactly about the box itself, concerns the packing of the set by Animeigo. The box is currently only available direct from Animeigo, but they have chosen to ship the box with a minimum of padding. As a result, a couple of corners of my artbox have become crunched in during shipping. This is a problem that has been reported by many other purchasers of this set, and was also a problem with the Macross set as well. Moreover, there was a kind of dirt along the bottom edges of my artbox that made the box look like it had been handled by someone with grimy fingers. Although the dirt came off with a rubber eraser, it’s these kind of details that make a difference to anime fans who shell out hundreds of dollars for a series.

Extras:

Though the series doesn’t include extras, per se, the box set release includes a nice booklet which includes the standard Animeigo translation and liner notes for the show. As far as I can tell, the notes included here are mostly the same as the notes included with the Laserdisc release, and are also available on the Animeigo website. However, unlike the typical “recipe card” approach which has become standard for Animeigo DVD releases, we get a handsome and hefty booklet. Though I have had many complaints about Animeigo’s presentation of this series on DVD, this booklet represents the best presentation of translation and liner notes for a DVD series to date. I am not sure if the purchasers of the individual Kimagure Orange Road discs will get this book, or will get “recipe cards”, but for now, the availability of this booklet with the box set is a great selling point.

The content of the liner notes themselves are excellent. Animeigo has always put great effort into the proper localization of their titles, with great care not to apologize for the most distinctly Japanese elements, no matter how arcane or obscure. The notes for Kimagure Orange Road are as detailed as the Urusei Yatsura notes, and are among the best that Animeigo has ever produced.

Individual Reviews:
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 1Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 2Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 3
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 1Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 2Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 3
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 4Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 5Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 6
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 4Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 5Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 6
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 7Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 8Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 9
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 7Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 8Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 9
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 10Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 11Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 12
Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 10Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 11Kimagure Orange Road TV volume 12


Overall:

Kimagure Orange Road has long held a reputation among American anime fans as a classic, and for good reason. The series is lighthearted and magical, a romance that won’t embarrass boys, full of humor and action, with just enough emotional development to appeal to anyone. Back in the era when anime meant little more than monsters and giant robots, Kimagure Orange Road must have been a shock to those who had low expectations for their cartoons. Though I had never seen the series until this DVD release, I knew that among my friends who watched anime, it held a special place for them. Now, years later, I can see why.

Unfortuantely, the series isn’t entirely perfect, suffering mainly from being overlong, and running out of ideas long before its conclusion. While the first part of the series is moving and enjoyable, after 48 episodes, I found myself wishing that they would just “get on with it.” Kimagure Orange Road is the classic series where boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl likes boy, and yet they never get quite get it together. The series has a lot of stuff to like, and yet, I can’t help but feel that at times it could have been better if the creators had let their characters grow a little bit as the series wore on.

This is, however, a series to be savored, as Chris once said to me when I started reviewing it, and he’s very much right. Taken too much all at once (in the kind of marathon session that box set releases tend to facilitate) the series feels repetitive and perhaps a bit too static, but taken individually, there are a lot of classic moments, often imitated by more contemporary series, but not surpassed.

Though the series falls just short of being an all-time classic – the kind of show you want to take out to your friends, and make them watch it, even if they aren’t anime fans – this is essential viewing for any fan of magical romantic comedies. Kimagure Orange Road seems very much a kind of progenitor of such great shows as Tenchi Muyo, Oh! My Goddess, and Magic Users Club, and fans of them would do worse than to look into it. It has the kind of heart and compassion that newer, and glossier, shows, like Love Hina and I’m Gonna Be an Angel are sorely lacking.

And this show comes highly recommended to any student of anime, those people who are either old enough to remember, or curious enough to inquire about, what anime was like 15 years ago, back when there were fewer titles available, and every series that made it over here was a near masterpiece. Though newer shows are bigger, flashier, and more viscerally entertaining, the softer, rounder character designs and lower-key direction and pacing are refreshing and still very entertaining. There is a reason why shows like Kimagure Orange Road and Maison Ikkoku still have loyal followings years later.

Although I had quite a few problems with Animeigo’s presentation and packaging of this show, and although there were a few episodes I wish I had just skipped over, this is still a very worthwhile series, which, despite its age, has much to tell us. Though the box set will only be available for a limited time, those with even the slightest bit of curiosity should feel confident that they are buying into a very good show, a near classic, which will provide them many hours of entertainment both now, and for years to come as they revisit their favorite episodes again and again.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic Panablack TV, Codefree Panasonic RP56 DVD player, Sony ProLogic receiver, Yamaha and Pioneer speakers, Monster cable. (Secondary equipment, Pioneer 105s DVD-ROM, ATi Rage Fury Pro, ViewSonic A90f, PowerDVD 3.0)

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