Knights of Ramune - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 170
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Knights of Ramune

Knights of Ramune

By Chris Beveridge     April 17, 2001
Release Date: April 17, 2001


Knights of Ramune
© Central Park Media


What They Say
Includes all 6 episodes! Holy Virgins Cacao and Parfait must find the prophesied Champion of the Galaxy, or the universe will be destroyed. Unfortunately, he's a power-obsessed tyrant! With the help of a plucky orphan, a giant robot, and their Holy Magic, our heroines must save the galaxy from its greatest hero.

The Review!
My first warning was indeed the tagline at the top of the front cover; "From the screenwriter of The Slayers!"

I should have just put the disc away at that point.

Audio:
For our primary review, we listened to the Japanese language track. This is a simple stereo mix for this OVA series that started releasing back in 1997. The majority of dialogue is through the center channel while most everything else is nicely split through the left/right speakers. Dialogue is clean and undistorted and at a normal level. No problems at all here.

Video:
While the transfer itself appears to be pretty good, the source material looks to have quite a lot of grain on it. Some of the panning shots during darker sequences really show this and it's also visible during several light blue sky panning sequences as well. Line noise and rainbows are at a minimum throughout but the grain is a major weakness here.

Packaging:
The front cover shows off the nice cute girls and evil Tenchi-clone villain and pushes the bright colors look and feel. A smart tag of "complete series!" is also on the front cover, which is a definitely a selling point. The back cover has a brief story summary and one nice picture of the prominent trio of women. The technical information is in a nice small text and is pretty much standard here. The reverse side lists the episodes and chapter marks as well as the cast list for both audio tracks. A couple of black and white pictures also help to fill out things here.

Menus:
The layout is the standard CPM style with some static images and some animation playing behind it. It works pretty well with the music playing along, but we've essentially since this with all other CPM titles as of late. The submenus access times are pretty quick and getting around is straightforward.

Extras:
The majority of the extras appear to be on the DVD-ROM side, so we didn't get a chance to check them out.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
My initial thought was to put off watching Slayers Try by watching a nice self-contained six episode OVA series that I'd heard was pretty fan service oriented. What I got was a six episode OVA series that I couldn't handle watching past the fourth episode and just turned it all off. I didn't even want to watch anything else after that. And during the third and fourth episodes I found myself picking up my book and starting to read a chapter or two.

Knights of Ramune is actually part of a much larger world of series and spin-offs, but I'm not sure how much is required to be seen before watching these. It felt like I was missing a lot. The two heroines of the show, Parfait and Cacao, get sent off on an unknown mission to do something really important, but even they don't know what it is. They end up arriving as a large fleet is attacking and overpowering a planet and kidnapping various kids from the region of space they're in for some mysterious purpose.

Parfait and Cacao rescue the kids and send them on their way and then find themselves get wrapped up in this whole event, where they find the fourth version of the Ramune to be in charge. apparently Ramune the 3rd had saved their world in a previous series and in fact, the two girls had both fallen in love with him. Ramune the 4th is nothing like the 3rd and is actually quite the sadistic little bastard who likes whipping the women who fail him.

Ramune reveals that the galaxy is going to have an event soon that will cause it be destroyed and he's seeking out the Myth Knight that can save said galaxy from destruction. And if a few people get hurt along the way, well, thems the breaks kids. Of course, Parfait and Cacao can't allow this to happen, so they figure this must be their mission.

The show is definitely very fan service heavy, which is unfortunate since most of the women animated here aren't all that pleasing on the eye. It's like the character designer took the design for howitzer shells and then drew bodies to go with them. There's nothing really stimulating about any of them or pleasing to the eye. And watching them cavort and act cute (or just strut around naked or call upon the powers of their god naked) just doesn't work for me.

Maybe if you're a fan of the previous series and like the style already, this'll work for you. I've not seen any Ramune previously and these episodes have turned me off to watching any more of it. I mean, I always finish watching a disc. I've made it through Fist of the NorthStar, MD Geist, Genocyber and others, though worse for the wear, but I've at least finished them. This one just didn't cut it at all. Bleah.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Meet the Cast,DVD-ROM Extras

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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