Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 18 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
- MSRP: 39.99
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Koihime
Koihime Box Set
By Michael Thomas
April 13, 2003
Release Date: October 24, 2001
A good, fairy-tale, bishoujo (cute girl) story.
When watching the show, I listened to the original Japanese seiyuu (voice actors). The talking, ambient sounds, and background music made excellent use of the two, built-in, TV speakers.
To put it simply, excellently done. Colors are crisp and vibrant, with great attention to shading, lines, and animation. On the second DVD, one of the Tengu characters does cause some cross-coloration problems (due to the detailed designs on his outfit, and his hair.) This does keep Koihime from getting a full 'A', but the show is spotless otherwise.
Being one of the first NuTech releases, the "Adult's Only" warning on the keep-cases and boxes are bit big for my taste. Other than that, the packaging focuses on the fairy-tale nature of the story. Both cover art features very detailed characters from the show. One the spines are two half-images that make a full image when placed next to each other. The back of the box, and of the DVD cases, contains the usual material (DVD extras, VAs, technical stuff, and copyright), as well as a good summary of the story. There is no insert.
After a short, animated intro, the menus display. The menus are very straight forward, easy to navigate, and quick to load.
Both adult VAs get their own photo gallery, and there is also a gallery of pics from the episodes themselves. There is also a link to the NuTech website. On the reverse of the DVD are trailers to other NuTech titles.
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This is a great adaptation of the Japanese fairy-tale about the "Snow Maiden".
Koihime is about Musashi, and his relationship to four girls he left behind. After being away from home for fifteen years, he decides to come home to visit. After seeing a flashback of him as a child, and the four girls he was friends with. In each flashback, Musashi tends to an injury a girl has... and while very chivalric and noble, this action has some consequences that Musashi doesn't know about.
When Musashi gets home, he's greeted by his grandmother, and by four of the young adult women who live there. All these women remember Musashi but... he doesn't remember any of them. Yes, these are the same girls from the flashbacks, but we find out that, at least as far as they are concerned, he's married to all of them. You see, each girl is actually some sort of spirit. (As a side note, "Koi Hime" can be translated as "Spirit Princess" or "Deamon Princess"). For example, Nami is a water spirit, and Nami's father is a water dragon. And this is where things get very problematic.
Because the Spirit King doesn't like the fact that Musashi, a human, is married to all these sacred, spirit princesses. In fact... he wants Musashi to be forever banished and punished for his actions. An event that the girls do not want at all, as they want Musashi to stay with them forever. Now, into this dangerous mix, add, Mayuki the quietest of all the four girls, the one most in love with Musashi, and the one with the most dangerous of magical powers.
You see, when Musashi originally left 15 years ago, Mayuki's grief over seeing him leave nearly caused her to encase the world in ice. After all, she is a snow maiden. And now that he's being forced to leave again, her grief might be too much for her to overcome.
And that's what I like about this story. It's a very mature love story. People have to accept the consequences of their actions, and... they have to accept that feelings change and people change. In the end, Mayuki finds out Musashi left because he wants to be a teacher, that's his dream. And she realizes that if Musashi is forced to stay, and never to leave, that he'll never see his dream. So, she banishes him from the village, so Musashi can follow his dream. Watch past the credits though... else you'll miss the fantastic way the show really ends.
I highly recommend Koihime to anyone who likes bishoujo anime. It has great characters, great character designs, excellent animation, fantastic storyline, and overall just high marks. Pink Pineapple pulled out all the stops for this title, and you shouldn't miss it.
Panasonic CT-27D11E 27" TV; Sony Play Station 2 DVD Player; Gold-Plated Monster component cable