Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 34.95
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Love Hina
Love Hina Vol. #1 W/Box
By Paulo Vinícius Wolski Radtke
March 09, 2002
Release Date: February 19, 2002
After reading the original manga up to vol.7 (luckly it is got a bilingual press) and patiently waiting for the DVD release, finally R1 DVD owners are able to enjoy this hit anime series. I'll focus on the disc quality, comparisons with the manga and the japanese original release and the box. I guess that other reviews already dealt with the contents, so I'll skip this (and no matter what, I'll just end up saying it's great, so it's pointless).
When I got (borrowed, they are way too expensive) the R2 DVDs I was amazed that they went all the trouble to use dual layered discs for releases with 3 episodes per disc. It was with a bit of fear that I looked the silver shiny R1 disc and realized it was a single layer and inserted it into the DVD-ROM. I was wrong. Mastered by Pop-Cinram, this disc is gorgeous. Colors are solid and small details are very visible (and on a 19" inch computer monitor it's easy o spot them). The only flaws I found where at the ending credits, which was strange, but for the rest of the show, everything was great, which makes me wonder why release 3 episodes on a dual-layered disc when Pop manages to release FOUR on a single-layer.
The only problem I had with the video was de-interlacing on my software player (PowerDVD), I had to manually select the way it was going to de-interlace the video to make it stable (it kept changing between Blob and Weave all the time). I have tried this disc on my Playstation 2 and it looks really great, but with a 13" TV I would not call that an appropriate setup for a review :). But it's an issue with the software player, so regular desktop players will do just fine, but it is something that DVD-ROM users should know.
Sound wise, the disc does not feature the best sound mix out there, just plain stereo, but it was like that on the japanese release, so no fault on Bandai. The musics on this one are nice, except for the opening theme, which sounds more like a music played on a NES or a Sega Genesis. No matter how many times I hear it, I can't get used.
For extras, there is Keitaro's sketchbook, which is funny, but not a great extra. But at least it is an extra, as the japanese disc featured nothing. The menu also is not anything to brag about, but then again, if you compare to the japanese release, it is just wonderfull ^_-. I will skip the US logo as this dead dog had all the beat it could take, and it's something that does not bother me (who cares, the right logo is at the right place, on the opening).
The box is nice (many will complain the logo), but the ilustrations are nice and the box itself is a solid construction, if you have the chance to compare with the Trigun box set you will know what I mean.
Now, for the contents. You see, I really enjoy the manga. It is silly, it is got some absurd situations on it, but there are some touchs that make it remarkable, standing out when compared with other romantic shonen stories. So the first shock I had was when I realized that the anime *IS* a lot different from the manga. Yes, all the girls are there, many situations from the manga are included, but most of time, they're different, and some great jokes are lost. At the first chapter, Shinobu sees Keitaro Naked, and the girls argue that he molested a 12 years old girl showing you know what to her, and Shinobu goes on saying it was fine, that it was so small - now try to imagine Keitaro's face and Kitsune telling Shinobu "That's not very nice to say".
If you ask me if I enjoy the TV series, I have to say yes. But I must emphasize that if you enjoy this one and likes to read manga, you should give a try at Tokyo Pop's manga release of Love Hina (I still have to check it to compare to the japanese bilingual pressing, but I guess it should be fine).
All in all, Love Hina is here, and fans are able to enjoy this great release at an affordable price.
Athlon XP1800+, Syncmaster 950B monitor, LG DVD-ROM, PowerDVD player