Madonna - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 104
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Madonna

Madonna

By Chris Beveridge     April 19, 2002
Release Date: January 22, 2002


Madonna
© Media Blasters


What They Say
Mako, a sexy young teacher, comes to Gyunabe high school to enlighten young minds. What she wasn't counting on was a class full of misfits lead by the delinquent Obayashi.

If their never ending quest to see her underwear and embarrass her in front of the whole school doesn't force her to quit, then her principal's brilliant idea of making her the new rugby coach will!

The Review!
Madonna, a two episode OVA series, is the closest thing I’ve seen to an after school anime special yet. Take out the brief bits of nudity, and that’s essentially what you’ve got here.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. This was also a title that Media Blasters felt didn’t warrant a dub, so there’s no English here beyond the soft subtitles. Being about thirteen years old, there’s little to this audio track beyond a simple stereo mix that feels like a full on center channel mix. It’s decent but unsurprising.

Video:
Originally released in 1989, Madonna features a pretty simple style that comes across in this transfer pretty well. While it’s not an eye-catching show with visual flair, the transfer brings out the colors without them being over saturated or bleeding. There’s very little cross coloration and some varied instances of line shimmering due to some detailed line work in a few areas. Some of the backgrounds do look like they’re blocking up on occasion, particularly the green chalkboards.

Packaging:
The front cover is an overly active one with lots of character shots (of the same characters in different outfits) with the white cut and paste borders around them. Or call it edge enhancement! The back cover features a few animation shots and a very brief summary of the show. The insert uses part of the front cover artwork and lists the chapter stops here as well.

Menu:
None. If you hit menu, it takes you back to the beginning of the disc.

Extras:
See: Menu.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Madonna is the story of Mako Domon, a newly graduated teacher who gets her first assignment at Ushi High School. She’s assigned to class 2-D, which as it turns out, is the worst class in the worst school. Her first few minutes there, after she writes her name, she turns around only to find that the all-male class have taken their pants off and are just showing their goods to her.

So begins the rough and tumble life of a girl who just wants to do good, have her summers off and teach the kids. There’s a small clique of boys within the class that’s the center of power and they’re the ones that tend to get into and cause the most trouble. They’re also not the best fighters in the world either, as Mako comes across them in a mall and finds them completely roughed up after an encounter with a nearby school. They all seem to get along better after this, but there’s still plenty of tension. In the end, the boys seem a bit more like boys instead of just rejects from Apocalypse Zero for being too normal.

When Mako realizes she can’t deal with it anymore, she goes to the principal to give her notice of resignation. But even that can’t go right as she ends up being snookered into being the advisor for the newly reformed Rugby team. Members? None. She’s gotta recruit them. So we go through the bit of the ruffians joining the Rugby team for their own reasons (so they can go beat up the guys who beat them up). And we get Mako trying to make the team a real team and dealing with the completely dilapidated club. And learning the sport too.

Honestly, if at this point you can’t see how things are going to go, you’ve never seen an after school special. It’s all laid out pretty plain. The second episode follows up the first by sending them all to a Rugby camp to learn to play better, only to find that this summer Rugby camp is at the same school, and so on and so forth. The material isn’t bad, and I did find myself chuckling several times, but I also laughed at the same things during the after school specials I used to end up watching when wanting to avoid homework.

Strangely, the title is rated 13 which I found somewhat surprising after finding at least one attempted rape sequence and a fair bit of nudity throughout. It feels more of a 16 rating, but that’s just me.

Madonna’s not bad really and if you like the really warped looking character designs, you’ll find some good punk ones in here. Mako as the only attractive woman in the show though is a real stretch as I couldn’t find the character attractive at all.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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