Mahoromatic ~Something More Beautiful~ Vol. #1 - Mania.com



UK DVD Review

Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: NA
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe/Japan
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £15.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Mahoromatic

Mahoromatic ~Something More Beautiful~ Vol. #1

Mahoromatic ~Something More Beautiful~ Vol. #1 UK DVD Review

By Christopher Homer     July 19, 2010
Release Date: July 06, 2010


Mahoromatic ~Something More Beautiful~ Vol. #1
© MVM Entertainment

The fist disc of a sequel to an intriguing first season, which returns to the zany, albeit predictable, antics of a diverse cast.

What They Say
Just when Suguru begins to think her life has gone back to normal she realises she's being spied on by a combat android. So begins Suguru's quest to uncover the truth about her robotic assailant...

The review: The fist disc of a sequel to an intriguing first season, which returns to the zany, albeit predictable, antics of a diverse cast.

The Review!
Audio:
Done in a standard 2.0 format, I listened to the Japanese track for this review. It's a very strong audio, impressive in terms of the format in Japanese, as it seems to link with the atmosphere of the show, sullen, dark and atmospheric, with some booming quality. A quick switch to the dub showcases that it seems very level in terms of quality as I've tended to notice on many dual language discs when both languages are stereo format that the dubs tend to be stronger '" in Mahormatic, it is equally good, not overpowering or outstanding, but no problems with distortion or with linking to the subtitles, suggesting that MVM is managing to focus on both tracks for all audiences now, which for me, is a good thing.

Video:
The video had no problems compared to some of the other MVM test discs I've had, they were no glitches or slowdown, and also a show like this when it's much brighter than Rozen Maiden it works better without the square background previous used, and no problems with the timing of the subtitles. Resolution is clear and bright if not spectacular, and overall is a clear release from MVM.

Packaging:
There was no packaging for this test disc.

Menu:
The menu is very basic, with the opening song playing over a shot of Mahoro, Suguru and Minawa with selections for episode (5 episodes) and extras, but no scene selection so a no thrills menu system which is becoming commonplace in the MVM releases.

Extras:
There are no extras supplied with this disc.

Content:

I saw the original season of Mahoromatic several years ago, so this sequel was a chance to get reacquainted with some characters that I had nearly forgot about. And the series does a good job at least reacquainting with the comedy aspect of the characters rather than the rather series aspects that happened in the end of the first season. The first problem is that the series doesn't give a good re-introduction to the characters and you are thrown in at the deep end. Even Mahoro, the lead, doesn't really get reintroduced to why she's the maid of Suguru so it's hard to play catch-up for anyone like myself who hasn't re-acquainted themselves with the series for a while.


We are reminded of the finale of the last season by reintroducing Ryuga, the main foe last season from the Saint organisation to combat Mahoro from the VESPER division. After his defeat he seems to have been taken by human society and is continuing his façade as a teacher. And whilst he is being watched by Mahoro's panther like ally Slash, Suguru is'busy reading porn, being reminded that perverseness is not allowed by Mahoro, and his overly big breasted teacher Shijiko is still extremely creepy with her shotacon complex to Suguru. However, the main story in the first episode is the introduction of Minawa, a cute young girl who seemed to fly from heaven but is in fact another combat android, claiming to be a runaway member of the Management, who are conspiring against VESPER. Mahoro decides that she wants to protect her from them, and is adopted into Suguru's family under the guise of Minawa being Mahoro's younger sister.

In true Mahoromatic fashion, Minawa becomes a maid at Suguru's household. However, unlike the very capable Mahoro, Minawa is very clumsy and almost seems anemic at times. This provides a big part of the fanservice in an already rather fanservice based franchise. However, there are definitely elements of Minawa which suggest that she is more competent than she lets on, and her reason for apparently infiltrating the Suguru household is not completely explored but you sense there is something more sinister is involved.

The rest of the disc however doesn't really add to the plot of Minawa and instead reverts back to fanservice and comedy. Minawa gets transferred to Suguru's school and gets an admirer of one of Suguru's friends Hamaguchi almost immediately, but the crux of the comedy comes between the rivalry between Shijiko and Mahoro, usually due to the different in the sizes of their chests. So Mahoro decides rather abruptly, after seeing something in one of Suguru's magazines, tries to makes her breasts bigger with a device. Hilarity does ensue with a little bit of 'was it a dream?' And yes, 'Boobie Missiles' is an interesting way to call out your attack and be very embarrassed at the same time.

Mahoro is also told that there was a possible bomb at the school, so she disguises herself and transfers to the school '" fooling absolutely no-one. It does lead to some moments involving most of the side-cast (Suguru's two friends Hamaguchi and Kawahara, and his three female friends, Miyuki, Rin and Chizuko, also the singers of the infamous end themes, the Triomatic) trying to discover what Mahoro is searching for '" and it turns out to be a time capsule held by Shijiko. Needless to say, it gives Mahoro an ulcer or two. The final episode is a nice friendly one as it's a Xmas episode '" where we gets to see Mahoro use her powers for fun reasons (flying to the US and Finland for a turkey and Xmas tree), Chizuko the most well known of the three side girls shows her main gag from the first season (her over the top reactions for knowing well known food, specifically the fact Mahoro knows so many heading recipes). It is quite comic as you'd expect, especially when Shijiko gets involved, but there is a sweet part with
Hamaguchi giving Minawa a gift, whilst Ryuga still believing in Santa Claus is amusing (admittingly, he's only 3 as he always says').

The show is very comical and there is definitely a lot of laugh out loud moments. However, the problem I found is that it is way too predictable. Almost all the jokes come from the rivalry between Mahoro and Shijiko, and particularly their breasts (or lack of in Mahoro's case). Suguru hardly gets much focus despite being the protagonist of the first series, as the main issues of him seem to have gone and replaced with Minawa, but even then, after the first two episodes, Minawa's plot seem to have died, and only really focused when she is being chased after by Hamaguchi. Most of the jokes are routine, though are quite funny (Slash and Ryuga teaming up after hating each other to make fun of Mahoro was hilarious, and Boobie Missiles'). The characters at this point haven't got enough development as most people will know the past from watching Mahoromatic Season 1 however it took me a while to remember them and even nearly forgot why Mahoro was with Suguru in the first place so it's not very good as a recap or reminder series either. However, there are hints to the plot (especially in the first episode) in regards to Minawa so I'm certain this will be rectified in future volumes.

In summary:
Mahoromatic doesn't lose much from the first season in terms of what brought it to the dance '" comedy, fanservice and a catchy ending song. The characters, whilst not fully memorable are amusing, and the introduction of Minawa does give a spanner in the works, but not a developed one yet. In terms of plot-line, it's hard to see what is going on yet and what her role is, and a lot of the jokes, whilst funny, are very predictable. However, it's certainly not bad in that respect, and it's one of the shows that you don't have to worry about thinking too hard, just watch and laugh. And cheer with poor Mahoro whenever she becomes the butt monkey against Shijiko. That teacher is creepy'

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37C3030 - 37" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV '" Tangent Ht-50 Home Theatre System Multi-Regional DVD Players/Speakers '" Tangent Subwoofer 50-150 Hz, Impedenced 8 OHM.

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