Midori Days Vol. #1 (also w/box) - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 29.98/44.95
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Midori Days

Midori Days Vol. #1 (also w/box)

By Chris Beveridge     March 29, 2005
Release Date: March 29, 2005


Midori Days Vol. #1 (also w/box)
© Media Blasters


What They Say
Seiji "Mad Dog" Sawamura is the ultimate high-school punk. With his super-strong invincible right hand, he can punch through cement walls or entire street gangs. As for how he got his right hand that strong... well, he's got some problems getting a girlfriend.

Just when he thinks his only girlfriend will be his right hand, his right hand becomes an actual girl! Midori Kasunago wished she could be by Seiji's side, and ends up attached to his wrist. Seiji's fighting days may be over, but his girl trouble is just beginning!

The Review!
When rough and tumble streetwise Seiji wakes up one morning to find that his "demon" right hand has turned into an adorable green haired girl, his life becomes even more complicated than he could imagine.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix is fairly standard for a TV series and with lots of action sequences throughout it that make good use of the stereo channels. The shows dialogue has a fair number of areas where it's rather low and whispered as well as hitting some good highs and throughout those areas it avoids any sort of real distortions. The mix overall is fairly standard but it comes across well here and is problem free from what we could tell.

Video:
Originally airing in 2004, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The look and feel of the show fits well with the real world style while the characters are standing out with brighter and more fluid pieces to them. The main characters themselves are the ones that stand out the best, particularly Midori with the green for both her hair and eyes. The show has a good amount of fluid animation to it so it flows well throughout the episodes here and the colors are really vibrant and full without being over saturated or showing any noticeable bleeding. Lacking any cross coloration and only some very minimal aliasing, it simply looks good through and through.

Packaging:
Sporting some cover artwork that works much better than the Japanese covers, the sideways angle helps it to stand out and provide a really good wide shot of most of the main cast of characters that looks wonderful with the English language logo that's really cute. The sideways covers can sometimes not work well but this one comes across really well and the heavy green emphasis is just right for it. The back cover isn't done sideways though thankfully and it's laid out in a cute manner with lots of hearts with character shots in them and a plaid background. The description covers things nicely and the discs features are all clearly listed. The discs production and technical information fills out the bottom half cleanly and clearly. No insert was included with this release.

Menu:
The menu is laid out in a similar fashion to the back cover of the keepcase but with an additional image of Midori to the left and the navigational selections on top of the piece of paper and done in a cursive writing. It's really nice looking and fits the theme of the show well without being over the top or too bland. Access times are nice and fast and it's easy enough to move around and read the selections. Unfortunately our players' presets weren't properly read as the first subtitle track is the English signs and song one.

Extras:
Some good extras are included with the first volume of the series. The opening and closing segments are of course things we want to see with each volume and they look good here. We've also got a round of dub outtakes which have some good bits to them and some weak ones as expected. The promo reel showcases the material that was ready to promote the manga's transition to animation and it's thankfully translated both in the dialogue and in the scrolling pieces of text. This is from the Japanese release and it's nicely done with the drama playing along to various stills and pans from the show of the backgrounds where the characters are at. This is one of the best ways to do dramas on DVD and I hope we see more of these in the coming years.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the more popular series from last year and one based on a popular manga series from Sunday Shonen, Midori Days is one of the latest boys shows that really has fun with the genre in messing things up and just having fun with the characters but keeping just the right amount of wistfulness to it in order to keep it grounded at times.

The show is focused around seventeen year old Seiji, a young man who has some anger issues to him of sorts. His life has led him to be something of a terror on the streets where he takes on various gangs and those who attack his junior. He's earned a reputation as one of the baddest of the bad with his right hand demon fist that has almost a legendary amount of amusing tales told about it, usually by the junior of his that he keeps defending. When it comes to his classroom, his general nature exudes from him and his desk is like an island in the room as everyone has shifted away from him. Naturally, this means he doesn't have a girlfriend as most of them are pretty much afraid of him, regardless of how earnest and actually nice he is underneath that persona.

But for every man there is a woman and one has fallen in love with him, though from a distance. We see an attractive young woman from an elite school that watches him along the monorail and has that look of longing that is pretty common in these kinds of situations. Where the show gets weird is in that the next time we see this young woman, it's when Seiji wakes up one morning in bed. She's right there beside him. Well, beside him and a part of him but not in a way that he'd probably like as his right hand is now a miniaturized version of Midori's body from the waist up and she's completely clueless about how she got there.

So you can pretty much imagine that the humor and story gets pretty slapstick at times from there. Midori's not sure why she's there but she tells him that she's been watching him for nearly three years and really likes him but at the moment he's more concerned with getting her off of his hand. To both their surprise, they find that her body is still where it is at home and she's simply fallen into a deep sleep that she isn't waking up from. The two keep their secret from everyone, particularly Midori's parents, and they try to figure out the best way of dealing with things. Unfortunately, they often find themselves in strange situations that don't allow them time to figure it out and they just roll with the punches.

One of the more amusing situations that arises from this is when Seiji's sister Rin comes home, initially to take the expense money that his parents had sent home for him for the next month. Rin normally lives with whoever her boyfriend of the moment is and she's out of high school, but she takes advantage of Seiji whenever she can and this is one of those times. She ends up discovering his little secret and just has a lot of fun with him over it which includes taking his money and forcing him to spend it all on an overnight retreat to a hot spring for her and her gang from high school. While it is a hot springs episode, it's a very cute one where you have the weirdness of Midori washing Seiji's back with her body wrapped in cloth.

The show is very much heavy in the slapstick department and this is owed to the way that Midori is able to take control of Seiji's body. When she wants to move somewhere, she simply goes and Seiji is dragged along behind her. Since she's a touch flighty she doesn't think this through at times and it certainly causes some pain to cross Seiji's face but since he's got such a cute girl there it ends up not being something he really yells at her about. The show is also very up front with the nudity so there's plenty of breasts and nipples abound in this show, including a cute scene when we first see Midori on Seiji's hand. With such great character designs for the two leads and some of the secondary characters, this show just looks really good and plays out in a highly amusing manner.

In Summary:
With a very amusing premise that avoids some of the real life issues of having a pint-sized girl for a hand, Midori Days is a very well animated show that plays up its humor both in the verbal and slapstick areas very well. The characters are instantly likeable and while they don't deal with their situation in the most realistic of ways, they certainly have fun with it. The lack of any real explanation is also something of a plus since it lets the show focus on the characters and how they deal with it rather than trying to deal with whoever or whatever did this to them. With only thirteen episodes and three volumes for the whole thing, which mirrors the Japanese release, this is a short and easy series and the first third of it had us very much enjoying it.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Closing,Dub Outtakes,Promo Reel,Original Audio Drama Day 1

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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