Midori Days Vol. #2 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • 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: 29.95
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Midori Days

Midori Days Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     May 18, 2005
Release Date: May 31, 2005

Midori Days Vol. #2
© Media Blasters

What They Say
Beware aggressive women! Seiji's beset on all sides by assertive females! Shiori wants to live with him because her father is remarrying. Ayase is trying to ask him out, but he's too dense to notice. His crazy sister Rin is trying to toy with his emotions, and Midori is still his right hand. Even Takamizawa is getting in on the...action. But Seiji's biggest challenge is yet to come. He's about to wake up and find that he's become Midori's right hand!

The Review!
As Seiji and Midori continue to adjust to how their lives have changed, forces work against them with amusing agendas.

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.

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.

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 pink 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.

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.

While the first volume had a couple of extras to it, things drop down considerably here to just one extra, but it's a nicely done one with the second audio drama being presented with subtitles. I continue to be glad that some outlet for these things has been found and done well by several companies now.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the second volume of the series, this brings us through the central arc of the show where we get some fun character episodes, some light building of their personalities but overall material that's meant to be fun before it gets to the final round where the reality of things must be dealt with. This section of episodes avoids the issues of having to either introduce or resolve things and instead just gets to have fun with the concept.

That's not to say that there isn't any character building going on though. Midori's all set from the start to enjoy a day spent with Seiji out and about but circumstances end up landing him a date of sorts with Shiori, the young girl down the street. She hates spending time with her father's new wife and has the standard resentment gig going on which is why she gravitates so heavily towards Seiji and her whole preference for older men. This is amusingly reinforced by the number of boys her own age that have supposedly confessed to her but she turns them down. In her own way, she wants to save her father from other women and lashes out in any way she can. Seiji unfortunately takes the brunt of it as she starts taking up his time and going on about being his wife and moving in with him after threatening to run away from home. It's cute overall, very predictable, but with just enough wit to it due to Rin getting involved and coaching Shiori on how to capture Seiji.

Seiji also gets chased around, though he doesn't quite get it, by Ayase after she actually manages up the courage to ask him out to a movie that she knows he'd go see. The entire time they're together, Seiji doesn't really understand that it's a date and he's just completely oblivious to so many things. But Midori knows what Ayase is up to and does her best to keep her off balance and to avoid getting to Seiji any more than she can. Ayase is blunt as hell in some scenes, such as when she goes bikini shopping, but she's also just as oblivious sometimes such as when they're in the movies. She reaches over to hold his hand and instead finds herself touching Midori all over. This is just very comical as she essentially feels up Midori and comments on it quite graphically.

My favorite part to this volume though is the episode where when the two wake up one morning only to find their bodies have switched places. Seiji is now the hand on Midori and they have to deal with it. It's one of those learning episodes for Seiji to understand just what Midori has to go through but it also shows how well she's mastered the entire experience since we get to see some parts to it that was hidden before. Seiji's attempts at doing the things that Midori normally does is very amusing since his control isn't all that good, especially when it comes to cooking. The best material comes when they realize they have to go out to get him clothes since he doesn't want to wear the tops she's made with all the "I love Seiji" text on it. They go to the figure store which is just filled with some of the weirdest people ever and it's priceless watching how they both deal with it.

In Summary:
Midori Days really just hits about every aspect right from the sentimental moments to the comedy while carrying it through with interesting characters that support the two leads. This set of episodes deals with the middle arc of this short series very well and manages to maintain the same great looking animation and fluidity to the characters animation. The stories are fun, Midori continues to be adorable in her role while getting more protective of Seiji and Seiji himself is growing nicely while having more influence of a woman in his life. This doesn't deviate all that much from the first volume but has a lot of little nods for the more hardcore general anime fans with the figure store and a comic expo that really has some fun with the concept. Definitely worth checking out as one of the better comedies of recent memory.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Audio Drama 2

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


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