Mania Grade: D+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Media Blasters
- MSRP: 19.95
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Mouse
Mouse Vol. #2
By Chris Beveridge
July 05, 2004
Release Date: June 15, 2004
Mouse Vol. #2
What They Say
© Media Blasters
The days may be numbered for Sorata, the infamous thief known only as Mouse. He's being pursued by Woof, an operative for a super-secret organization called the Force. Woof is doing everything in his power to apprehend and eliminate this obnoxious criminal who revels in the theft of the most legendary treasures on Earth. Fortunately, Mouse is backed up by an exotic squad of women to die for. Without their prowess and cunning, Sorata might not survive living his double life - school teacher by day, thief by night. The Review!
The second half of Mouse brings about some more character history and then fills things out with a longer storyline to give things a bigger feel.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series has a decent stereo mix with only a few areas of noticeable directionality since the style of the show is very much loud and forward with much of it being center channel based. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with distortions or dropouts during regular playback.Video:
Originally airing in 2003, Mouse features a good-looking full frame transfer here with lots of bright vibrant colors and a general lack of problems. Some of the mid range shots look a bit soft but it's difficult to say whether that's by intent or not. There's a good richness to the colors used throughout, particularly when you get to the Mouse moments and shots with his assistants in their special uniforms. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and there's a lack of general aliasing problems as well.Packaging:
Using the artwork from the third Japanese DVD release, Yayoi takes the center stage and actually manages to look like her breasts are smaller than they are in the show. False advertising!? You be the judge. Similar to the first volume you get the tinted image of Sorata in the background. This is a really good looking cover that keeps the Japanese logo and the style of the Japanese release with only a few tweaks to give it some continuity with the next volume. The back cover provides a number of shots from the show and has a brief summary of the premise. The discs technical features are all clearly listed in the usual useful technical grid. The insert has a shot of Hazuki in a skimpy outfit while to the right of her are the chapter listings for all six episodes.Menu:
The main menu is nicely done with a background of red tinted shots from the show with the series logo going down on the left while the right has an image of Mouse over the images, his shot being the only one in full color and untinted. This is all set to part of the opening song to the series which means you'll be making selections quickly and thankfully they load very fast. Access times are good and the layout is pretty standard stuff here. The release however did not use my players preset language settings and instead defaulted to English with sign and song subtitlesExtras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a very lackluster first volume, the second half of Mouse manages to be slightly more interesting but in the end still has a hard time really generating much of a hold over me. What we got in the first volume is still here in this set of six half-length episodes though the stories do go over more episodes than the standalone ones we got before. The breasts are still massive here and are operating independently of each other. The only thing scarier is seeing them uncovered with nipples.
The first couple of episodes are given over to learning how Yayoi joined up with Sorata. It takes her back to her college days where she was one of if not the brightest pharmacology student there and highly sought over. Her only real problem is that she was deathly afraid of men and of men looking at her. The thought of them looking at her really pierced her deeply, but mostly since as its told, you get the idea that she didn't realize that her body was enjoying the looks that it was getting and was reacting appropriately. So every time she got close to a guy she'd freak and run away from him. Mei was friends with her at this time and tried to help her out a lot but never managed to have much luck, even when introducing Sorata to her.
As things go, Yayoi ends up working in a laboratory that caters to her fears by keeping just women there so she's able to do some really good work. But one of their projects is something that Mouse is after and he sends off his card indicating he's going to hit there. This leads to Yayoi ending up in danger and needing a rescue, by a man no less. The two episode tale is fairly decent but suffers from much of the things seen in the first volume. There's a surprising near-hentai scene when Mei and Sorata get busy in the woods as she's completely naked and moaning the whole way. Oh Kikuko, you've gone so low?
The remainder of the volume turns things into another multi-episode tale where Mouse is after a historical clock that never stops running only to be stymied by a former nemesis named One, a man whom his father had supposedly killed some years before. As it turns out, One is an unkillable person for reasons not given and he continually comes back to go after Mouse and his goals. He's gone a nice bit further this time around by taking down both Yayoi and Hazuki and putting them under his control until such a time as he can use them to stop Mouse from doing what he does. So we get something of a classic battle against two opposing sides as it progresses along and the usual friend against friend angle.
To top it all off, the last episode is pure fan service for breast fans. Lots and lots of breasts. Covered. Uncovered. Full and erect nipples. Proudly displayed. This my friends is Fox in a few years.In Summary:
While I'll give them credit for being up front with nudity on TV, presuming that the last episode really aired like that on Japanese TV, all other credit is taken away for such a poor show. A lot of the problems from the first volume is still present here in the awkward pacing, the overly misogynistic aspects and the over the top character designs. Extra credit is removed for changing the villains name from One to Wolf for the dub as well, a nonsensical change from what I can tell. Mouse will certainly have its fans and there are some charms to it but they're far outweighed by all the bad things about it. Thankfully it's only a set of twelve episodes and if you skip the openings and endings you can be done in under an hour. When this is half the price for the entire series in one mini-brick it may be worth checking out for the curiosity inclined folks, but that would be the most I'd expect anyone to pay for it.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.