Najica Blitz Tactics Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 17 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Najica Blitz Tactics

Najica Blitz Tactics Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     October 01, 2003
Release Date: September 30, 2003


Najica Blitz Tactics Vol. #2
© ADV Films


What They Say
CRI super agent Najica Hiiragi and her partner Lila are back to save the world! The fun starts when they must race against time to stop the madman Ricardo Kidel from using a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile to stage a coup.

Then the Humaritt version of Pandora's box is opened when a Humaritt combat model gets activated without orders or a master. The Humaritt escapes, and Najica and the CRI team have to find this android before disaster ensues! While Lila recovers from injuries, Najica must work solo to help teenage math prodigy Swaney and her guardian Daniela from being re-captured by the repressive government of Kirnovf.

If that weren't enough, the rogue Humaritt Toni takes a hostage-Azusa Katsuragi-to prevent the destruction of a stolen jet fighter, the Oboro. Najica and Lila must recover both while going up against Toni's master, the weapons dealer Rasse Pewnt! It's all in a day's work for Najica Blitz Tactics!



The Review!
The second act of Najica is here, and like most second acts, it only seems to bridge the first and last acts.

Audio:

For my primary listening session, I listened to the original Japanese stereo soundtrack. There’s very little directionality in the soundtrack, as the money seems to have all gone to the panties. Dialogue and sound effects are clean and distortion free. Explosions sound great also.

In addition to the Japanese track, I also listened to the English track, which is presented in 5.1. Separation of channels was excellent. Dialogue clearly came out of the center speaker, and the rears were used well during crowded fight scenes.

Video:

This digital animation project is free of any scratches or flaws, so the master was pristine. Unfortunately, this time that transfer was just one small baby step away from flawless, as there is a tiny bit of aliasing in a couple of scenes. Colors were bright, and blues and black had no noticeable macroblocking.

Packaging:

The white trend of the covers continues, and this time Najica is again on the front cover in a red Chinese dress with the slit on her side going up past her panties, where she’s recovering a gun clip. Poor Lila, she’s nowhere to be found this time. On the spine we have a volume number two, and the same picture of Najica, but smaller. The back cover features a quick two line summary of each episode. Three shots from the show are also included. Inside, there’s an insert with Najica posing in her outfit from episode eight.

Menu:

The main menu features the opening theme playing plus several images of the show being shown on the left side of the menu. The video on the left is squished horizontally though. From the main menu you can select to start any of the four episodes presented on this DVD, scene selection, languages, and extras. Menu response time was fast, and there are no menu transitions except when you select extras. Then you get to see Najica unzipping the front of her wetsuit.

Extras:

Again, ADV included an excellent amount of extras on the DVD. A clean opening and closing is included, Japanese TV spots fully subbed, a rather hilarious Japanese TV spot featuring Lila, and some production sketches. The best extra though, is another commentary track. This time, Andy McGavin (Gento) and Mike Kleinhenz (Majima) do the commentary. While it doesn’t have the amount of energy from the first commentary, Andy and Mike do an absolute fantastic job just being guys. They even talk about Monica and Kira. Comedy gold!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

In the first episode on this DVD, a man named Ricardo Kidel is bent on trying to take over a country, and he has an intercontinental ballistic missile to back up his claims. CRI sends Najica and Lila to stop him. While gathering information at a café though, Najica is targeted by a sniper, who ends up being a Humaritt. No wonder Najica was sent on the mission.

Eventually, Najica and Lila track down the cargo ship where Ricardo has the missile, and it’s time for a lot of girls in short little sailor suits! Except Ricardo has one more secret that will be sure to sneak beneath the surface.

Next episode, an organization tries to capture a combat Humaritt that is being transported but ends up waking it. Normally, a Humaritt has a master, but this one awakens without one. Never before has such a thing happened, and it is an ultimate fighting machine that fends off everything after it. Najica and Lila are sent to destroy it.

Except nothing seem to stop this Humaritt as Najica unleashes all sorts of fire power against it. Even Lila can’t seem to stop it, but there is a limit to its power. Can that limit be reached before it kills Najica?

Lila is taken out of commission for a while, so Najica has to go on her next mission alone. After having Lila with her, can she return back to her solo days? Especially when she might have to go up against another Humaritt? A girl named Swaney has something, and she’s only being protected currently by a Humarrit named Daniela. Najica must get to her in time, before others reach her, and she’ll have a car worthy of James Bond to help her on the mission.

The final episode concentrates a lot on aircraft as an arms dealer is after one of the latest new planes, so it’s up to Najica and Lila to protect the plane. A Humaritt is sent to get the plane, and it even takes a human girl hostage. In this episode, Najica starts pushing at Lila to go beyond her programming of just following orders from her master. Najica wants Lila to start thinking on her own, and with their lives in the balance, Lila must make a decision quickly.

Four more episodes of Najica and we’re two thirds through the series. A lot of this volume seemed like filler, but they snuck in a little bit of character development for Lila. Najica seemed the same though. We’re starting to see a little bit of the overall plot, but left with more questions than answers.

There’s still plenty of panty action going, and this time we even get some bare boobs from our two lovely stars (or is that four?). The bullets are flying, too. And that’s really all the show seems to be offering, and since I think that’s what Studio Fantastia is trying to do, they are accomplishing that well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make for a very engrossing story, and I find myself constantly having my attention drift elsewhere. Recommended for a one time viewing only.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Audio commentary by Andy McAvin ("Gento") and Mike Kleinhenz ("Majima"),Lila's On-Call Mission Announcement,Production sketches,Japanese television spots,Clean opening and closing animation

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36” Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears


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