Nana 7 of 7 Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Nana 7 of 7

Nana 7 of 7 Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     September 27, 2004
Release Date: September 28, 2004


Nana 7 of 7 Vol. #2
© Media Blasters


What They Say
Nana is a multifaceted girl, but she never dreamed that her facets would develop minds of their own! As each of the seven Nanas take turns attending school, each one uses her unique abilities to handle classes, bullies and their secret crush.

Meanwhile, the original Nana is studying hard, trying to get into the high school her crush Yuichi Kamichika attends. Then, one night while listening to a radio show for cramming students, an unidentified boy calls in and leaves Nana a message. Could it be Youichi?

The Review!
Life for the Nana's continues to be just as problematic yet fun filled as before with another set of five episodes.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series features a straightforward stereo mix that comes across as pretty full when you have seven actors voicing the same lines at the same time. They use up a wide portion of the center channel, giving a lot of scenes a very full feeling as the show plays out. With more distinct dialogue it's easier to note placement which is still fairly center channel heavy. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback. The English language version feels a bit more hollow and more like you can hear the echo from inside the booth.

Video:
Originally airing in 2002, Seven of Seven has a good looking full frame transfer here. The show features a lot of colors and a fair amount of active animation on the screen with all seven girls. While it's not the most vibrant palette out there it's a good looking show with a mix of some nice bright colors against a more real world setting. Some areas feature a lot of detail and is thankfully free of cross coloration and aliasing is very minimal throughout as well. There's a bit of color banding in some scenes with large areas of a single color but overall this plays out well.

Packaging:
With seven versions of Nana, each cover is likely to be filled with all the girls and this is no exception but it does have a nice change from the first. That cover had all of them in their Ranger outfits but this one lets them all go as different as their personalities so we see a multitude of outfits set against the same kind of hazy background with stars as the first. The back cover provides a number of animation shots all in the form of hearts against a vague background image. The series has a three paragraph summary that does a good job of laying out the premise and some of the comedy to expect but there's amusement in the heart that says "Contains episodes 6-11" when it only contains 6-10.The production and technical information is all clean and clear and easy to figure out. The insert uses a shot of one of the Nana's against the same kind of background as the cover and provides chapter listings for all five episodes.

Menu:
Using the image of a heart with colors swirling around it, the main menu is a simple piece that uses parts of the show nicely as it mixes the image with a pinkish backdrop and numerous hearts floating about. It's set to a nice calming instrumental piece that you could almost use to take a nap with. Access times are nice and fast and the layout easy to navigate. Unfortunately, the discs did not obey our players preset language preferences and played in English with no sign/song subtitles.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With five more episodes, Seven of Seven plows through a good chunk of the show in just the first two discs of the series and we get a lot of time with all the girls. This second set of episodes continues much of the comedy and situations of the first but at the same time it starts to wear a bit thin since the gags are pretty familiar by this point and I'm almost close to saying hearing all six or seven talking at once is starting to become grating.

There is a good mix of episodes with this volume and one of the themes that keeps coming up is the way the girls in their Ranger outfits continue to be noticed by the public at large and end up causing trouble while also occasionally saving the day. Their appearance isn't causing too much of a stir but rather just localized groups of people seeing them and going "oh! It's one of them!" and sort of leaving it at that for the most part. Even when one girl discovers their secret outright after one of the Nana's changes out of her Ranger outfit just outside of the school, she isn't surprised but uses the information to ensure that her own cheating within school isn't picked up on. The minds of young girls continue to be a mystery to me in how they work.

One of the more brazen appearances by the girls in Ranger form comes when the primary Nana, after being frustrated by her homework and her feelings over Yuichi, becomes the subject of a late night teen radio talk show. Initially it was her and someone who may be Yuichi exchanging faxes online about their fast track class and how Nana was being treated but then the troublesome trio of girls who hate Nana got involved and made it all worse. The host of the show doesn't help much either as he uses math equations as a way of getting the right people to call but ends up causing a calamity when a lot of people figure it out and they all race to the station to get on air, Nana included. Of course, she doesn't take the traditional route but rather has her desk fly right into the window of the studio… Subtle? Picked up on by the media? Nah.

It's elements like these, which while work within the confines of the show, make it harder to really enjoy since it's taking such simple incidents that would get notice anywhere and glossing them over. But there's some more simple enjoyable episodes mixed in as well.

Two of my favorites have the girls dealing with school issues once more but needing the powers that they have less. One involves a midnight snack competition that goes awry in the classroom and ends up pitting Nana against the troublesome trio in a separate test. Each has to create the best midnight snack possible to a number of judges, one of which is Yuichi. This is a really cute episode since it focuses back on the relationships, brings the various skills of the Nana's together and lets one of the ones that normally doesn't get to shine to really shine by learning her cooking skills while the primary Nana deals with a cold. Though it's fairly straightforward and obvious, it works well since all of the incarnations of Nana need to learn something about themselves.

One of Nana's real struggles in the show, particularly in the fast track class, gets an entire episode once more with her having another failing grade with a pop quiz. The principal and vice principal both decide to start getting serious with the class in motivating them and it becomes something where the next person to come in last in their grade will be removed from the class. This forces Nana to really study but it also comes at a time when her secrets been discovered about her being one of the Rangers but it doesn't play too heavily into things. I liked how this episode had members of the class panicking in fear about what could happen while others stood up to the principal and upped the stakes in their own way.

There is still plenty of the usual kind of comedy one would expect from this show mixed in as well. You can't have seven variations of a person and not have a number of sight gags and other confusion based things happen. It's amusing how they all work against the primary Nana at times such as when it comes to the cooking and cleaning but then rally around her in her time of need. A lot of these incarnations are just plain lazy! But they're still good people in the end and that's one of the strong points of the show.

In Summary:
Seven of Seven in the second half of the first ten episodes plugs away much like the first half did once we got past the introductions. The various Nana's have their own self-interests to deal with but also work for the common good in times of need. While the larger plot as mentioned in the first volume isn't really touched upon here much if at all really, it does let us get to know Nana better and just how she really thinks – in all her different forms. Some parts of the show are becoming a bit weak with the repetition and how some of the voicing works, but it continues to be a cute and funny show.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

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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