Nana 7 of 7 Vol. #4 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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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: 100
  • 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. #4

By Chris Beveridge     February 23, 2005
Release Date: February 08, 2005


Nana 7 of 7 Vol. #4
© Media Blasters


What They Say
A magical girl Animé featuring the same character seven times, NANA SEVEN OF SEVEN is about an adolescent girl with a literal case of split personality. Nana lives with her grandfather, a clever inventor who modifies existing appliances for new purposes. When he tries to capture a rainbow in a microwave, Nana inadvertently opens it and is instantly split into seven Nanas. Each of the other six Nanas represents a different extreme of the girl's personality, and the original has her hands full trying to tame them all. What's more, each has a piece of heart-shaped crystal that gives her a different super power, uniting them as the Nana Rangers. In HEARTBREAK BY THE NUMBERS, the fourth volume collecting the series, Nana learns that the boy she has a crush on, Yuichi, isn't interested in her. The Nanas' hearts literally break, and now her friend Hitomi must cheer her up before the crystals shatter completely and there's no more Nana at all.

The Review!
It's character growth time as Nana has to learn some of the harsh realities of the world.

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:
The cute seven make an appearance together once again in a cute ppiece where the fish are flying and the fanservice is definitely there as they're all in the same outfit of a tight t-shirt and cut-off jean shorts. Much like the last cover, since the character isn't really all that attractive in the way anime characters can be, the fanservice is almost a bit silly here. 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 and the episode numbers are finally accurate again with this volume. The production and technical information is all clean and clear and easy to figure out. No insert was included in this release unlike previous volumes which did have one.

Menu:
Using the artwork from the cover with a bit of a light colored blue background, it's a cute piece that looks a bit more bright and alive than the cover itself does. 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)
The previous volume of Seven of Seven was something of a let down since they did that entire going to America bit and really stretched the bounds of what they were doing in terms of believability. Yeah, believability in a show like this but every show has its own rules to go by and some of the stuff they did in those episodes just felt like they were cheating to create some new emotional distress for the cast.

This volume makes up for this a bit by avoiding a lot of these kinds of issues and actually moving some of the characters forward in life. The second semester has begun and those in the fast track class are being worked even harder towards their entrance exams so that they can achieve what they want. The principal makes some changes for the new semester and one of the interesting ones is that he breaks the kids up into groups by their intended school, which puts Yuichi and Nana in the same group as she's still trying to follow him. This works out great for her until he actually asks her why she's trying for that school and she gives a girlish flub answer about just trying for the heck of it, which really ends up diminishing all the work she's done for herself in this class. And it's an answer that puts off Yuichi as well and he starts to avoid her a bit more.

This is actually rather amusing since if she was honest about her reasons for wanting to go to the same school as him, he'd realize exactly what he's doing because he's trying to get into the school to follow a girl that he knew from a previous school. What's bad for Yuichi though is that he's told her about this and she's basically had it with him and his persistence over it, especially since she wants to focus on her studies and academics and not on all the distractions that a boyfriend would bring into her life so she continually tries to push him away, though it doesn't seem to work well. It's amusing to see that he's doing really the same thing as Nana and you know that's how things will get itself wrapped up in the end but it's not that often that it goes quite in this direction.

A lot of new pressures get applied to Nana as she hits the new semester and in addition to feeling like she's really blown it with Yuichi, her mental state adds to the larger problem as it starts to affect the heart shaped jewels that seemingly give life and power to the other Nana's. As the primary Nana feels worse and worse, the others start seeing the hearts shatter and then they disappear. Nana's attempts to deal with this get tied up in the stories of the three brats that torment her that she's still strangely friends with as she learns what their lives are really like and what kind of real hopes and goals that they have. I do like how they've fleshed out those around here and it's not surprising that the other girls are actually really nice underneath their torment since this is a show that's really made for young girls and in general they won't really try to rock the boat.

In Summary:
Adding in a holiday episode to bring out some of the slapstick material and a really amusing school play and this volume definitely rises up a bit over the previous one but so much of what we go through here continues to feel like filler or fluff. It's not bad filler or fluff as it does help expand the characters of those around her, but the story has seemed like it doesn't have a real solid middle to begin with for this overall storyline and it's really showing now.

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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