Mania Grade: B
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- 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. #5
By Chris Beveridge
May 25, 2005
Release Date: March 15, 2005
Nana 7 of 7 Vol. #5
What They Say
© Media Blasters
Nana is shocked when someone steals her lucky pencil just before a big test. But only the other Nanas knew where it was, and none of them would do such a thing! Enter the eighth Nana, the dark Nana, more powerful than all the others put together!The Review!
The series turns strangely dark as things accelerate now that the end of the series is within grasp.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 cover gets much darker this time around as we only have two of the Nana's here and while we get the small form of the white angle wings from one, the other expands with a large black wing and a look that's practically evil. It's a great change of pace from the past covers and has a nice bit of style to it with the twisting of the artwork. 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:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Moving within reach of the last set of episodes, the plot seems to suddenly move forward again though they only really touch on the entire part about the combination of the various Nana's a few times. It's in other areas that things really start to move along at a decent pace now.
Before things get into the really gritty, Nana has to deal with the problem of her parents showing up at the house on New Years unexpectedly, which means the others have to hide a lot. But it gets worse when her mother reveals that she intends to bring Nana to America since her view of how her daughter is living isn't good since she misinterprets all the various "seven" of things that are lying around the house. It takes a nice turn as we start to see more of Nana's past as she's spent a lot of it with her grandfather and there's lots of pictures to show and history given that helps flesh things out nicely, even if it does do the full intentional string tugging.
Where things start to turn dark is that we learn there's an eighth aspect of Nana that was created in the accident and she's mostly been hiding since the beginning and just watching. As events roll forward though, she feels the need to ensure things go as she wants and has to stop the other Nana's from creating problems for her main self. What's interesting is that this Nana, while often times looking evil, is full of confidence but she doesn't boil over the top with it, it's almost a controlled confidence that gives her a fierce nature at times. She simply doesn't like the other things that her self does, and it's easy to call her the dark side of Nana and just go with it, but it feels like there's more to it.
Her need to get involved comes when the practice scores come back from the tests that the kids are all taking in the accelerated class and it turns out that Nana's hard work has paid off tremendously well as she's one of the top ten in the block. Even better, depending on how you look at it, she's been given the opportunity to get an early acceptance into the school she wants as does Yuichi. Both of them have scored so well on their tests and having made their choices known, the school wants to put the two of them through an interview to see who should get the slot since there's only one. This turns the two into rivals of sorts but the both act friendly about it. But the eighth Nana will have none of that as she wants to ensure her getting into the school and moving forward.
The addition of this new Nana certainly throws the balance of off things but it also really highlights how much a lot of the characters have changed over the course of the series which has been subtle. If this had happened earlier, the primary Nana would have cowered before her but now she's just watching her and trying to understand this new addition to the group, though she is getting a bit blindsided by her. The others haven't grown too much but they all work together much better now and are obviously more in synch than they ever have. Along with Yuichi going through changes due to the interview here and his own desires to get into the school, things are definitely not like they were when we started out. Nana has most definitely grown and changed here.In Summary:
Some of the recent episodes have been hard to get into since it seemed like it was just wandering a bit and almost a bit repetitious of some of the earlier material. This volume seems like it gets things back on course after wrapping up some smaller things and getting you ready for the key moments that are to come in the last few episodes as the cast has to really grow up in order to move in to high school and to deal with whatever problems the reunification of their body may entail. While this series hasn't been one of my favorites, it's done some interesting things and has been consistent, which is a plus. With what they do here, I'm actively looking forward to the end of the show now to see how they wrap it all up. Interesting stuff.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
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.