Nanaka 6/17 Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & 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: Nanaka 6/17

Nanaka 6/17 Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     July 17, 2006
Release Date: July 18, 2006


Nanaka 6/17 Vol. #2
© ADV Films


What They Say
Just when you thought things couldn't get any crazier, Nanaka and the gang are even more out of control! As Nanaka slips between 6-year-old delusions and 17-year-old reality, her buddy Nenji is reaching his wit's end. Does he prefer silly Nanka? Or serious Nanaka? Then, when a rival 6-year-old declares her undying love for him, it's kindergartener versus "kinda-kindergartener" " in an all-out, all-WRONG battle for Nenji's affection. And whether she's on a class trip to Kyoto, or an outrageous outing to a theme park called Pop'n Land, poor Nanaka can't escape constant judgment from her jealous classmates. She's funny! She's frazzled! And she's back with a vengeance in Volume 2 of Nanaka 6/17.


The Review!
Nanaka grapples with being a child and the frustrations thereof when she thinks Nenji is favoring another child more than her.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series sports a pretty good stereo mix which is nicely accented in the English 5.1 mix by being a bit more distinct and slightly more directional in its forward soundstage placement. The Japanese track is rather good for the stereo mix that it is though as it has plenty of well placed dialogue and sound effects and a strong set of musical areas in the opening and closing sequences. We had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either language track.

Video:
Originally airing in 2003, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With production by the folks at JC Staff, the source materials for this series just look fantastic. The show deals with a number of soft colors such as the lilac of Nanaka's hair as well as the general school background setting but the skies in their clear and rainy fashions have a really good look to them. There are a lot of vibrant colors to be found in this show as well as they look great here with a very solid feel that's maintained even when there's some high motion action sequences. This is a great looking transfer that's free of problems, especially cross coloration and aliasing.

Packaging:
Keeping to the same layout as the first volume with the purple and orange borders, Amemiya takes the main shot for this cover while cute versions of her and Nanaka are in the background along with Nenji. Amemiya doesn't exactly sell the cover but it's a decent looking and clean design with some solid colors that works nicely and keeps to the tone of the show. The back cover has a similar bordered layout but is rather dense and busy compared to the front cover as it has a series of strips going across for each episode where it has five small shots from it and a couple of sentences about all of it strung throughout. With the winged hearts as a soft background, the thin font for the text makes it hard to read and just adds to how busy it all looks. The discs features and production information is a bit better off while the technical grid is amusingly reworked to fit in the space that it has. No insert is included with this release.

Menu:
The menu layout is nicely done with the rising sun motif but modified a bit as it rises from the corner but doesn't fill the entire screen as purple hued animation clips play in the background along with the floating winged hearts while some of the music plays along. It's heavy on the pinks and purples but it's nicely laid out and fairly intuitive to use the navigation once you take it through for a spin. Access times are nice and fast and the disc correctly read our players' language presets and played without issue.

Extras:
The extras are pretty standard for a little known series with the opening and closing sequences presented in their clean form. There's also the inclusion of another music video from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As Nanaka progresses as a series, as short as it is, the middle arc tends to stretch things out a bit in some way but in others it keeps going back to the core issue of Nanaka and her retreat into the world of being a six year old. The relationship between her and Nenji seemed fairly basic from what we saw in the first few episodes but as it gets explored here, it becomes obvious that there's much more history between them as childhood friends who one day start to see each other as more.

A lot of what forces changes through with this volume starts off when another child makes her way into the picture as Nenji ends up befriending a young girl named Kuriko. Kuriko finds herself instantly falling in "love" with Nenji and pushes through with this in the way only a six year old can. She takes her view of Nenji as being all her own and she refuses to let anyone else really get in her way which means she's extremely clingy about him. Nenji just rolls his eyes at this since to him it's like the situation with Nanaka is repeating itself but with a different person in a way. Nanaka however takes this arrival to heart and she sees Nenji not really shooing her away, which to her frame of mind means that Nenji doesn't want anything to do with Nanaka anymore and she reacts like that. It's especially key when Nenji tells Nanaka that she needs to grow up a bit since he doesn't see Kuriko as the kind of threat that Nanaka does.

Nanaka's "resolve" in being a six year old is further pushed when the class trip happens and everyone heads off to Kyoto for the adventure there. As she's kept to a room with a group of other girls who haven't liked her when she was a serious student and like her even less now that she's perky and popular but an apparent airhead, Nanaka has a really hard time dealing with everything that happens there. So much so that in combination with things said by Nenji and Amemiya, she starts to turn back to her old self and she focuses on her studies and to being an isolated person who doesn't want to deal with anyone else. Over the course of the two part storyline, we see how she handles the situation so poorly and in an introverted manner while also pulling away from Nenji. There are some good moments with Amemiya though as she finds herself seeming to get a bit closer to Nenji as they work to keep Nanaka's secret.

With as serious as the show gets for most of this volume, the last episode is a fun little standalone piece that just lets the characters be a bit goofy at times. Nenji is out sick from a cold so he's keeping away from everyone at home but that doesn't stop others from wanting to help. Nanaka goes in a really awkward direction by dressing up as a nurse and coming over to take care of him (from which Nenji denies any sort of fetish interest no less!) while Amemiya simply has these cute little domesticated dreams about taking care of Nenji before she arrives. What episodes like this continue to push with me is just how out of the three characters that are involved in this somewhat awkward triangle, all of them have their pluses and you don't want to see any one of them lose out. Of course, that means we're talking more of Nanaka in her adult form as opposed to her child form. Seeing her past and how closely tied it is to Nenji and why she forced herself into such a studious mode only reinforces her interest in him. The new interest in him from Amemiya is also fun to watch and seeing them compete in a way is just cute.

In Summary:
If there's any downside to this volume, it's the overall lack of Arayshima and his sister Satsuke as they have some of the best comedy moments of the show. But without them having much of an impact on these episodes, this volume is a lot of fun and really good fluff material in general. Similar to the first volume, this is not a show I expect a lot from and is playing fast and loose with a basic psychological concept but it simply does it well and with the right sense of humor and quirkiness. Nanaka 6/17 teeters on the line of going too far as it starts to bring in more characters but with only a few more episodes left they don't bring a dramatic change to the balance. Incorporating an actual six year old actually manages to work well at times and shows how normal Nanaka is actually acting at times. Though there aren't too many revelations here, the expansion on the casts background works well and sets up the final volume for a bit more emotional connection. If you don't expect much, you'll likely be pleasantly surprised and enjoy this.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Special music video,Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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