Nanaka 6/17 Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Nanaka 6/17

Nanaka 6/17 Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     August 31, 2006
Release Date: September 12, 2006

Nanaka 6/17 Vol. #3
© ADV Films

What They Say
Will it be the 17-year-old bookworm, or the 6-year-old brat? Well, you'll have to watch and find out " as the final volume of Nanaka 6/17 delivers a festival of frenzied fun " plus a SPECIAL BONUS EPISODE that never aired in Japan! Poor Nanaka becomes overwhelmed with the upcoming Cultural Festival, and things keep getting crazier as she flips back and forth between her two rival personalities. Will the sophomores' Magical Domiko stage play be a major disaster? Will 17-year-old Nanaka do away with 6-year-old Nanaka once and for all? If so, will Nenji even get to say goodbye to his kindergarten companion? Once thing's for sure " you won't want to miss the heart-wrenching, revealing conclusion to Nanaka 6/17!

The Review!
Nanaka 6/17 comes to a rather mild close in a way but it brings a good resolution to the odd triangle that grows out of this personality disorder.

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.

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.

Keeping to the same layout as the first volume with the purple and orange borders, I have to like this cover that closes things out as it has a really nice shot of the two Nanaka's back to back but with the Magical Domical wand inb both their hands. Add in a good looking full color Nenji in the foreground and it has a soft and relaxing feel overall. 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.

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.

The extras are pretty standard for a little known series with the opening and closing sequences presented in their clean form. There's also a preview for the bonus episode located in here while the bonus episode itself is available from the main menu.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The series comes to a close with this volume as it has the last four episodes of the show as well as the unaired bonus episode which takes place somewhere within the series itself. This show has been well balanced in how it's gone between the light and fun atmosphere that Nanaka typically brings to the table as well as the more emotional and slightly angsty side that the older Nanaka and everyone else tends to deal with because of her condition.

The weakest part of the series has been the shift in how Nanaka in her six year old form has managed to evade any real problems at school in her actual work but also in what little social interactions she has to deal with. The opening episode to this volume brings that back into focus when the culture festival is coming around again and the class decides to put on a play. This is something Amemiya really wants to do after last years incident where everyone was so lazy that they ended up doing only a break room in their class so everyone else had a place to crash during the event. The other girls in the class decide this is a good time to show up little miss popular again though and Nanaka finds herself in the position of not only determining the play to be about Magical Domiko but she's also the director and scriptwriter for it.

This event is fairly significant for Nanaka as it marks a period where she's turning back and forth a bit more frequently between her two "selves" but also in that her older self is able to see some of the memories that her younger self is making. The older Nanaka starts to get a clearer picture of how everyone likes the younger version of her more than her "true" self and she starts a bit of a spiral on it but comes to the conclusion that she must remove her younger self so that she can be the only one left, regardless of who it hurts. But even with that plan in mind, she's still one who will work to make sure that her younger self is happy during the time she has and she works up an amazing script and cast list for the play, an event in itself is very amusing to watch.

A lot of what has been going on in this volume deals with the way that older Nanaka is realizing what's going on with herself and that the merger of the two identities is getting closer. The doctor that Nagihara has been talking to explains her case similarity to a number of others with him and Nanaka's father and the two lament a bit at the loss of the younger Nanaka. But this is exactly what the older one has been talking about in how she feels that she's losing out to her and has to get rid of her. While it is corny, the writers do play this out an in alternate form to show another way to things to Nanaka by having the Magical Domiko show air its last episode which has the young transforming magical girl going through similar kinds of feelings about her multiple forms. It's an obvious parallel but we get a good bit of Domiko time that's far too cute and it works well in the context of this series for setting the stage for the ending.

After the show comes to a close, which felt very mild and more of a close of the first act of something bigger, having the bonus episode worked out really nicely since it drops us back into the storyline before the personalities started to get close. It's mostly an episode that focus around a date of sorts between Amemiya and Nagihara that goes wrong when everyone starts showing up in the same places they do. Amemiya is trying to keep it secret because she doesn't want to cause a stir or make it seem like more than it is but everything just pushes her into the spotlight. It's a broad physical comedy kind of episode which the show has touched on before but it's good to see a bit more Amemiya after the last episodes have her a bit more to the side than I would have cared for..

In Summary:
Nanaka 6/17 isn't the kind of show that will really have wide appeal but it surprised me with how well it was done at the start and that it carried through on its storyline so well over the course of the twelve episodes. It may be the wrong way to say it, but it's a series that is good because it avoided a lot of the stupid pitfalls. If it had run longer I could see it really starting to grate, which is something that the younger Nanaka character managed to not do all that often. It also avoided overpopulating the series as the secondary characters that came in like Kuriko and Satsuki didn't detract from the show; they came in for their core episodes and really kept to minor roles afterwards instead of dominating it. This release is solid overall and was a pleasant surprise.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Video preview for the un-aired bonus episode,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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