Mania Grade: C+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- 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: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Nuku Nuku, All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl
Nuku Nuku TV Vol. #3
By Chris Beveridge
May 16, 2004
Release Date: May 25, 2004
Nuku Nuku TV Vol. #3
What They Say
© ADV Films
Nuku Nuku returns for more madcap adventures in Maneki City! Trouble brews when Nuku Nuku beats spoiled rich girl Chieko to the last fried noodle bun, an unpardonable offence that causes Chieko to unleash an all-out war of retribution on our favorite cat-brain Androbot!
Then Ryunosuke finds himself transformed into a pink alligator when he accidentally consumes a DNA transformation potion cooked up by the bumbling Dr. Oh-Izumi. Unless Akiko's minions Arisa and Kyouko get the antidote to Ryunosuke in time, he will lose all chance of ever becoming human again!
And the New Year begins sadly when Nuku Nuku wakes up and realizes Kyusaku, Akiko, and Rynosuke are nowhere to be found. Fearing that the Natsumes have abandoned her, Nuku Nuku goes on a trek to find where she belongs. Along the way, she learns about her classmates' families and the importance of having one. Don't miss this heart-warming installment of Nuku Nuku TV!The Review!
Nuku Nuku continues her adventures as we get two more TV episodes and the first special placed into proper continuity within the series.Audio:
Having seen so much of this franchise in Japanese already, we stuck with that track for this series as well. The show is a pretty basic stereo mix that didn't strike us with too much noticeable directionality but it had a number of big sequences that filled the entire soundstage with explosions. During regular playback, we had no issues with dropouts or distortions nor did we run into any issues in spot-checking the English language track.Video:
Originally airing in 1998, this series keeps much of the style and feel of the original OVA series, resulting in something that's similar to the 1992 project that started all of this. The transfer here looks good with some slightly brighter colors but otherwise a similar palette to the original with normal backdrops and characters that aren't too outstanding, other than Atsuko's red hair that is. The colors look good here, nice and solid without any noticeable bleeding or overt macroblocking. Cross coloration was something I didn't come across and the amount of aliasing is pretty minimal, about what one expects from a late 90's show done traditionally. The transfer here is solid and does a good job by the source material.Packaging:
This particular cover had me laughing the minute I saw it since it has the great image of Ryunosuke being held by Nuku Nuku as she runs along in her transformation outfit. Just the look of pure fear in the kids eyes with his body dangling along and his hair whipping by is perfect. The back cover has just a few shots from the show and another piece of Nuku Nuku, instead seeking to fill a lot of the cover with text, such as the lengthy summary. The discs episode titles are listed but not the numbers (though volume numbers appear on both the spine and cover) and the production credits take up a lot of the bottom area. The technical grid lists all the necessary information and in a slight twist, lists the episode numbers themselves here instead of with the titles. The insert has a cleaner version of the front cover while the reverse side lists the episodes and the basic features you'll find on the disc.Menu:
Continuing with the simple theme, the main menu is a static piece with the image of Nuku Nuku from the front cover set here next to the selections. A short cycle of music plays from the opening sequence in what's otherwise a somewhat bland but functional menu. Access times are decent and with no transitional animations, it's a breeze to move about.Extras:
The only extras included in this volume are the opening and ending sequences in their textless format.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Nuku Nuku's life continues on in this volume with her facing more challenges of her own while those around her deal with variants of them as well. With Mishima being the root of all evil in this towns little world, it's not surprising that things end up affecting everyone to some extent.
This volume has a couple of rather good episodes on it. The opening one in particular is a lot of fun with the various people it messes with. It's sports festival time again at the school so there's a huge event planned, particularly since it's a Mishima city. Before the event starts, the young president in his secret meeting room with all of his staff in costumes has decided to send Bloody Akiko down to hunt for Nuku Nuku in the general area of the city where she seems to operate out of. To his surprise, she's not actually there at the meeting having put in a request for a day off. The scary part is that the project is handed off to her assistants, Arisa and Miho. These two revel in their chance to prove themselves and head off to the school so they can find the person who shows the most athletic ability since they're likely to be the one that's causing all the trouble.
Beyond showing some intelligence by coming up with this idea, the two of them only end up in constant trouble once they reveal themselves later in the event riding their Robo the Giant robot, complete with handlebars along the side of its face for them to hold onto. The parody is done quite well and it's just hilarious watching the thing move around. Before they get anywhere near that though we have lots of fun with the festival itself. One of the big things about this festival is the apparent challenge that Chieko has handed down to Nuku Nuku, mostly because Nuku Nuku keeps mispronouncing Chieko's name. Chieko ends up bribing Kyusaku into building her a power suit of her own (he's so weak and shameful!) and goes to take her on at the festival. Akiko can't believe what's happening when she sees her assistants, Kyusaku can't believe the power suit he built and Ryunosuke just can't believe any of it. This episode is just an enjoyable mess of different genres colliding.
The other episode that had us laughing a good deal dealt with a little mishap in product placement. One of the secret groups latest developments is a drink that's actually a DNA changer, allowing the person to become something else. In the comical description, they have someone walking down the street and is attacked by a bear. With a quick drink of the DNA Changer, they're able to turn into a bear themselves and promptly beat the stuffing out of the bear. The problem, as there is always going to be a problem when creations like this arise, is when a failed drink of the companies gets swapped out with the DNA Changer and the next thing we know is that Ryunosuke's got a hold of it. And he turns into a small pink alligator with a red tuft of hair on his head. It's just indescribable and is filled with a lot of strangely amusing moments.
Instead of placing the specials on the last volume after the TV series itself had ended, the two specials are placed into their proper place in continuity with the TV series so we get the first special here on this volume. The special, a new years special I believe, is a minor look at Nuku Nuku's origins and plays up some of the traditional aspects of the new years event by getting most of the girls in the kimono's and playing around with traditional stories like that. It's a decent special overall but its pacing felt a bit off from the TV episodes themselves.In Summary:
The TV series itself continues to play out much like it has from the start since it didn't have to deal with the origins or anything else but rather just jump right into the fun. Each of the episodes stands alone nicely and the level of enjoyment continues to be derived from whichever part of the cast the episode focuses on. Some of the school episodes are good, like this one since it brings Chieko to the fore, but some of the other ones are pretty bland. With a good school episode as well as a fun tale about a pink alligator, this volume manages to be a bit more enjoyable. Nuku Nuku's not a bad show, but it's one that hasn't really won us over. It's got some good moments but it's something we're not able to enjoy on a sustained basis.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Closing
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.