Plastic Little - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Plastic Little

Plastic Little

By Chris Beveridge     January 28, 2002
Release Date: February 05, 2002


Plastic Little
© ADV Films


What They Say
Journey to the breathtakingly beautiful planet Yietta, where colonists - living on a floating artificial continent - make their living by exploiting tourists. But no paradise is perfect!
A secret organization within Yietta’s military initiates a ruthless plot to take control of the planet. At the last moment, Professor Nalerof Mordish sabotages their plans, but in the process, loses his own life.

Believing Mordish’s daughter Elysse possesses a computer code vital to their cause - the military capture her as well. Captain Tita and the crew of her hyper-sub Cha Cha Maru put their lives on the line to rescue her. When the military mobilizes, in a desperate bid to retrieve Elysse, it’s a game of Cat and Mouse on a planet-wide scale - with one crucial difference: mice don’t shoot back!

The Review!
One of the original batch of titles licensed by ADV not long after they started up, it's finally made its way to DVD and has become the focus of a mad mad experiment by its producers. Van Ling, are you paying attention?

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Being originally released in the early 90's, it's a fairly basic stereo soundtrack that contains very little in the way of directionality but a nice full soundstage. Dialogue is clear and there's little in the way of distortion and no noted dropouts.

Video:
Something of a mixed bag here, but the good outweighs the bad. Being an OVA and quite a popular one at the time of its original release, it's got some great production values to it with good coloring that it's overly vibrant and overall very realistic style. There's a bit of jaggies to be seen during camera panning sequences, but the main offense you'll see in various places is some minor cross coloration. It's not overly strong or annoying thankfully, but it does show up in a few prominent areas to distract us.

Packaging:
Using a slight variant from one of their VHS releases, the cover just screams fanservice and screams Satoshi to me. He's definitely one of my favorite character designers when it comes to fanservice shows, and this cover does not disappoint. Tita takes up practically the entire cover to show off her backside to the potential buyer here. The back cover provides some more traditional looking pieces of artwork and some menu pictures. A brief summary is also included here while the insert goes all out with a gorgeous image of the three main women in this show in their bathing suits (in what must be some cold weather). The reverse side uses some nice artwork as well while listing the chapters and the extras.

Menus:
Mixing one of the more subtle soundtrack segments into the menu with some animation based on the text and static images provides a good looking main menu, though it's odd that nearly half of it is made up with blank black space. Submenus work in much the same way with selections being very easy to access and movement between menus nice and brisk.

Extras:
With this disc the ratings for the extras are skewed by one particular piece. The infamous "jiggle counter". When selected via this submenu, the way you view the show changes fairly dramatically. During playback, the show goes on as normal. In fact, it's almost ten minutes before the jiggle counter gets underway. When the character's breasts begin to jiggle, the counter (shaped like a pair of breasts no less) appears in the upper right hand corner of the screen and starts adding with each new jiggle. It's hilarious and its application to so many other shows is limitless. The disc also features such steady extras such as the sketches & storyboards as well as the original ADV Plastic Little trailer.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Plastic Little definitely has a feeling of nostalgia for me and a fondness for the early days of domestic releases. At the time, the animation was probably close to theatrical level at times with gorgeous looking colors and beautiful character designs. The designs were so good that I even sought out a book that Satoshi Urushihara had put out that showed off his great skills.

Plastic Little is definitely a simple story that's made better by the characters, even if half of them are left pretty shallow. The show revolves around Tita, the captain of the Cha Cha Maru, a pet shop hunter ship. Pet shop hunters are people who take their craft into the clouds of the colony they're on and hunt out various weird creatures that live in there. These creatures sell for good money, so it's a profitable if not dangerous line of work.

The ship that they use is currently undergoing some final repairs while the crew enjoys a much deserved break. Tita and company are staying at a great hotel, which is where we first meet her waking up alone in bed. She heads off into the city to grab lunch for everyone and then to the ship. But it's here where things start to go wrong for her. A group of black clad soldiers end up chasing a young girl right by her and begin to use force to capture her. This doesn't sit well with Tita, who knows better, turns her bike around and takes out the soldiers and rescues the girl.

This of course is no ordinary girl. She's the daughter of a scientist whose been working on a project for a segment of the military that operates the floating colony. Apparently said scientist learned after he completed his work on a new type of gravity drive that it was going to be used for evil purposes. Those gents in full black getups didn't tip him off at all. So in a mad dash to prevent catastrophe, he hides the password in his daughter's DNA and sends her to the colony while he gets butchered.

So in-between bath scenes with young nubile girls and those peeping on them, we get a decent chase/adventure tale where Tita must protect Elysse from the black suited goon squad while also trying to save the colony. It's a typical tale in that respect that makes out with some better than average style and character designs and a bit of an attitude.

The jiggle counter ends up changing things a lot though. You start to argue with it over what constitutes a jiggle. And when you start doing that, expect your wife to have a few choice words for you. This little extra perk is a lot of fun with this release and definitely adds to its charm. Satoshi is definitely known for his characters ability to jiggle and bounce at near-Gainax levels.

Plastic Little isn't a crowning jewel in ADV's library, but it's one with some significance for the old timer crowd who can relive their early days a bit through it. It also shows that a good number of their back catalog will come out looking pretty slick with a bit of care and attention.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Sketches & Storyboards,Jiggle Counter,Plastic Little Trailer

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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