Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 180
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Please Save My Earth
Please Save My Earth
By Chris Beveridge
July 25, 2000
Release Date: July 25, 2000
Please Save My Earth
What They Say
© Viz Media
A tale of love, loss and reincarnation.
Alice is a Japanese schoolgirl who has never thought much about the past…that is, until her classmates, Jinpachi and Issei, tell her that they’ve been sharing the same vivid dreams ever since they were in junior high school. In the dreams, Jinpachi (called Gyokuran in the dream) and Issei (a woman named Enju), plus five other scientists, are on some sort of base or research station on the moon. The seven of them are involved in some kind of work observing the Earth, collecting data. Alice doesn’t think anything of it...until she has the same dream.
Seven scientists born to love and life again.
Based on one of Japan’s most celebrated shojo manga (girls’ comic) series, Please Save My Earth tells the story of those seven scientists from a distant planet, now born again to new lives on the blue Earth they were sent to observe. But what are the secrets of their pasts…and how will those past lives affect their future?The Review!
Please Save My Earth is probably one of those kinds of titles that has a solid cult following over the years since Viz originally released it on VHS. For a segment of fandom though, many have been unable to watch it as the VHS version was released in English only, with no subtitled release.
With the release of all six episodes of the OVA onto DVD, this has been corrected and both languages with translated subtitles are available for the first time in the US. And while I have grown over the years to enjoy the dubbed version, watching the subtitled version brought new understanding to this very unique series.
Though not terribly dynamic, both audio tracks are in stereo with some decent usage of the front soundstage. This is primarily a dialogue series, so the majority of it comes through the center speaker. During a few of the action sequences and in the music, the left and right speakers come into action, with the music being the primary focus.
One thing that does concern me is whenever something is released on one disc with six episodes, since there can be such varying quality in the video compression. Over the past couple of years the authoring houses have gotten much better with what they can do, and the lush and vibrant colors exhibited in this release is a testimony to it. Though there is a fair amount of line noise spread over the three hours of the series, the vast majority of the animation simply looked solid and beautiful. The style of the character designs and the coloring used really shines through with this release, with the shadings and shadowing. The animation itself is fairly fluid through sections of the series, but again as it's a dialogue show there's not a lot of it.
The only real downside I had to this release is with the packaging. While the cover certainly does exude a shojo/romance/softness, I don't think it was the best image to be used. The VHS covers were definitely more dynamic in nature and coloring. To make this even worse, the back cover contains absolutely no shots of the animation or anything else in terms of what the show looks like. While the series description is good and the quotes are accurate, there isn't a real hook on the back for the casual browser. The insert is good in that it shows some pieces of animation and gives chapter listings for each of the episodes. The disc itself is silk screened in black with the logo and a few bits of other information.
The animated menus are pretty good, using a piece from the show itself with the shifting water that focuses on the Earth. Soft music plays in the background as well. Selections are pretty quickly accessed and the layering isn't all that deep, so getting to where you need to go isn't all that difficult.
While there aren't an immense amount of extras, there are some really good ones on here. The character biographies of the scientists, which are well done and really help expand on the characters, should not be read until you finish the series. A big kudos for including the Frequently Asked Questions pages from the Animerica piece done awhile back, as it does comparisons between the anime and the manga as well as explaining various little things such as the meanings of the characters names. What earns major kudos is the inclusion of the creditless ending sequence. As there is no opening sequence for this show, the ending serves this purpose, and having all of the text removed, as well as giving you a chance to simply listen to the music and watch the images slip by. The extras section is also the only place you can get the Japanese voice actor credits, as the video portions are the ported dub VHS credits. Some noteworthy names in there as well.
Please Save My Earth is a series that even after years of viewings, I can still find something new in it every time. Some look, some little piece in the background, a particular saying. Being able to watch it in Japanese now for the first time, even more bits come to light.
At it's heart, the show is a mystery/romance that's based around seven alien scientists who died on the moon and ended up reincarnated on Earth. The story follows their meetings in their teen years as they try to unravel these dreams of their past lives and whether it was really real.
So much of this story is a mystery, that going into too much detail really could ruin the show. Please Save My Earth is definitely a dialogue movie, and the interplay between the characters in both language versions is quite good, though the Japanese actress for Alice gets a better nod from me for the better performance. Rin is quite good in both languages though, while the others vary slightly depending on their level of interaction.
The animation for this show is in a similar vein seen in many of Viz's initial anime licensing's, such as the Mermaid's stories and the Ranma OVA's. Character designs share the same style, the quality of the animation is high and the colors and backgrounds are simply wonderful.
One of the highlights of this show is the music itself. The ending sequence is usually the first to be pointed out, as it's sung by Seika and composed by Yoko Kanno. The rest of the score is created by Hajime Mizoguchi is truly wondeful. I've had the CD of this for many years now, and it's always been a great relaxant and something to simply drift off listening to.
Please Save My Earth is a show that doesn't end in what many feel is a true ending, and it's not surprising as the six OVA's are trying to deal with a large number of manga volumes. While it does a good job of encompassing many aspects of it, much is left out from the manga itself. If you don't like shows that don't end without any full resolution, you'll dislike the ending here. But for those like myself, where often it's the journey itself as opposed to end result, this disc will draw you in fully and keep you guessing with all the twists and turns.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles & Info,Frequently Asked Questions,Creditless Ending
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.