Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: C+
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A
- Age Rating: 15 & 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: Pretear
Pretear Vol. #2
By Mike Dungan
May 19, 2005
Release Date: January 06, 2004
Pretear Vol. #2
What They Say
© ADV Films
Himeno Awayuki should be happy. Her family is rich. And when Himeno merges with a Leafe Knight, she transforms into an all-powerful superhero: the Pretear! But a discarded lipstick leads Himeno to learn that her archenemy Fenril, Princess of Disaster, was once the human Takako and the previous Pretear. Worse, Hayate-Himeno's current love interest-spurned Takako and turned her to evil! Devastated, Himeno loses her Pretear abilities.
Sensing Himeno's weakness, Fenril begins toying with the Knights-and nearly kills Sasame. Things look dire, until Hayate declares his feelings for Himeno. Then, to everyone's amazement, Himeno discovers how to be the Pretear again!
Unfazed by this setback, Fenril sends Transport Demons into the Awayuki home. The Leafe Knights and Himeno race to protect her family. Unfortunately, Mawata, Himeno's stepsister, succumbs to despair, and the Knight Sasame loses hope. When the Princess of Disaster is finally found, she has a few cards up her sleeve-and secrets to reveal. The Review!
Junichi Sato's intriguing take on the Magical Girl genre takes a turn for the dark with its second volume.
Audio: For my primary viewing session, I listened to this series in English. The 5.1 mix flows well, using the full soundstage to good effect. The music is mixed well, giving the scenes plenty of punch without overwhelming them.
Video: The show uses a soft palette of colors which make the transfer to video well. Blues, greens and greys abound. There is a spot of video aliasing at the beginning of the closing credits in episode 6 that mars an otherwise fine transfer.
Packaging: The cover shows a beautiful image of Mawata with a troubled look on her face reaching out to the Pretear. There are CG created roses that look as if they were carved from ice surrounding the image. The back cover uses three small images from the show against a blue/green background. Episode numbers and titles are listed as well as special features, and the copy blurb. The volume number only appears on the spine. The insert uses the cover image on one side, and the episode titles on the other. The overall look of the packaging is quite beautiful, emphasizing the romantic rather than comedic nature of the show.
Menu: The menus load quickly with a bit of animation as flowers and then the menus themselves load up. There are two menu strips, one across the top and one across the bottom, both in blue with a red dot to show which selection is highlighted. Navigation is easy and quick. It's well designed, well in keeping with the look of the show.
Extras: The usual clean opening and closing animations are present, as well as production sketches, which in typical ADV fashion are an animated slideshow rather than a series of still images. Once again, there is a live action extra called "Behind the Anime" with four of the English voice actors: Chris Patton (Sasame), Victor Carsrud (Kei), Spike Spencer (Goh), and Greg Ayres (Mannen). it's quite entertaining and surprisingly long without chapter stops, so be prepared.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
These three episodes take Himeno down a very long dark road into her own depression, which always lies just below her usual cheerful personality. A dream at night of the Princess of Disaster has her running without thinking into Hayates arms. Afterwards, Hayate shadows Himeno everywhere, which gives Himeno's best friend Kyoko plenty of romantic fantasies to swoon over. Meanwhile, it is increasingly clear to Himeno that the four older Knights are not telling her anything about the Princess of Disaster or what happened before. She finally convinces the three younger Knights into taking her to Leafania, their home, to learn what she can. The three younger Knights were born after the last battle with the Princess of Disaster, so they don't know anything about it either. But a search of the place where she was imprisoned give Himeno a good, if puzzling clue.
The Princess of Disaster is increasing her attacks, draining more and more leafe. Himeno finally convinces the older Knights to tell her everything about what happened before, but she learns frightens her even more. She tries to laugh it off, but the fear is real and debilitating. A surprise encounter with Mikage, the family's kind maid, helps Himeno find her focus, but a face to face meeting with the Princess of Disaster shatters her resolve. Everything she's learned, and the Princess's extraordinary power, leaves Himeno frightened to her very core.
If the first volume seemed a little too "by the numbers", then the second volume is making up for it. There are some surprising revelations that spice up the story. Himeno's cheerful demeanor is constantly put to the test, and she doesn't always come out the better for it. In fact, it's Himeno's constant struggles to reconcile the non-stop revelations with her own latent depression that make the show so interesting for me. I also find Mawata's attraction and repulsion to Himeno's relationship with her father intriguing. It isn't all just psychological drama, though. Fans of magical girl transformation sequences get their eye candy, too, as Himeno pretes with Mannen and Kei revealing two new outfits in the process. Pretear is shaping up to be a very good, very thoughtful show.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,"Behind the Anime",Production sketches,Clean opening and closing animation
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player