Pretear Vol. #4 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • 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. #4

By Mike Dungan     August 25, 2005
Release Date: March 30, 2004

Pretear Vol. #4
© ADV Films

What They Say
The fate of the world hangs in the balance! Pretear Himeno Awayuki and the Leafe Knights are doing their best to defeat Takako, Princess of Disaster, and her demon hordes. However, Takako has transformed Mawata into the Puppet of Darkness, the power source of the Great Tree of Fenril, which will destroy the Earth! To prevent the apocalypse, Himeno and the Knights must rescue Mawata and stop the Princess of Disaster once and for all. Will Himeno's love for her family, friends and the Knights be enough to save the world? Or will the power of evil vanquish love? Don't miss the amazing final installment of Pretear!

The Review!
Junichi Sato and Kaori Naruse's surprisingly dark magical girl story comes to a powerful conclusion.

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 grays abound. I didn't notice any video dropouts or aliasing, and was quite pleased with the video transfer.

Packaging: On the front cover, Kei and Gou surround Himeno who is sleeping on a bed of feathers, clutching a glowing sphere to her chest. The image is framed and crystal flowers surround the edges. The back cover continues the theme. Three images from the show are shown across the middle, with the synopsis above them, and the technical info below. The episode number and titles are clearly shown on the back, and the volume number appears on the spine. The insert features the cover image on one side, and a list of the episodes and volume content on the other. The graphic design for this series is very attractive.

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, complementing the mood of the show quite well.

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 five of the English voice actors: Kaytha Coker (Takako), Jason Douglas (Kaoru), Laura Goodnight (Natsue), Shelley-Calene-Black (Mayune), and Mandy Clark (Mawata). It's another entertaining set of interviews, with some very interesting views from the actors about their roles in particular, and the art of voice acting in general.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sasame's defection to the Princess of Disaster's side is real. He will do anything to be with her, including killing Hayate if that's what she demands. But she has a better plan for him. She uses him to betray Mawata, and uses her anger and despair as a tremendous source of power. Sasame's fierce and unwavering love for Takako is one of her greatest assets, but it is also a chink in her armor, and she finds herself slowly responding to his love. With Mawata as a power source for the Great Tree of Fenril, which she is using to destroy the Earth. But the Awayuki family won't abandon Mawata, and they fight for her against the tree with all their might. With even the tree beginning to rebel against the Princess of Disaster, Himeno finds herself left with only one option: become the legendary White Pretear, the one who can prete on her own, without the help of a Knight. She can supply Fenril with all the Leafe it requires to calm it, and replenish the world's supply of Leafe all at once, but to do so means her death.

For a show that seemed so by-the-books in the first volume, I found myself riveted to my chair as I watched the final volume. It was a heartbreaking and beautiful end to what turned out to be a fascinating series. ADV has had some unfortunate troubles with shoujo series in the past (a "complete" season of Sailor Moon minus an episode the Japanese wouldn't let them license; licensing only half of SuperGALS; the disappointing production delay of Princess Tutu due to licensing troubles) but Pretear is one title a shoujo fan doesn't have to worry about. It's complete, and it's been well-handled by ADV. The ending is a tear-jerker, even with a touch of the Deus ex Machina at the end. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and especially enjoyed the English dub, directed by David L. Williams. Luci Christian did magnificent work as Himeno, Illich Guardiola was especially powerful as Hayate, and in this volume in particular, great work was heard from Chris Patton as Sasame, Kaytha Coker as Takako, Mandy Clark as Mawata, and the entire cast. Shoujo fan or dub fan, it doesn't matter. You will be happy with Pretear.

Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Clean Opening Animation,Clean Closing Animation,Behind the Anime with English VAs,Production Sketches

Review Equipment
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player


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