Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 19.98
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Princess Nine
Princess Nine Vol. #2
By Edmund Lee
February 05, 2002
Release Date: January 08, 2002
At last, the second volume of this sleeper hit arrived, and I gave it a good spin on the old DVD player and, boy, did I enjoyed everything in it. Need I say it? I love it.
The first episode starts off with the school semester starting off at Kisaragi Girls High and the current 5 girls have a problem. Since there is no one strong enough to catch Ryo's fastballs, this leads the girl to look for someone with the right physique. Nene makes a brilliant suggestion to recruit a girl from the Judo team, Mao Daidouji, and of course she turns out to be the perfect candidate. And another girl also decided to join the team, a wannabe pop-idol, Yoko Tokashiki. Of course she has never played baseball before and soon she fail the test. But with some acting skills and the coach's funny ideas, she was allowed to join.
The next episode, troubled by what Ryo was told about the "relationship" between Hiroki and Izumi, Ryo starts to avoid him as much as possible. Not only that, there's some friction in the team, mainly with Yoko and Seira. While this is happening, another girl wants to join the team too, Kanako Mita, but that proves to be a problem since she is the Principal's daughter. With Nene's brilliance, Nene creates a disguise that fools even her father. Now that they have 8 players and the team will have their first practice game in a week, which leads the team to look for the last player. Of course it had to be Izumi, but there is trouble brewing when Izumi starts to discover secrets about her mother.
The third episode, Ryo goes to Izumi and begs Izumi to join the team. But it became obvious that Izumi has no intention in joining the team. Izumi goes out to find out more about the secrets of her mother's past. The more she digs, the more insanely she is blinded by her hatred for Ryo, and soon she makes a challenge to the baseball team. A challenge that will determine the future of the baseball team. And so both of them begin training, having a blind determination to win.
And on the final episode the challenge has begun. The first ball was a foul, then the second was a miss, and the third was a close one as it rolled out of the field zone. However Ryo starts to wonder why Izumi is so blinded by the hatred for her. With that realization, Ryo feels very sympathetic for Izumi and threw her an easy pitch. This leads to Izumi winning the match. After the match, Izumi was told that the last pitch was an easy one and not feeling right about winning to an easy one, she had a change in heart.
So that ends the second volume of Princess Nine. If the first disc didn't hook you on, this one will. The story that builds upon itself really does make this a great show to watch. The characters that interact with each other are just as interesting. But I think the biggest draw of this disc is the last 2 episodes. Seeing how Izumi's confusions dissolving into nothing more than blind hatred is a scary sight indeed, but at the same time you really feel sympathetic for her. It's the loneliness and the fact that she might lose Hiroki made her all the more determine to destroy her mother's dream and the baseball team. This is by far one of the most interesting things to watch.
Video is excellent. There are some small amounts of shimmering with my setup but apart from that, I can find no fault whatsoever.
Audio is also excellent, but the music in the English track being more subdue. Just a side effect of ADR processing. No complaints here also.
Extras are pretty cool here. The first is the teaser, which is basically something like the creditless opening. The next one is the trailer. Seeing as I have never seen a long trailer before, it's a real treat for me. Heck, made this TV series sound like it was a movie. Then there are the player stats with the last 5 girls in it. And the biggest value of all is the "Ode to Oden" cooking feature. Boy do all those ingredients look appetizing. :)
The dub really impresses. Each of the VAs brings the personalities out of the character real well. Especially Hillary Haag, who brings out the best in Ryo, and which I found to be the most enjoyable. Same with Monica Rial, although some of the more serious moments when she's shouting, it got a bit screechy. Practically everyone works well. But one thing I didn't quite get yet is Tiffany Grant as Yoko. I'm not too sure at how it works since the Japanese VA didn't strike me as the person Yoko is and that holds true with Tiffany. Well guess I have to wait for more Princess Nine to figure that out. Also Vic Mignogna's Hiroki is perfect with that carefree attitude. And Jennifer's Nene is as air-headed as ever. :)
I like this a lot. And I'm sure glad it got better after the first disc. What I can't wait for is the baseball action that this series promise in the next disc.
Panasonic SA-HT80, Panasonic TX-76PW10A Widescreen 100hz/Progressive Scan, standard S-video cables