Princess Nine Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & 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. #3

By Edmund Lee     March 17, 2002
Release Date: March 26, 2002



The Review!
Ok, this is the most exciting disc of Princess Nine ever! And those who were patiently waiting for some baseball action, this disc doesn't disappoint. And the worst part of it, the next disc couldn't come any sooner. More, god dammit, I want more!!!

The first episode has the girls going up against Meio Junior High in their first baseball game. It is exciting as they come, but at the same time rather cliché also. They still don't have a full team and Nene was place on the team temporarily. And while they were leading at the start, Meio begins to notice the weak points of the team and starts exploiting it. When it came down to the final inning, the girls perform a spectacular play (by accident) that stops Meio from scoring any more points. And like any baseball shows, it came down to 2 outs and the bases loaded, with Nene next to bat. It could have been bad if you know who didn't turn up. It was obvious anyway for those who even saw the opening sequence. By far this episode really kicks ass, because Yuki actually shows what she is capable of and her funny friend that help her, Fifi-chan :D.

The next episode centres on Keiko's attempts to gain acceptance for the girl's baseball team to be admitted to play in the High School tournament at Koshien. With the help of the Chairman of the Takasugi Group, she manages to strike up a deal to allow the girls to compete in the tournament, a simple match between Kisaragi Girls vs Rinkai Dai High to determine to validity of the girl team. However Rinkai High refuses to acknowledge a match, but Keiko has another trick up her sleeve that forces Rinkai High to accept the challenge. At the end of the episode, both Kido and Shino talked about Ryo's father and Ryo demands to know the secret that both of them are hiding. This is probably something important that will crop up later on.

The third episode the girls trained as much as they could to go before their match against Rinkai. However a lack of confidence is dragging the team down, mainly with Mao. And not liking where the situation is heading Izumi issues a challenge to Mao to at least catch one of the 100 fastballs Ryo pitches, if not be forced to leave the team.

And finally on the last episode, the first exhibition match begins as the girls take on Rinkai High. One thing to note, if you have seen enough of these of shows where there's some girls vs boys matches, then you know the girls will use their sex appeal to crush their competition. It's very hilarious how they destroy Ishimaru, Rinkai's pitcher. But unlike any other shows, this only works a few times before the opposition begins to break out of the spell the girls cast on them.

Hands down, this disc is even better than the last one, and that's saying quite a lot. And as promised for those wanting some baseball action this disc doesn't disappoints. And for those who don't really pay much attention to baseball, it's still exciting enough to draw you in. Sure some of it seems so cliché and a bit exaggerated but I think it works real well. I'm always reminded that this show is brought down to a realistic sense, and the cliché bits are what the real world is built on. What's nagging me at the moment is how the Coach Kido is perceived by a lot of people. Even though he's a drunk at the start, he doesn't go overboard like any of the other "drunk" coaches and he seems too resourceful at times and note his many strange ways to get things working. The character built up that was apparent at the start of the series seemed to have taken a step backwards a bit, with a few issues regarding a couple of the girls. However one of the key point on this disc is on the second episode where there is some mention on secrets of Ryo's father's past, which I can see turning up on the next disc. Still it's a shame that the next disc can't come any sooner as the last episode ends on a cliffhanger. Grrrrr...

The video quality is excellent here, but much like the previous 2 the panning shots looked terrible. At times the colour can go here and there and it does get a bit distracting. However it's only minor and for some, you wouldn't notice it.

The audio is excellent, and both the English and Japanese soundtrack sounded wonderful. The music came out sounding real good, and I'm starting to really like the soundtrack a lot. Pity the CDs are now out of print :(. I would pay good money for it. Sorry for going off topic.

Another set of cool extras supplied here. First off is the History of Baseball in Japan section. Basically it's all on text and it is quite good read to understand the significance of baseball in Japanese society. Next a profile on both the English and Japanese VA cast. It is real neat to see what some of the English VAs look like, just a shame they couldn't do it for the Japanese VAs. Next up is the creditless OP and ED animation. The creditless OP is a different one than the one found on volume 1, as this is the second OP animation, which you will notice when you watch the first episode on the disc. And lastly 6 trailers for Excel Saga, Steel Angel Kurumi, Nadia, Soul Hunter, Robotech (damn classic) and Wild Arms.

The dub is by far impressive and enjoyable. The dub script even stayed close to what is in the original script, with a few bits added here or there though it's not something that will misleads the story or meaning of the show. I will declare it as one of the best dubs I've heard this year. All the time, I never really cringe (well maybe with Jennifer Earhart when it got a bit too high pitch) and that's one thing that I really like about it. One thing that stood out most was Vic Mignogna's Hiroki. He fits into his role real well and he really does amazing things with his character. One moment he can sound silly, the next he can be soft spoken or the next being real serious and that's without breaking any of his attitude. Something the Japanese's VA tone seems to lack or sounded just plain mono. Also both Andy McAvin (Coach Kido) and Kelli Cousins (Seira) really stole the show with some of their funny antics with the characters. And something that no one really paid any attention to is the background/supporting cast. They really sounded real which helps make the dub even more enjoyable.

Overall much like the previous 2 disc, I highly recommend anyone to pick this up. It's become one of my favourite must have series this year and I'm really looking forward to the next disc. Now come on ADV release Princess Nine faster!!!



Review Equipment
Panasonic SA-HT80, Panasonic TX-76PW10A Widescreen 100hz/Progressive Scan, standard S-video cables

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