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. #4
By Edmund Lee
June 21, 2002
Release Date: May 28, 2002
The wait was too long for the 4th volume. Especially a cliffhanger of an ending in the last volume. The show still manages to maintain that magical aspect of being something that's better than the rest. Much like the second volume, this disc will take you on a great emotional roller coaster ride. More!!! I want more!!!
On the first episode of the disc, the match between Rinkai and Kisaragi continues into the second half and the girls are starting to feel the pressure mounting on them. As the boys begin understand the workings and strategy from the last episode. Trouble mounts as the boys equalised the score and Ryo begins to feel fatigue in her arm. However the girls manage to get one more point before the end of the game. It is during that time, we see Ryo understanding the basis of the 'Lightning Ball' and pitches it. This leads them to victory and the team being accepted into the league.
In the second episode has everyone in the team celebrating their victory against Rinkai. However celebrations don't last. Kanako is forced to stay at home by her father, while Yoko decides to ditch the team for a modelling career (although that was apparent from the start), but the worse part is the discovery of a scandal that involves Ryo's father. This begins to affect everyone who was involved in the baseball team, but most affect is Ryo and begins to eat into her.
On the third episode, the matter becomes worse as the Parents' Association steps in and forcefully decides to shut down the baseball team. Can't standing the impact it is having on everyone, Ryo decides to leave the team for good and ran away to a remote town to get away from it all. The town she ran to is her father's hometown and she soon finds that her father's influence here has reached the local orphanage, who regarded him as a local hero.
And on the last episode, it's the most shocking episode ever. I rather not tell about it, but I would say it will touch you to your soul, enough to make this reviewer shed some tears.
I can honestly say that this is the reason why I watch anime. In my years of watching anime... Princess Nine certain has made a certain mark on me. Cliché ridden in this volume I admit, with some of the plot or the situation, but in all honesty it's the clichés and the interaction between the characters is what drives this show. The show has a way of hitting that important idea of the characters driving the plot and makes for a grand slam home run (s'cuse the pun) of a story. Something most anime have but makes the characters almost secondary to the plot.
The video has stayed constant like in previous 3 volumes. There are some edge enhancements, but I doubt anyone would pay attention much those sort of things during the show. What might make viewers notice, is the aliasing during panning shots.
Audio is still as good as ever, on both the English and Japanese tracks. No complaints here.
Extras include a Karaoke section, which might garner some interest with a few people who dig this. As for me, it was interesting but I was kinda let down. Mainly with the song since ADV cut some of the music out of the full versions of the song so that there is more singing time. Another set of VA profiles for both the English and Japanese cast and finally some trailers for other ADV titles.
The dub is now one of my all time favourites. Even more than the Japanese dub and I admit that I now watch the dub for this show first then the Japanese track. I mainly give my respects for Hilary Haag, Monica Rial and Vic Mignogna. In this volume those VAs really shine thru with their performances. One such example of it is how Hilary goes off at Hiroki, the way she came across in that scene really shows me how much Ryo is suffering. It's dubs like these that help disperse the idea that all dubs suck.
Get it!! That's all I have to say.
Panasonic SA-HT80, Panasonic TX-76PW10A 32" Widescreen 100hz/Progressive Scan, standard S-video cables