Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: C-
- 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. #5
By Edmund Lee
November 23, 2002
Release Date: July 09, 2002
One step closer to the last volume, so has the tension of the series begin to reach a climax. And for those who have stuck with this series till this volume, have to wonder how it will all end (though I wish it didn't). Thus while waiting for the final volume begins, I will relish the contents of this volume over and over.
On the first episode of the disc, all the big revelation from the last volume has come to a nice close. The past revealed, and the reasons why the Chairwoman of Kisaragi High created a girls only baseball team. And in a touching scene, we see Kanako making a birthday request to her father by telling him not to let the PTA disband the team.
The next episode begins another great storyline. With the preliminaries coming up the coach has already plan an extensive training camp for the girls. With that in mind, there are a lot of character interactions happening here and there that might surprise a few. Firstly, Hikaru putting the moves on Seishiro, secondly, Izumi asking for something more with Hiroki in their sister/brother type relationship, and Hiroki confessing his love to Ryo. I have a bad feeling about all of this. However, I can see good things with the coach and Ryo's mom.
The third episode, they girls begin their training. All is not well with Izumi as she begins to lose concentration and this has affected her abilities. This of course is directly related the cold response she's been getting from Hiroki, but when she discovers something that shouldn't have belong to Ryo, both her personality and her skill as a player begin to dive. While this might sound serious there is an equal amount of fun going around. We get more background on some of the girls, and like any sleep over parties I can imagine with girls, they get a bit detail with their personal love interests.
And on the last episode, with Yuki losing her precious doll Fifi, the quite Yuki began to lose her composure and it became obvious that she has lost the will to play, let alone live. And this is not even the tip of the iceberg. As Izumi becomes more and more obsessed to keep Hiroki, her jealousy with Ryo ran deep within her and it leads her to do some things that is deserving of a good slap. You'll understand this once you see this episode.
What do I think of this disc as it comes close to the end of the series? Unbelievable. For those who kept up with the series knows full well that baseball is not the primary concern, rather the characters and their interactions with each other, making this series an interesting viewing experience to say the least. In this volume, you can see that it focuses on the relationship between Izumi, Ryo and Hiroki and the way each of their actions affects each other. If you go to the AnimeonDVD forums and look at any P9 thread, there are tons of interesting character analysis on almost every character in the team. Something you don't see happen often with anime. Anyway, while the main focus here is on those 3, it is interesting to see what else was happening with the team, and their families. To put it in a word, it's cliché. Yeah, but the way it's done makes it all the more believable and something that anyone can reflect on.
The video has stayed constant like in previous 4 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, but overall nothing to complain about.
Same with the audio as it is still as good as ever, on both the English and Japanese tracks.
Extras this time is rather disappointing. Again a clean set of OP and ED sequence, a set of images for the R2 covers, and 6 trailers. On a note, this disc has the Sakura Wars OAV2 trailer, something that I was dying for, which, I guess, made the extras less of a disappointment for me.
Being a critical time in the series, the dub here never disappoints. Monica Rial, Hilary Haag, and Vic Mignogna again proves that this dub is up there as one of the greats. With Hilary, she proves to be the cute 15 year old with a determined spirit, and I could not imagine any other VA being Ryo Hayakawa. Same goes to Monica's Izumi, which in my opinion was the most important aspect and focus in this volume. I'll just quote from someone in the forums "When I watch P9, I don't hear Monica voicing Izumi. I hear Izumi." and I couldn't agree more. What do I think about Monica's performance in this volume? To sum it in a nice way, Izumi is a bitch. Not forgetting some other VAs, I can't go on without giving my proper credits to Andy McAvin. He sure knows how to make a drunkard coach sound so lovable.
It's coming closer to the end of the series, and in a way I can't wait to see the last volume. I highly recommend you to pick up this volume along with the previous volumes if you haven't done so already.
JVC XV-N5 DVD Player, Panasonic TX-76PW10A 32" Widescreen 100hz/Progressive Scan with component cables, Panasonic SA-HE70 receiver, Wharfedale speaker set and Sony Sub-woofer