Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 119.98
- Running time: 375
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Ranma 1/2
Ranma 1/2 OVA Box Set
By Julian Yuri Tacher
February 18, 2002
Release Date: May 09, 2000
Oh my god. It has finally happened. I have seen the whole Ranma OVA series on DVD. After not seeing anything Ranma for too long. As you can probably imagine, I am a HUGE Ranma 1/2 fan.
Ever since the 2 movies came out from Pioneer and Viz, I was feeling abandoned, but this box set
makes me happy. Unfortunately not all comes up roses. I won't detail every episode, because it's 12 (glorious, 12) and if you bought this set, or are planning to buy it, you know Ranma isn't exactly a logic based series. It's just fun, fun, fun and more fun.
First of all, the box. It's a very pretty 4 segment foldout box, similar to what was done with Tenchi. The first segment is a folder like pouch, with 1 measly little pamphlet. This should have been something more substantial IMO. Next are the 3 disks, and when you pop them off, surprise, underneath each disk is a picture of a character in his animal form (Disk1 has Mousse under it). Pretty cute. All is held together by a nice plastic slipcase with some very cutesy pandas on it in small white print. All around the case gets a bigass A. Could have been A+ if the folder section had something more substantial.
Next off, the Menus. These get a moderate C because simply, there aren't much there. A link to setup audio and subtitles, play, chapter selection and that's it. Some little animation in the background but nothing else.
Audio is a decent 2 channel mix that virtualizes pretty well on my receiver, but don't expect 5.1 After all, this series isn't exactly new. The Japanese audio track is very clean and crisp, and most character
voices match very well. The subtitles are also well done, not being dubtitles. The English spoken track however is in my opinion, mostly horrid. The character voices don't match the personalities in most cases, making it hard to watch. I just couldn't finish it that way and went back to Japanese and subtitles. So give the audio an B.
Finally Video. Sigh. Here is where I am somewhat disappointed. The episodes themselves look pretty good all around. however, the biggest complaint I have is the intros look like crap. There is so much mpeg artifacting going on, makes me wonder just how much time they spent trying for it. Looks like the first compression run was used and wasn't refined in any way. But only the menu. The episodes aren't as bad, but there are instances where the artifacting gets noticeable. Here is where I am most disappointed as this series isn't complex or anything video wise. It uses visual gags, but normally the action is pretty confined, witch should have provided higher bitrates. You get 4 episodes per disk, at about 28 minutes each, I honestly didn't notice if the disk was dual layer or not, but it looks like the bitrate is to low so more likely it is single density. Give video a B-, even thought I am still being generous cause I just love this series so much.
Well, there ya have it. A Ranma lover's view on the DVD release of the OVA series. All around VERY worth the money. I got it from Express.com for the prepaid rate of 72 bucks. That's about $6.70 per episode. Hell, even if ya don't like Ranma it's such a deal ya gotta get it :). I just hope that when the TV series finally comes out, they spend a bit more time refining the compression.
Pioneer DVD-606D player with Region and Macrovision hacks, Toshiba TN50X81 projection TV, Sony STR DB-930 receiver, Wharfedale Modus 8 speakers all around, Klipsch center channel, Monster cable to the speakers, component Monster cables from DVD player to TV, Digital Optical link from DVD player to Receiver.