Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: F
- Video Rating: D
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Ranma 1/2
Ranma Forever Vol. #6
By Andrew Floyd
May 02, 2003
Release Date: April 22, 2003
Here's yet another case where an anime released on DVD doesn't always
mean Better Quality. The video on Forever Vol.6 suffers from all the
problems that occur from just trying to dump a magnetic tape master to
digital video without proper processing. To do these really right, they
need to go back to the original film stock and digitize that frame by
As it is, it looks odd. I wish it had been a tape to tape transfer,
digital mastering. I own all of Viz's Ranma 1/2 VHS subtitled releases,
and this DVD is no better than them.
In a way, the DVD authoring just compounded the grainyness of the
original footage. The main problem I have is how odd the screen looks on
our player. Lines in areas of the same color just look odd. Digital
compression injects imaging errors. I see pixel dancing, which is
typical of lots of DVD errors I see, like some with "jigsaw puzzle
pieces in an earthquake."
For some reason, the original episode title screens were obliterated,
replaced by some Viz-inspired graphic. I really hate this when companies
do that. Then you can't tell if they're translating the titles right or
The Openings and Endings for each episode are intact, but the lyrics are
subbed with a dubious English-only translation - hard coded onto the
video. The production credits aren't selectable, and on the endings,
only the dub voice people are listed. (There is a separate main menu
selection which lists EVERYBODY, but it's pointless.) And the disk
defaults to English audio, subtitles off!!! And there's no bonuses at
Just who did they intend to sell this to??? The purist fans (like
myself) were seriously ticked off because Viz just chopped the Subbed
VHS releases 48 episodes before the end of the series.
This Forever V.6 DVD was no better than getting a subbed VHS tape. The
DVD authoring just helped me see how grainy the original footage was.
The hardcoded subs for Genma's signs or other Japanese signs got
trampled by subs that came up by the player.
Of all the discs I've played, this one had the lowest audio level I've
ever encountered. The Dolby unit and the TV had to be turned way up just
so I could hear it. Usually a level of 40 to 50 on the Dolby unit is
more than enough, but for Forever V.6, it had to be set around 60.
That's almost maximum on our Dolby unit.
The dub is still horrible. Easy enough to compare it with the Japanese
audio and it's painfully obvious. "Akane" is "ah kah neh" not "uh
Translation still iffy. Japanese ghosts supposedly say "urayamashii",
which is supposed to mean "I'm envious..." In the 2nd episode of Forever
V.6, it becomes "Hateful". Eh??
Some subbed lines were not present in the dub track. One case of Akane
referring to "Nabiki-oneechan" in Miss Beachside episode: Dubbed - it
Very few chapter marks, easy enough to skip around on the disk. When I
try to bring up the menu after stopping the player with the Menu button,
the disk made the player stop. When I pressed Title, then the menu would
load and appear.
There was a nice overall swimsuit theme to the menus, taken from an
image used for one of my favorite Ranma 1/2 posters. ^_^
I recommend renting (or borrowing) this or any other Ranma 1/2 DVD
before buying it. Ranma fans will probably collect them anyway. A friend
tells me a Random Rhapsody disc he checked out also has a very low audio
level. Who does these things for Viz? They should fix that, but with 2
more Forever volumes to go before they finish off the series, it doesn't
look like the fix will happen.
Summary: Disappointed it wasn't a Subbed VHS tape.
Zenith DVC2200, Magnavox MX big screen TV,JVC Dolby receiver