Rescue Me: Mave-Chan - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 9.98
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Yukikaze

Rescue Me: Mave-Chan

By Chris Beveridge     September 28, 2007
Release Date: October 02, 2007


Rescue Me: Mave-Chan
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Rei Sugiyama never had much self-confidence but always found solace in watching anime. One day at an anime festival, he is transported to another dimension where the jet planes from the anime, Yukikaze, take on the form of beautiful girls fighting a never-ending battle against the JAM. Rei will have to choose between going back home and saving the girls from a fate that awaits all anime, being erased by the Demon of Oblivion. In order to save himself and the girls, Rei must first learn to believe in himself.

The Review!
A silly single episode spin-off from a dark and depressing series, Mave-chan is all light and fun fanservice that has no real meat to it.

Audio:
Though I wouldn't have expected it, Bandai has included a bilingual presentation for this show. Each of the tracks are standard stereo mixes encoded at 224 kbps which convey the show quite well. This isn't anything like the Yukikaze series in terms of placement or directionality nor is it intended to be. What we get here is good though as the dialogue comes across clean and clear and without any problems. We did listen to both tracks and beyond the English mix sounding slightly louder, there really isn't any discernable difference between the two.

Video:
Originally released in 2005, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. With just one episode and really nothing else here, there's no reason for this release to look anything less than spectacular. I had hoped that they would just max out the bandwidth for the episode and let the chips fall where they may but that didn't happen. The majority of this OVA looks fantastic with rich backgrounds and lots of vibrant colors in the character animation. Where it suffers is in the various panning and zooming sequences in which cross coloration and other line noise is readily apparent. Over the course of four episode this wouldn't be all that bad, but in a single episode it stands out all the more. Beyond that however, this is a great looking piece that captures the beauty of the backgrounds from Yukikaze and gives it something far more vibrant in the foreground.

Packaging:
With a title like this, there's really no way to win so I'm glad they just let it all hang out there with its wonderful design. The cover artwork itself features two of the main girls together floating in the air against a background of blue skies and white clouds. It's not going to attract a lot of attention in general, even less so once the details are found out, but the cover is certainly appealing and has just the right amount of fanservice for the diehard fans. The back cover is simple with a background piece along one side that blends into the left column where the summary is located. A few shots from the show are included as is the basic rundown of features and extras. The bottom is the usual mess from Bandai with the production information and technical information scattered all about. No insert is included nor is there a reversible cover.

Menu:
The menu design is very simple with some of the promotional artwork used for the Japanese release in which all the girls are lined up while Rei is getting closer to them. The background of the green sky and sandy earth work well in helping to highlight the colors in the girls character designs. The logo takes up a good chunk of space as expected and the layout is standard fare. No music is included here, something that's becoming more of an industry trend unfortunately. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is quick and easy to navigate. The disc correctly read our players' language presets and played accordingly.

Extras:
The extras are pretty minimal which is to be expected but at least a couple of things are included. A clean version of the ending sequence makes an appearance here as does a very brief promo video that shows the "transition" of the fighter planes into the cute and/or buxom girls.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Before the fifth and final episode of Yukikaze came out in 2005, this single volume tease hit nearly six months earlier. The idea behind it is simple in that it takes the various fighter planes from the Yukikaze series and transforms them into attractive and nubile young women who fight amongst each other a bit while dealing with a larger threat. The concept of planes to girls isn't exactly new, and the timing of the release had people wondering if the time wasn't better spent on the actual main program.

The end result however is that Rescue Me, Mave-chan is a very cute, silly and light piece of fluff if viewed in the right context. It's been a bit since the series finally ended both in Japan and North America so there's a bit of distance that helps to put it all in perspective. The episode revolves around a fairly geeky kid named Rei who is completely in love with anime after he got past that idea of it being only for children and "those kinds of adults." Some personal troubles led him to catching an episode of Stratos 4 and he fell in love with their can-do approach to life which in turn led him to have a better school life. After purchasing a Stratos 4 DVD that had a mail in card in it, he lucked out by being selected as one of many to come to Tokyo to see a special event with the creative staff and voice actors.

Tokyo is a big place to him but that's not what throws him the most. It's when he opens a door in the building where the event is being held and suddenly finds himself on the planet Fairy. Not only is here there in the midst of battle between the Fairy forces and JAM, but the Fairy forces themselves are girls which can fly and do battle in place of the planes. The planes from Yukikaze are given a similar feel to their original designs and with a healthy does of personality that fits and sometimes doesn't. Mave-chan for example is somewhat psychotic and treats everyone as an enemy. Sylphiel is flighty and oblivious to what's going on for example.

As it turns out, these young women are all dealing with an issue that every creation has to deal with. Fans who forget about them. This world is about to collapse due to this as fans have started to move on to other shows and their love is dwindling. It's a very amusing angle to play considering the original series it's all based on was taking longer and longer to get out which makes it easy to see some fans taking affront to this. Rei finds all of this bizarre yet incredible and has to expound upon how anime has made his life better and works to convince them to carry on. It's all very sentimental, predictable and without any subtlety but it works as a very self aware piece of fluff.

The OVA has a fair number of in jokes, though far less for Yukikaze than I would have imagined once you get past the character design interpretations. A lot of the best material is right at the start as it showcases a great deal of love for the Stratos 4 series (where's the rest of that Bandai?) with the dual event that Rei is going to. It also shows off clips of the show throughout here since Rei was so completely changed by the experience. Yukikaze gets some mentions alongside it and the bulk of the episode takes place in that realm so there are certainly gags associated with it. But it still feels like, perhaps due to the time between seeing that and this, that there is far less reference in here than there could be.

In Summary:
Rescue Me, Mave-Chan is a love letter to the fans of the Yukikaze series and Stratos 4. It has only tenuous real connections to either property but it is a good bit of fluffy fun with no real substance. Bandai has done a solid job overall with it and has even priced it at the best way possible in order to get it out and maybe even sucker a few non-Yukikaze fans into trying it out. I'd almost say they'd have better luck promoting it as a Stratos 4 related show instead. While I can say that there are aspects of this I like, the concept certainly isn't original nor is it crucial for the Yukikaze series itself. Fans of it can partake of it with its low price and enjoy having a properly translated and dubbed version. For those who were never fans of Yukikaze, there's really no way to recommend this unless you like planes as girls and want to be reminded that your favorite characters need your love.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Promo Clip

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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