Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Central Park Media
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 170
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Revolutionary Girl Utena
Revolutionary Girl Utena Vol. #01
By Sean Connolly
February 18, 2002
Release Date: July 29, 1999
Well well well, what do we have here? Revolutionary Girl Utena on DVD. This set seems like it's been in the works for ages. At first I thought it was still the first 13 episodes, but it turned out to be the first 7. Oh well, better than nothing right? How does it fare? Let's dive in shall we?
I'll tackle the video first. Lemme think for the word...awesome. There we go. It's great to see CPM getting the hang of their in-house DVD authoring. The video on this set comes very close to the video on the recent released Serial Experiments Lain disc. The only thing holding it back was that there were hard subtitles during the songs. I don't mind it at all, however, it does block the picture. But it's just a minor quibble for me. Some people have reported some haziness in the video, however, I couldn't see it and thought the video looked very clear.
The audio is the standard Dolby stereo mix which we've become used to with TV series. However, since this series has some of best music in an anime series, the clarity of the sound is much appreciated. As a matter of fact, the opening ( animation and song ) is up there on my best opening ever list. It just seems to grip you. While on the subject of sound and music. This disc included an extra where it goes through and plays all of the vocal songs on the disc. I liked this feature, however, it was a little annoying that the English dub version was used for this as the character speak while the song plays in the background, but I still think this was an original idea. Maybe for the next disc, this option will be available again, however, just the song is played while the video plays silently in the background. Kinda like a music video. Just an idea.
The packaging and menu are very cool. The packaging is different from the VHS releases and makes it stand out more form the pack. It seems more elegant. Very fitting for this series. CPM did a great job on the inside of the cover. It lists the chapters stops, both Japanese and English voice actors, and some facts about the show. Very cool indeed. The menus on the disc were basic, but sometimes less is more. It's quite functional, and pleasing to the eye. I liked it.
As for the show, this disc has the first 7 episodes in the 13 episode "Student Council Saga." These episodes basically introduce most of the characters and what drives them. This is the first I've really dived into the series and I'm digging it. I like the character designs although they may not be for everyone and I'm enjoying the mysteries surrounding everyone. There are a lot of funny moments and moments that will make you go "huh?" and of course, you'll see what really drives each character. The music just adds to the series with elegant symphonic tracks and some great rock ( "The Absolute Destiny Apocalypse" being my fave ). And to top it all off, there's Chu-Chu!!! I must have a Chu-Chu plushie... Anyways, all and all, I want more!
Hopefully, the next installment will be out later this year to give me my next Utena fix. Who knows if CPM has gotten the rights to the next 13 episodes, but let's hope they have because this is a great series that must be released here. If you want more Utena, email CPM and tell em! Congrats to CPM for a fantastic disc.