Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A
- 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 Justin Emerson
February 18, 2002
Release Date: July 29, 1999
As a few of you may know I'm a big time shoujo Anime fan, so I was really stoked when I got this disc. I had set my hopes pretty high on this disc, and the only disappointment was when it was over.
Audio on the disc was your standard Bilingual Dolby Digital Stereo, typical for a TV show. The subtitles were good, and they stood out plenty well. There were some hard subs at several points (mostly during song sequences) and unlike some other DVDs (*cough* Lodoss *cough*) they didn't make the mistake of subbing them twice. The video was very high quality, although (ready for it?) it's interlaced! OK so I bet you're not surprised I'm complaining about that, but I found that in this disc it wasn't a very big deal at all. At times it was hardly noticeable, and it didn't detract from the viewing experience very much. Unfortunately, you get the little white garbage at the bottom of the frame after cuts, but this was probably unavoidable due to the source material.
The Packaging was very nice, a clear white keepcase with liner notes on the inside of the cover. I especially like how they listed *gasp* the Japanese seiyuu on the inside! Holy cow! Since I had read some reviews I immediately scanned for Hisakawa Aya (one of my favorite Seiyuu) and sure enough there she was. I was very impressed by the thoroughness of the information on the cover; they managed to cram a lot of information into that small space.
The Menus are good, while there is little activity they are fast, and there is lots of stuff to do. You can listen to all the songs (although you are forced to listen to English dialogue on top of them) and watch previews for other releases.
As for the content, I do enjoy this series, however not as much as some of the other shoujo Animes that I've had the pleasure of seeing. First of all, while other have praised the music, I personally did not like it very much. Aside from the opening theme "Rinbu Revolution" (which is VERY good and I enjoy listening to it all the time, it's even found it's way into my Japanese music playlist for my car) the rest of the music is lacking something. For the music that is in the show, I found the lyrics to be rather nonsensical. I felt it lacked a lot of meaning, and hearing the chorus simply chanting them didn't have nearly the same effect as having a solo singer do it (although Absolute Destiny Apocalypse does sound rather eerie).
The storyline is rather odd, but certainly nothing really way out there. It's very interesting, and I can't wait until the story develops further (I just can't STAND waiting so long for more volumes!! You'd think 2 months is a good period between releases at most, but 6 months?!). There are some standard shoujo parts, such as the classic "animation-reused-every-episode" segments. It's kinda weird, but whenever I see the student council saying their mantra I keep thinking of Team Rocket's intro! ^_^
If you're mahou shoujo Anime, I recommend this disc, although part of that recommendation is because of the relative desert of shoujo titles available commercially here. While the disc is definitely worth the purchase, it's also important to send a message to American Anime companies that we want more of this kind of title!