Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A/B
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Media Blasters
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Rurouni Kenshin (aka Samurai X)
Rurouni Kenshin Vol. #08: Ice Blue Eyes
By Lawrence Chu
February 18, 2002
Release Date: July 17, 2001
This disc picks up after everything that happened in the past volume. Kaoru decides to go to Kyoto and look for Kenshin. Sanosuke realizes he has a long ways to go if he wants to help Kenshin out (but not before slugging him a good one). And Kenshin makes his way on foot to Kyoto, which, oddly enough, is the source of most of the humor in this set of episodes. Along the way, he encounters the 16-year-old kunoichi Misao Makimachi, who also happens to be on her way to Kyoto and decides to tag along with him. However, they encounter a town which has been occupied by Shishio's men along the way, and learn that Shishio is scheduled to visit that very day. Not to mention a certain man with Ice Blue Eyes who finally returns to gain revenge for his fallen comrades...
(Note: Primary listening track is Japanese.)
The good: No problems with the Japanese track. Music and effects are crystal clear. The English dub regulars are having a good ol' time, and Saito's and Sojiro's VAs are continuing the same strong performance from last disc. (One particular scene comes to mind: Kenshin being chased by a policeman at night is incredibly hilarious in the English dub.)
The bad: The new actors introduced might do their jobs pretty well, but...okay, here we go:
1. I was looking away when I first heard Shishio's and Yumi's voices. As soon as I heard it, I was wondering if I was listening to an episode of Cowboy Bebop--David Lucas (Spike) plays Shishio, and Wendee Lee (Faye) plays Yumi. While I kinda expected the latter (this is a role meant for someone like her), the former seems a little bit off. Maybe if he made his voice a little more devious...
2. Misao's VA sounds too boyish and not quite cute enough to fit the role, methinks. Maybe later on, she'll do better...
The ugly: A few awkward pauses for lipsyncing, and some mispronounciations of Japanese names/words.
The good: Keeping up the same quality of video transfer as in the previous few volumes. Animation is fluid and clean-looking.
The bad: A few rainbows here or there. I don't know if it's the source material or the transfer, though.
The ugly: The Four Monks of Abukusa.
The good: Three cute women on the cover for the guys! Moody Kenshin for the gals! What more can you ask for?
The bad: Nah, nothing really bad about it aesthetically.
The ugly: The blurb on the back doesn't cover all of the episodes--as a matter of fact, it pretty much skips all of the first ep, and most of the following two in favor for the last episode on the
The good: Same menus as last time, with a different clip starting the volume.
The bad: It's not the best clip in the world to use, but...
The ugly: I still think the Extras and Setup menus ought to be typed horizontally. Having things written
can be very annoying in the long run, especially with longer menu items.
The good: Liner notes, outtakes.
The bad: Nothing much else.
The ugly: The outtakes aren't too good this time. This can be a good thing if you look at it, since it means the dubbers aren't having as many problems anymore.
Other miscellaneous: Few subtitle typos.
Overall: Well, if you've come this far, I highly doubt you'll not want to pick up this volume, especially given how the last volume ended. A good balance of seriousness and humor help make these episodes worth keeping.
Dell Dimension XPS/350 w/RealMagic Hollywood Plus decoder, TBS Montego and Sennheiser HD470 headphones.