Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A+
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Sakura Wars / Sakura Taisen
Sakura Wars OVA 2 Vol. #2 : Wedding Bells
By Edmund Lee
December 16, 2002
Release Date: November 26, 2002
The second volume to an incredible OAV series. This disc will most definitely appeal to anyone who have played the games as the stories tie itself well to the events of the games.
The first episode of the disc, we see Orihime's father winning an art competition and being selected to do a cover art for the upcoming Shonen Red (Red Lad) book. Naturally the author ask Kohran if she would model for the book, an obvious choice considering that she was Shonen Red in the radio drama (and the live performances, if you have seen them). During the session a gang of hoodlums come to evict the residents of a small community in which Kohran was in. It soon went chaotic as the children found out that Shonen Red was in their neighbourhood and that he was there to save them. Getting into the act, the entire Flower Division comes to the villages rescue dressed in the various characters in the Shonen Red series. To me this episode had me grinning like a school kid with the artistic entrance the Flower Division make. Reminds me so much of those comics I remember reading when I was young.
The next 2 episodes is what I would suppose the real meat of the entire Sakura Wars world. Typical of things Sakura Wars, everything gets misunderstood when the Flower Division found out about the "supposed" wedding arrangements Sakura is to take. Sakura is revealed she is to perform a family ritual for the wedding, something very interesting if you want to know more about traditional Japanese rituals. The past that is brought up during these 2 episodes are very interesting for those who haven't played the game, and for those who did, help understand more about Sakura and the effect it has on her and the Flower Division. To me, the past events seen during the first Kouma Wars makes me really appreciate the story of the games even more. The music for this release is also great, and it was really nice to hear "Yume no Tsuki" (the ending song of the last OAV episode) as it just brings back memories of all the fun things that happen while I was playing the games and watching these OAV episodes.
The video is by far, out right excellent. Much like the first volume, the only problems noticeable are the aliasing and shimmering during many of the panning sequences.
Audio side of things, again the Japanese 5.1 track amazes yet again. Ambient sounds come across all the soundstage are clear and well defined. The English track came out sound great too, but without the depth of the 5.1 Japanese track.
The extras again are a god sent for those who like everything Sakura Wars. Again we have a creditless OP sequence (though I wish ADV uses all the different variations instead of just Maria singing). Next up is the production sketches which last about 11 minutes. In it contains a lot of valuable information to get you to know who is who and what is what in the world of Sakura Wars. Up next is the second set of character bios. Interesting but it doesn't quite have enough information on the characters. Next up is the R2 DVD covers and inserts of this OAV series. Another set of Japanese promos available. To my disappointment, there's no live action stuff to be seen. And one slight thing that crack me up is about one sub translation of Sakura Wars 3, "Is Paris fired up?" Officially it should have been "Is Paris burning?" Anyway, for those who are eagerly waiting for the movie, this trailer is an indication of the quality of the animation in the movie. Yes start drooling.
The dub, well much like what I said in my last review, the dub is pretty ok, but again important lines are changed around, or meanings are changed. It's a shame considering the first series OAV dub was way more accurate then this disappointing dub. Avoid it, that's all I have to say.
A very enjoyable OAV series and I'm thankful for ADV for releasing this. To any Sakura Wars fans don't miss this release.
JVC XV-N5 DVD Player, Panasonic TX-76PW10A 32" Widescreen 100hz/Progressive Scan with component cables, Panasonic SA-HE70 receiver, Wharfedale speaker set and Sony sub-woofer