See In Vol. #1 - Mania.com



Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: AV Box
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 30
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: See In

See In Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     April 19, 2005
Release Date: June 14, 2004


See In Vol. #1
© AV Box


What They Say
There's a story that must be told - hidden beneath the beautiful blue waves of this ocean city. Kyoya, a teacher at the Underocean school, lost his memory in an unfortunate accident that took place 3 years earlier and since then has been taken of by a beautiful young girl named Miyu.

It's natural that Miyu would become the center of all his wildest fantasies, but Yumi has a suspicious feeling that there may be more to Kyoya than he lets on.

The Review!
Can clones love and be loved?

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese which is also the only language available on this release. The stereo mix is fairly typical of most adult anime releases in that while it is in stereo it's either got a full sound to it that doesn't have much distinction or that it feels very center channel based which is mostly for the dialogue. The Japanese track here sounds good if unexceptional since there isn't all that much to it out of the ordinary. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released to video in 2004, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With it being a digital production and featuring numerous aquatic environments, it had the potential to look really sweet but they took a number of shortcuts and the materials themselves don't hold up well. A lot of the show has some well done water animation to it but when combined with the character animation it has that "walking on" feel to it. The colors look good throughout and they're nicely vibrant and solid. Where the transfer has some problems is that there's cross coloration visible throughout a lot of it and it's very heavy on the dot crawl around the edges of the characters. It eases up in a few scenes which look really good but when it comes back it's very noticeable and distracting.

Packaging:
Using a really nice shot of Yumi in her swimsuit for her job, though in two-piece form, it's set with her leaning against a tank and just glistening in the sun. The design is attractive and the colors really stand out nicely here with plenty of detail in both the character and background artwork. What looks to be the original logo is used as well. The back cover mixes a few strips of shots from the show with some taglines about it and then provides a summary of the story and the shows production staff and then all the technical information for it.

Menu:
The menu layout comes in two sections for this release; the first lets you choose which language you want for your subtitles and then provides a menu in that language for you. The secondary menu is a standard piece that's nicely done with the background being water with light reflections throughout it as clips from the show play behind that. The menu selections are layered on top of the water piece and are nice and solid and easy to navigate. With only one language here and the previous menu setting the subtitles, access times are nice and fast and presets matter little at this point.

Extras:
The only included extras are a series of character sketches and an art gallery with scenes from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This is the first title we've seen from the AV Box line of adult releases and they at least went right for what is arguably the better material out there by picking up a Green Bunny title. Based off of a PC game from Alis Software, SeeIn is an interesting title that suffers from some technical problems that keeps it from being able to really hold our attention properly.

In some futuristic city that's in the middle of the sea and rather beautifully designed, we're introduced to a trio of characters. Kyoya is a teacher who was taken in a few years ago by Miyu when she found him after an accident and he had lost his memory. Miyu is ably helped in her work and day to day life by Yumi, her twin sister. As time has gone on, Kyoya's settled into a decent routine with things and teaches at the ocean school and they all work with the dolphins and other creatures. Yumi had noticed how Miyu was interested in Kyoya so she had pushed things forward for those two and they had eventually ended up in something of a relationship that involves plenty of sex.

Unfortunately for Yumi, once they get together she finds herself with very strong feelings for Kyoya and it leads her to wondering exactly what's going on with her. To our surprise, we learn that she's actually a clone that's got something of an android body (leave it to confusing subtitles) when she undergoes a self-diagnostics test and learns that there's a bug in her system. She finds herself thinking more and more of Kyoya and wanting to be closer to him but she pulls away from him because she doesn't to interfere in her sister's relationship. But as we find out as her past is revealed, she was created to care for Miyu and ensure her happiness, something that's now a massive contradiction in her brain and is causing her to shut down as she tries to cope with it.

While the show deals with the relationships, the sex of it all and how it all must be resolved, they surprisingly managed to do a decent job of it in the 30 minutes that it runs. The show has some nice style to it with the city and the sea and the character designs are about average but not in a bad way. Where the release has its problems is with the subtitles. The first main problem is that all the names are changed. Kyoya becomes Jim, Yumi becomes Amy and Miyu becomes Mizi. It's listed correctly in the summary in English on the back but they changed it all here. The subtitles are also a bit iffy at times since the characters are talking but what they're saying doesn't really seem to mean anything. The words are strung together fine but it's just nonsense it seems. The timing was a bit off initially as well but that got better the further into the show it got.

In Summary:
SeeIn is an interesting little OVA episode as the premise has some nice ideas to it but the execution feels like it was done out of order early on and with some confusing subtitles it doesn't seem to gel until you're more than halfway into the show itself. Technically, the release is just barely in the decent range due to the dot crawl and subtitle issues. A cleaned up release probably wouldn't have scored much higher but at least this hasn't scared me away from other releases from the company unlike one or two other titles from someone else.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Chinese Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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