Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Other
- MSRP: ¥5,800
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Saikano
She, The Ultimate Weapon Vol. #3
By Chris Beveridge
February 02, 2003
Release Date: January 30, 2003
She, The Ultimate Weapon Vol. #3
What They Say
Sci-fi romance anime based on the manga by Shin Takahashi. A high school senior named Shuji finds out that his beloved girlfriend Chise has been turned into the ultimate weapon against a mighty enemy. In this volume, Chise has a premonition about an impending earthquake but nobody believes her... An 8-page booklet included. The Review!
The rollercoaster ride of relationships continues between Chise and Shuji as her job continues to get rougher and more difficult to handle.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. As that?s the only track included, it made our choice easy. While a number of OVA?s have been done in PCM audio lately, this 13 episode TV series gets the Dolby stereo mix, providing a solid mix for both the dialogue and the music behind the show.Video:
The folks at Gonzo have managed to produce another visually stunning piece with this transfer. Although they show is letterboxed but not anamorphic (a continuing problem that Gonzo simply must address), it looks fantastic. Colors are solid and vivid, aliasing and cross coloration appear to be non-existent and the overall look and feel of the transfer is just sparkling. The three episodes here look great on this dual layered disc. Packaging:
This volume features a great image of Chise on a tank in her school uniform but with a military jacket draped over her as she laughs with some of the soldiers. The logo is provided in both Japanese and English here and just has that ?so simple it looks great? look to it. The back cover provides a few pictures from the show itself as well as a summary of the shows main plot. The discs technical features are all clearly listed in the grid format I love. The insert has a shot of longing for both Chise and Shuji, while it folds open to reveal a nice full image of the Chise with her wings and a quick little rundown on the various characters. Also in this package was a nice little sticker sheet of rough sketches from the show that were used during the eye-catches.Menu:
The menu is a bit flashier than a lot of Japanese menus, using a similar style to the Saikano website. Selections are easy to figure out along the bottom with a few tries, but the thankful part is that when you get into language selection, the selections are provided in bilingual format, so it?s not as much guesswork. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is definitely nice on the eyes.Extras:
The only extra included is an eleven-minute long behind the scenes/making of segment that is not subtitled.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With these three episodes the show moves to the middle of the series and settles in on dealing with the characters even more than before. With the basic premise of the show taken care of, and very little in the way of revelations about the enemy itself, the creators instead want to focus on what the real core is, and that?s the love between Chise and Shuji.
Chise?s life continues to be difficult as she?s being called up more and more to deal with the enemy. She?s continuing to win every battle, but no matter what the battle she?s killing so many people so quickly and easily that it?s getting very heavy on her soul. She even begs for the soldiers to kill her at one point but at the same moment screams about wanting to live. The soldiers themselves are confused about it, and almost seem like they want to help, but they know that nothing conventional can harm her.
When Chise is back with Shuji in school, she mostly just wants to fit in, to have the boyfriend and to keep things simple. Shuji unfortunately keeps going against this without realizing what she wants, and tries to help her in his own. His ways tend to cause her more stress, since she doesn?t want to talk about it. Since she knows she can?t leave, they end up going through those arguments as well. Well, as much as these two have an argument, as Shuji tends to be the emotional one and Chise tends to just nod and say little.
This volume does manage to pull off some more action sequences, though there?s a fair bit of it done up from a distance. The enemy continues to be a mysterious other entity that?s faceless, even to the young men and women who sign up and fight. We spend more time with the grunt level troops during these episodes, which provides another angle through which we see Chise and her fantastic abilities, and it?s not complimentary. The layering of her image through the eyes of others continues to be an interesting aspect of the show.
Some people may get turned off by the ups and downs that the relationship goes through here, but I find it to be fairly reflective not just Chise?s state of mind but also Shuji?s as he?s trying to figure out just what good he can be for her, alternating between just being there and staying out of her life. There?s a lot of great visual and emotional moments throughout all three of these episodes that I can?t wait to see where things are going to go. I?m definitely enjoying the way it?s playing out.
Japanese Language,Japanese Subtitles,English Subtitles,Behind the Scenes Segment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.