Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A
- Age Rating: 17 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.98
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Steel Angel Kurumi
Steel Angel Kurumi Vol. #3
October 15, 2003
Release Date: August 27, 2002
At the end of second volume, the Angels have been traveling with Dr. Amagi to Dr. Ayanokoji?s lab, and Saki has just been taken out by Karinka! Now, we?re ready for the ultimate show down as Karinka and Kurumi prepare to battle it out!Audio:
The audio mix is the same as the previous volumes. It is a very simple stereo mix with no real directionality used. I listened to Japanese soundtrack for review purposes and did some spot checks of the English track while I was writing the review. Recent shows rarely have any problems with their audio tracks, and Kurumi passes with flying colors on the authoring end.Video:
The line shimmering continues, but I found it notably less on this volume. The color levels are all balance very well, and the bright colors of the series continue to amaze me. No other compression related issues have popped into the video.Packaging:
Karinka gets the third cover, in what I can only call a shot that chills me to the bone. She?s laid out with her arms over her head, with the logo covering her chest thankfully. I don?t know there?s just something wrong with a character who looks twelve being naked on your cover. She?s situated slightly to the left on the front cover, just like Saki on the second. A volume number is again on the spine. The back cover gives us the story up until now, and does another US voice actress pitch. I?m glad to see the US voice actresses getting time on the cover. Some of the numerous extras are also noted on the cover. The insert inside has episode listings and the Karinka Fortune Teller. The DVD itself is nicely silkscreened with Karinka.Menu:
An Onmoyo prayer is on this DVD, again recited by Claudia Black. Karinka is featured in all her glory on the main DVD menu. Wow, I just noticed the heart in the Kurumi logo actually beats! The same general design as the first two DVDs are used, with gears churning away in the background. Menu response time seemed a little slow. The opening menu allows you to easily jump into any episode in the series, which I think is great. Karinka is featured throughout the different menus, with Kurumi popping up with her in the languages menu.Extras:
Another absolutely loaded DVD is here, with the second part of the Steel Angel Photo Shoot. This time, the four main voice actresses are presented in black dresses with some great leg shots. Steven Foster, the ADR director, and the shoot director give commentary over the photo shoot adding in little tidbits about the shoot and the actresses. A wonderful extra included is background from the manga of Steel Angels, which goes heavily into the back story behind the series and the development of the Steel Angels. I wouldn?t suggest reading this until you?ve at least watched all the episodes this DVD. Interviews with the manga creators, anime director, character designer, and screenplay writer are all included providing valuable insight about the series. Especially with the changes there are from the manga. Translator notes, production sketches (with translated notes), preliminary design sketches, extended previews, and of course the Karinka Fortune Teller are all packed onto this DVD. Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After our cliffhanger at the end of the second volume, I was really looking forward to the battle between Karinka and Kurumi. Kurumi won?t have any assistance from Saki in this battle, and she doesn?t really want to hurt Karinka too since she?s their ?sister? also. Karinka almost takes out Kurumi, until Kurumi?s Angel Heart II takes over. At this point, Karinka is about to be destroyed until Nakahito prevents it. Nakahito witnesses strange black wings during the battle, which foreshadows later events.
After our serious battle, Saki is out of the picture for a while as she needs to be repaired. Noooo! This lets us bring Karinka more properly into the show though. An amusement park episodes leads to some great comedy as Karinka tries to figure out the secret to Kurumi?s power, as our two agents, Kohaganei, and Kichijoji prevent her from doing so. Afterwards, we have another sort of filler episode as Kurumi and Nakahito get a job to help pass the time. Karinka pretends that she is good now in order to get close to Kurumi to find out the secret to her power, but even Kurumi doesn?t know! Eventually, Kurumi think it is Nakahito?s kiss, and this leads to Karinka new mission! To steal a kiss from Nakahito.
Saki is now repaired, so the group continues its journey to Izumo, where Dr. Ayakonoji?s secret lab is. Karinka joins the group. This leads to some very funny moments as Kohaganei?s predicts all of Karinka?s moves to get a kiss from Nakahito, since they are all the tricks she would pull to do the same thing. Scary, that Kohagenai is.
The group eventually reaches the lab, where the back story begins to get revealed to our main cast. And then Kaouru meets up with Shinji, oh wait, I mean Mikhail, an agent from the Academy, meets up with Nakahito in order to trick him into doing their work.
The story moves along slowly in the first part of this DVD, and picks up near the end in order to set up the final arc. Kurumi, of course, still only really cares about Nakahito. Saki is concentrating on Kurumi, and Karinka only wants to the power to be able to defeat Kurumi. Nakahito is where our main character growth is focused. This helps differentiate the show from another similar female robot shows where it?s the robots that grow, and not the master. Nakahito is trying to figure out his place in the world of Onmoyu in order to not just be a burden to everyone.
There?s only one more volume to conclude the series, and it seems like the comedy of the series is going to be left behind for something dramatic, but I?m sure there will be plenty of comedy moments left in. Since the show only has 15 minutes episodes, I wasn?t expecting something so dramatic, and this helps make the show a lot more enjoyable.
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears