Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment, Japan
- MSRP: ¥2000
- Running time: 25
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Super Doll Licca-Chan
Super Doll Licca-chan Step 1
Super Doll Licca-chan Step 1
What They SayThe Review!
© Geneon Entertainment, Japan
This is a fun title that I bought on a whim. I was struck by the incredible character designs I'd seen of Doll Licca in several magazines (the red-haired girl on the cover image), and was similarly drawn by the attractive price on the DVD itself at less than $20 US (2,000 yen).
Set square in the "magical girl" genre, the story involves a young girl, Licca, who can call upon three dolls to help her in times of need. (The dolls transform into full sized human form of course).
The first episode, which is all that this disc contains, introduces us to Licca, as well as to Doll Licca and her yo-yo like Light Spinner, a weapon which is used to great effect during a battle sequence near the episode's end. During the course of the episode, Licca's grandmother, who is keeper of the three Dolls Licca, Isamu and Izumi, gives young Licca a "Calling Ring", which looks like a wristwatch, before departing on a school field trip. This was, fortunately, a very wise move, as Licca winds up needing Doll Licca's help as the day progresses. You just never know when bad guys are going to show up.
The character designs are as good in the show as in the promo art I'd seen; I just love them. My interest has been piqued enough that I'll probably wind up checking out more of the series eventually.
The disc comes packaged in a standard Pioneer-Japan CD jewel case, this time enclosed in a cardboard slip sleeve similar to those used with both Perfect Blue (also Pioneer) and Cowboy Bebop Session 0 (Bandai). In addition to the jewel case booklet, which contains some episode info, the box contains a larger booklet with character designs of all the major characters, which is a great extra.
The DVD itself is hands down the coolest I've ever seen. Rather than silk-screening a picture onto the disc surface, a cel quality art piece has been sandwiched into the DVD's layers itself! Yes that's right; the artwork is actually inside the disc. It looks incredible with vivid color enhanced by the DVD's innate glossiness. I'm sure this was incredibly expensive to create. The DVD's artwork is the same as the jewel box booklet, but the artwork on the cardboard box is unique and colored by computer. Normally I would mark down substantially for the jewel case, but as I'm considering the DVD itself as part of the "packaging", this rates a solid "A". It just has to be seen to be appreciated.
On the technical side, the DVD is first rate. It contains one episode of the series and is priced low to attract first time viewers (like me). The transfer is typical of Pioneer, with vivid color free of chroma noise and distortion, putting many laserdiscs to shame. The audio is stereo two-channel, which is also typical of television anime. The theme song isn't too bad; it has enough energy and brightness to capture the mood without becoming a sickly sweet j-pop nightmare. The background music in the show itself is for the most part of the video game variety, which probably won't prompt too many sales of soundtrack CDs.
The disc's menu is cute, with a SD version of Doll Licca jumping up and down on the left side of the screen. It has options to skip by chapter, view the opening animation in a non-credit version (no superimposed text), and to view an information section with several full motion video ads and trailers for other Pioneer anime products such as St. Luminous Mission High School and Serial Experiments Lain. This is really something that Pioneer-USA should do; in fact, the Lain preview they have on here would work well as-is for US audiences since it uses English text with no spoken Japanese.
This turned out, as I mentioned earlier, to be a fun disc that I'm very happy with. If you're a fan of other shows in this genre, this is probably a good disc to get, and the price is very reasonable. On the other hand, if cute isn't in your vocabulary, then you'll probably want to stay away, keeping in mind that the Super Doll Licca-chan is targeted at a somewhat younger audience.
Japanese Language,Non-Credit Opening,Trailers