Super Gals Vol. #6 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Super Gals

Super Gals Vol. #6

By Chris Beveridge     April 04, 2004
Release Date: April 13, 2004


Super Gals Vol. #6
© ADV Films


What They Say
Ran isn't a girl that runs from a gamble, but she's never had so much at risk! When a tyrant teacher wages psychological warfare on a student, Ran faces expulsion for standing up for a friend. But, school can't compare to the hazards of a highly accurate and totally terrifying fortune-telling game that has her and Tatsuki dodging death and dismemberment.

Not even Ran's GAL Spirit is safe! Will The World's Greatest GAL go from a part-time job in a bunny suit to a life in a blue suit? Brain-washed into being the World's Greatest Detective, it's a race to get Ran back.

But, only a fool would bet against the great Ran Kotobuki!

The Review!
Bringing the first half of the series to a close, Miyu takes some of the spotlight but we also get to see a lot of what makes Ran who she is.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. With it being so "street" heavy and influenced by the culture, we wanted to take it all in properly. The audio here is a pretty good stereo mix that features some good directionality as well as depth at times. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and the music fills both channels nicely. We had no issues with dropouts or distortions on either track during regular playback, though we only heard the English 5.1 track in a downmix from to 2.0.

Video:
Originally airing in 2001 to the tune of fifty-two episodes, this series is very recent and makes out extremely well here with a very crisp and clean transfer. With it being as vibrant as it is, colors stand out a lot, such as the reds of Ran's jacket. One color that stood out quite well that's usually problematic is the bright blue skies, which managed to avoid any significantly noticeable graininess or blockiness, showing at most some slight color banding. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and I barely noticed any serious aliasing during regular playback.

Packaging:
Using the same style but with dark blues and yellows, the three lead girls are all over this cover, but my favorite gal Aya gets most of the space there and looks great. The back cover provides a couple of shots from the show as well as several paragraphs of episode summary information. The discs features are nice and clearly listed as well as the episode titles that are on the disc. Episode numbers continue to be absent, but the volume numbering is still on the spine and front cover so that helps it balance out a bit. The insert is a four-panel foldout that has a full color poster of Tatsuki in some casual wear while the reverse side is a black and white piece that has various Japanese terms and numerous cultural notes. I really, really, really wish these were on the disc however and not here.

Menu:
The main menu has shot of Tatsuki from the show with his face going monkey-style and the heavy winds blowing him along. Episodes are selectable right from the top menu and features are quite and easy to access. With no transitional animations when moving to submenus, things load quickly as well.

Extras:
The extras are fairly similar to the previous volume, notably with the hyper opening sequence in textless form as well as the more relaxed ending sequence, also in textless form. The "Super Gals Explain It All" makes another appearance as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the series now at the halfway point, we're still finding it just as enjoyable as when we started it. Twenty-six episodes in and the comedy continues to work, the characters are still enjoyable and growing and the situations only expand into more new arenas. One of the best parts is that the supporting cast is also really starting to grow and they add solid moments to the show, even the ones you'd least likely expect to like Ran's younger sister. Datchu!

This volume provides some good comedy but also some drama. The opening episode deals with the repercussions of the sports festival where the defeated teacher Gunjo has decided to put all the blame on the one student, Takazawa. Though he doesn't do it in an obvious way, he's got everyone in his class basically bullying her and giving her the silent treatment, less they themselves become the subject of his terror. Gunjo continues to look at this as his class actually respecting him, but once Ran finds out what's going on she tries to get involved and help Takazawa keep the faith in what she was doing. Gunjo's got it all figured out though since nobody will listen to a troublemaker like her as opposed to a paragon of the educational system like him.

Ran's confrontation with Gunjo after he decides to take her down in a morality class of all things is priceless. Ran is one of those people that's actually fairly rare in that she'll say what she says in situations where the majority of people would otherwise shut up and just go along like sheep. When Gunjo starts in on her, none of the others in her class stand up and object. Even if they don't like her, it's beyond acceptable what that teacher started to do and it's hard to imagine some of the students wouldn't object. But it's confrontations like these that really show what Ran is made of.

To offset the serious material, there's a great episode that brings fortune and luck into Ran's life after Miyu plays around with a fortune telling device. Ran initially comes across by having the best day of this year based on what it tells her (black and the number two), which she works into Machida aka Tatsuki who comes to visit and wins her a very expensive handbag. She's so completely having a great day from the fortune she got in the morning that she's taking it all quite seriously. So on the next day when it reveals she's having the worse day of her life and that it involves monkeys and Machida, she avoids Tatsuki at all costs. This causes him to think she's broken up with him and keeps trying to figure out what happened, causing them to cross paths and more chaos ensues. This one is all over the place with the comedy and physical gags and it's a lot of fun to watch Tatsuki try to deal with it all while Yuya suddenly feels like he may have a shot.

One thing that continues to be surprising is just how much time is given over to Miyu and her background. We've had several episodes worth of material so far with her gang background, but this volume starts exploring her home life in some more detail. What we learn about her isn't pleasant and certainly gives explanation as to why she fell into the girl gang lifestyle. Her parents divorced when she was three and her father has long since remarried and become quite happy. Her mother doesn't have much to do with her now or earlier it seems and often just leaves money for Miyu to get food and deal with things. During one confrontation, she asks why her mother never looks her in the eye. The frank response of how it reminds her of her former husband is cutting and quick. It's much easier to see the emotional scars that Miyu bears now and how she's come to be interested in people like Yamato and Ran and all the others. This episode does a good job of exploring more of her life and actually moving things forward with her relationships and life.

In Summary:
Super Gals fills a void in our anime diet that very few shows have been able to. We've made our comparisons before and won't rehash them here. Between the animation style, the wild takes, the gal lingo and all the other little bits that make it what it is, Super Gals is a real treat. Fun enjoyable comedy, amusing teen relationship material from joy to angst and a lot of small parodies and in-jokes. Thankfully we're only at the halfway mark here as opposed to being done and over with.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,The Super GALS Explain It All,Clean Opening,Clean Closing

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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