Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A
- Age Rating: 3 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 44.95
- Running time: 325
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Tenchi Muyo
Tenchi Muyo! : Magical Project S: Volume 2
By Abraham Chinchilla Jr.
January 04, 2003
Release Date: November 19, 2002
Pretty Sammy originated from her appearances in the Mihoshi Special
and in the 12th episode of Tenchi Universe
. After a while, Pretty Sammy ended up with her own series of three OVAs. In 1996, Pretty Sammy spinned off into television sets in her own TV series, "Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV" (retitled to "Magical Project S" in the U.S.). Pioneer has finally brought this series over onto DVD (subtitled only) in two 2-disc collections. This is the second collection!AUDIO:
Only the Japanese language audio track is presented on both of these discs. The audio is great and I was not able to spot any distortions as I watched the show.VIDEO:
For a TV series done in 1996, the video looks great. The first disc (having seven episodes) had minimal artifacting here and there (especially during darker shots) and a few jitters during panning scenes. The second disc, comparing to the first, looks a little better.PACKAGING:
My god, this is probably one of Pioneer's best jobs on packaging ever. Presented in a clear double-keepcase, the cover is a lovely shade of blue and is practically foil (with the exception of Pixy Misa), giving this cover a nice shiny effect. The cover is very beautiful, and the back offers the usual synopsis and even a listing of the 13 episodes included (with episode numbers!) along with a listing of extras and staff credits. Opening the case, I was glad I got the limited pencilboard, but I really do not like the pictures used. The front features Sasami and Misao in PJs, looking as they are going to remove them... and the back features Sammy and Misa, showing off her behind. This does not look appropriate...? The insert is a four-page booklet, with Romio on the front with her ship in the back. The inside is actually a mini-poster (like what Pioneer has done with their Sailormoon SuperS releases). The mini-poster features Sasami and her family. The back of the insert has a!
nother original LD cover featuring MENUS:
The menus are animated, colorful, and musical.
Disc 1: The main menu has a shot of "dark" Misao, curling up, with Sasami featured in her hair, it's quite nifty with Misao rocking back and forth. You can quickly select whether to play the entire show, or start at an individual episode. You can also access scene selections and the set-up menu.
Disc 2: The main menu features Romio, along with those little "Azaka/Kamidake" figures featuring the menu selections. Added with the selections is the extras menu.
All the sub-menus are done nicely (the set-up menu has the Cardcaptor Sakura "changing scenery" effect when subtitles are turned on or off, by the way). The DVD credits are also convienitely listed on the set-up menu.EXTRAS:
Disc 2 sure is packed with extras! Included is the usual non-credit versions for the (cute) second closing sequence, along with an art gallery featuring more artwork, and those eechi art pieces used on the pencilboards. Also included are the super-cute "bonus theaters". There's "Magical Girl Lyrical Amila" with Ramia transforming into a Magical Girl and trying to kill Tsunami. "Video Jack Misa" is about Pixy Misa taking over the Pretty Sammy Bonus Theater! The Murder Mystery is a funny little piece, about Pretty Sammy mysteriously being killed off, and her classmates have to figure out who did it. Also included is the movie trailer, now if only we could get a movie like this released! Overall, this is a great set of extras.CONTENT:
Things are heating up, and situations are turning "sexy".
This volume has a few more fun and silly episodes, while others get the final plot going.
A few of the fun stories include "Baby Sammy", in which one of Washu's experiments goes wrong when she tests out a formula on Sasami, turning her into a baby. Ramia uses this to her advantage and sends down Pixy Misa to do some damage. Also stirring trouble for two episodes, is the Team "Sexy Madams" (oddly subtitled as "Lovely Madams") who defeat Pretty Sammy using their Sexy Powers and Sexy Space. Sammy will need to learn about the Power of Love to beat this sexy team. There is also an episode with a new transfer student, Hikari, who comes searching for her childhood friend from the Juraihelm, Ryo-Ohki! She has been told by Ramia that Sasami has been mistreating Ryo-Ohki, so she goes to the Earth to take him back.
But one of the best episodes of the series yet, where episodes 19 and 20. Misao is happy that he father will finally be coming home to see her and her mother. Misao has been practicing the music her father wrote for her so she can play for him when he returns, but when she has to run an errand to go get roses, her Father's favorite flowers, Ramia orders Rumiya (who has grown fond of Misao) to make her Pixy Misa one last time. When Pixy Misa unleashes a giant rose love-love monster, Pretty Sammy goes off to finish her off. But Pixy Misa is growing weaker, and when she hears the cries of her parents, she looses to Pretty Sammy, and runs off. She becomes Misao, to be discovered by Pretty Sammy. Sasami, being shocked from what she has witnessed, reveals her identity as well, and Misao runs away, with the guilt of causing trouble to her own friend. These episodes provide a good deal of back story of how Sasami and Misao meet.
Back on Juraihelm, the balance has been properly "balanced" in the center, Tsunami will now be able to become Queen, disappointing the stone-figured Ramia. But behind-the-scenes is Romio, the "other" candidate from Queen discared back in episode 1, who offers to help Ramia. The final episodes are fun and bring a definite end to this series, or does it? =)
Overall, this show's been very fun to watch, and since it has been released in two greatly-priced 2-disc sets. So whether you've seen every other Tenchi series, or if you're a big Sasami fan, or even if you don't have a clue to what "Tenchi" is all about, Magical Project S
provides a fun story with lovable characters, and many many laughs!
Philco 21" TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player, Philips Magnavox RF Modulator