Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: D
- Menus Rating: D
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Pony Canyon
- Running time: 95
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Urusei Yatsura
Urusei Yatsura Movie 5: Final Chapter
What They SayThe Review!
I like UY a lot. No, I mean I really, really love this series. UY is one of the first original anime series I ever laid eyes on, way, way back in the day of multi-generation bootlegs, and back-room, late-night anime sessions at the local Trek/Sci/Fi cons. You "older fans" know what I'm talking about ...yeah, the mid-1980's. So of course, expect me to be just a little biased in this review.
Video: Excellent. That about sums it up. After all, this is an original Japanese Region 2 disc. I did not notice any grain at all, despite the source material's age (1988, if memory serves). There is, of course, no pixellation to speak of. I did notice some jaggies (whatever the technical term is) on some edges, but this was mostly during panning shots and wasn't that noticeable. That's the only that prevents this disc from getting a perfect rating (A+), but I don't pretend to be an expert (or even that knowledgeable) about the technical aspects of digital video transfer, so the occasional jagged edges may be due to my particular TV/DVD player setup.
Audio: Again, excellent. I didn't hear any static or hissing, or anything of that nature. This DVD is in Dolby Digital stereo, and I have a fairly decent sound system built in to my TV (I can hear the audio purists snickering as they read this! No, I'm not big on having the best sound equipment, gomen yo!).
Packaging: Ummm, what can I say? There isn't much to speak of here. The cover is a great painting by Takahashi herself, so that's a definite attraction. Otherwise, there's just the standard (North American style) clamshell/ keepsake case instead of the typically Japanese CD jewel case. There is one insert, just a black and white printed card actually, with the movie's credits, etc.
Menus: Again, not much here. Just the standard scene select, trailers, and play movie options. No subtitles, as one can easily imagine, and no audio options (unlike the Region 2 Lupin discs I recently got).
Content: This is probably my favorite UY movie of all, even more so than that perennial fan fave, Beautiful Dreamer. This is by no means the "Final Chapter" as it's dubbed (there was the disappointing UY 6, Itsudatte My Darling). The story has to do with Lum being handed over to the alien prince Rupa, all because her great-grandfather lost at a game-of-chance on Rupa's mushroom homeworld over 100 years ago. Great-granddad was poisoned, it seems, and promised his first female offspring to the male offspring of the mushroom world's ruling family in exchange for the antitoxin. Lum is whisked away to marry Prince Rupa, and Ataru must face up to his real feelings for his Lum-chan. The story climaxes with Ataru having to chase Lum around Tomobiki-cho to save the earth, just as he did so long ago (it seems) when Lum first arrived on this planet. There is, of course, much more to this story, but I don't want to spoil it. This is the quintessential Urusei Yatsura story, with great humor, and some very touching, tender moments as well. It is also the only UY movie to adapted from Takahashi's original manga.
Overall, this is a good disc. I got it for around $50, so I think I did ok on that front. An interesting note about the equipment I used to watch this one. I viewed this disc on an RCA 5220P. You may be wondering, 'But that's not a multi-regional player.' Well, you're right, but my apparently my player, which I had for over a year when I discovered this delightful anomaly, was one of the .01% of the 5220P series to be manufactured with multi-region capability. There is no secret menu, no hardware tricks; I just put the Region 2 disc in, it gives the error/compatibility message, I push any button on the remote or front panel, and then I can play the disc perfectly. The tech rep I talked to on the phone said this is a "fluke", and that I should just "enjoy it for all it's worth." Go figure...
Equipment used: Note: Thanks to the "Tomobiki-cho" website for additional story info (www.tomobiki.com).
Samsung BioVision 29 inch Multi-System TV, RCA 5220P DVD player.