Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Vampire Princess Miyu

Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     February 17, 2002
Release Date: January 23, 2002


Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #3
© TOKYOPOP


What They Say
Red Shoes
Miyu's debut stage performance leaves her feeling out of character!

Your House
The double suicide is an open and shut chase, leaving only one harmless loose end!

Swamp of Promise
Chisato finds her way into a mysterious swamp and into a most unexpected circumstance!

A Supple Face
When you are a ruthless mob boss - beware of unexpected gifts!

The Review!
The third volume of Miyu brings more stories of the Shinma and the various ways that they've settled into the world but little movement on any possible over-reaching storyline.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Throughout the disc we had a no problems at all. The majority of the show is dialogue, which is mostly through the center channel. The music continues to be a real highlight, making excellent use of the forward soundstage.

Video:
Things are a slight bit of a mixed bag her. The first and fourth episodes suffer from a fair bit of cross coloration, with the first episode being stronger in it than the fourth. The middle episodes have practically none of this though. Colors throughout are nice and solid with only a few areas of softness, noticeably in the opening and ending. Blacks appear to be mostly solid with only a few areas looking a little less than.

Packaging:
This is a nice cover with a close-up of Miyu holding another woman close to her. It's fairly subdued in colors but still manages to look almost vibrant. The back cover provides a summary of what the show is about and then two lines or so for each of the episodes along with a picture for each. Features and production credits are all clearly listed as well as episode numbers and titles, but no volume number. The insert provides the full image of the front cover with the surrounding frame while the reverse side advertises some of their manga. The other insert goes again into comments and designs from Teraoka and covers the various Shinma seen in these episodes. This extra insert is a great piece to have.

Menus:
Similar to the second volume, Nightjar's work again brings a nice feel to this release. This one just looks very Miyu stylish with a paper style image of Larva in the background with a floating flame image moving along it as well as some of the eerie music. The layout for the menu works great, selections are easy to check and access times are fast. Yet another series where I'm excited to see the menus.

Extras:
The only extra provided this time around is the original opening sequence again, which is something I like to see on each volume.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With this volume, Miyu hits the halfway mark in its release by getting up to episode 12. With reaching that mark, usually we see the start of the overall storyline that's being told, but with the way the show has been going, I'm not sure there really will be one. And with a show like this, that's quite fine.

Miyu works well in telling small tales of the supernatural, often times with her only intervening in the end, letting the viewer see an entire episode with her making only a few minutes of screentime in some. This doesn't work well for a lot of other series, but works good here.

The four tales here are all quite good, though they do vary. The opening tale has a music oriented Shinma whose taken the role of a musician whose training new up and coming idols, and deals with his latest acquisition. He takes the most unqualified ones so that he has more control over them and their resistence is weaker to his charms. Using a pair of "magic" shoes, he utilizes his power through them to make the idol an excellent singer and sinks his teeth deeper into them. It's a somewhat formulaic tale in that you feel it's been told before, but it's well crafted up until you actually see him in his Shinma mode. That was my only real disappointment in the design.

My favorite episode here is the one where Miyu and her three friends go off to Ikegafuchi. The episode takes place almost entirely in the rain with dark gloomy skies overhead. The four decide to go there to take advantage of the hot springs, but once there Miyu notices the presence of a Shinma quickly. The episode has her in the background looking for the Shinma, but most of it focuses on Chisato and her meeting up with a young boy outside of a shrine and befriending him while sinister things work in the background. Ikegafuchi is definitely an old-feel town, with the wooden exteriors and tight walkways throughout it, combined with the rain and the cloudy backgrounds, things here just have such a moody feel combined with Kawai's gorgeous music. Things in this episode just work very well.

Cat haters will feel justified when they see the episode that revolves around a Shinma cat. Though it's entirely predictable where it will go, it's an enticing episode as Miyu takes up maybe two minutes of screen time here and we focus on the lives of young married couple getting by in their life. It's an interesting way to tell the tale and probably one of my favorites so far.

Vampire Princess Miyu's style of self-contained tales continues to keep me very entertained with its atmosphere, music and visuals. This is good stuff here.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Opening

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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