Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Vampire Princess Miyu

Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #5

By Chris Beveridge     June 09, 2002
Release Date: May 14, 2002


Vampire Princess Miyu TV Vol. #5
© TOKYOPOP


What They Say
Contains:
Episode 17: The Moray Boat
When Mayumi herself starts some trouble, it's up to Miyu to reluctantly pursue her.

Episode 18: City of Illusion
In different parts of the city, buildings are seen turning into sand and crumbling away.

Episode 19: Love of the Dolls
Kasumi, a doll artist treats her creations as if they were her lovers. When she hires a young girl named Yuki as an assistant, her quiet and peaceful life begins to collapse.

Episode 20: Butterfly Enchantment
A butterfly leads Miyu to a girl, whose father confines himself to a large hot house during the night. Miyu detects the scent of the Shinma in the hot house full of beautiful butterflies...

Episode 21: Flag of Shinma
Miyu wanders into a mysterious village being attacked by the three stray Shinma brothers. The village chief is the descendant of the Shinma protectors who once kept watch over the guardians.

The Review!
The penultimate volume of Miyu TV provides another five eerie episodes, though some are better than others. The standalone nature of the show continues to work in its favor though.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show continues to feature a decent sound if not terribly immersive stereo mix that makes good use of the forward soundstage. Dialogue is nice and clear and we haven’t noticed any dropouts or distortions throughout these episodes.

Video:
The transfer for this volume is about on par with the previous one, in that it has a fair amount of minor cross coloration along character edges in other various objects throughout, but it’s not a major distraction. Colors are decent if muted by design and aliasing is pretty minimal overall.

Packaging:
The front cover provides a shot of Miyu along with some characters featured in one particular episode. The addition of the butterfly creature adds a nice bit of color to things here. 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 other properties. 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.

Menu:
The strong and subtle work of Nightjar 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:
There’s a nice inclusion of extras for this release, such as the original Japanese opening with the original credits on it. There’s also three selections of production sketches, from characters to props and scenes and to locations. These look great set against the look of the menus here.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With this volume bringing us into the early 20’s in terms of the episode numbers, things are getting close to their conclusion and the only overall plot that can be sensed is the tensions between Miyu and her style of dealing with the Shinma and with Reiha and her way of doing things.

Outside of that, these episodes play out much like earlier volumes in dealing with single stories that don’t go beyond. We do get a few more moments with Miyu’s schoolmates and their reactions to dealing with someone as strange as Miyu gets at times, but those two things are all we really get for any sense of continuity. You can almost play these completely out of order and still not have any problems yet.

There’s some rather good self contained stories in this volume as well, with only a few just not getting me all that interested. The opening episode, entitled the Moray Boat, is a rather gloomy tale of a man who has realized certain things about his life and left it all behind to take the time to write a novel. He’s ended up living with a woman whose really a Shinma, but she’s like some of the other secondary ones we’ve seen where they’re pretty much human in most senses of the word, and her love and care for him are very strong. For a good part of the episode there’s little screen time for Miyu, and we get to see this relationship play out, especially when his wife comes to settle things once and for all.

The lack of Miyu in an episode seems to mean it’s one I’ll enjoy more, even though I like the Miyu character. In City of Illusion, we have a man whose life has been controlled by a Shinma who wants him to build a city for its children. It uses him in a way to build it via its powers, but he’s been building it for what seems like thirty years. When we see the city he’s building through his eyes, it’s truly eerie and odd, but makes sense within the confines of the world it’s being told from. Miyu makes little enough of an appearance here until the end, leaving us to spend our time with the husband as he toils away hard at the work he finds himself compelled to do.

The episode here that I think worked the best in the eerie factor is the Love of the Dolls, which details the events surrounding a very popular and talented doll maker. She’s had galleries showcasing her work of dolls of very handsome boys in detailed outfits. Her manager assigns a maid to her mansion so she can spend more time on the dolls, but it’s while this maid is there that we get to see just how disconnected the doll maker is from the world. She created a life size doll of a very handsome man that she spends all her spare time with, only to become jealous when the maid begins to spend time there. This is the kind of episode where every time the camera lingers on the dolls, you expect their eyes to move or some other bit of movement. You know it’s going to happen, but you get all tense waiting to see which scene it is that’ll do it.

These stories are still quite a bit of fun, but I’ve continued to find that watching one every couple of nights instead of all five in a row works best, keeping me from overdosing on this too fast and spoiling the eerie mood of the episodes. Only five more episodes to go with the next volume though, and then there’s no more Miyu to pine for.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Opening,Production Sketches

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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