Wandaba Style Vol. #2 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • 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: Wandaba Style

Wandaba Style Vol. #2

By Justin Rich     June 14, 2005
Release Date: March 15, 2005

Wandaba Style Vol. #2
© ADV Films

What They Say
The “Mix Juice” girls are zooming faster than they ever anticipated - at warp speed! Sassy Sakura, rocker Yuri, classical Himawari, and folksy Ayame ride roller coasters and time machines to get a sneak peak at an uncertain future. Will the girls turn out to be just one-hit wonders?

Meanwhile, Dr. Tsukumo finds himself in a face-off against an unrelenting enemy: his own mother. It’s the Tsukumo vs. Tsukumo space-race! And sleazy manager Michael Hanagata is playing both sides. Has he met his match, or will he be the first manager on the moon?

It’s Volume 2 of Wandaba Style where crazy schemes and double-crosses are everywhere! Will the girls defy destiny and become huge stars on the moon? Will Hanagata find a space-age definition for the term “breach of contract?” Will Dr. Tsukumo avenge his father’s honor with an earth friendly trip to the moon?

There’s only one guarantee: if you want sexy singers, blind ambition and cutting-edge science delivered at warp speed - you gotta have Wandaba Style!

The Review!
In a grudge match of Tsukumo vs. Tsukumo who will win; mother or child, fossil fuels or natural power? If the girls of Mix Juice have anything to say about it Susumo will come out victorious.

For this session I decided to stick with the English 5.1 which really aids the show which has a lot of rockets taking off and a fair amount of background music. There is no drop outs and the balance amongst all speakers is clear and leaves you feel like you’re taking off with Mix Juice every time they try to go into space. I also took a look at the Japanese 2.0 after watching the entire disc already, for I wanted to make sure there was no apparent problems with this audio which was balanced and functioning properly.

Wandaba Style was originally released in the spring of 2003 so the transfer is pretty good quality. The animation’s color does not bleed and even with the huge amount of random color combinations. There is a tendency for this show to use the same scenes as the Wandaba Style is a go and even with a higher speed of action the picture does hold well. Although in episode eight there is a couple of second clip in the hall of Dr. Tsukumo’s base that blurs and cause the scene to go out of focus.

Just like the episodes on this discs, the front cover is not nearly as busy as the previous volume. In the bottom center you have the Himawari being pulled back in a giant slingshot by the rest of her Mix Juice pals right next Hanagata’s unnecessary word bubble of ‘fly me to the moon!!’ Behind the ready to be released Himawari is Dr. Tsukumo and Kiku #8 in a flying saucer and his mother, with her arms folded across her chest standing off to the left with a scope-green fairy right above her. Finally you have the title in the upper left with a the corny moniker of wacky science fiction series above it and in mustard yellow the disc number and title. The back cover is a collage of screen caps including a rather large one of Sakura seemingly naked, and the special features listed in the bottom right corner.

The menu has the thirty second sound bite again of the opening theme; which is still the best part of the show after eight episodes. It also has segments from the cover art like the previous volume, except this time the put an image of sexy Yuri in the upper right corner. Most of the right half is made up of still pic of Hanagata flipping through his book with Dr. Tsukumo and Kiku #8 in the spaceship partially hidden by his golden fro. Also Furoku is standing just to the right of Hanagata with her arms crossed. Below the title, including horribly placed “wacky science fiction series” from the cover, is the four episodes, languages and special features in white lettering.

This disc contains both clean opening and closing animation like volume one. Jason Douglas and John Swasey are back to do more commentary on episode seven. There is also six ADV previews: DN Angel, Petite Princess Yucie, Kaleido Star, Saint Seiya, Sister Princess and Chrno Crusade. Finally there is color production sketches of Mix Juice girls in their nonperformance attire, including two for Himawari & Ayame, intro sketches of the other Tsukumos (Kousaku & Furoku), Kiku #8 in her space outfit and finally Ayame’s absythe-like fairies.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers) Episode five starts off with the girls relaxing as they think back on all the failed experiments they had to persevere through. But, it does not take long for Dr. Tsukumo to summon Mix Juice to his amusement park to see how their bodies respond to speed, etc. The roller coasters don’t even phase them anymore after the failed trips to space. Of course, Hanagata even uses this training exercise as a chance to make money pitting his girls against another girl band in a screaming contest to become the face of an amusement park add. As always Hanagata’s plan does not lead to a payday instead leading him to being thrown into the air.

Dr. Tsukumo decides that he is going to rise to Mix Juice’s challenge that he can’t “finish strong” beginning Wandaba Style number five. Using the power of super speed he is going to get the girls to the moon, but there was one thing he never calculated; Hanagata falling back to Earth and landing directly on his power chords killing the electricity to the girls spaceship leaving them teetering at the edge of the take off runway. Without the speed to defy gravity the girls are speeding backwards towards a closed wall, and the only thing that can save them is Ichirin and Dr. Tsukumo physically slowing them down before they crash and die. They take action and using everything they got stop the ship right before the wall, but another failure takes it’s toll on Dr. Tsukumo’s confidence. Are the girls right, is Dr. Tsukumo “weak at the finish?”

As Dr. Tsukumo is wallowing in depression the girls get a very disturbing glance at their future from his time machine. As the girls, Kiku and Ichirin sit on the beach in the future they decide that if they run in reverse they can go back to the past and make sure these abysmal futures do not come to fruition. They go too far back and end up running into Dr. Tsukumo as a little kid, and get to see his overbearing, mean mother and laidback father in the process. Susumo believes, like his father, that humans can reach space without the use of toxic fossil fuels, but his mother will achieve her goals by any means. When his father goes off course Susumo finally stands up to his mother and pledges to her that he was go to the moon but not like her. When the girls get back they are completely fired up to help Dr. Tsukumo avenge his father’s death, only to find out that he came back after being stuck is space for five years and now leaves happily in Canada.

Furuko, Susumo’s mother, begins a mysterious negotiations to Hanagata, but what does she have in mind? Hanagata for the first time gets the Wandaba Style music as he is heading to space for Furuko and the girls get new cloths as a gift from Dr. Tsukumo. Everyone looks over to see Hanagata on TV from the moon! But, Dr. Tsukumo recognizes immediately that is a ruse, and he and Mix Juice take off to the location where Hanagata is at. It turns out to be a set up perpetrated by his mother to get negative propaganda against Susumo, but with the support of Mix Juice he stands up to her and the space race has begun!

Hanagata and Furuko are back at it, but this time contracts and lots of money are the only thing on the line; for Furuko is deadly serious, literally! She makes Hanagata bet his life on them getting to the moon before her rebellious son. With Dr. Tsukumo working so hard they decide to do something nice for him; they are going to clean and stitch his tattered lab coat. Hanagata tries to convince the girls together to abandon Susumo but it doesn’t work,. He moves the flight date of Furuko up a day so it no longer coincides with Susumos launch the next day, and then convinces the girls to drop out and go solo. Now that they weren’t breaching contract he renames the girls as the Rocket Girls. Furuko’s rocket takes off and Susumo sends Wandaba Style six into action to try and catch up with Kiku flying alone. Furuko’s pettiness came through as she destroys all of Kiku’s sisters, and Ichirin came in with four new lab coats from the girls as they emptied out their entire bank accounts. They were tricked by Hanagata to fly for Furuko, so what does this mean for Mix Juice and for their friend Dr. Tsukumo?

With the horrific slapstick that made up a majority of the first volume practically absent from these four episodes the show really started to find a pace that made me have a completely different reaction to the conclusion of this disc. When the first volume ended I was very unsure of the direction this show was heading or if I even wanted to know, but now I do, which is a great change in perspective within only four episodes. There is still comedy, but the jokes aren’t as over the top and came out much funnier making me laugh at least once or twice per episode. The drama that is coming from Hanagata playing both sides of Tsukumo/Tsukumo space race really adds an element of intreague that was a nonfactor in the first volume of this series. If the show closes on the much better setup of the second volume then the final four episodes should be a real treat.

Japanese 2.0 language,English 5.1 language,English subtitles,Clean opening and closing animation,Production sketches,Audio Commentary with John Swasey (ADR director) & Jason Douglas (Michael Hanagata)

Review Equipment
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 Tv is Sony 57” widescreen rear-projection HDTV Model #KPD 57WS550


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