Love Hina-Volume 3: Secret Lives (2000)

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Released 26-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Biographies-Character
Interviews-Crew-director
Trailer-1:41
Trading Card-Madman Propaganda
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 86:26 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Toshiaki Iwasaki
Studio
Distributor
TV Tokyo
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Koichi Korenaga


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Information
English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, title of next episode

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

This is Volume 3 of Love Hina. I strongly recommend that you read my review of the first volume before reading this one. You might also want to read my review of the second volume.

The four episodes on this disc are:

  1. The Case of the Missing Hinata Apartment Money: A Mystery a month's rent for all the apartments goes missing from Keitaro's room
  2. Who is the Beautiful Woman Wandering in the Moonlight?: Transformation an insight into Su's background, which turns out stranger than we expect
  3. The Idol Shooting for Tokyo U is a Prep School Student: Sing what happens to Naru after she wins a talent contest
  4. Changing After the Wedding: Swordmaster Motoko has a feminine side? She looks really good in a dress!

And I thought the episode titles were getting longer in the previous volume? I'm wondering if I'll have room for them in the next review.

This group of episodes is quite a mixture. We get a bit more insight into several of the girls: Kitsune, Su, and Motoko all reveal a bit more of their character. And Naru's jealousy seems to be growing...

Motoko seems to have her sword with her at all times, even when she's asleep. She has seemed somewhat one-dimensional, pure swordmaster, but now we get a greater understanding of why she is the way she is. We'd heard mention of her sister before, but it isn't until Episode 12 that we get to hear the whole story.

Keitaro gets beaten up by almost every one of the girls (including Hiruka) in Episode 9. It seems that one of the few unchanging elements in this show is that no matter who is at fault, it is Keitaro who gets thumped. It's a good thing he's extremely robust. The Hinata Apartments must have the largest maintenance budget in Japan walls, windows, and doors get destroyed on a regular basis. Then again, it is a huge building for so few residents.

Kentaro Sakata shows up again in a couple of episodes. I doubt I'm the only one to find his slimy behaviour annoying.

Every so often they get self-referential, making cracks about a show or game that has a guy as manager to an all-girl dorm. Add to that the occasional light-hearted reference to other anime series (there's a reference to Card Captor Sakura on this disc). There are occasional inconsistencies in detail between episodes, but you have to see the episodes quickly one after another to notice them.

Every episode of this series seems to be a good one. It's impossible to predict what kind of episode will be next, which is good. The one constant is the good humour and overall positive outlook.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. That is the original aspect ratio.

The image is as good as the second disc quite sharp on close-ups, and only a touch of softness on the long shots. Film grain never seems a problem, and there's no low-level noise.

Colour is excellent. Skin tones are rather more credible than many anime series. There are no colour-related artefacts, but there seems to be some slight ringing, leading to faint haloing on characters on occasion.

There are no film artefacts.

There is still noticeable aliasing and dot-crawl on the black lines around characters, but it is far less annoying than on Volume 1, except in Episode 12, where it does get somewhat irritating possibly because there's a lot of action. There's a moment of moire on one design, but no MPEG artefacts. There are interlacing artefacts, but they're hard to see when watching the anime you really need to single-step through scenes with serious motion in them to see the interlacing.

There are two subtitle tracks. The first subtitles only signs. The second provides full subtitles of the dialogue, plus the signs. The subtitles seem well-timed, accurate, and easy to read, in the traditional yellow.

The disc is single-sided and single-layered. All the episodes together take less than 90 minutes, so they fit comfortably onto the single layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The soundtrack is provided in English and Japanese, as is appropriate for anime. Both soundtracks are Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded, which is a reasonable presentation of a television track. I listened to both soundtracks in full. This English soundtrack is recorded at the correct level the two soundtracks sound fairly similar. Reports have it that the Region 1 Japanese soundtrack is surround-encoded this one definitely isn't, but sounds good without it. There is some stereo separation, but it's well-done, and doesn't stand out ostentatiously.

The English dialogue comes across clearly and is easy to understand. The Japanese dialogue sounds just as clear, and is probably just as easy to understand if you have that language in your repertoire. The big disadvantage of the English soundtrack is Kitsune's fake deep South US accent without that, it would much more enjoyable. It is quite interesting to compare the English dub with the sub most of the translations are very similar, but occasionally there are telling differences; I wonder why they thought it necessary to refer to "chi energy" rather than simply "chi"? How ignorant do they think we are? I become increasingly convinced that this is one series worth watching in Japanese...

The score, from Koichi Korenaga, is really beautiful. The theme songs are from Ritsuko Okazaki, and contrast strongly with one another.

The surrounds and subwoofer are not called upon by this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu is animated with music. It offers the episodes (by number), setup, and extras simple and functional.

Character Photo Gallery

This gives us a short bio for a character, plus seven images of the character. This disc only has the bio for Motoko Aoyama.

Interview director Yoshiaki Iwasaki (5:17)

Far too brief, this interview mixes footage from the show with a few words from the director. Several interesting subjects are hinted at, but there's nowhere near enough time to go into any depth.

Trailer (1:41)

The same trailer as on the first two discs, but this time it has its own menu entry, rather than being lumped into the Madman Propaganda section.

Madman Propaganda

A new selection of trailers this time, which is good:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 disc was released mid-2002. The Region 4 was released in November 2002. There are fewer differences between the discs this time, confined pretty much to the artwork. The Region 1 cover looks better than previous ones, but there's nothing wrong with the Region 4, and we get the better logo. The R1 cover blurb mentions Shinobu questing for her first kiss they must have been watching different episodes...

The Region 4 disc is missing:

The Region 1 disc is missing:

Once again, judging by reviews, the R1 is has a very good transfer. It may be slightly better than the R4, but I doubt the difference would be huge, because the R4 has quite a decent transfer too.

Summary

More interesting episodes of a delightful series, this time probing a little deeper into some of the characters.

The video quality is really good, but there is still a fair bit of aliasing.

The audio quality is good.

The extras are limited, but interesting I just wish the interview with the director had run a decent length.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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