Fooly Cooly (FLCL)-Volume 2 (2000)

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Released 19-Jun-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary
Booklet
Reversible Cover
Gallery-posters
Trailer
Credits-Japanese closing
Biographies-Character-2
Trailer-Madman propaganda
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 48:19 (Case: 60)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Kazuya Tsurumaki
Studio
Distributor
Production IG
Madman Entertainment
Starring Jun Mizuki
Barbara Goodson
Mayuni Shintani
Kari Wahlgren
Izumi Kasagi
Jennifer Sekiguchi
Suzuki Matsuo
Joe Martin
Hiroshi Ito
Steve Kramer
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Abbuyoshi Mitsumune
the pillows


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Isolated Score & Effects 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 Titling
English
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, next episode teaser

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

Plot Synopsis

    Volume 2 of FLCL, and we're already two-thirds of the way through this short series. If you liked the first volume, you'll like this one — it's at least as good — skip to the Transfer section and read how good!

    If you haven't seen the first volume, then I suggest you at least read my review of FLCL Volume 1 before proceeding.

    It looks like each episode will have a bit of a focus on a different character, in the way that the first episode was somewhat focussed on Naota, and the second on Mamimi. The third is more focussed on Eru Ninamori, the president of Naota's class, and daughter of the town's mayor — she gets quite a bit of character development. The fourth has some focus on a new character, Amarao (the policeman-like character with the strange eyebrows), but is also slanted towards baseball — the team Naota's grandfather manages is called the Martians.

    The episodes on this disc are:

  1. Maru Raba (23:25) — the class play is Puss in Boots, with Eru as the lead, and Naota as the cat
  2. Hr Kr / Furi Kuri (24:54) — Haruko has a cute baseball uniform, but Naota never swings the bat

    I'm even more surprised this disc got away with a PG rating — there's more than one scene of a girl losing her knickers (by accident, of course). Definitely keep this away from prudes.

    You know, I was wondering if they'd be able to keep up the weirdness, or if it would fade as we became accustomed to the setup. My mistake. These two episodes are fully as weird as the first two, and in some ways manage to step up another level (I'm still trying to work out what happened to Kamon in the fourth episode).

    However, it is still beautifully drawn, and intriguingly plotted. I really do want to find out what happens in the final volume, so I think this counts as a real success.

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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, and we won't complain about that.

    The image is sharp and clear. There's no film grain. There's no low-level noise. Shadow detail is a meaningless concept with this kind of animation.

    Colour is used extremely effectively. There are no colour-related artefacts. Backgrounds are sublimely detailed, coloured with loving care. Foreground characters are coloured more simply, but drawing from a wide palette of colours, including some subtle pale shades.

    There are no film artefacts. Some of the imagery was generated digitally, and it's possible this show was transferred digitally, which would explain the lack of film artefacts.

    There is some light aliasing on the fine black lines bordering characters, but it's never more than a low level, so I was not troubled by it. There's no moiré, and no MPEG artefacts.

    There are three subtitle tracks, all in English. The first subtitles only signs. The second provides full subtitles of the dialogue. The third subtitles the commentary. I watched all three. All subtitles seem well-timed, accurate, and easy to read.

    The disc is single-sided, single-layer. With just over 48 minutes of episodes, and fairly short extras, it fits more than comfortably into the single layer.

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

Audio

    There are four soundtracks on this disc. The dialogue is provided in English and Japanese, there's a director's commentary in Japanese, and an isolated non-dialogue track (music and sound effects — I guess it's handy with subtitles). The English dialogue track and the commentary are Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, while the Japanese dialogue is Dolby Digital 2.0 not surround-encoded. The non-dialogue track is Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround-encoded — note that there's no menu item to select this track, and no acknowledgment on the cover that it exists, either.

    The English dialogue is clear. The Japanese dialogue and commentary both sound clear, but I cannot assess comprehensibility. The commentary is recorded at a very high level (I recommend dropping the volume by at least 5dB before switching to the commentary) — it's a bit distorted at times, too.

    The score, credited to Abbuyoshi Mitsumune, is mostly contemporary music, using several songs from a Japanese group called the pillows. It's good stuff.

    Even with the surround encoding, the 2.0 tracks don't provide anything of significance to the surround speakers. The subwoofer gets no signal unless your amp's bass management sends some of the serious bass in that direction.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is animated with music. It's as nicely constructed as the series.

Commentary: Kazuya Tsurumaki (director)

    This isn't in the extras menu — you'll find it in the setup menu. Just as interesting as the commentary on the first volume — this is strongly recommended if you want to get the most out of this series.

Booklet

    This time the booklet is only 16 pages long, but it doesn't include a manga section (there's no manga scene on this disc). With 12 pages of content in small print (and three acceptable ads), there an awful lot here. Well worth reading, but do it in a well-lit room to avoid eye-strain!

Reversible Cover

    To be honest, I'm not sure you'd want to reverse it, but you have the option — the non-default version bears the show's title in English (this time), and a different version of the episode descriptions (in English) — they make interesting reading.

Gallery: Posters

    Six posters promoting the series.

Trailer: Australian trailer (2:20)

    The trailer you haven't seen on lots of discs before, or maybe you have...

Japanese Closing (2:22)

    The normal closing animation, but with Japanese credits instead of English. And yet another opportunity to hear the theme song!

Character Profiles

    A quick intro to Mamimi and Eru this time — that makes sense.

Trailers: Madman Propaganda

    Lots of trailers again.

DVD Credits

    A credits panel showing the DVD authors.

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 in 2002. As far as I can tell, the discs are pretty much the same, except that we get more in the way of extras (choke! gasp!): the R1 disc doesn't have the Japanese closing, the Madman propaganda (hmm), the Australian trailer (hmm), or the cast profiles. They do get the critical extras: the commentary and the booklet, plus the reversible cover and an image gallery. It sounds as though their transfer is just as good as ours.

    With the R4 getting more extras, a superb transfer, and costing less, I'm definitely not going to recommend the R1.

Summary

    The middle third of a strange, yet highly enjoyable, series, presented beautifully on DVD.

    The video quality is very good, with aliasing the only concern.

    The audio quality is excellent, except on the commentary, which is overly-loud.

    The extras are good value, especially the commentary and booklet.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, June 14, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, 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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