Steel Angel Kurumi-Volume 5: Encore (1999)

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Released 18-Aug-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Filmographies-Cast-Vocie Actress Selected Works
Filmographies-Cast-Seiyuu Selected Works
Trailer-Kurumi trailers (3)
Trailer-Extended episode previews
Credits-Clean Opening (1:31)
Credits-Clean Closings (6:08)
Trailer-ADV Previews
Audio Commentary-Voice Actresses
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 57:27 (Case: 60)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Naohito Takahashi
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Atsuko Enomoto
Kelli Cousins
Houko Kuwashima
Kira Vincent-Davis
Rie Tanaka
Monica Rial
Masayo Kurata
Hilary Haag
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Toshihiko Sahashi


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
English Titling
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

    I was sad when Steel Angel Kurumi ended, so it's nice to get a small dose to relieve the withdrawal pangs. This is a little package of four unrelated episodes, set shortly after the events of the full series. You could watch these episodes without having seen the series, but where would be the fun in that? The numbering of the episodes continues from where the series left off.

    One of the nice things about this group of episodes is that there is one featuring each of the main characters — well balanced. The episodes are:

  1. Saki Becomes A Star : Saki is spotted by a talent scout and becomes a big star in silent movies — will she leave the family? (14:25)
  2. Karinka, A New Love : Karinka receives a love letter setting a blind date rendezvous — who might it be? (14:25)
  3. How Kurumi Became a Woman : Kurumi wants to be a lady to earn Nakahito's love — can she do it? (14:26)
  4. The Eternal Steel Angel : every Steel Angel (except Saki and Nadeshiko) wants to win Nakahito's kiss — who will win? (14:11)

    These episodes are all rather fun. They aren't advancing a long story arc, so they can concentrate on being entertaining. They incorporate all the things we know and love, including Saki's unrequited love for Kurumi, Kurumi's boisterous good-will, Karinka's competitiveness, Nakahito's shyness... About the only thing that doesn't quite jibe with the series is the behaviour of Nakahito's brother Kamihito (the English language credits sometimes spell his name Kamahito) — he is much less the solemn, reserved Onmyou mystic in these episodes.

    I'm rather fond of Saki (possibly because she's the underdog), and it was nice to see her get a starring role in the first episode. I liked the two spies who followed the group around, too, so it was nice to see them back again in the final episode.

    Be aware that these episodes weren't broadcast, so they are a little more daring than the series, with a bit more nudity. Despite the show having a bouncy "kids cartoon" opening song, it's not intended for children. Hence the M rating.

    This is a thoroughly entertaining disc for fans of the Kurumi series.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. That's matches the aspect ratio of every other episode, so I'd guess that it is the intended aspect ratio..

    The image is superb: clear and sharp at all times other than extreme long shots. There's no visible film grain, and low-level noise never appears.

    Colour is beautifully rendered. The foreground characters are in vivid intense colours, while the backgrounds look like lovingly detailed watercolours — all are reproduced well. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts. There is aliasing on most panning shots, but these are not especially common — there are a lot of shots with static backgrounds. There's no moiré. There's no shimmer. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are the usual two sets of subtitles. The first are full English subtitles, while the second set only subtitles songs and signs.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered, so there is no layer change. There's no need for a second layer with just the four short episodes and not a lot in the way of extra footage.

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 — I listened to both. Both are Dolby Digital 2.0, but have very little stereo separation — they are basically mono most of the time. The third soundtrack is a commentary (in English).

    The dialogue is always clear. The English is easily understood, even at Kurumi's shrillest. The Japanese sounds equally clear, so I assume it is readily understandable. There's no obvious mismatch between the mouth movements and the dialogue.

    The music, from Toshihiko Sahashi, is pleasant enough, drawing on the Kurumi theme quite liberally. The opening theme is the same as on every episode of the series. These episodes have a different closing theme, called "Suki Suki Suki SuKisu S***e!!". It's almost as bouncy as the opening theme, and is sung by the Steel Angels, just like the other themes.

    Neither the surrounds nor the subwoofer are needed for these straight 2.0 soundtracks.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is similar to those on the series discs, and features animation and the opening theme song.

Audio Commentary: English Voice Actors

    We get commentaries on three of the four episodes (the third episode misses out). It doesn't really matter what's happening on screen, however, as almost nothing screen-specific is said.

  1. Monica Rial and Kira Vincent-Davis sound like they have laughed themselves hysterical, and don't take the commentary at all seriously. They don't say much of any consequence, but they are rather funny to listen to. Apparently what we're listening to was their second attempt, because their first wasn't "printable".
  2. Kelli Cousins and Hilary Haag are much more together (although Hilary refers to Karinka's outfit as "a stewardess on crack"). They have more to say of substance.
  3. Kira Vincent-Davis and director Steven Foster are more serious, and cover a fair bit of ground. The language gets a bit coarse in spots, though. One reviewer of the Region 1 version suggested that the reason the disc was rated 17+ in the US was because of the language in the commentaries...

Filmographies: Voice Actress Selected Works

    We get abbreviated single page filmographies for the four main voice actresses in English:

Filmographies: Seiyuu Selected Works

    We get abbreviated single page filmographies for the four main voice actresses in Japanese:

Trailers: Steel Angel Kurumi

    Trailers for each of the Steel Angel Kurumi collections:

Extended Episode Previews

    The long form of the previews for the last three episodes — these ones run 0:32 instead of 0:17, but there's not a lot of difference.

Clean Opening (1:31)

    The same opening credits we've seen time and again.

Clean Closings (6:08)

    The closing is different on each of these four episodes (same theme, different visuals), so they've strung them all together here.

ADV Previews

    Six trailers for other ADV titles, all of which have been released locally:

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 is quite similar to this one, and has a similarly good transfer (by all accounts).

    The Region 4 disc is missing:

    The Region 1 disc is missing:

    All in all, I'm going to call this one a draw. If you're in Australia, I suggest you get the local product, though.

Summary

    A delightful addition to the Kurumi universe, presented very well on DVD.

    The video quality is very good all the time, and excellent a lot of the time.

    The audio quality is very good.

    There are extensive extras, just like all the Kurumi discs.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Friday, August 22, 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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