Angelic Layer-Volume 2: On a Wing and a Player (2001)

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Released 19-Mar-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Alternative Version-Clean opening (2:03) and closing (1:31)
Gallery-Production Art montage (1:32)
Audio Commentary-English voice actors (Monica Rial & Kevin Corn)
Trailer-ADV Previews (7:13)
DVD Credits-US
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 96:57 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nishikiori Hiroshi
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Atsuko Enomoto
Jessica Boone
Masaya Onosaka
Andy McAvin
Yuri Shiratori
Sasha Paysinger
Jun Fukuyama
Kevin Corn
Satsuki Yukino
Monica Rial
Kotono Mitsuishi
Kelly Manison
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Kohei Tanaka


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 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 No
Subtitles English
English Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, next episode preview

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you missed my review of the first episode of Angelic Layer, called Divine Inspiration, then I urge you to read that review first, because it contains the background on the series, including the explanation of the game of Angelic Layer.

    The episodes on this disc are:

5 I Don't Want to Lose!
I'm Believing in Hikaru
Misaki and Hiraku continue to compete in the qualifying rounds
6 Suzuka, the Speed of Light
Hatoko's Declaration of Rivalry
Misaki and Hiraku face the formidable Hatoko and Suzuka, and learn a lot
7 Fight at the Edge
Misaki's Last Chance
Misaki and Hikaru can still make it to the next games, but they have to face another challenger
8 Misaki vs Misaki?
A Dangerous Classmate
There's another Misaki in class: Ryo Misaki, and he takes exception to the cheering of "Misaki!"

    The first episode on this disc concerns the fight between small Hikaru and a much larger and heavier angel called Vasquez. Despite the result, Hatoko is concerned about Misaki's attitude toward Hikaru, and the game in general. That plays out in the next episode, and has an impact on the two episodes following.

    It's good to see that Misaki shows no fear of learning — in each episode she demonstrates that she can make use of something she has seen or heard in her Angelic Layer battles. It's just as well, because she shows no physical aptitude in real-life (her attempted vault in PE lesson is painful). She's a nice girl, and always willing to believe the best in people, but not confident in herself. It's good to see her self-confidence grow.

    I quite enjoyed the fourth episode, and suspect that we'll see rather more of the popstar Ringo who appears briefly (she's in the credits, after all). It was particularly interesting to see the reappearance of the snotty high school student we saw in episode 3 (her attitude is somewhat different now).

    Icchan is a strange character, but that's good. Things would be boring without him, but I doubt Ogata (his long-suffering aide) would agree. Interestingly, it is Icchan who expresses many of the morals that are gently conveyed during the show.

    We also get to see more of Misaki's mother, bit by bit, during these episodes.

    This series is pleasant watching, and fairly straightforward fun. It may be targeted at children, but it's perfectly acceptable viewing for adults.

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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's the original aspect ratio, so we can be happy.

    The image is nice and sharp. There's no film grain, and no low-level noise.

    Colour is well-rendered and strong, with plenty of bright colours on display. There are no colour-related artefacts, although the light on the Angelic Layer table is very bright, and this is represented by some hot whites, and an effect that resembles over-saturation.

    There are no film artefacts.

    There's aliasing on virtually every pan — the aliasing is a bit distracting, but I found I could ignore it, particularly because the picture is so beautiful the moment the pan stops. Still shots, and shots where only the characters are moving show no aliasing, and there are lots of these. There is no moiré. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are the customary two sets of subtitles, both in English. One set subtitles signs and songs, while the other is full subtitles. I watched the full subtitles all the way through, and they seem accurate and well-timed to the Japanese dialogue, as well as being easy to read.

    The disc is single-sided (with a nice picture label) and dual layered, but not RSDL formatted. The layer change is placed between the second and third episodes, as you might expect, and it's quite noticeable on a slow player, because there is a long pause while the player seeks. On a fast player it doesn't seem any longer than the other inter-episode gaps.

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. The Japanese soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround-encoded, at 224 kbps. The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1, at 448kbps. I watched all the episodes in both languages. There's a third audio track, for the audio commentary, on the second episode.

    The English dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The Japanese dialogue sounds clear, but I can't assess comprehensibility. Both dubs seem well matched to the mouth flaps, although there's a glitch or two on the Japanese. I continue to be surprised that the Japanese is more likely to show a mismatch than the English — perhaps the English is more closely scrutinised, and they therefore take more pains with matching. The recording style may contribute, too: the Japanese dialogue is frequently recorded with all actors present at once, while the English is recorded one actor at a time (making it much easier to record a line over and over until it is perfect.

    The score, from Kohei Tanaka, is lightweight pleasant stuff, with a sense of fun, and a wide variety of instruments used including, I think, a harpsichord in the fourth episode.

    The English soundtrack is quite frontal, with some stereo separation, and occasional (frontal) directional cues. It does make effective use of the subwoofer (there is some serious bass in the soundtrack). The Japanese soundtrack is plain stereo, and uses neither the surrounds nor the sub.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menus are animated with music. They are easy to navigate, and nicely themed to the show.

Credit-less Opening (2:03)

    The opening sequence, but without the credits over the top. It's a nice extra, once, but it was on the first disc, too.

Clean Closing (1:31)

    The closing sequence, without the credits. Again, a nice extra, once, but it was on the first disc, too.

Production Art (1:32)

    A short montage of character art, showing several of the main characters in multiple outfits.

Audio Commentary

    This is a commentary for the second episode on this disc from the English-language voice actors for Tamayo (Monica Rial) and Kotaro (Kevin Corn). They don't have a heap to say about the show, there are lots of giggles, but they are still entertaining..

Trailers: ADV Previews (7:15)

    Four trailers, presented one after another, rather than individually selectable in normal Madman fashion:

DVD Credits

    Interestingly, these are the US credits, rather than Madman ones.

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 version was released late 2003. It has the same four episodes as the Region 4 disc. The front cover looks quite similar, with the same character shots, but a darker background on the R1. As far as I can tell, the discs have the same extras.

    The R1 disc is reported to have a fantastic transfer, with minimal aliasing, but R4 is a very good disc, too. I'm happy to keep buying the R4 discs.

Summary

    The second volume of a sweet and quite entertaining anime series confirms that this is well worth watching. It is presented well on DVD.

    The video quality is excellent, except for the aliasing on pans.

    The audio quality is quite good. The English and Japanese soundtracks are both good, in different ways.

    The extras are good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, April 04, 2004
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

Other Reviews NONE
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