Memories (1996)

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Released 21-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Featurette-Memories Of Memories
Trailer-Steam Boy, Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis
Trailer-Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 109:50
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (81:59) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Kouji Morimoto
Tensai Okamura
Katsuhiro ‘tomo
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Satoshi Kon
Katsuhiro ‘tomo
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Takkyu Ishino
YŰko Kanno
Jun Miyake


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Hindi
Portuguese
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

††† This is a portmanteau anime from Japan. There are three separate stories by three animators, each of which has a different look, although the first two stories look fairly similar. There does not appear to be a common thread between the stories of the three episodes, but they are all based on the work of Katsuhiro Otomo, the creator of Akira.

††† The animation is well drawn and detailed, with some striking sequences. The third story looks very much like European animation more so than Japanese, and is quite striking. None of these stories is particularly brilliant but they are entertaining. The first is interesting and the animation is very detailed, but it goes on a bit too long. The second is quite amusing, and the third does not have an obvious narrative - it is more of an allegory than a story in itself.

††† This film is quite enjoyable and is worth investigating if you have an interest in the anime genre, or even if you don't. The episodes are:

Magnetic Rose

††† Directed by Kouji Morimoto. A spaceship hears a distress signal coming from the Sargasso of Space. Under space law, they must respond. Discovering that the signal comes from the hulk of a massive spacewreck, two of the crew enter the seemingly lifeless wreck, and make an unexpected find.

Stink Bomb

††† Directed by Genius Okamura. A researcher in a pharmaceutical laboratory has a cold. The usual remedies do not help, and so he tries an experimental fever medicine from the chief's office. Feeling tired, he goes to sleep in the guest room of the laboratory. When he wakes up, everyone else is unconscious.

Cannon Fodder

††† Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo. A day in the life of a family in a city of cannons, totally devoted to firing missiles against an unseen enemy.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. As far as I can tell, this is the original aspect ratio.

††† The transfer is very sharp and clear, as you would expect. All of the detail in the original animation seems to be visible, and as you would expect, shadow detail is not an issue.

††† Colour is excellent, with some vibrant colours and various pastel shades rendered believably. There does not seem to be any colour bleeding.

††† Film artefacts are limited to some minor aliasing and the slightest amount of Gibb effect, although this is so minimal that most viewers will not notice. There is some grain present, and in some sequences you can see some dust, which presumably was introduced in the original photography.

††† Subtitles are present in several languages. The English subtitles are very good. The characters are white with black borders and stand out against the images. They are of sufficient size to be easily read and appear on screen in sync with the voices.

††† The film is presented on an RSDL-formatted disc with the layer change occurring at 81:59, in the break between the second and third stories. This was sufficiently unobtrusive that I did not notice it while watching the film.

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

Audio

††† The default audio track is Dolby Digital 5.1 in Japanese. There are also alternative tracks in German (5.1), Italian and Spanish (both 2.0). Unlike many anime DVDs, there is no English language track. I listened to the Japanese track in full and sampled the others.

††† This is an excellent audio transfer. The Japanese dialogue seems clear and distinct. There are a couple of lines in English that were difficult to understand, though this was due to them being spoken with a heavy Japanese accent.

††† The Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is well done. There is a believable soundstage across the front channels, though there is some obvious separation between channels. Dialogue is invariably directed to the centre channel, and effects are spread nicely across the mains and rear channels. Some of the effects came distinctly and loudly from the rear channels, rather than being spread across the mains and rears. For this reason I did not find myself immersed in the sound image in so much as I was aware of each of the surround channels being distinct from each other.

††† The subwoofer gets quite a workout on this film. The spacecraft rumbling in Magnetic Rose, the explosions in Stink Bomb and the cannon firing in Cannon Fodder all get considerable emphasis from the subwoofer. All are very well done and not overdone in the American style.

††† Audio sync in this mix was as good as you can expect from an animation. The same can be said for the alternate language tracks, each of which has much the same non-dialogue audio. The dialogue on the Spanish track seems to be excessively reverberant.

††† The music score is from several sources. In Magnetic Rose, the music is from several Puccini operas, mainly Madama Butterfly. Stink Bomb has a jazzy score, while I did not notice the music in Cannon Fodder. All of the music sounds very good in this transfer, including the techno music over the end credits.

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

Extras

Featurette-Memories Of Memories (29:20)

††† This featurette consists of interviews with Katsuhiro Otomo and the other directors, talking about the film. The pilot film is included, and the featurette ends with the Japanese trailer. This material is only mildly interesting. It is presented in 1.33:1 and has Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 sound with optional English subtitles. The image is a little blurry and lacking in detail, with some annoying reflections apparent on the camera lens.

Trailer-Steam Boy, Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles (3:39)

††† The first is the Japanese trailer, the second the US trailer, both in unenhanced widescreen. The last is for a TV series in 1.33:1.

R4 vs R1

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

††† The US Region 1 disc seems to be identical, save that only the Japanese audio track appears to be present. The Japanese Region 2 has a choice of Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks in Japanese, with optional English subtitles. There is therefore no reason to prefer either of these over the Region 4, or vice versa.

Summary

††† An excellent anime film with some interesting stories and striking animation.

††† The video quality is excellent.

††† The audio quality is excellent.

††† The extras are a little disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596 for surround channels; Yamaha AX-590 as power amp for mains
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Richter Harlequin; Rear: Pioneer S-R9; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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