Haibane Renmai-Volume 4: Day of Flight (2002)

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Released 20-Apr-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio
DVD Credits
Alternate Ending-Special Ending 5:11
Interviews-Crew-creator and producer
Gallery-Art (40pp)
Gallery-Script covers (13)
TV Spots-Hane Haeterun
Episode Introductions-0:41
Trailer-Propaganda (5)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 73:47 (Case: 75)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tomokazu Tokoro
Studio
Distributor
Geneon
Madman Entertainment
Starring Ryo Hirohashi
Carrie Savage
Junko Noda
Erika Weinstein
Akiko Yajima
J-Ray Hochfield
Eri Miyajima
Zarah Little
Fumiko Orikasa
Hunter Mackenzie Austin
Kazusa Murai
Kirsty Pape
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Kou Ootani


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Titling
English
Smoking Yes, but Reki does quit!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The final volume of Haibane-Renmai — it's hard to know whether to be happy or sad. Happy, yes, that we have the entire story. Sad, yes, that there is no more. And yet, were the series much longer, it would be too long. This is a story which is long enough, but unpadded — that's good. So let us be glad for what it is, and not mourn what it is not.

    I urge you to read about the first volume, Haibane-Renmai, New Feathers, the second, Haibane-Renmei, Wings of Sorrow, and the third, Haibane-Renmei, Free Bird, before reading this review.

    This volume opens some small time after the end of Free Bird. Rakka escorts a Haibane child to Abandoned Factory, and Hyohko teaches him how to skateboard. That's when she meets Midori, and learns rather more of Reki's past.

    The episodes on this disc are:

11 Parting
Darkness in the Heart
Irreplaceable Thing
Rakka is warned that Reki has little time left to change her fate
12 Bell Nuts
Passing of the Year Festival
Reconciliation
Rakka gives and receives Bell Nuts in the tradition of the Passing of the Year festival, and receives her true name
13 Reki's World
Prayer
Epilogue
Reki's cocoon dream, what she remembers of it, is painted on the walls of her room. She faces her fate...

    These episodes have some sombre messages, but that feels right.

    Rakka discovers that her problem is interlinked with Reki's; she even learns that this link is part of Reki's attempt to resolve her own problem. Indeed, Rakka's involvement in Reki's problem is very important.

    There is a lot I could say about these episodes, but all of it falls into one of two categories: it's either trivial, or a spoiler. So I'll stay silent. Actually, there is one thing I can say: these episodes form a fitting end to the series. If you have enjoyed the first three volumes, you won't be disappointed with this one.

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 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original and intended aspect ratio.

    The image is on par with the two previous discs: a touch soft, but that appears to be part of the style of this series, and no defect. There is no film grain, and no low-level noise.

    Colour is gentle and tender, and very well-rendered. Many of the images look like beautiful paintings, more than simple anime. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts.

    There's minimal aliasing, partly because there are few pans in these episodes, but even when there are pans the aliasing is generally unnoticeable. There is no moiré. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are the usual two sets of subtitles: English, with the first providing a translation of signs and songs, and the second translating all of the dialogue as well. I only watched the full dialogue subtitles. They are easily read, and seem well-timed to the dialogue.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. There is no layer change, and no problem, because the three episodes and limited extras all fit comfortably onto the one 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, both Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround-encoded, at 224 kbps. I watched all of the episodes in both languages. The voices are different, but all the music and sound effects are the same. You can listen to either language, confident that you won't miss anything.

    The English dialogue is clear and comprehensible. The Japanese dialogue sounds clear enough, too. There are some minor misses in the synchronisation of the animated mouth movements and voices, mostly on the Japanese soundtrack, but they aren't troubling.

    The score is provided by Kô Ôtani (credited as Kou Ootani). It's beautiful stuff, restrained, often using only one or two instruments, but well-matched to the story.

    These are pure 2.0 stereo soundtracks, with good stereo imaging, but nothing more. The surrounds and subwoofer get nothing to do.

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

Extras

    There are a few more extras this time, and they are good ones.

Menu

    The main menu opens with a transition, but isn't animated, although the music is pleasant. The menus are easy to navigate. The main menu doesn't work properly on a Pioneer 733 (the background image, with the words on it, doesn't appear), but it works fine on the other players I tried. Even on the Pioneer it is possible to operate the disc, but it's not simple.

Special Ending (5:11)

    This is rather special, and features a somewhat jazzy song in English while the credits scroll past slowly over some detailed paintings.

Interview with the Creators (11:28)

    Featuring Yoshitoshi Abe and Yasuyuki Uede, this appears to have been shot at Anime Expo 2003. They cover quite a bit of ground, and it makes interesting viewing.

Art Gallery

    Forty pages of sketches of characters and things from these episodes.

Script Cover Gallery

    Thirteen script covers — one for each episode.

Hane Haeterun (0:14)

    This appears to be a short TV spot mimicking the infamous "Got Milk?" campaign — this one says "Got Wings?". Cute.

Episode Previews (0:41)

    The usual episode previews, but presented separately from the episodes, instead of between episodes. These would be the previews that would have appeared at the end of episodes 11 and 12. There is, understandably, no preview at the end of the final episode.

DVD Credits

    A single page listing the folks at Madman who are responsible for this disc.

Trailers: Madman Propaganda

    Five trailers, individually selectable in standard Madman fashion.

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 earlier in 2004. It contains the same episodes as this disc, and has the same extras on the disc. There's an insert tucked into the R1 box, but that's the only difference. The front cover artwork is the same, and the inside of the slick is the same, too.

    The Region 1 is reported to have a very good transfer, but the transfer on the R4 disc is very good, too.

    I think you could be equally happy with either version of this disc. I bought my set in Region 4, and I'm glad to have it.

Summary

    The closing of a beautiful, gentle, affecting, anime series. A mostly satisfying end on a good quality DVD.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is quite good.

    We get more extras than on the previous discs, and they are interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, June 15, 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

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