Angelic Layer-Volume 6: Inherit the Layer (2001)

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Released 24-Sep-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 clean ending (1:47)
Audio Commentary-Chris Patton and David Williams
Gallery-production art montage (3:17)
Trailer-ADV Previews (3:26): Happy Lesson, MSN: Prince of Darkness
DVD Credits-US
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 72:39 (Case: 75)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nishikiori Hiroshi
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Atsuko Enomoto
Jessica Boone
Kotono Mitsuishi
Christine Auten
Yuri Shiratori
Sasha Paysinger
Jun Fukuyama
Kevin Corn
Masaya Onosaka
Andy McAvin
Souichiro Hoshi
Chris Patton
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 Yes
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

    Angelic Layer Volume 6, Inherit the Layer, the second last volume, follows Divine Inspiration, On the Wing and a Player, Idol Worship, Faith, Hope and Love and Deus ex Machina. If you haven't read those, consider reading those reviews before this one.

    The episodes on this disc are:

21 Summertime at the Sea
Someone is in Love with Someone
The obligatory beach episode — Misaki and her friends bump into Icchan and colleagues — will Misaki come face to face with her mother?
22 Suddenly Just the Two of Us
Secret Double Dates
There are lots of budding relationships. Two relationships are put to the test when two pairs are thrown together.
23 Break Up the Magic Wall
Misaki vs Ohjiro
Misaki confronts Ohjiro, and Hikaru cannot defeat Wizard unless she can figure out a way past Magic Guard, Wizard's special technique. Both are determined to reach the final and face Athena — who is more determined?

    There's a rule that every series (with a comedy element) has to include a beach episode, right? This series is no different. Well, maybe a little. The average beach episode doesn't have someone tied to watermelons swimming underwater looking for octopus... But this is rather a nice beach episode, including Misaki making a swimsuit for Hikaru that matches Misaki's own — sweet. And one of the characters surprises another by confessing love.

    There is only one match in this volume: the match between Hikaru and Wizard, between Misaki and Ohjiro. This is quite a battle, with a lot of it concerned with whether Misaki can think her way through Wizard's Magic Guard. They are saving the other semi-final for the next volume.

    It is really cool to see so many of Misaki's past opponents in the audience for this contest.

    The idea of penalty games crops up again in this volume. The most frightening thing is when Icchan produces an extraterrestrial animal and thrusts it down Ogata's trousers.

    We finally get to see some of Ohjiro's past, and gain an understanding of his motivations. We even get to see his first encounter with Angelic Layer.

    These episodes do an excellent job of setting up the series for a smashing finale.

    Stand by — the final volume has been released, and it's excellent (review coming soon!). This volume is an important step on the way.

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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.

    The image is sharp and clear on all the foreground objects except in long shots. The backgrounds are softer, because they are painted rather than inked (at least, that's what it looks like). There is no film grain, and no low-level noise.

    Colour is fully-saturated and intense, with deep rich colour decorating every scene — even the flashbacks (deliberately faded) are colourful. There are no colour-related artefacts, although the hot white of the Layer and the floodlights around it could be judged a flaw by someone who didn't see that it feels right for that light to be so bright.

    There are no obvious film artefacts. There is frequent mild aliasing, but only on pan shots. 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 — they are not all that different from the English dub. I didn't spot any errors this time (and you know I'm always looking for them).

    The disc is single-sided, single layer. With just three episodes this time, it's no surprise that it all fits into 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. 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. I really like the English dub to this series, with well-cast voice actors giving this their all.

    The Japanese dialogue sounds clear, but I can't assess comprehensibility. My only reservation about the Japanese dub is that Misaki's voice actor is a bit shrill — I just don't like the voice (although I'm fully aware that this is a difference between Japanese culture and my own).

    Kohei Tanaka has provided us with a score that fully realises the drama in these episodes. There is a varied choice of instruments, from softer flutes in some of the quieter moments, to strident brass in moments of stronger emotion and triumph. Excellent stuff!

    The English 5.1 soundtrack gets to use the surround speakers every so often, but pretty much only in the arena scenes (I love the crowd sounds). The subwoofer is used very subtly in moments of high emotion. The Japanese soundtrack, being pure stereo, doesn't use the surrounds or subwoofer, but it displays just as much emotion.

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.

Clean Opening (2:03)

    The opening sequence, but without the credits over the top — this is the opening of the very first episode. Exactly as on the first five discs.

Clean Closing (1:47)

    The closing sequence, without the credits. This one is the second ending, and this version starts with Sai walking away.

Production Art (3:17)

    A montage of character art, with a mixture of older art and art from these episodes. Nice stuff.

Audio Commentary

    This is a commentary for episode 22 on this disc from the English-language voice actor for Ohjiro (Chris Patton) and the ADR Director (David Williams).

    This is an interesting commentary, with David Williams occasionally prodding Chris Patton to get him to open up. These two have been working together for a while, and it shows.

Trailers: ADV Previews (3:26)

    Just two trailers this time, presented one after another:

DVD Credits

    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 in May 2004. It has the same three episodes as the Region 4 disc. The only difference between the cover shot on the R1 and ours is that theirs has a much darker background. You can see the image used for the R1 cover if you can see the "jacket photo" image on the R4 (my Sony DVD player shows this image if I press Stop).

    Once again, it sounds as though the R1 transfer is very good, possibly even better than this R4. Without confirmation of that, though, I'm going to rate the two as pretty much equal.

Summary

    The penultimate volume of a series I'm enjoying thoroughly. It is presented very well on DVD.

    The video quality is excellent, even with the mild aliasing.

    The audio quality is very good. The English dub is excellent, and the music is highly appropriate.

    The extras are good, especially the commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, November 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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