Orphen (Majutsushi Orphen Mubouhen)-Volume 2 (1988)

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Released 14-May-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Gallery-Production Sketches
Theatrical Trailer-2
Trailer-ADV Previews
DVD Credits
Easter Egg-2
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 72:31 (Case: 75)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Hiroshi Watanabe
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Shoutaro Morikubo
Mayumi Iizuka
Omi Minami
Kazue Ikura
Hekiru Shiina
Joji Nakata
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music Hatake


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 Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Orphen is a Japanese animated fantasy adventure series about a young sorcerer and a small group of followers who are attempting to track down a mysterious dragon called Bloody August.

    This anime is also known as Sorcerous Stabber Orphen and is based on a series of Japanese fantasy novels that also spawned a popular video game. This second DVD release contains the following three episodes from the twenty-four part series. I have included a short description for each but as these contain some minor spoilers you may wish to skip directly to the Transfer Quality section.

Guardian of the Garden
    As their journey progresses, Cleao becomes increasingly bored and wants to make a short diversion to climb a mountain. Orphen is reluctant to travel this route, as the mountain is reportedly a centre of legendary evil and the home of fearsome beasts. According to the legend, whomever defeats these beasts will be awarded the Golden Blessing. Despite Orphen's warnings, Cleao and Majic set off across the mountain but they do not find what they were expecting.

Curse of Wolves - Part 1
    When looking for food in the forest, Majic is captured by a group of villagers who kill all outsiders. His life is initially spared by Fiena, a young girl with magical healing powers, and he is taken to the village as a prisoner. Orphen recognizes that these villages are from the Dragon Faith, a group renowned for their hate of sorcerers. As Orphen develops a rescue plan for Majic, it becomes clear that an outsider is using the villagers for his own purposes. While waiting for Orphen to return, Cleao makes a new friend in the forest, and Deep Dragon returns to the village.

Curse of Wolves - Part 2
    After his encounter with Deep Dragon, Orphen is seriously injured and the villagers plan to execute him. The plans of the outsider become clear and he begins to unleash his destruction upon the forest. As the damage continues, the village is destroyed and everyone must work together to survive the assault by Deep Dragon.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This full frame transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The sharpness level varies throughout the transfer, with the majority of scenes appearing quite sharp but a number of scenes clearly softer. These changes in sharpness were only minimally distracting and may be due to the original source material. No low-level noise was detected during the transfer. Acceptable levels of shadow detail may be seen during the transfer but in a small number of scenes, the expected blacks appear as slightly grey. This problem may be due to the original animation and it is not distracting to the viewer.

    As often seen in television animation of this age, the colour palette is slightly muted.

    A small number of Gibbs artefacts may be seen during the opening and closing credits for each episode. These artefacts are quite minor and are only minimally distracting.

    A very small number of aliasing artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Examples of these artefacts may be seen at 34:06 and 52:47 but these artefacts are all quite minor and are only very minimally distracting to the viewer.

    A number of minor film artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 2:48, 6:03, 6:20, 9:27, 10:28, 10:48 and 18:48. All of these artefacts are minor and are only slightly distracting.

    A small amount of telecine wobble may be seen at 2:12 and an obvious occurrence of interlacing artefact appears during a pan at 56:48. Both are minimally distracting.

    A single set of English subtitles is provided on this disc. These subtitles are presented in yellow but appear in white when a second character is speaking at the same time as another. At the beginning of each episode, the Japanese title for the episode is displayed in the subtitle stream. The subtitles are clear and easy to read at all times.

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

Audio

    English and Japanese Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 soundtracks are provided on this disc. I listened to both tracks in full.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. Viewers should note that the English track significantly changes the dialogue at numerous points during the episodes, often changing the meaning of various scenes. Due to these changes, it is recommended that viewers utilize the original Japanese track.

    As this is an animated feature, there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for each soundtrack. No audio dropouts were detected at any time during the transfer.

    The musical score by Hatake (SharanQ) is effective and suits the on-screen action. This score is complemented by an enjoyable opening theme, Ai, Just On My Love, by Tsunku and performed by SharanQ.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were not utilized during this transfer.

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

Extras

Menu

    The minimally animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Production Sketches and Pop Art

    This is a collection of twelve production sketches and artwork from the show.

Orphen Trailer 1 (1:28)

    This is the original trailer for the show. The trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Orphen Trailer 2 (1:40)

    This is an English trailer for the show that contains a number of spoilers for the series. The trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Additional ADV previews are also offered, and are presented as individual chapters within a single title.

Trailer: Gasaraki (1:31)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Martian Successor Nadesico (1:31)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Neon Genesis Evangelion (1:08)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Easter Egg 1: Textless Closing Sequence (1:30)

    This textless version of the closing title sequence is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This egg may be selected by pressing the right arrow key when the Production sketches menu item is highlighted. This will select the first small circle at the top of the screen; press enter to view the egg.

Easter Egg 2: Alternate Music Sequence (1:29)

    This is a short animated musical clip featuring Cleao presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Japanese musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This egg may be selected by pressing the right arrow key twice when the Production sketches menu item is highlighted. This will select the first second circle at the top of the screen; press enter to view the egg.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this DVD appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    Orphen is an enjoyable anime that should appeal to all fans of fantasy adventures.

    The video transfer is acceptable and displays no significant artefacts.

    The audio transfer is acceptable but viewers are advised to listen to the Japanese track instead of the heavily modified English track.

    The small collection of extras is supplemented by the welcome addition of the textless closing and musical sequences.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Sunday, August 04, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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