This week, a unique erotic historical fiction film that has completely slipped through the cracks.
Reviewby Allen Divers, Jan 13th 2002
DVD 2 - Student Housing
Kazuki is your typical high school boy. Well, almost, because he sees things no one else can see. Now he finds himself interacting with those visions, and fighting a war so that he can return home. Of course, this world's not so bad. He only has 4 girls fighting for his attention!
Settling into the routine of fighting evil robots and going to school is the easy part for Kazuki. The hard part? Getting used to his new big sister. Of course, it gets stranger when a new neighbor appears and the mysterious D moves in as well!
Student Housing is the second volume released in the Parallel Trouble Adventure Dual! Series. It contains 3 episodes continuing the adventures of Kazuki as he struggles with life in a parallel world. The DVD contains an English dub as well as the original Japanese dub with English subtitles.
Art and character designs for this series are superb, with the characters following the expected traits for a standard anime show. The mecha designs, while not truly original, work well with the setting of the show. There is a bizarre mixture of cgi shots that get a bit distracting, but thankfully, they are usually static shots, or strict shots of the mecha, leaving no uncomfortable mixing with traditional cel animation. The CGI shots of the bots in the hanger are actually rather frivolous and could have just been left out.
The English dub is well done, with no stiffness in the cast. Being a romantic comedy, it's important that the voices reflect that playfulness of the characters. Most wording changes in the English dub seem to be there strictly for timing sake. Some of the sexual innuendo does get a bit watered down, but for the most part it doesn't affect the overall meaning of what was being said.
The DVD uses soft subs for everything. This is important to note because, while watching the English dub, signs aren't translated. Since some of the jokes refer to things that have been written down, a viewer might not get the full joke until they watch the Japanese dub with subtitles on. It would have been nice to have an option to turn on subtitles for sign translation.
The extras included on the DVD are rather extensive for the middle disk of a series. Included are: a set of character bios told from the perspective of Kazuki, the non-credit ending and line art with notes from the creators. Also hidden throughout the DVD is a set of omake animations. These animations are little slide shows that carry a joke from the show.
The three episodes included on this DVD are primarily character development episodes. The viewer is treated to how Kazuki is adjusting to life in the parallel world and how he is coping with the people there. This is the typical anime where the male hero is surrounded by a gaggle of females that all are interested in him. While it is rather clichéd, it does a good job of entering new ground. The nature of this show seems to be one step away from getting serious. Fortunately, it remains light in tone, even as even bigger robots move against the heroes. For those who like a bit of suspense with their comedy, volume 2 delivers with a heck of a cliffhanger.
Student Housing continues the pace set forth by the first volume. More character development occurs as the characters settle into a daily routine with each other. The larger sub-plot continues to drive this series forward in a logical manner. Keeping up with it, the characters continue to entertain as they all go through with their own agendas. Dual is a fun series to watch without the heavy baggage of taking itself too seriously. There is quite a bit for everyone, the big robots, the pretty girls and the bumbling of a boy in the middle!
Overall (dub) : A
Overall (sub) : A
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : A
+ Funny characters and big robots
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