Reviewby Allen Divers, Jan 2nd 2002
Hand Maid May
DVD 3 - Memory Failure
Life has never been crazier for Kazuya since May moved in. Now she's full size, and wanting even more memories! Add to this 4 other Cyberdolls, the landlady's daughter and Kazuya's enemy and best friend, Nanbara, throwing any semblance of sanity out the window!
A typhoon is arriving, and May wants to protect Kasumi and Kazuya's bridge. To make matters worse, Nanbara's descendant has appeared bearing bad news of a virus that may destroy everyone! Time is running out for Kazuya as he tries to discover why only May has immunity to the virus!
Hand Maid May: Memory Failure is the third and last installment of the popular series released by Pioneer. It features the last 4 episodes of the series including the special 11th episode. Stepping away from the light hearted formula that makes this series popular, episodes 9 and 10 throw a wrench into the promised “Happily Ever After” ending. Although slightly dark in nature, these episodes are surrounded by the more familiar lighthearted fun that stands as a hallmark of this series.
Art and video remain high in this fan-friendly offering. Character designs have stayed consistent through this series' evolution, so there are no surprises here. Even in heavier winter clothes, the characters personalities remain constant. The transfer to DVD was well done, so no obvious flaws appear during play. The box design and the included insert continue the fan service with shots of the girls in lingerie.
As always, the DVD contains both the English Dub and the Japanese Dub with English sub-titles. The English dub continues strong in staying true to both the original Japanese script and the character actions seen. All the voices fit well, and are very animated. The viewer can really feel the emotions of all the characters, especially as the drama increases through the virus story arc. The original script deals heavily with a lot of typical Japanese life and a true delight to see it remain with the English script. A few of the puns are often rearranged to better fitting English ones, but overall the script does well in explaining many of the original Japanese puns.
In terms of story, things get real serious for everyone. First, Kazuya and Kasumi explore the depths of their relationship and the ties that bind them. From there, Kazuya, Kasumi and Nanbara are shaken when the cyberdolls they have come to know are struck down with a mysterious virus. Both voice actors for Nanbara do a good job of showing how he has grown from the early volumes of the series.
The series comes to a nice conclusion in the 10th episode. The final episode is a nice tie-up to the series, but not really necessary. If anything, it raises more questions that one would hope get resolved in a future release. The viewer is left with a few questions, but due to the nature of the entire series, this are not earth-shattering questions that would leave her feeling empty.
Overall, Hand Maid May has been a great series. Its comic overtones and bright character designs serve as a treat to anime fans. At first glance, it seems as if it was meant to be strictly a fan service show, but the intricate interactions and subtle sub-plot can please even the more serious of anime fans. This is a definite must have to round out any collection.
Overall (dub) : A
Overall (sub) : A
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : A
+ Strong character design and interactions
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