Jason checks out Manga 2.5, a new service offering fully-voiced and kind-of-animated manga series including Detective Loki and Otogi Soushi.
Reviewby Christopher Macdonald
Phantom Quest Corp
Party-girl Ayaka Kisaragi turned her late-night lifestyle into a business that gives new meaning to the term "graveyard shift!" While it may seem easier for Ayaka to round up troublesome spirits than to put a corporate spin on her own free-wheeling habits, she calls upon a powerful but quirky cadre of cabalists to solve each case with flair and style. Too bad style doesn't pay the bills! No matter the terrors the dark can bring, Ayaka will be sure they get a kiss good-night from Phantom Quest, Corp - if she can wake up in time!
Phantom Quest is a decent, lighthearted romp into the supernatural world of exorcism and vampire hunting.
The plots of the four episodes stand well enough on their own; unfortunately as a series the overall storyline doesn't go anywhere. This might have been an interesting series if the producers had chosen to make it longer with an actual plot arc that spanned more than one episode. Anyone looking for a series with any sort of epic plot will be extremely disappointed by Phantom Quest. A bit more character development, especially in regards to the various employees of Phantom Quest Corp. would also have been nice. On the other hand, in terms of amusement, Phantom Quest is extremely amusing with its hilarious lowbrow humor.
The series has been compared many time to Ghost Sweeper Mikami, so any fan of that series should definitely check out Phantom Quest.
While the animation is superbly detailed and fluid, the actual art is somewhat sub par for a Mad House release… which makes it better than average when compared to the drivel coming from many other studios. Fight scenes and other scenes involving high-speed movement are absolutely astounding in animation quality, however the image quality does suffer slightly at times during these action sequences. I honestly wish that action scenes in more recent OVAs and TV series, such as Kenshin, would be as detailed as this.
The English audio track on this DVD was a huge surprise for me. Despite the fact that Pioneer has consistently put out high quality dubs these past two years, I was not expecting this 5 year old, almost one shot title to be well dubbed. Well, I was wrong! The voice actors deliver their lines with extreme professional capacity, and I like their voices to boot! In comparing the scripts I found the English dialog script to be extremely faithful to the subtitled script, which I assume is faithful to the original Japanese. While comparing the dialog tracks I found that the English actors were very close to the Japanese actors in the way they portrayed their characters. Definitely a very good dub.
The DVD provides some mediocre extras, including a small, 10 image art gallery and a very appreciated set of "hidden frames" that translate the Japanese text from various scenes in the movie. Soft overlays would have been preferable however, so that the translated text is presented with the original text as opposed to later when the viewer is browsing through the extras. Unfortunately, the DVD lacks one extra that was present in the VHS collection. The VHS release included a short explanation of some Japanese foods that comes in very handy understanding some of the comedy in one of the episodes.
At its $15 list price, and selling for as little as $10.50 at some online retailers, Phantom Quest is an easy addition to any Anime collection.
Overall (dub) : B+
Overall (sub) : B+
Story : C+
Animation : A
Art : B
Music : B-
+ Very funny, very well animated, amazing dub
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