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REVIEW: Kurau: Phantom Memory DVD 2




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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:30 am Reply with quote
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Less appealing is the vastly overdone wording of the blurb on the back, which plays the content up as being far more volatile than it actually is. Over-glorifying a title may be a classic advertising gimmick, but ADV should just trust the quality of the content they have here and provide a blurb more accurate to the feel of the series. Representing the series as something other than what it actually is can be a sure way to turn fans off.
Well, at least they didn't say something like:
"BONES' best work since Fullmetal Alchemist"
--Anime News Network Wink Rolling Eyes

Yeah, I have to think that the advertising promotes it as more of an espionage thriller anime than it really is, which is bound to disappoint some who buy it on those expectations. On one hand, they should trust Kurau: Phantom Memory's true quality, but Even so, the action still looked pretty good to me, especially the mad dashes through futuristic traffic. And who can forget the Battlebots-esque Pod wars? [quote=These episodes should also dispel any fanciful notions of shojo ai content; their nature as a Rynax pair lends a distinctly asexual air to the relationship, although they do not exactly feel like siblings, either.] Luckily this series is good enough that it doesn't need the shoujo-ai as a fan magnet. I didn't really feel anything moe about Christmas, though; she is cute and adorable in that nonsexual "little sister" way, but the Rynax / hidden powers part of her makes her less vulnerable or in need of protection.

I especially liked the side-character story arc with the young boy and his newborn sister--I think anyone who was old enough to remember the birth of a younger sibling can relate to his feelings.
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daedelus



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:42 am Reply with quote
This has been happening a lot lately. I watch a particular volume, and later that night, a review gets posted of that very volume Cool

For me, the best part is the diverse story. I really like how it will stop and focus on the lives of secondary and side characters with backstory that adds a lot of depth. The newly christened big brother who's jealous of his newborn sister. What big brother didn't feel that even a little bit? I certainly did. They didn't have to spend so much time on that, but I'm glad they did.

Then, there's Ayeka's backstory. The part where spoiler[she was a young girl standing on the hilltop in the snow looking down at her house. Then the power goes out and then all you see are silent muzzle flashes through the windows] Oh man! A truly ominous feeling came over me during that scene.

Oh, and a few pod battles sprinkled throughout for good measure. One of my favorite releases this year Anime smile
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godakame



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 3:22 am Reply with quote
Is anybody else here getting a high-pitched noise that comes through whenever someone speaks during the japanese dialogue? This is regarding the first volume. I'm hesitant on picking up the second volume because the noise drives me insane. Tis really a shame, considering that this is one of my favorite series.
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Key
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:49 am Reply with quote
You could just watch the dub instead, godakame. It's reasonably accurate and, while not stellar, doesn't suck, either.

I don't recall ever hearing the noise you're talking about when watching the first volume, and certainly didn't hear it when watching with the Japanese dialog in the second volume. (But I'm not an audiophile, either, and those that are have occasionally mentioned audio problems with ADV productions in the past.) It could just be a flaw on that particular disc.

daedelus: Although I didn't specifically mention it in the review for spoiler reasons, I fully agree about the scene you refer to from Ayeka's back story. That they didn't (IIRC) use ominous music to highlight it made all the more effective, I thought.
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godakame



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 12:56 pm Reply with quote
Hmm, I suppose I could. While I don't hate the dub, I'd still rather listen to the Japanese language.

Considering that I've been getting more influx of cash as of late, I might just pick up another volume 1 and see if the problem is isolated. And if I get a problem with that one too, I'll maul it with my grizzly hands of rage.
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Jedi General



Joined: 27 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 4:07 pm Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
Well, at least they didn't say something like:
"BONES' best work since Fullmetal Alchemist"
--Anime News Network Wink Rolling Eyes


LOL. Well, they did say something along the lines of "from the producers of RahXephon and Full Metal Alchemist" on the packaging of the first DVD (note the misspelling of "Fullmetal Alchemist").

As for this volume itself, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first, but nevertheless it was still a good volume.

Theron Martin wrote:
The English dub stays relatively close to the original, with the only difference of note involving the one truly comedic moment in these block of episodes (in episode 7 concerning the baby), where a minor adjustment in the wording not only makes what Christmas says sound far funnier than the subtitles but better justifies the reactions of the animated listeners.


That line was much funnier in the dub than in the subtitles indeed. I tend to watch snippets of dubs with the subtitles on and I happened to have them on during that scene. I had to rewind and read the subtitles again. I thought I had read it wrong at first since it just wasn't all that funny compared to the dub and it also made the reactions of the diner's patrons seem out of place. The change also made the scene much more adorable, which is great when you have Jessica Boone providing the voice. She is a master at making a character sound absolutely adorable.
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daedelus



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:30 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
daedelus: Although I didn't specifically mention it in the review for spoiler reasons, I fully agree about the scene you refer to from Ayeka's back story. That they didn't (IIRC) use ominous music to highlight it made all the more effective, I thought.


Yeah, sometimes silence is best. Also, the subsequent scene when she went back down to the house and spoiler[slipped in something] was particularly heart-wrenching for me. It was subtle, yet packed an adequate punch. That's one of the things that impresses me about this show. It's not over-the-top.
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WesW



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:25 pm Reply with quote
When the first volume didn't get reviewed here, I thought about making a thread about how good this series was, and how I hoped that the next volume would get reviewed, since this is one of those series which can go under the radar since it doesn't neatly fit into any of the most popular genres.
I noticed that it was broadcast on TV Asahi. Was it one of the first series in their failed attempt to lure more girls into anime, since it seems clearly aimed at a female andience?
If so, it's a shame that their efforts didn't pan out, since anime needs more shows which treat killing as something one should avoid whenever possible, even when one has a legitimate excuse to do so. (This was a theme which seemed to show up again and again in the series, and was, sadly, one the qualities which alluded to it being aimed primarily at females.)
This was just a really well-made show all around, with 3-D characterizations and few if any stereotypes or over-the-top personalities.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:14 pm Reply with quote
WesW wrote:
When the first volume didn't get reviewed here, I thought about making a thread about how good this series was, and how I hoped that the next volume would get reviewed, since this is one of those series which can go under the radar since it doesn't neatly fit into any of the most popular genres.


Ummm. . . .

animenewsnetwork.com/review/kurau-phantom-memory/dvd-1 (April 2007)
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Randall Miyashiro



Joined: 12 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:37 pm Reply with quote
I enjoyed the second volume as much as I enjoyed the first. I stand by my opinion (and Theron's) that the older (Rahxephon, Wolf's Rain, Kurau era) Bones works feel classier and aimed towards an older audience compared to their newer (Eureka and Full Metal era) works. I'm was a bit surprised that Theron mentioned that the pace might be slow for some since I found it perfect, but upon reflecting upon my tastes this makes sense. There seems to be an abundance of series that consist of a string of action scenes punctuated by visual gags for my taste.

As of the second DVD Kurau (along with Ergo Proxy) is swiftly becoming my favorite series (I'm following 36 titles) currently being released. Kurau and Christmas are very three dimensional and their relationship is the shows driving force for me. I love the insert song at the end of episode 6, and find the OP and ED very representative of the series. It is funny how this series feels like Gonzo's character driven Solty Rei done in the traditional Bones style. It's funny how these family based series (I just rewatched Heat Guy J and Zone of the Enders) really appeal to me as I get older.
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WesW



Joined: 07 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:31 am Reply with quote
Ok, I had forgotten about the first volume review. I think it may even have been what prompted me to find the fansubs, too. Before I posted, though, I checked the series info, and there was no link to the review, so I thought that there wasn't one.

Btw, missing links and threads seem to have become the norm around here. All of your reviews for Zipang have gone missing from that show's page, except for the first and maybe most recent volume, and the review thread from the first volume is now gone as well. I don't understand such a deletion policy in this age of infinite text storage capacity.
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Key
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:13 am Reply with quote
WesW wrote:
Before I posted, though, I checked the series info, and there was no link to the review, so I thought that there wasn't one.

Btw, missing links and threads seem to have become the norm around here. All of your reviews for Zipang have gone missing from that show's page, except for the first and maybe most recent volume, and the review thread from the first volume is now gone as well. I don't understand such a deletion policy in this age of infinite text storage capacity.


It's not deletions at issue here. As I understand it, the problem is an encoding one lingering from the last time they did a site change-over, which is preventing more recent reviews (i.e. the ones from the last 6-8 months) from being automatically linked in to the Releases in the Encyclopedia entries like they used to be. The technical staff is, I believe, aware of the issue, but so far it hasn't been a high-priority mess to clean up.

Recent reviews may not be accessible via the Encyclopedia, but they can still be found on this master list, which you can get to normally by clicking on the tiny "More Reviews" link at the bottom of the Recent Reviews column on the front page.
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