Reviewby Allen Divers, Nov 8th 2001
Dual Parallel Trouble Adventures
DVD 3 - Artifacts
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!
After a harrowing battle in the last volume, Kazuki finds himself trapped behind enemy lines! Seriously injured, Kazuki finds himself in the clutches of the infamous Miss Rah! Just when things look to get even worse, Kazuki himself being cared for by Miss Rah! Meanwhile, the Rah-Rah army has discovered a way to end the war, once and for all, destroy Kazuki!
Dual: Artifacts continues the story of Kazuki, a boy trapped in a parallel world. Trapped behind enemy lines, Kazuki meets the enemy face to face. Although the first episode steps away from the action sequences of the fighting robots, they come back with a vengeance with the last 2 episodes on this disc. The story deepens with a peek into the camp of the enemy as well as with the introduction of a new girl in Kazuki's life!
Both the Japanese and English soundtracks are clear. The voices are perfect matches for the characters. The subtitles and dub do a good job of keeping in sync, with only minor script changes made for timing with the movement of the mouths.
Audio options are Japanese or English soundtrack with English sub-titles on or off. Pioneer doesn't automatically translate signs in Kanji so you need to have sub-titles on to catch some of the humor in the background.
The video is as crisp and clear as can be expected for a DVD release. The series itself is around 2 years old, so the images are very vivid. The picture suffers no weird transition affects or skips when going to the next chapter. My only complaint is regarding the content, in that you don't get the "commercial" break intro and exit animations that separate the first half and second half of a show. The transition is smooth enough that you don't even realize you're into the second half of the show.
Since we are fast approaching the end of the series, (only 13 Episodes and 1 OAV were created), this DVD contains an extra feature not included on the previous 2 DVDs. Included are the 2 promo commercials that played on Japanese television before the series premiered. These commercials are in Japanese, so turn on the sub-titles to follow along.
The other extras are pretty standard. The Character Biographies are told from the perspective of the main protagonist, Kazuki. It's amusing to see how he views the others that he interacts with. We get some creator notes as well on two of the characters. Also, mixed in with the biographies is information about the main Rara antagonist as well as the new Robot.
Also standard is the Line Art with notes. The notes are again given from the characters' point of view. These are standard costume and set design information featured in the 3 episodes contained on the DVD.
As always, its best to view this stuff after you've watched the episodes because they contain potential spoilers for the series.
Dual: Artifacts continues the momentum from the previous volumes. For the action fans, we see a tremendous amount of combat as the robot battles really step up. For fans of the characters, each gets to shine in their own light. We even begin to see more from the enigmatic D.
Overall, this is a very good series, with good pacing and dialogue. At its heart is a romantic comedy that should be expected from the creators of Tenchi Muyo!. Unfortunately this generates a slight negative for those who want raw action with their robot fighting. Once the viewer can work past any preconceived expectations, this series is very enjoyable on its own merits. I'm sad to see this series coming to a conclusion with the next volume.
Overall (dub) : B
Overall (sub) : A
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : A
+ Dual makes a good mix of action versus comedy so there's plenty here to keep everyone entertained.
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