Reviewby Jamie Patchin
Please Save My Earth
Alice, a Japanese schoolgirl with a natural affinity for plants and animals, doesn't think much of it when two of her male classmates, Jinpachi and Issei, tell her they've been sharing the same dreams since junior high. In the dreams, Jinpachi is called Gyokuran, and Issei is a woman named Enju. Gyokuran, Enju, and five others live on a research base on the moon, collecting and recording data about the earth. Alice doesn't really think seriously about it, until she has one of the same dreams. Alice, Issei, and Jinpachi then determine to find the other four scientists, and try to figure out why they are having these dreams, and how these dreams could affect their lives.
Please Save My Earth has been popular amongst fans for quite some time now, in its original 3-volume, dubbed-only VHS incarnation. This sentence sound weird, try reversing the order, ie: In its original 3-volume, dubbed-only VHS incarnation Please Save My Earth has been popular amongst fans for quite some time now. This DVD takes a good thing, and makes it better, by providing all 6 episodes on one disc, plus the Japanese language track and subtitles. Since Viz has its DVDs manufactured by Pioneer, the technical quality on this disc is very good. Both the English and Japanese audio tracks are offered in Dolby Digital 2.0, and are solid, coming through strong, clear, and problem-free. The quality of animation is what one can expect from a early-mid nineties OAV, with smooth animation, vibrant colors, but not much in the way of digital effects. The picture doesn't suffer any noticeable defects in the transition to DVD.
The packaging for this title is mediocre. It comes in an Amaray (yin-yang hubbed) case, which is nice, but the cover is very unimpressive. The insert is well done, with some nice artwork and a listing of all the chapters for all the episodes. The disc itself is black, with the title of the show, and a bunch of company names on it. The menu design is nice, with some nice animation and music in the background. It's easy to navigate, even if it does feel like the main menu takes forever to load up. The chapters menu is also nice, with five stops per episode.
Please Save My Earth is a rare treat for shoujo fans, a complex show with plenty of love triangles, an engaging and unique storyline, and an end theme by the ever-popular Yoko Kanno. There are action scenes, romantic scenes, sad scenes, large chunks of very good character development, a large amount of plot twists and turns, and it's all done too well for me to spoil it for you. This is not the cutesy little-girl shoujo of Sailor Moon (nothing against Sailor Moon, of course), but a serious, thought-provoking type of shoujo that almost never gets released in the US.
There is one flaw with the actual plotline of the show, and it is this: The PSME manga ran to over 20 volumes, and in the conversion to 6 half hour episodes, something was bound to be lost. In this case, it's the ending. Things just aren't tied up very well. In this case, the weak ending won't take away from the quality of the rest of the show, but it will leave the average viewer wanting to know what comes next.
The dub for this show is surprisingly good. Some casting choices bugged me, some I thought fit the role well. The subtitles are also pretty well done, though I wish there had been a little more attention paid to them. There are a couple of instances where people are talking, and there are no subtitles to be found. The subtitles are yellow, with the very-thin border found on some of the older Pioneer releases. While I would have liked a thicker border, I had no trouble reading the subs from a distance.
Extras-wise, this disc has some nice surprises. I would advise people to avoid the extras section until after watching the entire disc, as there are a couple of spoilers hidden in there. First up is a set of character profiles for all seven scientists. A quick background is provided, plus pictures and names of both the scientist and earth counterparts. Next comes the FAQ. This is just a series of questions taken from an issue of Animerica, that helps expand on some of the things touched on in the OAV series, and draws up some interesting comparisons between the OAV series and the original manga. The last, and perhaps coolest, extra is the non-credit ending. It's nice to be able to listen to the ending theme, watch the pictures go by, and not have any credits or subtitles staring you in the face.
Overall : C
+ Great show, technically sound disc, low cost-per-episode, inclusion of the original language track, good extras
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