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Volume 1 DVD Review

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Title Information · Disc Review · Review Equipment

  Title Information:
  Distributor: ADV Films
  Street Date: 05/14/2002
  Review Date: 05/22/2002
  Price: $29.99
  Length: 102 Minutes
  Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  Region: 1
  Audio Options:
  · English DD 2.0
  · Japanese DD 2.0
  · Commentary DD 2.0
  Subtitle Options:
  · English
  · English (Signs Only)
  Disc Extras:
  · ADV Historical Commentary
  · Retrospective of Yohko Artwork
  · Devil Hunter Yohko Music Video
  · Original U.S. Yohko Trailers (3)
  Disc Gradings:
  · Audio: B+
  · Video: A-
  · Packaging: A-
  · Menus: A-
  · Extras: A

Disc Review:
Disc 1: Both the English and Japanese language tracks (or rather "versions" since they are presented on seperate titles) are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo. Both languages sound great, and especially the Japanese version (which is about 12 years old, by the way) sounded extremely well. I didn't notice any disortions or drop-outs, and dailogue was very clear.
Disc 2: Both the English and Japanese language tracks on this disc are also Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, of course. Both of these tracks also sounded nice, and I heard no disortions or drop-outs. Dailogue came very clear here too, how swell.

I will note: I will be reviewing the video quality on it's transfer, and not it's source material, and I'll be comparing with my VHS copies (which are not that old).
Disc 1: Aside from the minimal rainbows, the transfer for both versions of episode 1 amazed me. The first episode being about 12 years-old, the disc made it looked great. I didn't notice any artifacting as well. All the small color changes (in people's hair, and backgrounds) were from the source material, so it shouldn't bother you, if you keep the age thing in mind.
Disc 2: There are minimal rainbows here too, and the transfer also amazed me, colors are presented vividly, and I didn't notice any artifacting. The animation for these episodes are more better than the first episode, so there isn't really any source material problems here.
Both discs have wonderful video transfers, and my VHS copies are no match for this DVD set. I'm very pleased.

For this two-disc set, ADV has chosen to use a black two-page Alpha case, while I would prefer a single case with the extra disc on a smaller page which is hooked onto the same page (like on Central Park Media's release of "Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie"). Though, it doesn't become much of a problem, now that I am starting to get used to it, I'm still upset that page 1's disc holder is less-tighter, so the disc spins around (and when I first opened it, the first disc was OUT OF IT'S HOLDER!), while the second page has a tighter hold on disc 2.
I didn't have much of a problem with the cover, even if Azusa is amazingly larger than Yohko. The new logo is spiffy, but I really wished that ADV would of used the first OVA LD (and Dubbed VHS) cover. The spine is something I liked, it gives us some fan-service, which looks nicely on my shelf. The back cover really shows the tone of the series (horror, though episodes 2 and 3 slightly start going for the "Magical Girl" genre), though, which was great. It featured images of some of the demons, and a few (strangely widen) screen captures. There is also a good synopsis, and the usual show credits. There is also a special 10tn Anniversary sticker on the shrink wrap featuring a shadow of Yohko, I didn't want to throw this away, so I cut it out and taped it into the left side of page 2 in the case.
Another nitpick, is how there is no short "wall" which keeps the insert from falling out, so everytime I open up the case, the insert surely falls to the ground. Other than that, the insert also features the cover artwork, with a shot of a demon on the back side, listing disc extras and ADV trailers (I love trailers, and thankfully, Burn-Up Excess is on this disc!). A small nitpick is that there is no scene index listed, and it was a shame, since ADV actually gave names for the chapter stops.
The discs themselve simply list the title of the show and the disc number, other than that, we have a splash of different dark colors.

After the collection of past ADV logos (which does nicely for this 10tn Anniversary release), the main menu (on both discs) starts out with the prolouge scene from episode 1, once Yohko strikes her sword at us, the screen lights up and changes to a static menu (with background music) featuring the Yohko image from the cover, with a dark blue background. It is, indeed, very simple, but I like it. A Ying-Yang (is that what it is? Well, whatever it is, it is the symbol on Yohko's dress) marks out selection as the cursor.
Disc 1: On the main menu, we get the selections: "Special Edition", "Original Version", "Scene Selections", and "Extras". The first two selections take you to your desired format of episode 1. The Scene Selections menu was done greatly. Five chapter stops (which are actually named, and are not the usual "Part A" "Part B", etc.) with video clips playing, background music, and with another selection on top for the oppisite version (if you are on the scenes menu for the "Special Edition", you can quickly select "Original Version" to go to that version's scene selection). The bottom right corner features Yohko (in her "Magical Girl" pose from episodes 2-3). The Extras menu is also good, listing all disc extras, with more Yohko artwork and background music.
Disc 2: On the main menu (which starts just like disc 1's menu did) we get the selections: "Episode 2", "Episode 3", "Scene Selections", and "Languages". The first two selections take you to your desired episode, while "Scene Selections" take you to a selection for scenes in episode 2, where episode 3 is also listed at the top of the menu, if you'd like to select scenes from that episode. The center of the scene menu for episode 2 features Azusa (Episode 3 features Yohko transforming). "Languages" takes you to another static menu (with background music) listing: "English", "English with Sign Subtitles", and "Japanese with English Subtitles".
With great menus, in my opinion, I thought they deserved an "A-" grading.

ADV has provided a great deal of extras, and they were all great. First, there is a Historical Audio Commentary, done by Matt Greenfield, David Williams (DVD Producer), and Janice Williams (DVD Coordinator). This audio commentary track, presented on the Original Version's title, was very fun to listen to. The three of them discussed about how ADV was started, and the obsticles and discoveries that occured when they were originally released Devil Hunter Yohko.
There is also a "Retrospective of Yohko Artwork" feature, an image gallery of numerous pieces of artwork, including VHS/LD Covers, manga artwork, and screen captures. Another extra is the excellent Devil Hunter Yohko Music Video, featuring the song, "In the Moonlight", with (YES!) optional subtitles. There is also three original U.S. trailers for the show, which gave me flashbacks of originally seeing these trailers on some of my old ADV VHS titles (thus, leading to my exposure to this great series). And, while it wouldn't be considered an actual extra, ADV has included the "Burn-Up Excess" trailer on this disc (Yay). A note on the extras, they are all featured on disc 1.

Review Equipment:
· 32" RCA TV
· APEX AD-1500 DVD Player

This review was originally posted at
Anime on DVD and my DVD review website, Insert Disc Here.

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