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Lesley Aeschliman RSS Feed (Enumclaw, WA)
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Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season 1
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season 1
DVD ~ Colleen Clinkenbeard
Offered by Fhraze LLC
Price: $64.99
3 used & new from $19.90

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dragon Ball Z Kai is a shortened version of most of the Dragon Ball Z anime series, April 10, 2012
This review is from: Dragon Ball Z Kai: Season 1 (DVD)
Dragon Ball Z Kai (which is known as Dragon Ball Kai in Japan) is a re-working of the first 194 episodes of Dragon Ball Z that was produced to commemorate the series' twentieth anniversary. When this series was produced, it was done in a way to remove much of the content in the original series that was not featured in the original manga. Also, the series also includes a remastered high definition picture, sound, special effects, and a re-recorded voice track with most of the original voice actors.

By removing the extra material that had been added to the original anime series, the story in Dragon Ball Z Kai goes at a much more natural pace, and doesn't feel nearly as stretched out as the original series. The material that is included in the first twenty-six episodes of Dragon Ball Z Kai is covered in the first fifty-four episodes of the original Dragon Ball Z series.

The Dragon Ball Z Kai Season One box set includes four DVDs that contain the first twenty-six episodes of the series. The first and third discs contain seven episodes, while the second and fourth discs contain six episodes and bonus features. When you see the menus on the discs, it's obvious that all FUNimation did to put this box set together was to combine the Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part One and the Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Two box sets into one set, since the discs are labeled "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part One, Disc One," "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part One, Disc Two," "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Two, Disc One," and "Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Two, Disc Two."

The extras on disc two contain a textless version of the opening song, a textless version of the closing song, and trailers. The two textless songs that appear on this disc have the credit text removed, but you can still see the logo, as well as the subtitle text if you watch them with the subtitles on.

The extras on disc four contain three versions of the textless opening, the same textless closing that appears on disc two, and trailers. The first two textless openings are labeled as "DVD Version 1" and "DVD Version 2." When I watched both of these textless openings, I really couldn't tell any difference between them; my guess is that there's some kind of really minor change in the video images, where if you blink, you'll probably miss it. The other textless opening is the "Broadcast Version," which is the version used when the series airs on American television. Personally, I thought the lyrics for this English version were weaker, and I didn't personally care for the singer.

One of my biggest disappointments with this set is the fact that there is no marathon feature. I really appreciated having this feature when I watched the DVD box sets for the original Dragon Ball series, the "orange brick" releases of Dragon Ball Z, and the box sets for Dragon Ball GT; it made it so much easier to watch several episodes in a row in one sitting. However, as an upside, you get to see the next episode previews at the end of each episode, which you didn't get to see on the releases for the other series.

Dragon Ball Z Kai is a decent series, although I'm disappointed that the decision was made in Japan to not include to Majin Boo saga in this project, since that's a story arc that really could have benefited from getting the "Kai" treatment. I would recommend this release to Dragon Ball fans who must own every Dragon Ball DVD release on the market, to viewers who want to be able to watch Dragon Ball Z without the long and drawn-out story arcs, as well as to fans who are familiar with Dragon Ball Z Kai from seeing the series when it aired on American television.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD box set that I checked out through the King County Library System.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 27, 2012 8:52 PM PST


Escaflowne: The Movie
Escaflowne: The Movie
DVD ~ Shin'ichirô Miki
Offered by PVP Filmworks Store
Price: $18.98
15 used & new from $8.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This film was not as good as the anime series, April 10, 2012
This review is from: Escaflowne: The Movie (DVD)
In this remake film, the characters of Hitomi and Van are given very different personalities than their counterparts in the anime series. In the series, Hitomi is a happy girl in love, while her movie counterpart is depressed and suicidal. With this portrayal, it's hard to care about Hitomi, even though she's supposed to be the main character. In the film, Van is lonely and more aggressive than this television series counterpart.

The basic story of the film is that a depressed Hitomi is brought to Gaea as the legendary "Wing Goddess" and awakens Escaflowne. Escaflowne disappears into a jewel that Hitomi keeps in her possession. Hitomi and Van must learn to work together in order to try to save Gaea from destruction. However, how the film depicts Van's change in attitude toward Hitomi just feels forced.

In the film, the role for the character of Dilandau was greatly diminished in comparison to the television series. With this reduction in the role, Dilandau felt more like a prop than an actual character. This, along with the other changes that were made for the film version, really weakened the story. The only redeeming qualities that this film has are some of the visuals and the music score.

The DVD release for Escaflowne the Movie allows you to watch the film with Japanese DTS 5.1, Japanese DD 5.1, English DD 5.1, or Isolated Score DD 5.1 audio. For subtitles, you can choose between English, Storyboards, and None. For the "Storyboards" option, the corresponding storyboards for the scene appear in the subtitle track rather than text. Unfortunately, since the storyboard subtitles are only available in Japanese, you have to have some knowledge of the Japanese language in order to understand what's going on. The only bonus features included on the disc are trailers and credits.

I was rather disappointed in Escaflowne the Movie. I would only recommend this DVD to viewers who enjoy the film or to viewers who are fans of The Vision of Escaflowne and want to have all the Escaflowne related material in their DVD collection.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that my husband and I purchased.


The Sky Crawlers
The Sky Crawlers
DVD ~ Rinko Kikuchi
Offered by PRIMETIME DEALS
Price: $5.44
49 used & new from $1.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An alternate history story that features genetically designed humanoids, April 3, 2012
This review is from: The Sky Crawlers (DVD)
The story of The Sky Crawlers is set in an alternate history, where the world is at peace. However, private corporations contract fighter pilots to engage in combat against each other, in an attempt to ease the tension of a populace used to fighting and war. The film also introduces the concept of "kildren," genetically designed humanoids who are designed to live eternally in adolescence.

At the beginning of the film, pilot Yuichi Kannami is reassigned to Area 262. He meets Towa Sasakura, the chief mechanic, and he inquires about the fate of the pilot of his new plane, since it's standard protocol for a pilot to meet a plane's former pilot if he or she is not dead. Towa tells him to ask Suito Kusanagi, the base's commanding officer. When he meets Kusanagi and inquires about the pilot, she quickly dismisses him and simply informs him about a sortie the next day. As the film progresses, the truth about Kannami, Kusanagi, and the other pilots at Area 262 are revealed. There are also other battles that take place to keep the action moving.

The Sky Crawlers utilizes CG, some of which looks rather photorealistic, and combines it with traditional 2D animation. I personally found how these elements were combined to be a rather jarring viewing experience, and this was ultimately a distraction to me as I watched this film.

Unfortunately, with the way the film was written, I felt rather detached and I never came to truly care for any of the characters. I also felt that the "big reveal" of the mystery surrounding the "kildren" to be rather anti-climactic; blatant hints were dropped rather early on in the story, so I had basically already figured out what was going on before the "big reveal." I don't know if this is a problem in the original novel, or if this was introduced when the novel was adapted for a screenplay.

Another big feature of the film is the various battles in the skies; while these had some gorgeous photorealistic CG animation, I found myself not caring about these battles, either. By the time I finished the film, I felt that there was an interesting premise being presented, but that the execution of the film didn't do the premise any justice.

The DVD of The Sky Crawlers features two documentaries: one about the animation research done for the film, and one about the sound design and animation for the film. Unfotunately, neither of these feel like a documentary; instead, they feel more like random footage that was slapped together. There are also previews for other anime included as a bonus feature on the disc.

The Sky Crawlers is rated PG-13, and I think the audience who would have the greatest appreciation for this film would be older teenagers and adults who are more interested in the visuals of a film than in the story being told.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that my husband and I purchased.


Dragon Ball GT: The Complete Series
Dragon Ball GT: The Complete Series
DVD ~ Sean Schemmel
Price: $32.99
20 used & new from $28.77

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This set combines the two individual season box sets, March 27, 2012
The Dragon Ball GT The Complete Series box set is a ten disc DVD set that contains all sixty-four episodes of the series, as well as the Dragon Ball GT television special, A Hero's Legacy. This is basically just a combination of the two individual season box sets.

The first four discs in the set contain seven episodes, the fifth disc contains six episodes and extras, the sixth and seventh discs contain seven episodes, the eighth and ninth discs contain six episodes, and the final disc contains four episodes, extras, and A Hero's Legacy.

The fifth disc has a textless version of the opening and a textless version of the first closing song, as well as trailers.

The extras on the final disc are a textless version of the opening and a textless version of the fourth closing song, as well as trailers.

If you're a Dragon Ball fan who enjoys Dragon Ball GT but haven't purchased the individual season box sets already, then I would recommend purchasing this set in order to add it to your library.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this set that my husband and I purchased.


Neon Genesis Evangelion - Resurrection (Director's Cut, Episodes 21-23)
Neon Genesis Evangelion - Resurrection (Director's Cut, Episodes 21-23)
DVD ~ Megumi Ogata
27 used & new from $2.74

3.0 out of 5 stars Additional footage and reanimated footage appear in this director's cut, March 20, 2012
Neon Genesis Evangelion Directors' Cut: Resurrection is a DVD that contains "director's cut" versions of episodes twenty-one through twenty-three of the series. The disc also contains the original versions of the episodes in addition to the "director's cut" versions.

There is additional footage added to the first two episodes on the disc that make the episodes longer, while some of the footage in the third episode was reanimated to include hints of something that happens in the Neon Genesis Evangelion film, The End of Evangelion. I have to say that while the additional and revised scenes do provide some additional information, they really don't contain any major revelations that weren't included in the series. In the long run, you really aren't missing out on much if you have only seen the original broadcast versions of episodes twenty-one through twenty-three.

The extras on this disc include a 21 minute sneak preview of a live-action Neon Genesi Evangelion film, a "clean opening," a "clean closing," DVD credits, and ADV trailers.

If you're a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion who is trying to track down the individual DVD releases, then this disc is worth it to you if you're trying to have everything released for Neon Genesis Evangelion in your DVD collection. However, if you're not a "completionist collector" and already have Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection :07, then you really don't need to get this release, unless you absolutely want to own the "directors' cut" versions of these episodes. However, if you're missing Neon Genesis Evangelion Collection :07 and can only find this disc, then this disc would be worth picking up to fill in the gap, since you get both versions of the episodes on it.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this disc that I checked out through the King County Library System.


Dragon Ball GT: Season 2 (Includes A Hero's Legacy)
Dragon Ball GT: Season 2 (Includes A Hero's Legacy)
Price: $18.48
13 used & new from $12.30

3.0 out of 5 stars The end of the Dragon Ball anime storyline, March 13, 2012
The Dragon Ball GT Season Two box set includes five DVDs that contain the final thirty episodes of the series, as well as the Dragon Ball GT television special, A Hero's Legacy. The first two discs contain seven episodes, the third and fourth discs contain six episodes, and the fifth disc contains four episodes and A Hero's Legacy.

This set begins with the Baby arc, which started near the end of the first box set. This is followed by the joining of the Earth and the Other World and a battle with a resurrected No. 17. The final arc of the series sees the Dragon Balls cracking and unleashing seven evil dragons with negative energy who are bent on destroying the world, due to overuse of the balls by Goku and his friends. They must try to defeat the evil dragons and restore the Dragon Balls' positive energy.

A Hero's Legacy is set one hundred years after the end of Dragon Ball GT, and the only character who remains from the cast we know is Pan (who is now an old woman). The story of this special follows her grandson, Goku Jr., and his journey to find the Dragon Ball at his ancestor Goku's home. Pan falls ill, and Goku Jr. thinks that finding the Dragon Ball and making a wish on it will make her feel better. Unfortunately, unlike his ancestor Goku, Goku Jr. doesn't show that he has strength and bravado.

As the Dragon Ball GT series progresses, it starts becoming harder to accept what's going on, and at times, it felt like some of the information presented in this series contradicts ideas that were set up all the back in the original Dragon Ball series. When it comes to the A Hero's Legacy television special, I really didn't feel that it added much to the Dragon Ball universe and I found it to be a little on the boring side.

The main menu on the fifth DVD gives you two options: "A Hero's Legacy" and "Episodes." If you choose "A Hero's Legacy," it takes you straight to the TV special. If you select "Episodes," it takes you to the main menu you would see on the previous four discs, except it adds in a selection for the special features. This set includes a textless opening and a textless version of the fourth closing song. On these textless songs, the credit text is gone, but there are still subtitles that appear on the screen. Also in the extras menu is a link for trailers.

One of the best features of the Dragon Ball GT box sets is the marathon feature; this allows you to watch all of the episodes back-to-back. However, with the marathon feature, you only see the opening credits once, and the ending credits are not shown. This feature is very helpful when you're trying to watch all of the episodes on a disc in a single sitting.

If you're a fan of the Dragon Ball franchise that wants to own all of the episodes on DVD, then you need to purchase a copy of this set to complete your collection.


Case Closed: Season 1
Case Closed: Season 1
14 used & new from $28.73

4.0 out of 5 stars This is a decent mystery anime series, March 13, 2012
This review is from: Case Closed: Season 1 (DVD)
The Case Closed Season One DVD box set is a four-disc set that contains the first twenty-six episodes of the Case Closed anime series. The first two discs have seven episodes, the third disc has six episodes, and the fourth disc has six episodes and the bonus features.

Case Closed is a mystery series done in a "whodunit" style, and a number of the episodes on this set focus on murder mysteries. Unfortunately, in most of the episodes on this set, one element of this style is usually missing: the "denouement," which is an epilogue that shows what happens to the characters after the case is solved. For many of the stories, the episode ends right when the case is solved; this weakens some of the stories, because as a viewer, I became invested in what was happening, and I felt cheated that I didn't get to see what happened to some of them in the aftermath of solving the crime. Overall, Case Closed is a decent series, but I do wish more of the episodes ended with a "denouement."

There are only three bonus features included on the fourth disc. The first is a "Character Spotlight" for Conan Edogawa; this is one screen of text with a picture of the character to accompany it. The second is "Conan's Gadgets," which is one screen describing Conan's Super Sneakers; this is accompanied by a picture of Conan wearing the sneakers. The final extra is a page with a menu for trailers. I was a little underwhelmed by the bonus features, but knowing that Case Closed didn't perform all that well for FUNimation, I can understand why the company didn't go to a lot of effort when it came to bonus features for this set.

The Case Closed Season One box set is a decent release, and is worth adding to your DVD library if you're a fan of the Case Closed anime series.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD box set that my husband gave me as a gift.


Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
DVD ~ Megumi Ogata
Offered by MediaNett
Price: $199.50
37 used & new from $32.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The movie that ended the Neon Genesis Evangelion series, March 6, 2012
The End of Evangelion is divided into two approximately 45-minute episodes. The first is "Episode 25': Love is Destructive," and the second is "Episode 26': ONE MORE FINAL: I need you." These "episodes" can be seen either as a kind of "replacement" for the original ending of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series, or as a more detailed "real world" account of the ending of the original series.

"Episode 25" opens with Shjinji Akari still mourning the death of Kaworu Nagisa, and he is pleading with an unconscious Asuka Langley Soryu for help. Meanwhile, SEELE attempts to take over NERV by hacking into the MAGI computer system; however, their efforts are thwarted by Ritsuko Akagi, who installs a firewall program that SEELE cannot penetrate. SEELE manages to convince the Prime Minister of Japan to deploy the JSSDF to conduct a large-scale assault on NERV. The JSSDF soldiers are given permission to kill NERV personnel on sight, to execute the Eva pilots, and capture the Evangelions. A lot of the story of this episode focuses on what happens during the assault on NERV. In addition, Dr. Gendo Ikari takes Rei to Terminal Dogma to initiate the Third Impact.

In "Episode 26," Gendo tries to merge with Rei to begin the Third Impact, but Rei takes over the process and reunites with Lilith. This episode focuses on what happens after Rei's merge with Lilith, and the interactions that Rei/Lilith have with Shinji.

Overall, I have to say that this film was rather strange. Also, by the time I reached the end of this piece, it felt as if Shinji and Asuka had never really evolved, even though they went through some major events that really should have brought about some kind of a noticeable change. Also, the ending of this film really doesn't "end." Perhaps someone who is more of a die-hard fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion series would have a greater appreciation for this than I do.

As for the visual content, there is definitely more blood and nudity than in the anime series. It's a film that I would only recommend to anime viewers who are seventeen or eighteen years of age and older who already have familiarity with the Neon Genesis Evangelion franchise.

As for the DVD, it should be noted that while it looks like it should be a double-sided disc, there appears to only be content on one side of the disc. The DVD provides six audio options: Japanese 2.0, Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, Japanese 6.1 dts es, English 2.0, English 5.1 Dolby Digital EX, and English 6.1 dts es. For subtitles, you can choose English Titling, English, and None.

There are a few bonus features included on this release. The first is an audio commentary provided by Amanda Win Lee, Jason Lee, and Taliesan Jaffe. The next feature is labeled as "Evangelion Trailers," and it runs for two minutes and thirty-nine seconds. There are two English language trailers included: one is for The End of Evangelion, and the other is for Death and Rebirth.

The final extra is labeled as "Manga Extras," which takes you to a menu with several options. The "Manga Video Previews" is ten minutes and nine seconds of trailers, which starts automatically when you select that menu option. "Manga DVD Catalogue" has a menu that allows you to select from the items listed on the screen. "Merchandising and Catalogue Info" is a slideshow that runs for two minutes. "Websites" lists the links for Manga Entertainment, Sputnik 7, and Palm Pictures. You can also select the icons for Palm Pictures or Sputnik 7 that appear on the screen to see a promotional piece for those entities.

In some respects, the bonus features may not seem like much on the surface. However, when I realized that there are other anime DVD releases on the market that include even less than this, it makes these features seem a little more impressive to me than they might have otherwise.

I would only recommend this DVD for die-hard fans of the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series. However, this DVD is now out of print in North America; the only way to find it is to look at stores and websites that sell used DVDs.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that I checked out through the King County Library System.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2012 12:07 AM PDT


Dragon Ball GT: Season 1
Dragon Ball GT: Season 1
DVD ~ Sean Schemmel
Price: $18.48
18 used & new from $9.73

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The first season of the only Dragon Ball anime series to not be based on Akira Toriyama's manga, February 28, 2012
This review is from: Dragon Ball GT: Season 1 (DVD)
The Dragon Ball GT Season One box set includes five DVDs that contain thirty-four episodes of the series. The first four discs contain seven episodes, while the fifth disc contains six episodes and the extras.

On the main menu of the first four discs, you can choose to watch all the episodes, watch the disc with the marathon feature, choose which episode you want to watch, and set up your language and subtitle options. One of the best features of this Dragon Ball GT set is the marathon feature; this allows you to watch all of the episodes back-to-back. However, with the marathon feature, you only see the opening credits once, and the ending credits are not shown. This feature is very helpful when you're trying to watch all of the episodes on a disc in a single sitting.

In the setup menu, you can choose between the English audio from when the series originally aired on television, the English dialogue with the original Japanese music, and Japanese dialogue and music. In this menu, you can also choose to turn the subtitles on and off.

The menu on the fifth DVD adds in a link for the special features. This set includes a textless opening and a textless version of the first closing song. On these textless songs, the credit text is gone, but there are still subtitles that appear on the screen. Also in the extras menu is a link for trailers.

Compared to Dragon Ball Z, it seems that the Dragon Ball GT episodes have a much better pacing; I definitely didn't feel nearly as bogged down with this series. Even with the better pacing, I feel that Dragon Ball GT is overall the weakest anime series in the Dragon Ball franchise.

I would recommend this set to any Dragon Ball fan that must have all of the episodes of the franchise on DVD.


Naruto Uncut Box Set: Season 3, Vol. 1
Naruto Uncut Box Set: Season 3, Vol. 1
DVD ~ Naruto
Offered by kylakins
Price: $16.49
55 used & new from $15.37

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sasuke's defection and the Sasuke Retrieval Arc are included on this set, February 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Naruto Uncut Season Three Volume 1 box set is a six DVD set that contains episodes one hundred and seven through one hundred and thirty five of the Naruto anime series. The first disc contains four episodes, the second disc contains five episodes, the third disc contains five episodes and bonus features, the fourth disc contains five episodes, the fifth disc contains five episodes, and the sixth disc contains five episodes and bonus features.

Just like the previous four boxes in this set of Naruto releases, this is a "bare bones" release; there are no booklets or inserts included in the box. When it comes to the actual discs included in this set, they are exactly the same as the discs that were released in the Naruto Uncut Box Set 9 and Naruto Uncut Box Set 10 box sets.

The first bonus feature on the third disc is labeled as "Production Art." This consists of fifteen pages, which are model sketches of some of the Naruto characters. There is a sneak preview for Naruto Uncut Box Set 10, which runs for roughly three minutes; it should be noted that the audio for the preview is mastered lower than the episodes on the disc. Next is "From Sketch to Screen," which contains eight pages of storyboards from episode one hundred and twelve. For each storyboard, you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for. You can also see the English credits in the "Extras" menu. Next in the extras menu is a selection labeled as "New From Viz Media." This link takes you to advertisements for Shonen Jump Magazine and Shonen Jump manga titles. A link in the extras menu labeled as "Trailers" takes you to a set of trailers.

The first bonus feature on the sixth disc is labeled as "Production Art." This consists of fifteen pages, which are model sketches of some of the Naruto characters. There is a sneak preview for Naruto Uncut Box Set 11, which runs for roughly three and a half minutes. Next is "From Sketch to Screen," which contains eight pages of storyboards from episode one hundred and twenty-eight. For each storyboard, you can choose to see the clip that the storyboard is for. You can also see the English credits in the "Extras" menu. Next in the extras menu is a selection labeled "New From Viz Media." This link takes you to advertisements for Shonen Jump manga titles. A link in the extras menu labeled as "Trailers" takes you to a set of trailers.

If you enjoy Naruto and haven't already purchased the Naruto Uncut sets, this would be an economical way to get the episodes on DVD in order to add them to your collection. You get double the amount of the content of the original sets, but you pay about the same amount as you would have for the original Naruto Uncut DVD box sets. However, if you do purchase this set, just be aware that this is simply a repackaging of Naruto Uncut Box Set 9 and Naruto Uncut Box Set 10. All Viz Media really did to change the discs was to make minor changes to the labels on the physical discs included in the set.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD set that I purchased for my husband as a gift.


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