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Episode 5:
Second Love... Always Be With You Act 1

Distributed by: (Japan), Software Sculptors (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Original Japanese dialog (LD), subtitled (VHS) and dubbed (VHS)

Based on the manga series by: Nasu Yukie Screenplay: Mochizuki Tomomistu Director: Mochizuki Tomomistu Producer: Studio Pierrot English version by: Koike Hitomi and Neil Nadelman

[ plot summary ]

volume 3

Things are beginning to get just a tad busy for Hasukawa Kazuya. In addition to his regular school studies, he's been appointed Dorm President by his sempai, Mitsuru. Now that he's in a position of responsibility, what's he going to do? Get the heat turned up in the dorm to a more livable level? Would you believe, let a girl stay overnight in an all-boy's dorm? Kazuya simply can't seem to have a trouble-free life. But why is Igarashi Miya avoiding going home or to school? What is she hiding?

[ capsule review ]

(Subtitled Version) Sometimes I think I really missed out on a good deal by not having lived in a dorm. I've heard of the various little tricks used by students to get around dorm rules, and damn it! Sounds like fun! But this episode is not all fun and humour; in fact this episode takes on a decidedly more serious and sombre theme. Igarashi Miya (played by Honda Chieko) is in trouble, and it's up to Kazuya, Mitsuru and the Greenwood "gang" to bail her out. There's a bit of background about school gangs (that stuff does happen on occassion, just like in any big North American school), but more importantly, it dwells on the importance of friendships and loyalty. One thing that I really like about Japanese shows is that in a most cases, the characters actually grow -- that is, they're serial, not episodic. Kazuya is a perfect example of this, turning out to be a young man willing to take on and accept more responsibilities. Nagisa makes a brief but suitably disturbed appearance. The background music is as annoying as ever, but there's a good J-Pop song in the middle to break things up. Innovation often pops up in animé, and here's another good example: two scenes use the "VCR pause-button" effect as a great device for exposition. To top it all off, there's an above-average story to put all this together. - AN

(Dubbed Version) There's a job title called "Director" who's job is to control the continuity of a show. I take it they didn't have one for the dub. Classic case in point: There's a scene where Mia's sobbing after revealing her fears about her house, but right after, the conversation continues as if nothing had happenend. It's unfortunate that these gaffs show up throughout these episodes, since one basic element can kill a program. Acting is getting a little better, as if the voice actors are settling into their parts, but it's still not what I would call acceptable. The dorm lady is definitely not acceptable. Avoid this one, too. - AN

(Subtitled Version) This is the first episode of two dealing with Igarashi Miya; a girl who is in trouble with another school's gang. This episode develops Kazuya's character and gives a bit of insight into Mitsuru's background. The J-Pop Akio mentioned is unfortunately not included on the Vocal CD which is the only CD still in print for this series. Still, the story for this episode is great and really keeps your attention, and Nagisa's appearance is definitely memorable (strange people like Nagisa really are hard to find). There are some humourous moments which are well placed in this episode. How many people do you know who has a couple hundred people in their gang? - JYN

(Dubbed Version) Considering how the dubbed version of this series has been, I was pretty much dreading watching this next part of the story and not without just cause. The voice acting continues to sound like the people are reading the script and is fairly flat, however, there's no real overacting either. It's definitely not what I'd call the best, but the person who plays Mia isn't entirely horrible either. The translations are a lot more loose here and there's a lot more play with idiomatic speech rather than literal translations. I found that the voices are again too similar to each other both for the male and female voices and they're getting highly indistinguishable. The dorm lady probably bothered me the most though. Still definitely not on my recommended list. - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 4 stars 2 stars
Direction: N/A 4 stars 1 star
Acting: N/A 3 stars 1 star
Animation: N/A 2 stars 2 stars
Music: N/A 3 stars 3 stars
Translation: N/A 4 stars 4 stars
Overall Rating: N/A 4 stars 1 star

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