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ADV Films presents
Princess Nine #2: Double Header (1998)

Yoko Tokashiki: Do I really have to take the test today?Shinsaku Kido: Of course. After all you're getting a baseball scholorship out of this.Yoko Tokashiki: Will that involve anything painful?
- Yasutsugu Ishii, Mayumi Iizuka

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: January 30, 2002

Stars: Miki Nagasawa, Mami Kingetsu, Yoshiko Sakakibara, Sumi Shimamoto, Hilary Haag, Monica Rial, Vic Mignogna, Kelly Manison
Other Stars: Taketo Koyasu, Tetsuya Iwanaga, Yasutsugu Ishii, Akiko Yajima, Kyouko Hikami, Naomi Nagasawa, Ayako Kawasumi, Rumi Kasahara, Kokoro Shindou, Mayumi Iizuka, Taeko Kawada, Chris Patton, Christine M. Auten, Andy McAvin, Tiffany Grant, Shelly Calene-Black, Cynthia Martinez, Kira, Kelly Cousins, Jennifer K. Earhart
Director: Tomomi Mochizuki

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+)
Run Time: 01h:40m:02s
Release Date: January 08, 2002
UPC: 702727007026
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-B+A- C+

DVD Review

The second installment in the Princess Nine baseball series brings another four episodes of this delightful anime. The sports genre creates plenty of opportunity for interpersonal conflict and drama, and Princess Nine does a fine job of utilizing the natural competitive nature of sport, and the trials and tribulations associated with success as a basis for this series. Not unlike live action films covering baseball, the size of the team allows for a diverse mix of characters, and those familiar with the likes of A League of Their Own or Field of Dreams will find the same kind of reward in Princess Nine.While the opening disc laid the groundwork, disc two presents more challenges for the first all-girl baseball team trying to reach the famed Koshien tournament, which until now has been restricted to males only. The chairman of the Kisaragi Women's Senior High School, Keiko Himuro (Yoshiko Sakakibara), has the foundation for her team in Ryo Hayakawa, the daughter of a star pitcher who has inherited her father's pitching abilities. They have managed to scout several more girls for the team: on first base is Hikaru Yoshimoto; second has feisty red-head Siera Morimura; in left field is Yuki Azuma; and the clumsy but enthusiastic Nene Mori is managing. A team requires nine players, however, and they are still short five, so the hunt is on to fill out the roster before the school's board puts an end to the venture. First on the list is finding a catcher capable of dealing with Ryo's 130 mph pitches, since no one on the team can stand up to them, and the candidate is an unlikely one, as is the girl most appropriate for shortstop. Right and center field also need to be filled, and the team may have to settle for enthusiasm over natural ability to complete the line-up. The first episode brings in candidates for most of these spots, but the majority of the disc is devoted to securing Keiko's daughter, Izumi, as the pivotal fourth batter, who develops a real sore spot for Ryo. First, Izumi's childhood sweetheart, Hiroki Takasugi, seems to be lavishing too much attention on Ryo. If that wasn't enough, as the show moves on there are even greater reasons to form a rivalry between these two players, which threatens to shut the team down. With no support from the school board, and their first real game fast approaching, can the team come together, or will everything fall apart?So far I'm really enjoying this series, despite the obvious assumption that all will work out in the end. Since we know where we're going, it's all about the ride, and Princess Nine does a good job of covering the bases. The personalities are likeable, the rivalries tenable, and the aspirations honorable. The characters are diverse enough to keep the comic level high, and the subplots are interesting enough to add more drama to the situation. How they pull it all together to fulfill their dreams will flesh out the rest of the series; if it is anything like what we've seen so far, it will be highly entertaining. Batter up!

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Colors continue to be well-saturated, and black levels are solid. Once again there is noticible ringing on the outlines, and some aliasing and and interlace artifacts are present. Rainbows are few and far between, and overall this looks quite nice.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio is presented well, primarily center-focused for dialogue with the score filling out the stereo field. No technical deficiencies were noted. Both the original and dub tracks are comparable in audio quality, with the Japanese voice cast doing a fine job, and their English counterparts delivering a rewritten script well, but with not quite the same intensity or flair.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Sakura Wars, A.D. Police,Generator Gawl, Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadowraiders, Dirty Pair Flash
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Scanavo
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Oden cooking special
  2. Player statistics
Extras Review: ADV have "dugout" another nice collection of supplements. On the "mound" this time out are both the US teaser and the feature trailers that "lead off" the extras. Your "plate" will be full with the next feature, though you won't want to watch it on an empty stomach, as it is a 04m:30s video on how to make Oden, the popular Japanese fish stew seen in the series. This also contains some historical info on the dish and its many variations. You'll want to wait until after viewing the disc to "catch" the final extra, which is another set of player statistics, including mini eyecatches in the original Japanese.Finally, you can have a "ball" with six more trailers for other ADV titles: Sakura Wars, A.D. Police,Generator Gawl, Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadowraiders, and Dirty Pair Flash

Extras Grade: C+

 

Final Comments

The drama and humor continues to unfold in the second disc of Princess Nine. As the team begins to come together, a new threat presents itself that will require everything our girls have to offer. The tension is high, the competition fierce and the future of the team is at stake. This is a very entertaining and involving sports anime. Highly recommended.

 


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