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Odex Private Limited presents
Prétear (R3) (2000)

"We must find the one who can turn the snow white."
- Hayate (Kousuke Toriumi)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: May 12, 2002

Stars: Sayuri Yoshida, Kousuke Toriumi, Takahiro Sakurai, Makoto Naruse, Shoutarou Morikubo, Akemi Kanda
Other Stars: Akiko Yajima, Misato Fukuen, Tamaki Nakanishi, Satsuki Yukino, Kikuko Inoue, Yuuji Ueda, Yui Horie, Takehito Koyasu, Yukari Tamura
Director: Kiyoko Sayama

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, mature themes)
Run Time: 04h:57m:49s
Release Date: April 02, 2002
Genre: anime


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

DVD Review

Note: This is a Region 3 release.

For those with multi-region capability, we present our first review from Singapore-based Odex Private Limited. Pretear (Shin Shirayuki Hime Densetsu Pretear aka New Legend of Snow White Pretear), is a magical girl adventure based on the manga by Junichi Sato (Magic User's Club) and Kaori Naruse originally published in Asuka. This dual disc collection contains the entire thirteen episode series.

Deep in the heart of the Leafe woods, a blood red snow begins to fall, sucking the life out of everything it touches. Evil has been unleashed, as the Disaster Queen Feryl has escaped captivity, and is now out to capture all the Leafe—the life essence—to exact her revenge on the world. She had been imprisoned for 16 years by a group of guardians known as the Leafe Knights, and they are all that now stand in her way. In order to combat this creature of darkness and her legions of monster worms, they must find the new Prétear, who when merged with a Leafe Knight can overcome the queen.

Himeno is an average, but clutzy school girl, who has recently moved into the mansion of her new stepmother, after her father remarried. Her father is a famous novelist, more prone to the bottle than the pen these past years, but new wife Natsue is enamoured with him, and the feeling is mutual. Her daughters, however, are less than enthusiastic about their new family members—Mayune wants nothing better than to trap Himeno in her constant practical jokes, and the sullen Mawata still mourns her lost father's attentions. Himeno is trying to fit in, but isn't suited to a life as an aristocrat, becoming the brunt of gossip about her new family, who own the entire town, and which has now adopted her father's last name as a result. While rushing off to school, she literally runs into Hayate, the leader of the Leafe Knights, who recognizes her as the Prétear. Hayate is reluctant to engage a new Prétear, as issues from the past haunt his memory, but without the girl, the knights stand no chance of defeating the Leafe-consuming monster worms who are beginning to make their presence known.

After much apprehension, Himeno teams up with the Leafe Knights, each of which has his own power domain: Hayate, the brooding Wind Knight; Sasame, the compassionate Knight of Sound; Kei, the very feminine, lazy and narcissistic Knight of Light, and Go, the Knight of Fire, who more often than not is charged with keeping the young Leafe Knights, Shin (Plants), Hajime (Water) and Hanne (Ice) in line. By combining with one of the knights, Himeno becomes the Prétear, a powerful warrior who uses the spirit of the knights as her shield and weapons.

Being Prétear is no easy task, especially when the job is thrust upon an unsuspecting young girl, but Himeno's initial reluctance transforms into a deep determination to do her best to perform her duties in defense of the world. With each opponent she is further tested, but each victory brings her one step closer to a confrontation with Queen Feryl. As the day approaches, she has many questions about the origins of the Disaster Queen, and her own role as Prétear. There is a secret that has not been revealed, and it is one that could change the course of destiny.

Prétear was a very enjoyable series, founded on good characterizations and an interesting and involving plot. There are nods to classic fairy tales, such as the title's Snow White and Cinderella (in the evil step sisters), but they don't form significant portions of the story. The animation is nice, with softly colored backgrounds, and good character design by Akemi Kobayashi. Utilizing a tried and true formula, there is enough difference to keep it engaging. While containing a lot of the usual magical girl traits—transformation sequences, the lack of confidence from the main character, monster of the week—it manages to keep the pacing up so it doesn't seem like it's retreading the same thing over and over again. There is enough development to give each member of the cast their personality, but the series is short enough that there is no real filler to be found. Even the transforming sequences have variety, as there are different looks and attacks for each of the knights Himeno combines with. The storyline progresses nicely, has a few good twists and turns, and builds to a satisfying climax before unexpectedly ending on an upbeat note. Overall, this was fun to watch, and I especially like having the series available in its entirety in one release.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Image quality is very impressive. Colors are presented well, capturing the wide spectral hue used in the show, with little sign of compression issues to be found. Black levels are solid and clean, aliasing extremely minimal, and a bit of interlacing about the only real issue. This easily rivals the better looking R1 releases.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japaneseno


Audio Transfer Review: Japanese stereo is the only language option. The track is clean with good definition and a smooth sound, and does a good job of utilizing the soundstage. Frequency coverage is adequate and natural, but doesn't over-emphasize the low end. There was a trace of distortion present in a couple of places, but nothing major.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Chinese with remote access
Packaging: Amaray Double
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: There are no supplements included. The series comes in a clear case with a double sided, full color cover. The title is written in Chinese on the spine.

The menu is nicely animated, and layout is straightforward and easy to navigate. Removable English and Chinese subtitles are included.

The only area of this release where the quality level could be improved is in the subtitles, which have a number of grammatical errors, primarily when dealing with transitional verbs, where the tense is incorrect. This means there are a few places that may require one to think about what is being said in order to grasp the intended meaning.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Prétear combines the right elements from the magical girl genre to create a fun and entertaining series, and the best part is having it all in one release. The presentation quality is extremely good, and aside from some issues with the subtitles, is easily on par with better Region One releases. For those who have the ability to view Region Three discs and don't need a dub, I can give this one a recommendation, and am looking forward to more of what Odex has to offer.

 


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