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Pioneer Entertainment presents
Mahoromatic #3: A Warrior's Fate (2003)

"I have only a limited time remaining to me, and now that an enemy has come for me, I can't help but think maybe I should leave this house and Suguru."
- Mahoro (Ayako Kawasumi)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: May 26, 2003

Stars: Ayako Kawasumi, Fujiko Takimoto, Keiichi Noda, Yumi Takada, Yumi Kikuchi, Manabi Mizuno, Asami Sanada
Other Stars: Bobby Harris, David Lucas, Ellen Watkinson, Lex Lang, Michael McConn, midge Mayes, Ron Allen, Tina Dixon, Wendee Lee, Dave Lelyveld, David Umansky, Julie Pickering, Lia Sargent, Michelle Ruff
Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (16+ for nudity, mature situations, violence)
Run Time: 01h:36m:41s
Release Date: May 27, 2003
UPC: 013023189997
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-AA C+

DVD Review

Pioneer brings the third and final installment of Gainax's Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden, with another four episodes to conclude the first season, as the series shifts to a more serious tone.

Mahoro is a combat android, in fact, the ultimate fighting weapon, brought to life nine years ago to combat an alien race. However, she only has a year to live, and has decided to retire, applying for the job of live-in maid for the orphaned Suguru Misato, who is attending junior high school. Mahoro is exemplary in her new role, dazzling Suguru and his friends with her culinary expertise, but also infuriating his teacher, Miss Saori Shikijo, who has an unhealthy attraction to her young student. While trying to maintain a strictly business-like relationship with his pretty young maid, Suguru can't help but manifest impure thoughts about the girl, and Mahoro secretly has feelings for her employer, but knows her time left is limited, and as of this installment, is contemplating leaving the household.

Mahoro's past is a brutal one, and one of her rivals from Saint has reappeared, looking to challenge the android to a final test of strength. Ryuga, posing as a teacher, is determined to prove his worth as a warrior, and Mahoro and her trusty companion Slash realise that a showdown is inevitable. However, before she faces what may well be her end in battle, Mahoro intends to enjoy the simple pleasures of being human, which means asking Suguru, much to his amazement, out on a date. This is all the more auspicious as he has never been on a date before, and his imagination is sent reeling with the prospects of what could happen. When Shikijo catches wind of the date, she is hell bent to interfere, no matter what the costs, and it is about to be an eventful evening. Of course, this also entails the obligatory hot springs segment, where Mahoro, despite being the world's ultimate fighting tool, is reminded that there are some areas where she doesn't measure up.

The concluding three episodes cover her encounter with Ryuga, and also expand on her origins and past life, tying up many loose ends. These are understandably less comic in their execution, building the tension as the two warriors face off.

The first season stands well enough on its own, but there is a definite setup for the next. There is copious humor, much of the ecchi variety, lots of fanservice, action, and a decent story. The characters are all likeable (other than perhaps Miss Shijiko, who provides the over-the-top comic sidekick/rival) and the chemistry created is palpable. Kazuhiro Takamura's character designs, and the great looking artwork make this all the more enjoyable to watch. In the end, Mahoromatic is a very entertaining series, starting off as a character piece focused on Suguru and Mahoro, adding in a nice collection of odd side characters, while also carrying a sci-fi subplot which winds its way into the final section of the season.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Mahoromatic is presented in a gorgeous anamorphic transfer. Colors are rich and black levels deep. Technical flaws, aside from an extremely minimal amount of aliasing, are virtually nonexistent, with nothing that distracts from the viewing experience.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: Available in original Japanese and a Bang Zoom! English dub, Mahoromatic has a nice stereo soundtrack, with a good use of directionality, and a full enveloping atmosphere. Dialogue is clear and also makes use of the soundstage. Neither track exhibited any technical deficiencies.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Patlabor WXIII, Gatekeepers 21, Lupin the 3rd, Chobits, Ai Yori Aoshi, Sugar
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Voice actor "commentary"
  2. Art gallery
  3. Reversable cover
Extras Review: Extras include a 6m:14 interview with Japanese voice actors Ayako Kawasumi (Mahoro) and Fujiko Takimoto (Suguru), a second promo trailer, and an 11-image art gallery. The singing sequences found throughout the series are compiled as an easter egg available from the extras menu.

The Pioneer trailer reel includes Patlabor WXIII, Gatekeepers 21, Lupin the 3rd, Chobits, Ai Yori Aoshi and Sugar.

Packaged extras include a reversable cover, a mini poster on the insert, and the limited pack-in (indicated by a front cover sticker and the weight of the disc) includes seven more pages of cling outfits for the paper Mahoro and Shikijo dolls included with the first two discs, including swimwear, casual attire and Shikijo's dominatrix uniform. Get 'em while you can.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

While it may not be the deepest show to make its way across the Pacific, Mahoromatic is a fun little character driven series, with a well rounded story, lots of comedy, action and plenty of fanservice. The release of the first season is that much better for being complete in only three discs, with no sacrifice in video or audio quality, and with one of the more novel pack-in limited extras to come along in a while. Bring on season two!


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