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volume 3 issue 1

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 6
Anime Briefs 7
Reviews 8
Web Showcase 15
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INFO FILE
Title:
NieA under Seven Vol.3: Sayonara Blues
Format:
Bilingual DVD
75 minutes
Production:
Takuya Sato
yoshitoshi ABe
NieA Project
Pioneer
New Generation Pictures
Comments:
Slow and calm.
Overall Rating:
83%

Animefringe Reviews:
NieA under Seven Vol.3: Sayonara Blues
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

What happens when friends have a gross misunderstanding? They normally argue and fight over petty things before coming to a mutual understanding. At least that's how things normally are.

All the stress that has been building up since the go-con finally bubbles to the surface as Mayuko goes postal on NieA and tells her exactly what she thinks of her. The shame is that NieA doesn't take it as personally as Mayuko thought she would. NieA ends up going about her days as she normally would while Mayuko slips into a nasty depression brought on by the guilt wrought from her blow-up.

Genzo shows up one day to bring Mayuko some more rice and the two reminisce about their childhood. Or rather, Genzo does at least. It seems Genzo was quite the kid to be bullied and Mayuko was the one friend that he had long ago. Mayuko used to tell Genzo stories and even ended up keeping a journal of them. Only, she didn't remember this until now.

All the while, the financial woes of the Enohana Bath House seem to be casting a rather dark shadow over the happy-go-lucky characters that are still oblivious as to what could happen in the future. What would Mayuko do if she had to find a new place to live? It's a rather interesting thought, but figuring out where NieA would end up is an even stranger one.

Character-wise, these episodes lack any sign of the one character that I find the most interesting, and that is the UFO chaser Chiaki. Without her, Mayuko ends up being more reserved through these episodes. These calm moments do have some rather sudden outbreaks of slapstick comedy thrown in that will crack a smile even in the stiffest of viewers, because the gags can be seen coming from a mile away.

The versatility of the English cast does shine through in these moments though. Tricia Dickson's ability to be quiet and reserved one moment and screaming for help the next is so convincing that it shows how much the actress has improved since the first volume. The ability to make characters believable is only half of a performance, the other is to make the viewer feel for the character they are watching. If you didn't care what happened to Mayuko up to this point, then these episodes might just change your mind.

This DVD is nearly identical to the two that have come before it. The menus are still as fun to sit and watch because of the cute movements of the characters, and the menu transitions and the linear notes are still as informative as ever. What is new to this volume's extras is a set of Japanese TV commercials for the series. These basically show a bunch of clothes hanging on a clothesline with background music. There aren't any cool scenes from the series to be found here, and it almost makes me wonder if this would have actually made people want to tune in to see this series. If I had of seen a bunch of clothes and some person whistling, I would have thought this was a commercial for Tide with Bleach.

Calm and slow. That's the only way to describe this volume. Call it the calm before the storm, because the next volume might not end on a happy note.

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