Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Kaleido Star New Wings - A Tale of Two Rivals |
Actors: Jason Douglas, Ryō Hirohashi, Chinami Nishimura, Akeno Watanabe, Hiro Shimono
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
The world of Kaleido Star continues to turn in this new series set under anime's favorite big-top! The circus drama continues with more jealous divas, tempermental artists, and dangerous stunts!
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Tries my patience at times but overall still very enjoyable
khryoleoz | 03/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This volume has been given by far the most gorgeous cover art I've seen yet on any DVD title. I'm a big fan of this wonderful and all-time favorite heroine of mine, and this cover just glows with a most beautiful character design. Very nice work.
We continue the season with a batch of 4 episodes, two progressing the underlying plot, and two side stories. I have a bit of mixed feelings concerning the former pair, not because they were bad but my enjoyment level drops a tad because of what Sora is further put through. The opening episode brings some interesting background on May, which helps us understand her motivations, though fails to make us like her more or dislike her less. We learn she's a talented figure skater who gave up skating in pursuit of Layla. In her hope to win over Leon, she demonstrates in front of the core cast her skating prowess. While she performs very well, Leon remains unmoved but the whole thing inspires a change in the Dracula script, which will now be on ice. This sets off another challenge to compete in skating, but this time initiated by Sora, to win the position of Leon's partner. Throughout all this, May's continued ill-treatment of Sora remains just simply distasteful, so much that I'd like for Sora to really put May in her place. But instead, we get Sora's utter defeat though not by the merits of either of them, but by Leon's sheer misguided choice of May over Sora. The choice is odd, as even he thinks to himself that Sora has that special something. But whatever his reason was, May thus lands the leading role of Mina Murray, and Sora takes it all with such grace and good sport, for the sake of putting on a good show.
Layla finally reappears when Sora is called in to perform with her in her new Broadway show. Their meeting in NY reveals much of Sora's insecurities, as she breaks down at the sight of Layla. May apparently becomes aware of where Sora was summoned to and not only follows her, but again tries to usurp a role from Sora. Layla's reaction to all this is interesting. Fully aware of what's going on, she enlists both of them in her show, which ignites Sora's competitive drive once more as Layla had calculated. The two perform with Layla on stage, but only to find themselves still too green and completely outshone and overshadowed by the one Layla Hamilton. The episode ends with another interesting revelation, as we learn that even though Layla has moved on away from Kaleido Stage, she can still see Fool. It's obvious that something is being cooked up here and the stage is being set for something spectacular.
The more enjoyable pair of episodes are certainly the side stories. They explore Rosetta, who is rushing things a bit to become a competent trapeze artist, and Marion, whom herself hides the fact that she enjoys the trampoline because of a misunderstanding of how her father feels about it. Though these episodes veer away from the main plot a little, they're not inconsequential tangents as they return development towards Sora. This is even more evident with the Marion episode, on which Sora gets the first glimpse of the kind of stage she is truly after. This dream will become firmly established much later on, but not until she is first crushed by the pressures of a dark and savage side of the stage that she has yet to encounter.
Having seen the series already from beginning to end, I have an awareness of how things will turn out and therefore can appreciate where this season is going and how it is being developed. But even if I haven't, there are many predictable elements being used so that I have some clue as to how things will turn out, how bitter rivalries and even sour relationships will be transformed, and our characters will make certain choices that elevate and intensify the drama. However, because certain impressions (concentrated around May and Leon) are left upon me that I can't just ignore, I must admit that this particular volume has a few things in it that makes it a chore to watch. As part of a larger story that has completely won me over, I have an fine appreciation for all of it. But there were much more effective ways to write in the May and Leon characters as iron that sharpens Sora. And the way they've been presented leaves much to be desired, affecting my enjoyment quite profoundly. So, I must rate this volume down a notch. I wish Junichi Sato could have been more involved in this second season."