Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie Seasons 3 4 |
The OVA Collection
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga
Studio: Funimation Prod Inc Release Date: 08/11/2009 Run time: 190 minutes
Call me bias but I enjoy UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie and it's g
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 08/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 2002, "UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie" has been a series that has generated its fandom with its magical girl, harem genre storyline.
The anime series is based on a manga by mangaka group Kaishaku (Hitoshi Ota and Terumasa Shichinohe) who have created manga series "Steel Angel Kurumi", "Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto", "Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora" and several other titles. The manga was published by Square Enix from 2002-2007 on Monthly Shonen Gangan and has spawned a first and second season which were 12 episodes long, a two episode OAV, season three (six episodes) and season four (two episodes).
Both season three and four were released as multiple volumes through ADV Films back in 2007. But the the rights to the series has been transferred to FUNimation Entertainment and thus the third and fourth seasons will now be available on two DVD's via a OVA collection and will be released on August 11, 2004.
The main storyline of "UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE" takes place on a future Earth where interplanetary travel and alien encounters are commonplace. The story focuses on high school student named Kazuto Tokino who runs a bath house with his sister while his parents live in the U.S. Life was going quite well for the teenager until a UFO crashed into the bath house. Kazuto was near death until Valkyrie (who piloted the aircraft) gave up part of her soul to keep Kazuto alive. By doing this, the adult Valkyrie has been turned into a younger version.
And because now they share this special bond, Kazuto and Valkyrie are close (and it looks weird for a teenager to be with a young girl all the time). And throughout the first season, ultramaidens have attempted to bring Valkyrie back home to no avail. With the first two seasons, the Valkyrie and other princesses now residing on Earth work together to take on a nemesis but also focusing on the growing relationship between Kazuto and Val.
This time around for seasons 3 and 4, the series shifts to more character development featuring the other princesses of Valhalla and also the big wedding between Kazuto and Val.
The main characters of "UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE" are:
Valkyrie (Val) - An innocent maiden who is deeply in love with Kazuto but is often not sure if she would make a good girlfriend/future wife to Kazuto. Despite reverting back to a child, on the TV series, it is revealed that a kiss from Kazuto can make her an adult. A member of the royal family of Valhalla
Kazuto Tokino - He runs a bathhouse with his sister Rika and shares a bond with Valkyrie after his near-death experience and was given a second chance at life after Val shared half her soul with him. Now, Kazuto does his best to run the bathhouse while preparing to be a husband for Val following their customs and being a good future son-in-law.
Hydra - Val's younger sister who followed her sister to Earth because she doesn't want to be forced to get married. Similar to Valkyrie, she has crashed into a temple where a priestess named Akina (Kazuto's friend) lives and because of the trouble caused, Akina seals her power and is reverted to a child. Very brash in behavior and always at odds with Akina, who she now lives with. Like Val, a kiss can revert her back to an adult. Hydra is a member of the royal family of Valhalla.
Sanada - The chief made of the royal family of Valhalla who has catlike features. Sees herself as a protector for Valkyrie. In charge of the catgirl maids and develops a superhero persona in season 3.
Akina Nanamura - Kazuto's neighbor and childhood friend. She's also a priestess at her temple and has developed an ability to attack the supernatural and seal powers. She is secretly in love with Kazuto and has to put up with Hydra, who lives with her.
Spot - Val's pet that resembles a dog and has the ability to talk and is a veteran fighter pilot.
Chorus - One of the eight princesses of Valhalla and is known for her headgear. A sci-fi nut who has the ability to sync with technology.
Laine - One of the eight princesses of Valhalla who is affectionate to both Val and Kazuto. Has the ability to change her appearance and is quite perverted at times.
Mehm - The eldest of the eight princesses who visits the Tokino family quite often and is somewhat the head of the Royal Family.
Inarba - The serious princess who is an adjudicator of the royal family and punishes other princess if they are not fulfilling their duties and their laws. A by-the-book princess who wants to uphold Valhalla traditions.
Nesty - One of the princesses of Valhalla who hunts down pirates in space.
Pharm - A princess of Valhalla who teaches class but she also has a fetish towards women wearing eye glasses. She can be seen trying to put eyeglasses on Val while she is sleeping but is stopped by Sanada and the cat maidens.
Disc 1 consists of six OVA episodes for Season 3. This season focuses on the preparation of Kazuto and Val's marriage. Included are:
1. About the Relationship Between Girls and Glasses - Princess Pharm who may seem so innocent and smart unleashes her plan to have the girls that she teaches all to wear eye glasses (her sexual fetish) but Sanada and the cat maidens are on to her.
2. Inarba, The Goddess of Judgment - Princess Inarba is upset to see how the princess are not following their own laws and have not been representing themselves as good princesses. So, now Princess Inarba wants to punish those who are not doing their job that well.
3. The Caped Catgirl is Here - Sanada who is always there to protect Valkyrie as the chief maid of the royal family has adopted a super heroine disguise.
4. Laine, Laine, Laine - Princess Laine goes back into time to fix a problem from the past. In the process, she encounters various versions of herself.
5. Runaway Princess Valkyrie - Val is again feeling that she may not be up to being a good future wife to Kazuto. Val goes to the princess and Akina and tells them about her dilemma.
6. The Battle of the Wedding Chapel in the Sky - It's the big day (again)...the wedding of Kazuto and Val!
Disc 2 consists of two OVA episodes for Season 4. Included are:
1. Valkyrie Reunion - It's a reunion of princess from various worlds and this time it will be held on Earth.
2. Stars of Wishes, Stars of Thoughts - Akina is selected by Princess Inarba to be the priestess of an event that coincides with a star that shows up every 900 years. Despite not wanting to do it, for Kazuto's sake she goes through the training for the event.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE" season 3 and 4 were created back in 2004 and is presented in a 4:3 original aspect ratio. For the most part, the anime features a good amount of shading and cool character designs. If anything, compared to a lot of anime released now, one may feel the video quality is a bit soft at times. But the fact is that this is a OVA and thus the production designs are much more detailed and evident compared to the television series.
Both audio tracks are featured in Japanese and English stereo. For the most part, both Japanese and English vocal work are well-done but the primary difference is the dialogue. The English dialogue lends to a more American feel that includes a more mature dialogue. For example, in one scene, women are complimenting Hydra's adult look. In the Japanese dialogue, they are just complimentary of "you look great!" but in the English dialogue, the dialogue features women saying "I wish I had boobs like yours!". So, suffice to say, the English dialogue is a bit more mature and because of the nude bath house content, it does fit.
Subtitles are in English.
The special features on both discs are primarily the textless opening and ending themes and trailers for upcoming FUNimation Entertainment releases. The original commercials to the OAV's and "message from the voice actors" that were featured on the 2007 DVD releases are not included in this OVA collection.
"UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE" is an enjoyable, fun and sexy anime series. One can see this series as "Ah! My Goddess" or "El Hazard" with more women and more fan service. But for the most part, this anime series is quite fun to watch.
For those wondering if this is the same DVD that was released in 2007 (through ADV Films), the episodes are the same but the fact is that instead of multiple volumes, all episodes from season 3 and 4 are compiled onto two discs and sold for a great price. Fans of "UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE" who originally held out because of financial reasons, will feel much more at ease of finally getting all eight OVA episodes in one release.
Now the positives and negatives of "UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE". The positives of the series is that the characters are quite fun to watch and each episode is wild, crazy, fun and outright enjoyable. In fact, these episodes can still be enjoyed by people who have not seen the previous seasons since the OVA's focus on a variety of characters and situations.
It's also important to let people know that the TV MA rating is due to the bath house scenes and thus a good amount of fan service via panty shots or T&A seen through the anime series. Also, Princess Pharm is a bit more unrestrained in the OVA series, so you'll find her fetish at an all time high and you will see woman to woman kissing scenes at times.
A negative that some people have had with the series since the anime first came out is that Kazuto's dedication to Val and his love for her. Although Val is a young adult, because she gave up half her life force, her age has been reduced by half and is a young girl. And thus, in order for Kazuto to make Val into her adult form, he has to kiss young Val. Some people may feel a bit uncomfortable by this, especially a high school guy with a young fiance. If you are disturbed by the mention of this, then this anime series is definitely not for you.
I will say though that this is played down much less for the OVA series and something significant does happen at the end of season 3, episode 6 that changes the dynamics of the show, especially when it comes to Kazuto and Val's relationship. Or primarily, what happens to Val after that episode.
But for the most part, I have enjoyed the series since the first episode of season one and it's awesome to watch the OVA series and see storylines developed for the other characters. Again, you don't really need to watch the previous seasons to enjoy the OVA series but it does help learn the backstory of why Kazuto and Val are a couple and why the other princess from Valhalla are residing on Earth.
But if you have watched "UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE" before or have been curious about the the characters since the TV series, "UFO ULTRAMAIDEN VALKYRIE: THE OVA COLLECTION" is a fun, crazy, sexy and entertaining!"
A Little Misleading
T. Flood | West Coast | 09/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoyed the first two seasons this is a good addition. The story continues, the other princesses are introduced, and Kazuto and Valkyrie still have the drama as before. Miss Sanada has a pretty funny episode. And though only seconds long, the board games that Valkyrie, Laine, and Chorus play are hilarious.
Depending on your patience, "Val-Q" may be pushing it a bit.
What is disappointing is the amount of content of this set. If the full description wasn't read and no knowledge of the prior releases of these episodes is known, one wonders how two 12 episode seasons fit into a single DVD case. Yes there are 14mm DVD cases that hold 6 discs, it is an engineering marvel, but they are heavy when full and, at this time, are only black in color not clear.
This set comes with 2 DVDs. The first disc is the six episode Season 3. The second disc contains the two episode "Season 4" OVA's. They are all 22 minute episodes.
With a price that is close to the prior two seasons, whether full price, discounted, or used, one can't help but feel ripped off with the amount of content this set provides.
Cost wise, it may be advisable to just find the liquidated prior releases or used copies of these episodes.
Another nuisance is that you cannot fast forward, skip, or goto the main menu when starting the disc. These features are all disabled and you have to sit through all of the production logos and a preview.
Story and quality are as good as before."
A Step In The Right Direction
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 07/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to strange anime names, it's tough to think of a more unique entry off hand than "UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie". However, once the curiosity generated from the title itself wears off, there is quite a tale to be told. Like most of my forays into long-running franchises, I picked perhaps the user-unfriendliest point to jump into the series with this, the Seasons 3 & 4 collection but more on that later.
A former ADV Films property, this show is released across a two-disc set that Funimation is calling, "The OVA Collection" although technically it is the six episodes of the third season on disc one and two OVAs that made up the fourth season on the second disc. The two dvds are packaged within a standard-size DVD clamshell case and come in at a total runtime of 201 minutes.
The show wears a very appropriate TV MA (17+) rating due to animated nudity and sheer statutory-silliness over violence, gore, or explicit sexual situations (although some of the jokes could be interpreted as slightly off color to sensitive viewers).
Language options are standard sub & dub, which means the original Japanese dialog is an option as is an English dub track (both presented in stereo). Naturally English subtitles are available with either language selection.
Extras are pretty slim and include just textless songs and a crop of Funimation trailers on the second dvd.
The story, which seems to solicit sexual-natured hi-jinx in its summaries, is actually a bit deeper than the surface antics imply. Sure there are moments when the naked Princess Valkyrie literally goes through puberty in her reoccurring transformation sequence and there is no shortage of panty peaks, coed bathhouse soaks, and junior-high inspired dialog, the truth is there are fragments of substance to be found if you know where to look.
Just so we're all on the same page here, let's take a look at the premise thus far. Set on Earth in the undisclosed future, interplanetary commerce is normal and oftentimes silly-looking aliens (like a walking banana for example) peacefully cohabitate with human beings. As is the case with most anime, the viewer need be concerned with a high school student (Kazuto Tokino) who is struggling with all of the usual pressures that accompany teenage-life in addition to the stress of running his family's bathhouse when a spaceship piloted by Valkyrie, princess of the interstellar power Valhalla, crashes violently into the house. Not only does Valkyrie lack spacecraft insurance, the impact kills poor Kazuto upon contact.
Distraught over the series of events, Valkyrie manages to bring the boy back to life by sharing her with him her own life's energy. Fair enough I suppose except that by splitting her own essence up between two bodies, her physical and mental status are reduced to that of an 8-year-old.
I mentioned a sequence that in essence shows a nude Valkyrie blossoming once more into adulthood which is what happens (including temporarily restoration of her alien power) whenever she kisses Kazuto, but for the most part she is happy to re-experience childhood by Kazuto's side here on Earth.
The cast is about the oddest group of rag tags this side of the Kamo: Akina the shrine priestess (not to be confused with Akino), Princess Hydra, Valkyrie's sister, who also finds herself physically reverted to an 8-year-old form by one of Akino's seals, although unlike Valkyrie, she retains her full mental capacity, Sanada, the Valhallan Royal Family's chief catgirl maid and her entourage of catgirl converts.
In this installment, the show moves back into the arena of goofy humor in the forefront with fan service playing a close second. The gang is visited by a host of Valhallan princesses. First of all is Pharm, a teacher who immediately sets about transforming all of the girls in school into glasses wearing love-zombies.
Then Inarba visits with news that the royal house has grown weary of waiting for Valkyrie's marriage and have decided to apply a little pressure. Its not everyday that viewers are presented with the premise of an 18 year old, living in the body and mind of an 8 year old, who acts like she's about 5, getting engaged to a 17 year old. This unlikely duo has three months to prepare before its "tie-the-knot" time.
The visuals are really quite crisp throughout with beautifully colored skies and liquid-like character-model eyes. I could dare say that the animation and visual style borders on the type of stunning artwork made famous in moe titles like Air and Kannon.
The music is quite mood-appropriate as well without drawing attention to itself in some of the more delicate onscreen moments. Kenji Kawai's numbers are often upbeat and lively with enough energy to match the zany characters and their interaction.
In conclusion, this is a property that I like to think would only be possible by the Eastern method of combining long-standing ideals with very unlikely settings. If you could imagine the difficulty of blending together UFOs and alien invasions with Greek and Asian mythology, and then putting it all together into the setting of High School Musical, you may start to understand the task Valkyrie's creative teams had to face. I won't go as far as to say that it will appeal to everyone as the show's themes are more good natured and whimsical than they are scientific or moody, or even the socially conscious, but it does have a few unique strengths that are far more difficult to isolate on their own. For fans of the series looking to continue the tale, The OVA Collection is a must-buy as it makes a much-needed move away from the second season's attempt at, well, seriousness. For everyone else, you've been warned. If this sounds like your cup of tea, please, learn from my mistake and save yourself some confusion by watching the show in the proper order."