Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The World of Narue Collection|
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
In this charming sci-fi romantic comedy, Narue is an adorable schoolgirl with a secret: She's really a superpowered alien! But growing up is never easy, and our spunky heroine faces androids, alien invaders, and the most t... more »
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Great Box set for fun show
Joe H | California USA | 05/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a nutshell, definitely worth it. This became one of my favorite shows when I first saw it, and I was taken by surprise at how well CPM actually treated this series with their box set. The 4-DVD set is extremely well done, with tons of extras (including actors commentaries, directors commentaries all subtitled), and contains everything you'd need. Also, as someone who really hates English dubs, I was surprised at the quality of the dub, especially with the leads.For those who don't know the show or manga series, it's a great gentle romantic love comedy that tries to be as real as possible, given the fact that the girl (Narue) is half-ailen. The characters though, are made to be like real people, not characatures, making the show much more enjoyable.14yr-old Narue Nanase is half-alien, half-human. Her human mom died when she was little, and she lives alone in a run-down apartment with her (alien) dad, who came to Earth 14 years beforehand as an observer. Because Narue knows she's half alien, she's always kept to herself, and never made any friends. Others in class don't believe she's an alien, and mock her. Though she knows her father was born in space, Narue loves the Earth, and wants to stay (as to her, Earth is home) and hates it when the Galaxy Federation pesters her to go to school in space, because she's half-human too. But not just the Galaxy Federation want her to leave: there's an alien terrorist group that will use violence to get them to leave, and that causes trouble. Thankfully the one thing Narue can do is teleport with the help of a special headband connected to an orbiting ship. With Narue and her dad being very poor (as now the dad has taken a normal Earth construction job) Narue is responsible, and very, very thrifty. Knowing she's half-alien, she keeps to herself, and has no friends.Kazu Izuka: the same age as Narue, he goes to the same school. Friendly, average guy, not popular, but not shunned either. A bit of an otaku (anime fan) but not overboard. When Narue saves him from an alien terrorist, he instantly falls for her, and doesn't care that she's half alien (he's just happy he has a girlfriend). Basically an easygoing, honest guy.Hajime Yagi: a girl in Narue's class who is a total Sci-Fi nut (aka, a walking X-Files). She can't stand it that Narue claims to be an alien, because she insists aliens have tenticles and look like the pictures in her book. But she's not bad, as you'll later discover.. a latch-key kid, she doesn't have any friends either, except to absorb herself in her books. A great character.Maruo: Kazu's best friend, and Yagi's neighbor. He's always liked Yagi, though Yagi doesn't notice (to her, Maruo's just a childhood friend and neighbor).Kanaka Nanase: Narue's younger "older sister. 100% alien (same dad, different mom), Kanaka would be 12 years older than Narue, except that when she travelled to earth she didn't age as time on Earth did, so she arrives still being 12 years old, making her younger even though she's an "older sister". Sometimes can be bratty, but deep down, a nice person.There are plenty of other characters as well that I won't go into here (including a starship in love), but I hope the above give you an idea of the setting of the show.However you should know that the series doesn't focus so much on the sci-fi angle, but rather the characters themselves, and the relationship between them -- making it nicely refreshing. Kazu-chan is the first boyfriend (or friend for that matter) Narue's ever had, and Narue is the first girlfriend Kazu's ever had.Nothing groundbreaking in this show, but it's just a nice, enjoyable time. There's just something about the characters and the gentle humor that make me enjoy watching this over and over (everything from the way Kazu's mom and older sister act when Kazu brings Narue to his house, to the "first date" episode -- where things don't follow the tired "fall apart" route other series will take.Just a very nice show, well done all around. You should know there are a few panty shots (fan service) but they're brief (no pun intended) and do NOT reflect the tone of the story (it's like they were almost obligatory). A nice, fun little romantic love comedy for everyone, packaged extremely well by CPM. Take a chance on this one, you'll like it."
A direct hit to your heart--well, almost.
Jonathon Turner | Highland Park, NJ USA | 12/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of 2004's biggest surprises was this charming 12-episode TV series, THE WORLD OF NARUE. Gorgeously animated and populated with a very believable cast of characters, the show is a classic "boy meets girl" story with many twists and elements thrown in for good measure. There are even pop culture references--which include (in the English version at least) a hilarious spoof on Arnold Schwarzenegger!
Narue Nanase is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives with her father in a rundown apartment. She's not normal, however; it takes us about three-quarters of the way through the first episode for us to realize that she is, in fact, an alien from outer space. When Narue rescues a young boy her age, nerdy yet sweet Kazuto Iizuka (who, by the way, is very similar to Jean in NADIA: THE SECRET OF BLUE WATER), it sparks the beginning of a beautiful relationship and, naturally, the expected obstacles that occasionally threaten them.
Like most classic Anime shows, it's the character development that gives THE WORLD OF NARUE its heart and soul. Narue and Kazuto are both very likeable and pleasant protagonists, and if their puppy love sometimes comes across as a tad too saccharine, the well-rounded supporting cast somehow prevents the show from falling into treacly territory. There's Masaki Maruo, Kazu's zany (and outrageously funny) best friend, who doesn't know a thing or two about dealing with the opposite sex yet has his heart in the right place. And then we have Kanaka Nanase, Narue's "younger, older" sister who possesses a nasty kick and an occasionally mischievous nature, yet her outgoing friendliness quickly wins our hearts.
My favorite of the supporting cast, though, has to be Hajime Yagi, a self-proclaimed expert on UFOs who changes a lot more than the rest of the cast does. When we first meet Yagi, she comes across as a sullen, sulky young girl who doesn't believe Narue is really an alien and tries to expose her as a fraud. She also tends to be adversarial around Maruo when he tries to reach out to her. But we learn later that this is all a mask to cover her insecurity and loneliness, and, as the show progresses, Yagi eventually changes her attitude and becomes friends with Narue.
As colorful as the cast is, however, THE WORLD OF NARUE is, alas, far from a perfect series. The problem does not lie in the production values, which are stunning and colorful, but rather, in the story structure. The concept of an alien learning how to deal with ordinary situations in real-life is one that offers a lot of potential and interest for fans. Sadly, one of NARUE's primary shortcomings is its failure to delve more deeply into the idea. Instead, it serves to give fans exactly what they demand from usual Anime shows--introductory sequences for the characters that serve over five episodes, occasional story arcs, and filler fare.
And while many of these side stories are very entertaining, one of them--which involves Narue trying to win Kazu back from a bitchy voice actress at a cosplay contest--is a complete waste. Here in this episode, Kazu, usually a caring and considerate fellow, suddenly becomes a jerk and ditches Narue in favor of getting an autograph from the aforementioned voice actress. Not only is this story bizarrely out of character, it's poorly written and sloppily executed--every bit as bad as those unbearable island and African episodes from NADIA. A better idea would have been to do a heartwarming Christmas episode.
That isn't to say that THE WORLD OF NARUE is worthless; in fact, it's absolutely delightful as a series, but what would have elevated this show to classic status might be an even deeper analysis of the ups and downs of life as told from an outsider's point of view. And it's disappointing that a show as entertaining as this could make the unfortunate mistake of playing it safe rather than taking risks.
For Central Park Media's part, though, I have nothing but compliments for their presentation of this series. The video quality is above average, and the audio tracks are very well mixed. The show is laid out over four discs, each of which is packed with extras, including a lengthy documentary on the Big Apple Voice Acting Idol Contest, where the champion, a talented young actress by the name of Michele Knotz, got the role of Hajime Yagi. Her performance, by the way, is my absolute favorite of the English version; she really does bring out Yagi's troubled yet sympathetic qualities and projects a lot of energy into the role. If this bravura example of voice acting is any indication, Knotz could very well be on her way to becoming a talented actress in the future.
Speaking of the dub, I have to say that this is one of Central Park Media's finest efforts so far, ranking up there with my favorites from them such as LODOSS WAR, SLAYERS, and ANIMATION RUNNER KUROMI. Veronica Taylor is delightfully sweet and adorable as Narue, Jimmy Zoppi is outrageously nutty as Maruo, and Rachel Lillis delivers yet another bang-up performance as Kanaka. Jamie McGonnigal's Kazu rubbed my ears the wrong way upon my first listen (he sounded way different from what I was expecting), but after a while he grew on me. Rounding out the cast are some more multi-talented performers, including Lisa Ortiz (in two hilariously villainous roles!), Angora Deb, Carol Jacobanis, and Dan Green. But as mentioned, it's Knotz's Yagi who takes the cake. She really is that good.
While THE WORLD OF NARUE falls short of classic status (and would have been better off without that stupid cosplay episode), there is no denying that the show has an enormous charm, with lovable characters and irresistible entertainment (not to mention occasional fan service) throughout. In short, it's a direct hit to your heart!"
Good, ...But Not "Full Price" Good.
Keith A. Johnson | Puget Sound | 03/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
[Reposted. I wanted to bump up my star rating from 3 to 4.]
"The World of Narue" is entertaining. There isn't really any story arc between any of the 12 episodes. Mostly it's about a boy and a girl in their early teens who find friendship with each other. The girl, Narue, just happens to be half alien, or "from outer space!" as they say in the series.
The series comes close to addressing some issues that kids in their teens come up against. Things like being the "unpopular" ones, and finding friendship where they least expected it. One girl, Yagi, is initially on a mission to prove that Narue is 'not' an alien. The other kids call Yagi "Sci Fi" because she's obsessed with UFO's and the like. Yagi and Narue later become fast friends, though we could easily have guessed that would happen.
I bought my DVDs for $30. I was unaware that the full price was $72. I would not have spent the $72 for it. "The World of Narue" is worth the $30 at least. I see Amazon has used ones for around $19. Narue is entertaining enough to buy for that price.