Vandread

Well, as I mentioned before, something (the impending non-availability, or was it the bustlines?) posessed me to order the Vandred 3-disk Ultimate DVD Collection recently. It got in a few days ago, and after briefly considering holding off until I was in Dallas, I went “Nah!” and loaded that sucker up. (I’m now through 2/3 of the combined series).

I immediately got highly annoyed. Something about it and the DVD player in my main computer don’t get along. I finally got the first disk to play after several tries and a reboot. The next night, I was unable to get the 2nd disk to play at all, except by putting in the secondary computer and mapping that drive to the first system. It locked up twice, and after the second time, I said to hell with it, and actually put the stupid thing in a real DVD player (everyone else was in bed by then, so I had the living room to myself.) Aside from those technical glitches, I hate the disk holders. They don’t deserve to be called that; if you order this set, immediately remove all three disks and put them in some decent crystal cases or something. Extras are pretty sparse, of course. The first disk had a the original Japanese trailer, about five minutes long. (Unsubbed). The second disk had some previews, and the third, I hope will have a clean OP & ED from the first series. They were far, far superior to those for The Second Stage, both in art/animation, and music. Frankly, the ED images push into ecchi; Jura’s aureolae are clearly visable, and the nipples of all three girls look like they’re merely covered in glossy paint.

As for the show itself, if they were setting out to duplicate many of the aspects of Martian Successor Nadesico (as per Steven), I’d say they did a bang-up job of it. It’s got that same “fun” feeling to it, only moreso, and yet it’s still dramatic when it needs to be. The best scene on the first two disks, IMHO was when Bart stepped onto the bridge after Shirley died. I’d been thinking about the doll being incomplete, and that Bart had left behind the missing part. Then he steps out, and everyone gasps…

I can’t help but think, considering the sexual pressures of single-sex planets and the obvious, er, outlets and practices that would have arisen on Tarak and Mearle, that the first time for Dita and Hibiki is going to be… interesting. They could end up trying out just about every possible way to (remainder of this speculation deleted to keep the blog only moderately family-unfriendly.) And the discussion as they try to figure it out would be hilarious, especially as ditzy as she is. This is a girl who decided to pull down Hibiki’s pants out of curiosity when she heard two of the other girls whispering that men had this tube thing… Not that Hibiki’s much better; in the first episode, he pokes one of the girls in her rather spacious posterior, thinking “I wonder what they keep in here?”
Now (by end series 2, ep. 2) we’ve got a second loli to spice things up, and she’s got the hots for Hibiki too. Furthermore, she obviously knows more about what to do with a guy than any of the other females on board the Nirvana, as she provokes the first nosebleed (aside from the chibi scene in the ED) in the entire series. There’s not a lot of fanservice in this show, but considering the themes and compromising positions the ladies ended up in during combines, the animators restrained themselves admirably with that old schtick.

Jura’s not far behind on the learning curve though, as it seems she’s been cribbing from the doctor’s notes. “Hey, we’re only out here protecting this planet….alone… just the two of us….let’s make a baby the old-fashioned way!” Considering how the Paksis reacts to emotional states, I have to wonder what the effect would have been if Hibiki had agreed. Nirvana might have been more than just a ship’s name….

Well, it’s late and I have to run to bed. Sadly, without Jura (although BC might be my favorite), so I’ll just stop here and maybe do a bigger write-up much later.

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8 Responses to Vandread

  1. Andrew F. says:

    It sounds like your DVD set is a bootleg. Aside from the evident poor authoring and crappy packaging, it’s a three-disc collection of a 26-episode series (or two 13-episode series, whatever). The lowest I’ve ever seen a legit R1 company go for a series of that length is four discs for each season of Slayers, and that was pushing the standard for acceptable video quality on a licensed DVD. That, and you got it off eBay, where 99% of the anime listed is bootlegged.

    You seem to belong to the “support the creators” camp (of which I am myself a member), so I thought you might want to know.

  2. Ubu Roi says:

    Damnnation. You are probably right. I thought it odd that the ebay listing said nothing about who the R1 importer was, but I put it down to the store being too lazy to do a fully detailed listing. There’s a legit 3 pack from Bandai, but when I pull it up on Amazon, it’s an actual boxed set, whereas this is a fold out that reminds me more of a game pack–only crappier. Color me naive, but it didn’t occur to me that something advertised — even on Ebay — would so blatently be bootleg, but the lack of any company’s trademark on the package cinches it.

    If I’d been expecting it, I think this would have given it away, right here:

    Item Specifics – DVDs
    Region Code: –
    Rating: –
    Genre: Animation
    Display Format: —
    Condition: New

    I detest being made a fool of.

  3. Ubu Roi says:

    Ok, still poking around on Ebay. I’m doubly pissed now.

    Here is a listing for the same item, at about the same price I bought it. (Different store though). I’m not putting the actual listing I purchased up, because it’s got a name I don’t want linked to “Ubu Roi” (because it’s a public alias of mine — anyone confused about this should check Houblog).

    And here is the same item, different cover, twenty dollars cheaper, and just as likely to be bootleg. I guarandamntee that listing wasn’t there when I bought mine, nor were all the $9.99 copies I see now — there were a few dozen 29.99 copies though.

    OH FSCK!!!! It’s a lock: Bootleg as hell. I just went back to my original listing where I purchased it and looked through a third time. There’s a scrolling list of other titles they sell that I paid no mind to before, and almost overlooked this time.

    Until I saw Black Lagoon pass by. That has JUST been licensed by Geneon, no way in hell it’s legitimately out.

    AVOID THIS EBAY RETAILER. SELLS BOOTLEG PRODUCT.

    I really, really detest being made a fool of. The only damn reason I bought this version was because Robert was out of the last two DVD’s from the special.. Looking under the regular listing now, I see he did have the whole series available for $94.00 though. I didn’t know that, but I didn’t look either; I remembered it was on sale cheap, so I was in bargain-hunting mode–didn’t even think of looking for it there, and checked Ebay on what I thought was an off-chance of some other store having it.

    Some lessons are expensive in money. Others have different costs….

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  5. As Andrew says, 4 DVDs for 24-26 episodes is about as dense as it ever gets. “Fruits Basket” was 4 DVDs; each of the two half-seasons of “Those who hunt elves” was 2 DVDs (so total 4). The El Hazard TV series was 4 DVDs, and as Andrew mentioned, each of the Slayers seasons was released on 4 DVDs.

    The first and second half-seasons of Vandread are separate licenses; there’s no way that a legitimate release would include episodes from both on a single disc. Sometimes there are omnibus releases of multipart series, but even then they don’t mix episodes from separate licenses on a single DVD.

  6. There’s a legit 3 pack from Bandai

    I’m confused here. Bandai doesn’t have the license; it’s Geneon (Pioneer). And Geneon’s site doesn’t list any 3-pack. They list 4 DVDs for each of the two half-seasons (8 total), which is what I have. If you actually saw a listing of a 3-pack which claimed to be from Bandai, then the lister was lying. I bet that was the same bootleg you got.

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