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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » D.N. Angel Volume 2 - Double Helix
D.N. Angel Volume 2 - Double Helix
ADV Films // Unrated // January 4, 2005
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted March 21, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

The second volume of D. N. Angel suffers from the dreaded 'sophomore slump' that afflicts many anime serries and isn't as entertaining as the first set of shows.  After meeting all of the characters in the first volume, this one consists of four stand alone episodes that don't move the overall plot very much.

Diasuke Niwa is a young boy who leads a fairly ordinary life.  Until he turns 14 that is.  On that day, a gene that all the males in his family possess becomes active and turns his life inside out.  This gene causes him to transform into a notorious thief, Phantom Dark, whenever he thinks about the girl he loves.   These transformations will continue until Diasuke's love is returned.  The only problem is that the object of his affections, Risa, doesn't like him, she love his alter ego, Phantom Dark.  It's Risa's twin sister, Riku who is infatuated with Diasuke, but he doesn't seem to notice her at all.

In this volume we get four more stand alone shows.  They fill in a little bit of background, but generally don't advance the plot very much.

The first episode is the most humorous episode in the series so far.  Diasuke and Risa are both punished and have to stay after school to chop cabbage.  How is Diauske going to be able to stand next to Risa for hours without turning into Dark?

The best episode on the disc comes next, with Diasuke having doubts about his mother.  He thinks that she doesn't really care about him, only Dark since she always talks about him.  This episode fills in a lot of the family's history, and talks about Diasuke's father.  An informative and touching episode.

The last half of the disc goes down hill with a pair of fairly mediocre episodes.  In Adonis in the Garden of Vows, Dark has to deal with a statue that can come to life and suck the souls out of people.  In the last episode, Dark has to steal a rare pendant that is more than it seems.

So far this show, while not being bad, hasn't lived up to my expectations.  The show isn't as funny as the premise would lead you to believe, nor is there as much action as a show about a thief should have.  When Dark steals something, it really isn't a challenge at all, even when the police are notified.  He just flies into a building and takes what he wants.  Heck, in one episode one of Diasuke's classmates sneaks into a museum after hours by climbing through an open window.  Hasn't anyone in this show heard of security.

While the show started off with the feeling that there was going to be a overriding story of Dark fighting his counterpart, this volume did nothing to advance that plot.  With Hiwatari, Dark's mortal enemy, not even making an appearance in this volume, the show feels like it is just treading water.

The animation in this show is about average, but I do have one big problem with it; the CGI animation doesn't mesh well with the traditional animation that is used for most of the series.  There are a few CGI scenes that are played over and over in the series, the overview of the city for example.  The problem is the buildings that are computer generated don't look much like the hand drawn ones.  The effect is rather jarring and distracts from the story.

The DVD:


This volume contains the four episodes of the show, and comes in a clear keepcase with a reversible cover.  There is also an insert listing the episodes and extras.

Audio:

As is becoming the standard for anime, this disc offers the choice of a 5.1 dub in English, or the original Japanese audio in stereo.  I alternated languages while watching this and found them to be about equal in quality.  I like the Japanese voices a little bit more, they just seemed to fit the characters better.  The English dub made good use of the soundstage though, with voices and sound effects panning both from left to right and front to back.  There were no audio defects worth noting.

Video:

The full frame image was pretty good over all.  There was a slightly larger than average problem with aliasing, causing fine lines to sometime shimmer and diagonals to have a stair-step effect.  Other than that, it was a fine looking disc, with the colors being reproduced faithfully and the image sharp and clear.

Extras:

This disc has some good extras included on it.  There is a commentary on the first episode with Lucy Christian (Risa) and Hilary Haag (Riku).  The ladies had a lot of fun with the commentary, laughing through most of it.  Unfortunately they didn't talk about the show very much.  They talked about making somemores, and casting calls for acting rolls, and how hot it was in Houston on a particular weekend.  In the women's defense, there really isn't a lot for them to say.  They weren't involved with developing the story, and there really aren't that many 'filming' anecdotes for them to tell since each actor records his lines separately.

In addition to the standard clean opening and closing there is a segment on the young actor who plays Diasuke, Meet Miyu Irino.  This ten minute segment has interviews with the actor and shows him practicing with the acting troupe that he belongs to.

There is also D. N. Angel Unplugged - True Light, a performance on piano of some of the music from the show.

Final Thoughts:

This show has some good potential, but it doesn't come out in this volume.  These four episodes are filler, and though there is some interesting background concerning Diasuke's parents, the plot doesn't move forward very much.  Thought I did enjoy the first half of the disc, the last to episodes weren't that great, and they had a hard time holding my interest.  It's fairly common for the second volume in an anime series to fall down in quality, so I'm sure then next installment will be better.  As it is though, this one is a rental.
 

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