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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Shuffle, Vol. 6
Shuffle, Vol. 6
FUNimation // Unrated // September 9, 2008
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted September 13, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
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The Series:

FUNimation wraps up Shuffle with volume six.  This harem series has been a lot of fun, especially since the tone became more serious as the series progressed.  This final volume is very satisfying since Rin actually chooses a girl he wants to date, and has to live with the reactions of the other women.  That's something that you don't see too often in this type of show, and it brings the series to a nice finish.

Series Background:


Rin is an orphan who lives with the hottie of his high school class, Kaede, and her father who is always away.  Kaede (who has a fan club consisting of guys who hate Rin) is totally devoted to Rin, getting up early to make him a fancy breakfast every morning, packing his lunch, and generally waiting on him hand an foot.  Rin, though he appreciates it, doesn't seem to care all that much.

Things change one day when two new transfer students join Rin and Kaede's class.  Sai and Nerine seem to be normal high school girls on the outside, but they are rather special.  Sai's father is king of the gods, and Nerine's dad is king of the demons, making both of them princesses.  In addition to that, they've come to Earth to find a mate, and both of them have their eyes on Rin.  Their father's both promise Rin all of the powers of their respective empires if he'll marry their daughter and Rin is barely able to fend off the pair of forceful kings.

When Rin goes home he discovers that Sai and Nerine have both moved in next door, one on either side.  With both girls now wanting to walk him to school every morning, it's enough to drive poor Rin crazy.  Things just get worse however, as he runs into a quiet young girl on the street one day who follows him home.  This girl, Primula, is from the Realm of the Demons and won't leave, so she ends up moving in with Rin and Kaeda.  All of these women are crazy about Rin, naturally.  Which one will he choose?

Volume Six:

Though Rin finally decided that his childhood friend, Asa, is the girl he wants to be with, his problems aren't over, not by a long shot.  Kaede isn't taking the news well, especially since he couples the announcement with the news that he's moving out of her house.  Her whole life has been devoted to taking care of her, (because of the guilt she feels about how she treated him in the past) and without Rin in her life she's not sure what she'll do.  

The other girls take the news fairly well, especially Sai who proclaims that polygamy is natural in the realm of the gods and that she doesn't mind sharing Rin.  Life more or less returns to normal until Asa, who has been sickly all of her life, passes out while helping Rin move into his new apartment.  The doctors don't know what to do, or how to treat her, and the prognosis doesn't look good.  There's a reason that the physicians are stumped, and when Asa's mother tells Rin her daughter's secret, she also reveals that Rin is the only person who can save her.  The problem is, he has no idea how.

I really enjoyed this series.  It has all the goofy humor and embarrassment gags that a typical harem show contains but it also goes a step further by creating some good drama too.  As the show progresses the whole bit about gods and demons is deemphasized and the show focuses more on how the characters feel about each other.  Not only from Rin's point of view and who he likes the most, but from the girls perspectives too.  They get mad at Rin for being so wishy-washy and accuse him of stinging them along.  They also don't stop liking him just because he picks Asa, something that was not only realistic but also added some fun parts to the end of the show.  

The only real complaint I have is that Asa's secret and the way the events that have to transpire for her to be saved were a bit contrived.  Though it was established that she was often ill, the cause and cure had a sort of deus ex machina feel to it.  Even so, once you swallow the premise the way the rest of the story works out is very good.

The DVD:


Audio:

The disc offers viewers the choice of the original Japanese audio track or an English dub, both in stereo.  I listened to various episodes with each audio track and they were both solid.  The English voice actors did a good job with only one supporting character having an irritating high-pitched voice.  I tended to prefer the Japanese track, but not by much.  The quality was similar on both tracks, with no common audio problems being evident.  The mix itself was pretty sedate with the voices firmly anchored on the screen for most of the show.  There wasn't much use made of the soundstage, but that's not too surprising given the nature of the show.

Video:

The 1.78:1 anamorphic image looks pretty good, which shouldn't come as a surprise since this series was made in 2005.  The lines are generally tight and the colors are solid.  On the digital side things also look pretty good.  There is a little aliasing here and there, and a tiny bit of posterization, but these are hardly worth mentioning.

Extras:

Not much in the way of extras....only a clean opening and closing.


Final Thoughts:

This is one of those series that is not only fun to watch but has a bit more depth than the average harem show.  While some series in that genre get a bit tired by the time they end because of the constant recycling of jokes on the same theme, this program avoids that pitfall by slowly changing its tone over the course of the show.  This trend towards realism (though no one would ever call any harem show realistic) is a nice touch that makes the show even more enjoyable.  This volume, and the series as a whole, gets a very strong recommendation.

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