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Sister Princess 2:Sibling Revelry
The sophomore slump hits Sister Princess with its second volume. While it's not a bad set of shows, these really don't advance the main plots much, or give the show any direction. They are still entertaining though, and well worth watching.
The disc starts of with Wataru exchanging e-mails with a girl. His sisters get upset that he's spending so much time e-mailing this woman that they convince Rin Rin to make them all wireless e-mail terminals. Soon Wataru has more e-mails than he can read, and all of his sisters are expecting replies.
This was a filler episode. There was a lot of time taken up with Wataru reading e-mails from his sisters, with still images of the girls on screen while he read them. It felt like they needed to make a cheap show for budgetary reasons and this was it. I wouldn't have minded that too much, but they also forgot to put the funny into the script. A rather pedestrian show.
The next episode relies on that old stand-by: "Let's put on a show!" When a new arena opens on the island, there's a contest to see who can put on the best act. Grand prize is a "luxury object" and the sisters decided they want to win it for Wataru, whether he wants it or not. So they put on a play.
This show picked up the pace a bit with the play, an ad-libbed combination of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Red Robin Hood, being pretty entertaining. Wataru's reactions from being on stage was great too.
The sisters all decide that they need wedding dressing in the third episode on this disc. Of course, after they all have dresses, they all want to marry Wataru. Another average episode with the bizarre incestuous undertones coming to the front, if only briefly.
The last story focuses on Wataru's sister Marie. She is sickly and has spent a lot of time in the hospital. She's feeling better now, but still very weak. When Wataru goes to town to buy a book, Marie tags along with him and they have a great time in the city. But when they get caught in a summer shower, Marie has a relapse and comes down with a fever.
This volume didn't have the same sense of fun weirdness that the previous disc did. The subplots about the spy and the fact that all of the male adults on the island look alike, much less where all these sisters came from, are all ignored. The shows had an aimless feeling to them, sort of like episodes of Gillian's Island. They didn't seem to be related to each other, just standard sitcom fare.
This DVD comes with the original Japanese track in stereo, and a 5.1 English dub. I watched the show with both audio tracks, and I liked the Japanese audio much better. The English dub was hard to take after a while. The two youngest sisters have high pitched squeaky voices that really grated on my nerves. Several of the sisters have foreign accents, and these sounded fake in the dub track. Since I don't speak Japanese the accents didn't bother me in the Japanese track.
The sound quality was very good in both tracks. There wasn't a lot of use made of the sound stage in either track, though incidental music and some effects were thrown to the rear speakers in the English track. In any case, they both sounded clear without any hiss or distortion.
The full frame video looks pretty good overall. The image was a little soft, with the lines being not quite as sharp and defined as they should be. This wasn't a big deal though. Aliasing and other video defects were at a minimum. The colors were bright and full, but they did chose some odd hues for some things. At sundown they put an orange hue over the whole picture and colored the sky purple. This just made everything look strange. This wasn't a problem with the transfer though, the show was certainly created this way.
This disc includes a clean opening and closing, a three minute reel of production sketches, and an eleven behind the scenes interview with the English voice talents..
I was hoping that this volume would reveal where the show was going and what the series was about, but it didn't. These shows all felt like fillers, without much direction or purpose. They weren't as funny as the earlier shows either. Most of the subplots that I found intriguing in the first volume weren't mentioned, which was disappointing. Even though I was hoping for a little more plot, these shows were still entertaining. Hopefully the next volume will pick up the pace a little. Since it's fairly common to have the second volume of an anime series dip in quality a little, I still have high hopes for this series. Recommended.