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Mezzo Vol 2:Shell 2
The second volume of Mezzo continues the adventures of the Danger Service Agency (DSA for short) with four more episodes. Though these shows don't have quite the action level of the first volume, they are still some enjoyable episodes.
The volume starts out with an episode that fills out some of Harada's background. When the DSA's resident techno-geek runs into an old girl friend in the street, he recalls his days back in college, and their whirlwind romance. She's the heir to a great fortune, and enjoys slumming with Harada, but there are she has some odd habits. It also turns out that she's been hiding a great secret.
The next show gets back to basics with the team taking a dangerous job. Some squatters refuse to leave a condemned building and the owner hires the DSA to eject them. The job has a little catch though, the building that the squatters are living in is haunted.
The third episode is a little bit odd. Mikura gets a free ticket to a virtual reality demonstration, and decides to take the ride. Unfortunately, the demonstration turns out to be a science experiment and they use Mikura as a guinea pig. While in the VR world though, something goes wrong and she can't get out. It's up to the rest of the DSA and the young meek Asami to rescue their friend with turning her brain into jelly.
The disc manages to end on a high note with the best, and most eerie show on the disc. There is a serial killer on the loose, and the police are under a lot of pressure to arrest the killer. They haven't been having a lot of luck though. The killer always sends a message or e-mail to his victim before he kills them, and a rash of prank notes has cropped up. When a man comes to the DSA with such a note and asks them to protect him, they figure it'll be easy money. Unfortunately the killer is stalking someone close to the DSA, and it just might be little Asami.
This was a fun disc but Mezzo suffers a bit from the sophomore slump. These were a good set of shows, they just didn't have the energy and excitement of the first volume. The action part of the show took a back seat in many of these. That isn't all bad, since these do flesh out the world that the DSA inhabits, but I found the original volume just a tad more exciting.
One thing that has really grown on me is the opening theme song. It is a hard rocking punk influenced tune that is very catchy and fits the attitude of the show very well.
The English 5.1 track was more full than the Japanese stereo track, but neither had a lot of bass response. I was surprised that the 5.1 track wasn't more forceful during the explosions and fight scenes, but it wasn't. The original language track also sounded a little flat, and it could be the original tapes prevented the dub to sound better. The voice cast do a very good job on both tracks, with ADV providing a very good dub as usual. There were no dropouts or distortion, and aside from a lack of range, this was a good sounding disc.
The full frame video image looked great. The definition was excellent and the image was tight. The colors were bright and there weren't any major encoding errors. Just the type of DVD I like to watch.
In addition to a clean opening and closing, this disc has an 8½- minute reel of production sketches and a several trailers.
While not as action packed as the first volume, these four shows are still a lot of fun. The last episode was great, and I have high expectations for the next volume. If you liked the earlier DVD, but sure to snag a copy of this one too. Recommended.