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Jing, King of Bandits: Seventh Heaven

ADV Films // PG // November 20, 2007
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted January 2, 2008 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

Jing, King of Bandits was a fun show that was released by ADV a while ago. Originally based on a manga created by Yuichi Kumakura, this series hit the animated market in 2002. Studio Deen produced thirteen episodes and reception of the anime was very good all around. As evidence of that popularity we're looking at a recently released OVA which is comprised of three additional episodes.

The nice thing about this OVA is the fact that you needn't have seen the original series in order to appreciate it. It essentially stands alone from the thirteen episodes that came before it due to the fact that the show was highly episodic. The concept is laid out, the characters are introduced, and the formula of storytelling is set in place at the very beginning. If you enjoyed the show you'll love the OVA and if you were ever curious about it then this is a fine place to start.

Jing, King of Bandits follows a dashing young thief named Jing who travels around the world with his friend Kir, who happens to be a bird but don't tell him that. Together they carve a name for themselves that creates a legend within the many societies they visit. Jing is typically reserved and thoughtful while Kir is the brazen one of the pair and seeks fun times and women. Their relationship is one of the driving forces behind the show and the personality traits play off of each other very well. A third character named Postino also appears in the series but he's essentially just a postman who happens to bump into them every now and then.

Now, in case you haven't seen the series then I won't divulge the nitty-gritty details about the thirteen episodes. Like I said you really don't need to know what happened in the show in order to appreciate the OVA. Where these three episodes find themselves within the confines of the Jing storyline is the fourth volume of Kumakura's manga.

Seventh Heaven is the name attached to these three episodes though admittedly there is very little heavenly about where Jing goes. In good fashion our hero begins the OVA by taking Kir on an adventure to find a famous and valuable treasure known as the Dream Orb. In order to acquire the item Jing has to find a man named Campari (a nice throwback to the original series' penchant for naming characters and places after liquor or cocktails) who is deep within a frightening prison known as Seventh Heaven. Jing remains cool as a cucumber while Kir slowly begins to realize the gravity of what's at stake as they enter the facility.

Soon enough the dynamic duo becomes trapped in not only Seventh Heaven but one of Campari's dream worlds. From that point Seventh Heaven takes an interesting turn as it explains the origins of our protagonists and how they came to meet one another. This was always something I wished was told during the series so being able to catch it in the OVA was a very nice touch that I really appreciated. The Campari storyline aside I felt this was the best reason to check out the release if you were a fan of the show, but I digress.

As Jing and Kir become trapped within Seventh Heaven and Campari's dream world the adventure brings questions about their success rate into mind. Well, not only whether or not they'll escape with a Dream Orb but also if they'll escape with their lives. The mystic trappings allow for some very trippy sequences and imaginative designs that truly break the mold. Seventh Heaven is a unique and creative tale the entire way through and I appreciated the fact that it stuck to Jing's formula.

If you're a fan of the thirteen episode Jing series then you'll definitely want to pick Seventh Heaven up for a spin. It's a lot of fun and the episodes never lose their focus or stray down paths that weren't part of the show's original intent. Newcomers can also appreciate this release for what it is; a finely crafted anime with entertaining characters and a fun plot. It also serves as a great launching point for the series and could easily be used as a stepping stone to see if its your cup of tea.

The DVD:


Jing, King of Bandits: Seventh Heaven was originally released in Japan back in 2004 and it hits our shores with a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. ADV did a fine job of bringing this OVA to our side of the pond but there are a few problems with the transfer that shouldn't go unreported. For starters there is a slight trace of grain here and there and aliasing tends to crop up now and then, though it's mostly attributed to panning by the camera. Compression is virtually nonexistent but it's not uncommon to see some color gradients here and there. Overall this DVD is a fine production that surpasses the look of the original series but there are still a couple of flaws to nitpick about.


Seventh Heaven comes with Japanese 2.0 and English 5.1 presentations. The dub quality for both was very good and I have to say that I couldn't really pick one above the other for a personal favorite. Technically speaking the 5.1 track offers better immersion all around which fits in nicely with the action but it did feel somewhat flat at times. On both selections the music is a cut above with some fine quality and a nice presence on the soundstage.


Sadly the only supplemental feature included is a production art gallery. A look at the series or characters and commentary would have gone a long way to sprucing things up a bit though I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised.

Final Thoughts:

Jing, King of Bandits: Seventh Heaven is a nice way to send off an entertaining show. The story fit perfectly within the confines of the franchise and all around the production values were a cut above. Seventh Heaven also serves as a fine way to enter the series if you haven't seen the original thirteen episodes yet. Jing and Kir are infectiously fun characters to watch and the fact that their origin is included here is a definite plus. Strongly recommended.

Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

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