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Neo Ranga 2

ADV Films // Unrated // April 15, 2003
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Don Houston | posted April 13, 2003 | E-mail the Author
Movie: In the first volume of Neo Ranga, it was learned that the monstrous being was considered a God by the natives of the island of Barou and that he had some tie to three sisters who resided in Japan. As the series progresses, we see more details and the characters are fleshed out. Here's what ADV said about the first volume:
"Across the ocean, on the tiny island kingdom of Barou, something wakes an ancient god—Neo Ranga—from his slumber. He is drawn to Tokyo, and nothing's going to stop him as he searches for Minami, Ushio and Yuuhi, three beautiful sisters who are unwittingly linked to him. But instead of rolling out the red carpet, the military rolls out the weaponry, and things start to get nasty.
As Neo Ranga goes on his rough-and-tumble, crush-and-crumble romp through the city, the mystery grows. Is he a vehicle for corruption, or is he simply uncovering what already dwells within the city? Is he a messenger with a warning for humankind, or just a big boy out for a good time? Can Ranga defeat the military's fully-loaded ASE robot and the power-mad pilot who's out to blast him to bits? When they're forced to confront him – and each other – will the people of Tokyo actually learn anything from all this? And what's behind Ranga's mysterious eyes?"

In volume two, ADV said: "When Neo Ranga first appeared in Tokyo, he was on a mission. But this time, he's on display. Suddenly, the mighty monster-god has been reduced to a marketing gimmick.
On the surface, it's all fun, games and greed. But things are not as simple as they seem. While everyone is having fun and making money, criminal forces are working behind the scenes. As corruption runs rampant, the conflict grows. The mystery escalates. And some rather interesting characters – including strange visitors from Barou and a newer, more powerful ASE robot – join in the action. With plot twists, risqué humor, lost innocence (and Ushio's lost swimsuit), Neo Ranga: Lost in the Spectacle is a must-see!" Here's a bit of detail on the episodes:
Episode 9: Ushio's First Day: The girls are running low on money and have found out that controlling a super powerful being isn't raking in the dough so Ushio gets a job at a corner grocery store. Of course her sisters realize that it's due to her fame that she's hired. The three strange men from Barou, the Tooley Elders, make themselves known and prove to help us all learn more about Neo Ranga.
Episode 10: The Promise of Yesterday: Super Andou's, the store that hired Ushio, has been destroyed and the criminals responsible kidnap Mr. Andou. Ushio attempts to save him using Neo Ranga. The crooks have other ideas.
Episode 11: Kita and Minami: Minami, having worked an a "hostess" at a local hot spot, gets greedy and tries to take advantage of a bank robber and her link to Neo Ranga. As with all plans based on greed, things don't go the way she wants them to.
Episode 12: The Path Minami Chooses: As Minami soon learns, Neo Ranga cannot be used for evil purposes and bank robbers aren't all bad.
Episode 13: Perfect Weather for a Day in Banana City: This episode focused more on the gangsters that were trying to gain advantage of the whole Neo Ranga situation.
Episode 14: Captured by the Neon Sea: Using the stolen, and improved, ASE Mech-robot, the gangsters attack Neo Ranga. They lose, of course, but Hiromi leaves to follow her own path.
Episode 15: Love Bacation: A stolen bikini, a bunch of vacationing friends and family, and Neo Ranga all take a Love Boat style vacation. You had to see it...
Episode 16: The Three Shrines of the Heart: During a festival honoring Neo Ranga (sort of), some of the cast gets wasted drunk and a bit amorous, another mystery about Neo Ranga's actions takes place concerning a small temple.

Picture: The picture was presented in full frame 1.33:1 ratio. The quality was quite high, if not top of the heap. The transfer was very clear with no problems.

Sound: The sound choices were the usual: 2.0 Dolby Stereo English, 2.0 Dolby Stereo Japanese with English subtitles, English with song subtitles. I noticed several differences between the subtitles and the English track which shows some thought was put into it too.

Extras: Translator's Notes-a series of notes that give some background to the various episodes, production sketches, clean opening and ending, trailers

Final Thoughts: As the series continues, I am growing even more fond of this excellent show. It's not just the great picture and sound or the creative storyline but the entire package. Every time I watch it, I get more of the little details out of it. I'm getting to the point where I'd like to see a whole lot more of the show, a whole lot quicker (as long as the quality doesn't suffer that is). Even the infectiously cute theme song is growing on me to the point I'm humming it at the gym. If the rest of the series is as entertaining as the first two dvds, I hope ADV commissions a sequel.

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Highly Recommended

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