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Super Gals - Look Out! Love Is Dangerous! (Vol. 4)

ADV Films // Unrated // January 20, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Don Houston | posted February 9, 2004 | E-mail the Author
Movie: Anime is full of a variety of sub-genres, no matter what those who don't like to watch "cartoons" would have you believe. If you look a bit deeper at many of the various releases on the market, you'll often notice that the themes are multi-layered, allowing both kids and adults to enjoy various aspects of the shows (which probably helps provide something families can watch together). In one show that I found completely shallow, with absolutely no redeeming values at all, Super Gals! 4: Rule #4: Look Out! Love Is Dangerous!, I discovered that an occasional guilty pleasure was okay.

The show is a tribute to the wacky adventures and mini-dramas that young females go through. Ran Kotobuki is a 16-year old gal who has tons of attitude about everything modern day life has to offer in Japan. She sees herself as ruler of a shopping district/mall and does whatever she thinks fits her image. Fiercely loyal to her way of life and friends in a contemporary setting, she provides a perfect example of what young females should not strive for in a society that imposes it's will on youngsters. The show is full of cultural references and translations that pop up on screen to keep the viewer informed as to what's happening. The limited anime style was actually appropriate for the show here and the messages were loud and clear in terms of what everyone thought. In a sense, it was a show about the coming of age of young women that have led sheltered lives, which "should" be lame, but works to entertain.

Episode 15: Cold Revenge? It's Burning Hot! Snowboard Battle!:
Episode 16: Dappled Sunlight: Sparkling Away: A Romantic Anniversary!
Episode 17: Feelings Of Love: Star Wavering! Aya Confesses?!
Episode 18: Odaiba Excitement! Crackling Action! The Great Final Battle! :

The episodes this time had Ran fighting off challenges to her "throne" by arch-rival, Mami Honda, in a duel to speed down a mountain range. While they do so, the guys are still fighting for Ran's affection. Ran deals with an anniversary between Aya (her pal) and Rei. The third episode dealt with Miyu's past and how Ran saved her from herself. The last episode again dealt with Ran and Mami fighting it out in what was billed as their final battle. While I haven't seen the last two volumes, I bet that I didn't miss much since the action here was very much like the first volume. A little of this stuff goes a long way and I guess it was only worth a rating of Rent It due to the generic nature of the episodes.

Picture: The show was presented in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color and was bright and clear. I saw no problems with the picture and its colorful nature. The transfer was nearly flawless as well but the style of anime was very limited in terms of movement and quality.

Sound: The sound was presented with a choice of either 5.1 Dolby Digital English or the original 2.0 Japanese with English subtitles. Both were crisp and clear with no problems and a solid mix between the vocals and music.

Extras: Aside from the usual clean opening and closing, there were the usual trailers. There was a short feature "The Super Gals Explain It All where the English dub cast provides some background as to the attitude of the females portrayed here (in character no less). There were some production sketches and a paper insert with a variety of cultural notes and definitions to the slang used too.

Final Thoughts: Most anime fans will either love this one or hate it with little middle ground. Those who like strong female characters and romantic comedies will likely enjoy it a lot while the rest of anime fandom will find the scripts and voices (on both language tracks) to annoy the heck out of them. I liked it at first but then I saw it became repetitious which is not something I care much about.

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