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Grrl Power is now the cutest anime you will ever see. It may be only 25 minutes long, but they cram in enough cuteness to make you go into diabetic shock.
Review by Matthew Anderson
Company: ADV Films
Running Time: 25 minutes (1 episode)
Rated: G for everyone
Umi, Sora, and Ao are three elementary students who run Iruka, a company that specializes in just about everything. If you need your lunch delivered, or corporate restructuring, these three can handle it.
When the girls are hired to convince a young lad to go back to school, the girls find themselves in a tight spot. How can they convince someone to go back to school, when they don't go themselves?
Make him work at Ikaria, of course.
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: Absolutely wonderful. There are no pixels, color bleeds or edge enhancement. The great transfer really shows the high quality of the animation.
AUDIO: The English 5.1 is top notch. It has great directionality, with plenty of surround sound elements to keep you entertained.
The Japanese 2.0 is very loud too, and while not as aggressive, it still packs a power punch.
EDITS: Clean closing animation is used, and
the episode titles are in English. No other edits have been noted.
EXTRAS: We have a text Q&A with the Japanese voice actresses, video interview with the creator/director Akitaro Daichi, audio commentary with the English voice cast, footage of the Grrl Power premiere at Tokyo Anime Fair, and production sketches. The most entertaining of the extras are interviews with the ADV voice actresses Monica Rial, Tiffany Grant, Hilary Haag, Kira Vincent Davis, and Luci Christian.
STORY: Based of the manga short by Akitaro Daich, Grrl Power is a cute girls anime, with some slapstick thrown in to keep the boys interested. It's a lot of fun, but feels a little like an anime "after school special".
ACTING: The crème de la crème of American voice actresses. Hilary Hagg, Luci Christian and Monica Rial are an absolute stitch. They hit every comedic moment right on cue. Special credit goes to Monica Rial, for having to play a deaf mute with out saying anything.
The Japanese cast of Ayaka Saito, Yumi Higashino, and Kaori Nazuka is just as entertaining. For this title, it will depend on your preference for sub or dubs.
FAN SERVICE: There are several visual reference to the source comic book, and a cute "Charlie's Angel" reference. This is a G rated title, so the one shot is used for comedic effect, not to...errr excite.
Forget Risky~Saftey, Grrl Power is now the cutest anime you will ever see. It may be only 25 minutes long, but they cram in enough cuteness to make you go into diabetic shock.
The story centers around three very cute elementary students who have forsaken school to do good deeds for mankind. It's obvious that the three of them are geniuses. They study college level math, write speeches for board meetings, and generally find regular school work boring. This is like every child's dream come true.
When they are confronted with a real challenge, convince a pseudo intellectual to go back to school when they don't themselves, it's their drive, determination, and cuteness that gets the job done. Okay, some of their speeches sound like something you would hear on an "after school special", but by that time, you will be going into shock so it won't matter.
Grrl Power has a very "Studio Ghibli" feel to it, not only in tone but in animation style. Nagisa Miyazaki (how funny) character designs are not exactly the greatest, but the animation is right up there with some of Ghibli's best. Not only is the animation consistent, the motion is some of the smoothest I have ever seen. For an OVA, this is some of the best I have ever seen.
The character of Ao is being toted as the first deaf mute character in anime. While anime isn't known for highlighting characters with disabilities, to draw attention to this detracts from what the story is about. "Grrl Power" isn't about her disability, it's about three girls working together to get the job done. She just happens to use sign language to speak. No one in the anime makes a big deal about it.
For a short title, there are a lot of extras. There are tons of interviews, which have some interesting info, but are pretty dull. The best interview is with what we call at DVJ "The ADV Babes". Consisting of Monica Rial, Tiffany Grant, Hilary Haag, Kira Vincent Davis, and Luci Christian, this 20 minute feature had me chuckling at the funny things they go through. From making their own sound effects when they fall in real life, to Monica Rial always being cast as quiet characters, it's a lot of fun to watch.
Grrl Power is a great anime for the entire family. Full of cute characters, positive messages, and wonderful animation, I doubt any parent will find something objectionable about this title.
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