Anime Freak vol. 3


Review by Joe Santulli



Graphics: 9

Sound: 7

Gameplay: n/a

Overall: 4

Allow me to begin this unbiased review by stating that I am NOT an ANIME FREAK. A freak of nature I can accept. I like anime as much as the next guy - I grew up on Speed Racer, Gigantor, and Star Blazers, and I own a few OVA's, Ranma 1/2, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and the like. As knowledge of the subject goes, I'm probably about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. Also keep in mind that I don't know Japanese (am I the most ignorant reviewer you've ever read or what?) so I was left to interpret quite a bit based on what I could see. That out of the way...

This is the third volume of NEC's "Anime Freak" series, a CD-ROM not designed to be a game so much as it is a sneak-peek into the world of anime (a word that to me means Japanese-style cartoons). If I had to pay full price for this title I wouldn't, even if it were in English. So you either have to be really, really into anime (ie freakish about it) or get it cheap (not bloody likely).

For the freaks among us, here is a breakdown of what's on the disk.

1) Tenchi Muyo - This volume features Tenchi Muyo, and the first selection on the CD contains several clips from the series. Basically what you have here is a girl with spiky hair and a tail, a boy with a Beatles haircut, a girl with purple hair, two long-eared cats (or are they bats?) and the relationship between them. This segment is pretty dull. Give me Ranma 1/2 any day!

2) Private Eye Doll - In this long sequence (about 10 minutes), we see a flying girl trapped inside of a prism in space; many well-dressed youths watching a computer nerd fry his laptop; little flying fairy nymphs following them to a concert and sitting in the cheap seats; an even NERDIER computer nerd getting whacked in the face with a magic wand by the lead singer; a delighted crowd applauding a boring song (or were they applauding the whack to the face - I bet I'll never know for sure). Not my cup of tea. Whatever happened to Ninja Scroll!?

3) Idol Freak - A short segment where a voyeur with a camcorder follows a schoolgirl around, apparently trying to get a good look at her underwear. The best part is when he gets whacked in the head with a stick (must be a big thing in Japan). Where's Giant Robo when you need him?

4) Voice Freak - A "live action" (no anime) segment interviewing Junko Iwao - and I only know that because her name is pasted all over the border of the screen. Who is she? I couldn't tell for sure, but she's a voice actress, composer, and singer. If she were NAKED throughout the entire segment it may have been interesting, but as it stands I couldn't get interested. An Aika Miura interview would have been more my style.

5) Karaoke - Two "sing along" segments here: one for Evangelion II, and another for S.O.S. The former appears to be about a boy and his robot, the latter is a girl who seems to have fallen head over heels for her nurse. Could a Gigantor sing-along have saved this segment? Yeah.

6) Photo & Talk - A few homely Japanese girls in still frames with some text to accompany them. My guess is that they're staff or they could be prominent anime voice actresses. They could also be high ranking officials, but my ignorance again prevails. Stills and statistics about Sadaharu Oh and the Tokyo Giants would've made my day.

7) FX Premium - The only trace of a game demo on this disc! A preview of Angelique Special, which looks like an RPG except the preview shows no combat. Since the game is by Koei I can only assume this is more of a strategy game than anything else. Looks cool.

8) Data - This is probably the part that most people would pay money for. A database containing info about anime released in 1995. How complete is it? I guess I'll never know again... but if it IS complete, this could make the whole thing worth purchasing for a Japanese-reading consumer!

9) Mini Game - Play against Junko Iwao (see 4 above) in guessing which box has the heart in it. You take turns until someone gets five hearts, then the play level gets more difficult (some boxes have bombs in round 2). Again, if she were NAKED...

10) Best 20 - Presumably this refers to the "Best 20 Anime Females", run like a top 20 countdown. A still graphic accompanies each winner. I was always partial to Nibiki from the Ranma 1/2 series, but she didn't make the list.

11) News - Credits and behind the scenes stuff, all in text.

If you don't read Japanese, steer clear of this one! That is, unless you consider yourself a "Freak".


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:15 PM