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NieA_7 Vol 3: Sayonara Blues

(return to disc)

Content rating: 8
Posted 2002-01-21 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by CmdrTaco on 2002-01-27 12:33:00

As other reviewers have stated, NieA_7 is show driven by its characters. If you need regular doses of martial arts, dogfights or karaoke, or a strong plot, you probably won't enjoy it. On the other hand, if you have a soft spot for people with good hearts struggling to make it on the fringes of society, you'll find yourself drawn into the quiet world of NieA_7.

I view the series as two stories which are only loosely intertwined for the first three disks. First, there are the daily travails of Mayuko, a poor student studying hard for college entrance exams (without any clear idea of what will happen afterwards), her employers at the Enohara public bath (which has seen better times), and a widower and his young daughter (whose restaurant doesn't get much business). Life is nearly always a grind for these people, and the seemingly endless string of failures and disappointments can wear the viewer down after a while. Still, I found myself caring more for Mayuko and the others as the series went on. They all seem so nice; I wish, in a way, that they were my neighbors.

On top of this leisurely view of small-town life is superimposed the bizarre story of aliens of space. Years ago, a spaceship crashed to Earth, stranding large numbers of humanoid aliens. What's REALLY wierd is the reaction -- or lack of reaction -- to the event. As far as we can tell, the aliens simply wandered around looking for comfortable niches in the human society ... and the humans simply accepted them. NieA, for example, took up residence in Mayuko's closet; another opened a convenience store in the neighborhood. The aliens in Enohara hold meetings among themselves -- not to plan how to take over the world (much to one alien's dismay), but instead to sample new curry dishes.

In the three episodes on this disk, the two stories appear to twist apart from each other: Mayuko ponders her future, and NeiA wonders why she alone can hear mysterious signals from the alien mothership. The only reason the show follows both characters, it seems, is that they share an apartment. The last episode on the disk ends with a very mild cliffhanger for each story: there's a hint that the Enohara bathhouse may be in big financial trouble, and NeiA stays out all night. I am guessing that the two strands are going to come together in the next couple of episodes, but I have no idea how it will be done. Still, I plan to find out.

This disk had the first "extra" packaging I've seen for the series: a set of cutout figures of some of the characters. Not a real bonus to my mind. The menus are standard. I do enjoy reading the notes on the translation, but there are only a few per disk. One thing that I've noticed throughout this series is that occasionally, the sound of Japanese dialogue will just disappear: I'll see subtitles, but hear no voice. It doesn't happen on any other disks I watch, so I suspect there may be some problem with this series. That's why I give a low rating to the audio. I don't really enjoy the opening song, either.

I can understand why many people don't find this show to their taste. With only three episodes in disks 2 and 3, I can also see why some people rate it expensive. Still, I plan to purchase the remainder of the series. I want to see poor Mayuko finally be appreciated :-)

Equipment used when writing this review:
Ancient 21-inch Panasonic TV.

Content: 8 Video: 7 Sound: 5 Packaging: 6 Menu: 7

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Other reviews of this disc:
NieA_7 Vol 3: Sayonara Blues by CmdrTaco (Rating: 7.60)

More of the strange surreal story of NieA here. The story continues to work its way along, developing a group of interesting and convincing characters. And I'm finally hooked and ready to see where the show goes.

Once again...(continues)

Content: 8 Video: 8 Sound: 7 Packaging: 7 Menu: 8

NieA_7: Sayonara Blues by Nephylum (Rating: 7.40)
There are some very dissappointing things about NieA_7. One of the most annoying is that it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Usually in a series, favor increases as the series continues. "Sayonara Blues" has made me realize that I...(continues)
Content: 5 Video: 8 Sound: 8 Packaging: 8 Menu: 8

NieA_7 Vol 3: Sayonara Blues by KingDead (Rating: 9.00)
Sayonara Blues, for the most part, takes a serious turn, although is back to it's drama/comedy at episode 10. In these episodes, Mayuko continues her depression about her uncertain future after college and, now, insulting NieA (calli...(continues)
Content: 9 Video: 9 Sound: 9 Packaging: 9 Menu: 9

NieA_7 Vol 3: Sayonara Blues by Meta (Rating: 9.60)

I really loved the first two discs of NieA_7. It seemed to be the first realistic comedy to come out of anime. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, because how can something be realistic if it's animated. But having watched so much...(continues)

Content: 10 Video: 10 Sound: 8 Packaging: 10 Menu: 10

NieA_7: Sayonara Blues by krbuck (Rating: 7.20)

First, let me say I'm a big fan of character development. If the characters aren't interesting, even a lot of action or comedy won't resurrect a disc from my "ignore" pile.

Second, I was charmed by the first two discs of the...(continues)

Content: 5 Video: 8 Sound: 8 Packaging: 7 Menu: 8

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