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Episode 2: Nagisa no Kyofu
(Nagisa Hyper Rhapsody)

Distributed by: (Japan), Software Sculptors (North America)
Length: 30 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Original Japanese dialog (LD), subtitled (VHS) and dubbed (VHS)

Based on the manga series by: Nasu Yukie Screenplay: Mochizuki Tomomistu Director: Mochizuki Tomomistu Producer: Studio Pierrot English version by: Koike Hitomi and Neil Nadelman

[ plot summary ]

volume 1

Shinobu's sister Nagisa is back and causing plenty of trouble for our favourite foursome at Greenwood. This episode is based on one of the stories written in Book #2 of the manga series. Of the six OAVs, this episode should typically occur somewhere in between episodes 5 & 6, although this is not entirely true due to inconsistencies in the story timeline.

Nagisa is Shinobu's older sister and feels that she has been unjustly treated throughout her life by Shinobu. Bent on getting revenge on her brother, she has managed to get her hands on Kasaragi Shun's younger brother Reina. Thus with a hostage in hand, she tries to get the upper hand over Shinobu. Ah but to see Shinobu bowing to her!

[ capsule review ]

(Subtitled version) If there was a poll taken of "all-time favourite voice actresses," I'm sure that Tsuru Hiromi (Ayukawa Madoka in KOR) would be in the top 5. Here, she plays Nagisa, the troublesome sister of Shinobu (aren't all sisters that way? Hey -- Ouch!) Tsuru does a competent job in her role, though nothing exceptional. The story's pretty much ordinary as well, though one point I did like was how some of the plot devices gelled in this one episode -- specifically the one (?) odd trait about the Kisagiri siblings. If it can fool one person...

There's some question about the series continuity with regards to the mention of Igarashi, though I think that it's more of a case of how the series is put together -- in this episode, we see Kazuya wearing the Hall President's jacket, and Shun reads about Mitsuru being last year's dorm president. Perhaps Software Sculptors shuffled the series to make this the second episode as a lead in for Nagisa's brief appearance in Episode 5. (The end trailer with the cast would make a little more sense then.) Plus, there's something a bit odd about the episode title -- it's listed as "Nagisa Hyper Rhapsody" on the tape jacket, but shows up as "Nagisa Returns" on the video itself... We'll have to check with Software Sculptors to find out what the real story is...

The gist of the plot is pretty much standard fare -- revenge, revenge, and revenge foiled. But, as is pervasive in this series, the humour often catches you off guard. This so rarely happens in your typical sit-com, so I find it a very refreshing change. Not bad... - AN

(Dubbed version) I think I'm starting to get the impression that this is a fan-dub. Otherwise, whiy would they be recycling voice actresses already, after only two episodes? PR Wellington played Sumire in episode 1, and she's back playing Nagisa here. It's not that her voice is bad -- it's almost acceptable, in fact, but you definitely don't want to watch episode #2 right after #1. Next time, maybe try changing your voice a little? Shinobu (Charles Rolf) has a very large role, and you'll wish he didn't. The translation is typical Neil Nadelman -- technically very well done, though for the English dubs, they might have considered being a little more liberal. There's a lot of potential for some really neat humour here, especially since the Japanese translations can occasionally be awkward. Definitely not on my recommended list. - AN

(Subtitled Version) This episode is an interesting introduction to Shinobu's sister Nagisa. The episode refers to one of the stories in the manga series (book #2) in which Nagisa kidnaps Mitsuru (and yes has him stripped of most of his clothing as well). I have to admit that I definitely liked the very opening (gotta love Kazuya's expression compared to everyone else), but this episode also introduces some time-frame problems. At the very end when Mitsuru is (again!) teasing Kazuya, he mentions Igarashi Miya. However, while we meet her in episode 5 & 6, Mitsuru is by that time no longer dorm president. Kazuya is. While it's not very important, it can cause a moment's confusion.

Personally, I didn't enjoy this episode as much as the first and find it to be more of a filler than anything else. With only six episodes total, I would have liked to see something else. Although, at the same time, I have to admit that some sort of introduction to Nagisa's character is needed. If only for her later cameo to make sense. This was a pretty typical animé episode. -JYN

(Dubbed Version) Oy vey. Someone please kill Shinobu and put us out of our misery. *Zombies* have more life than he does! There is a very distinct difference between "deadpan" and "dead". In the meantime however, we have the lovely horrible voice acting which is slowly degenerating and the script reading is starting to get mixed in more heavily with improper syllable stresses than in the first episode. The translations continue to be technically very well done with the occasional piece of looser translations, but really! Dialogue flow would have been better with looser translations, and this is not a literary work per se for translating. It's supposed to be dialogue. Of course, even a five star absolutely hilarious script couldn't save the dubbed version of this series. Thankfully, my sister took pity on me and brought me a generous drink of single malt scotch to deaden my senses while watching this thing (and I don't drink normally!). I'm not sure about burying this episode in soft peat so much as just burying it six feet under. - JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/A 2 stars 2 stars
Direction: N/A 3 stars 1 star
Acting: N/A 3 stars turkey
Animation: N/A 3 stars 3 stars
Music: N/A 2 stars 2 stars
Translation: N/A 5 stars 4 stars
Overall Rating: N/A 3 stars turkey

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