ADV Films // 1998 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Gutierrez (Retired) // September 16th, 2004
And just how do you guys know each other?
Nigel Tuffnel once said "In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, lived an ancient race of people...the Druids. No one knows who they were or what they were doing..." The same holds true for Orphen and his friends in Orphen Season 2: Revenge -- Volume 1. I've no idea why Orphen and his friends Cleao and Majic are together. The answers to my questions may lie somewhere in Season 1. All I can gather is that Orphen, Cleao and Majic are skilled combatants who possess magical powers. Orphen and Cleao share romantic tension, while the androgynous Majic is a hit with the ladies. Comic relief comes in the form of two Orphen hating trolls named Volcan and Dortin.
The four episodes featured included in this DVD are:
* "Heal My Soul"
Orphen and company travel to a city with Hot Springs. For some reason, everyone in town wants nothing to do with Orphen and will do everything they can to keep him and his friends from learning the town's secret. Meanwhile, the mysterious Licoris is looking for Orphen for reasons of her own. This episode does a good job of introducing the characters and interpersonal dynamics between them. Unfortunately, we are never privy to what brings the three main characters together.
* "The Big Bath of Betrayal"
As the title indicates, this episode centers on the trio of adventures being given the old bait and switch as they conclude their quest for some rest and relaxation at the hot springs. We learn of what Licoris needs Orphen for.
* "The Supply Store from Hell"
Cleao gets it into her head that Licoris is far more nefarious than she appears and does her best to convince the others of her baseless fears. The Supply Store from Hell" managed to keep the overused "mistaken identity" chestnut interesting and humorous. The episode executed the difficult task of keeping Cleao in the dark without making her look like an idiot with ease.
* "Wonderful -- The Ripple of Love"
Volcan is possessed by the spirit of a little girl. The gang has until sunup to restore things back to normal -- but do they want to?
I was taken by surprise by this little DVD. Normally a lack of backstory and reference are irksome. Not so this time around, because the characters have such enjoyable interactions with one another. Like most anime, Orphen has the tendency to descend into unfunny, infantile humor -- nonetheless I was amused. I appreciated the way Cleao and Orphen related to one another and I'm curious to see how they end up together. The "revenge" aspect of the series adds intrigue, incentive to watch more.
Is Orphen an animated version of a Dickensian novel or just a really slow moving animated series? Every character gets his or her due, but it is concerning whether the show will get where it needs to go in the allotted time. While you wait to discover where you're headed, enjoy a lovely ride getting there.
The outtakes are particularly good. Producers took existing footage and dubbed alternate dialogue over it. While most of it was uneven, there are a few nuggets of comedy gold. Other special features include the clean opening and closing credits and some other ADV previews.
There weren't any picture problems. Everything looked as sharp as it should have, and the sound was equally suitable. I've often maintained that things look and sound wonderful if you don't notice anything out of the ordinary.
I'd recommend this show to those who like a slow burn series.Orphen Season 2: Revenge -- Volume 1 is free to go and cleared of all charges.
Review content copyright © 2004 David Gutierrez; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean opening and closing animation
* ADV Previews