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Case Number 07334: Small Claims Court

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DearS: First Contact (Volume 1)

Geneon // 2004 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Mitchell Hattaway (Retired) // August 4th, 2005

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All Rise...

Judge Mitchell Hattaway once found a naked alien in his bed, but it was Mac from Mac and Me. And he left McNugget crumbs in the sheets.

The Charge

Alien slave?

The Case

One year ago an alien spacecraft crashed into Tokyo Bay. Unable to return home, the aliens, given the name DearS by their Japanese benefactors, were granted citizenship and slowly integrated into society. The DearS are loved by most of their human hosts, but high school student Takeya hates them with a passion (he thinks they're actually a race of planet-conquering lizards out to brainwash humanity). Well, wouldn't you know it, Takeya soon finds himself sharing an apartment with one.

The first four episodes of this anime series are included on this release; here's a rundown:

• Episode One: "I Want to Nibble Sweetly"
He's almost late for school. He trades porn for food. His teacher lectures while wearing nothing but skimpy lingerie. In other words, it's just a normal day for Takeya. Then he heads home, sees a young girl cowering in some bushes, and ends up saving her from being hit by a truck. He realizes she is a DearS, but for some reason he takes the girl back to his apartment; he allows her to take a shower, but tells her she will have to leave before dawn. The following morning, he wakes up to find the DearS lying next to him. To make matters worse, she's completely naked.

• Episode Two: "Was it Too Small?"
Takeya heads off to school with Keneko, his landlord's daughter. He returns home to find the DearS, now known as Ren, waiting for him. Keneko barges in and finds Takeya and Ren on the floor. Keneko suggests they teach Ren Japanese; the DearS manages to master the language overnight. The following day they go shopping, where Miss Mitsuka, Takeya and Keneko's libidinous teacher, sees them. Takeya attempts to hide Ren from Mitsuka, but is unsuccessful.

• Episode Three: "Ball! Ball!"
Takeya comes home from work and finds Ren washing dishes in the nude. Ren, who now considers herself Takeya's slave, says she doesn't want to get her new clothes dirty while cleaning house. Keneko says she will find the DearS an apron. The following day Ren ventures out into the neighborhood in search of food. She is accosted by Nia, a DearS in cat costume who has been sent to hunt down and capture Ren. Ren confuses the scatterbrained Nia by giving her a piece of melon bread; Nia eats the bread, forgets what she was supposed to be doing, and heads home. Ren heads for Takeya's school; the principal believes Ren is the school's new DearS transfer student, so he enrolls her.

• Episode Four: "Wipe Your Mouth"
Miu, who actually is the school's new DearS transfer student (not Ren), shows up. She doesn't see why she should have to share the school with Ren, so a contest is held to determine who will stay and who will go. Ren wins, but Miss Mitsuka, who obviously has a sexual interest in the aliens, suggests both DearS stay. Miu agrees, but she says she will eventually rid herself of Ren.

I hate, hate, hate, hate this series. It's boring, unfunny, repetitive, and overly familiar. There's not a single original idea in DearS. Teenage guy who freaks out at the sight and touch of an alien female who lives to serve him? Seen it. Teenage guy's levelheaded female friend who is probably in love with him? Seen it. Teenage guy's friends who resent his luck at having a beautiful, voluptuous girl living with him? Seen it. Female alien who doesn't understand why it's improper to walk around in various stages of undress? Seen it. Female alien who is fascinated by the most common of human foods? Seen it. Annoying cat girl? Seen it. A plot that contains more idiotic misunderstandings than an entire season of Three's Company? Seen it. I kept hoping I would have a heart attack, or that maybe a meteorite would hit my house—anything that would spare me from having to sit through these four episodes. No such luck.

I have to give Geneon credit on the technical end of things. The transfer is borderline flawless (I noticed some shimmer in a shot or two), with bright, vivid, bold colors. The series is dialogue-heavy, so the stereo soundtrack options won't give your system a workout, but they do exactly what is required of them. The English dub, which is rife with actors who sound as if they've been sucking helium, is slightly more dynamic that its Japanese counterpart, with marginally better channel separation and a little more heft. Extras include clean opening animation, a rather worthless art gallery (it consists of nine drawings, most of which are carried over from the disc's cover and insert artwork), and previews for other Geneon releases.

I sat through it, but by no means should you do the same. Steer clear of DearS.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 50

Perp Profile

Studio: Geneon
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Subtitles:
• English
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Anime
• Bad
• Comedy
• Science Fiction

Distinguishing Marks

• Clean Opening Animation
• Art Gallery
• Previews

Accomplices

• Anime News Network Page
• Official Site








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