Watching this rendition of Shurayuki Hime (or as it's known in the US: Princess Blade) is something akin to watching people hit themselves on the head, you know what they're doing, and it's fun to watch and laugh at 'em, but you aren't quite sure why they're doing it. The film, which I guess is about a female member of an assassination squad leaving during a great depression, is amusing and entertaining to watch - but due to some creative subtitling - has little to no meaning for the uninitiated.
Clear armory DVD case with the same image 3 times and a back with a little info on it. Good sturdy case and a cool cover image, not much more to say past that.
Very good. Crystal clear with good definition, great color saturation, and a solid bitrate. There is a small amount of noticeable film grain throughout the feature as expected. Overall though, it's just.. very good looking, a nice transfer that shows off the stylish nature of the movie quite well.
The audio actually sounds pretty decent, but I have to question the logic behind some of the choices made, here are the featured tracks:
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 at 384Kbps Commentary (Japanese) Dolby Digital 2.0ch at 384Kbps
While I'm all for commentary tracks, it's baffling that they company that put out this dvd would use the same bitrate for the 5.1dd main audio as it would for the 2.0ch audio commentary, but I guess it happens. Overall though, the audio sounded quite good on my good ol' tv speakers and I didn't notice any problems when I scanned it on our 5.1 system. The commentary contains a good deal of laughing between, well, whoever it's between, and is not subtitled.
I'll let them speak for themselves.
(Man) Xue is twenty years old today Heard of Anxu.
(Man) -Missing Line-
(Woman) -Missing Line-
(Woman) Kongxia about the city owner
(Woman) It seems you get very angry You're afraid she will kill you.
(Man) -Missing Line-
(Woman) Kongxia's Place
(Man) If she were me I would have gone someplace interesting
Aside from missing many lines and lacking any kind of punctuation, the subs just don't make a lot of sense in context to what's going on, on screen. They're manageable at times but largely just aggravating, oh and the names are way off.
The film is broken into 19 chapters, each accessible either with the controller's skip button or through the menu's scene selection feature. The chapters are well placed and do have several that cut straight to highlights (fights, for example).
The film itself is a stylish and entertaining action flick that centers around a young lady's quest for, well, something. With about 3 impressive fight scenes and some other random acts of violence littered through, the movie manages to keep you entertained even if you don't know what the hell is going on. It looks great throughout, switching through some heavy hue changes from place to place which seems to be a trend is current Japanese action cinema, and a nice one at that. The action is well staged for the most part, with only the occasional laugh from "obvious stunt work" situation. It's a cool flick that's definitely worth checking out. The only extras on the DVD are a few subtitle-free trailers for the film.
Shurayuki Hime is an entertaining action/adventure flick that is marred by some truly terrible subtitles. It's worth seeking out for those who are curious to see it (lord knows ADV didn't try very hard in terms of widespread distribution for the films theatrical release, way to go Miramax Jr.) and a nice way to kill down anticipation for the eventual Region 1 release of the film. Recommended for those that are interested, but be forewarned - the subtitles really are that bad, and you'd be better off watching the movie raw.