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volume 3 issue 6

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13 home / june 2002 / reviews Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

Miyuki-chan in Wonderland DVD
Subtitled DVD
30 Minutes
ADV Films
Short, cheap, and sweet.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Miyuki-chan in Wonderland
By Patrick King

Most animation fans are familiar with the story of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, a tale which even in its tamest (Disney) incarnation cannot hide its surrealism. It was only a matter of time until CLAMP, Japan's all-female, internationally admired team of artists, decided to give this mind-boggling story their own unique spin. Yet, rather than present a feature-length movie or television series, CLAMP produced two 15 minute segments that take us through the looking-glass in Miyuki-chan in Wonderland and Miyuki-chan in Mirrorland.

Because of the incredibly abridged nature of this work, there is not much plot to speak of. Any book adapted to moving pictures demands an inevitable amount of trimming, but this story has been distilled into an extra long music video. Miyuki-chan runs from scene to scene, trying to make sense of her bizarre surroundings. This produces an effect similar to taking a long and complex role-playing game and only watching the cinematic cut-scenes. Sure, they're impressive, but there's no true meat to this show.

But then again, not everyone needs to have an epic tale to be satisfied. CLAMP's art design--from the world to the characters--is as beautiful as all the work they produce. Interestingly enough, every single character in the show is female. Considering the fact that a new character (each one paying homage to her Carrollian predecessor) is introduced every 35 seconds, they are impressively unique, save for the fact that each radiates as much overt sexiness as the fighters from Tecmo's Dead or Alive. However, being CLAMP, it still remains cute and fuzzy, despite frequent sexual innuendo. The animation is smooth and clean, and while not groundbreaking, it certainly gets the job done.

Understandably, there is not much music on this disc. There is one fifteen-minute background track that manages to be catchy even though it constantly plays. It is used as background music for both Miyuki-chan in Wonderland and Miyuki-chan in Mirrorland. There is also a song for the end credits. Both are cute, and the longer one respectably conveys the confused and rushed feelings Miyuki-chan must be experiencing on her jaunt through Wonderland. The voices in this Japanese-only disc are cute and emotional. Even if there was a bad voice actress on the DVD, she wouldn't have more than two lines thanks to the show's length.

Perhaps one of this show's greatest selling points is its price. I managed to nab it (new) for a mere $6.29 - AFTER shipping. The package is cute, and perhaps suggests a bit more raunchiness than the show delivers, but for the most part, it's attractive. However, my package listed an English dub track for this show, which was not included on the disc. I'm not a big fan of dubs, so it wasn't a loss for me, but others who get it expecting a dub might be annoyed to find the box lied to them. Really, the lack of a dub track was one of the many factors lowering the price for the disc, and so it was fine by me.

There are not many frills on this DVD. It's simply a showcase of some cute and sexy animation designed by CLAMP, no more, no less. There is a single DVD-ROM extra on the disc (a printable Miyuki-chan paper doll with clothes), it's presented in stereo (2.0) sound, and it's only 30 minutes long. But, if you're an animation fan (and one who won't mind seeing a show featuring only cute women), it's cheap, so I'd say grab it.

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