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volume 3 issue 9

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18 home / september 2002 / reviews Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

Fancy Lala Vol 1: A Star is Born!
Bilingual DVD
5 episodes
125 minutes
Bandai Studio
Every little girl's dream come true - a chance to be older without all that messy, boring, growing-up stuff.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Fancy Lala Vol.1: A Star is Born!
By Farren "Dusk" Pennington

Fancy Lala is what every little girl dreams about. I think that any girl would envy the position of our heroine Miho Shinohara, even if they wouldn't admit it out loud. Fancy Lala is the story of a nine-year-old girl who is granted the magical ability to turn into a beautiful 15-year-old at will. Miho milks her older form for all it's worth, and quickly learns that it's hard to balance a modeling/acting career with attending school, and the wacky adventures ensue as Miho tries to be in two different places at the same time as two different people. Overall, it is a story that is lighthearted and enjoyable.

One of the good things that I first noticed about this DVD was that it contained 5 episodes. One can only hope that some of the other companies can follow Bandai's example with Fancy Lala and put more episodes on other DVDs. The short descriptions of each episode on the insert made for a nice bonus as well. However, I will admit that the cover art didn't impress me too much - it seemed rather plain and dated in appearance, even more so than the series itself. As are most anime releases these days, this DVD is presented in a bilingual format. To be honest, the English voice acting wasn't really that bad, but I'll admit I'm not really much of a fan of dubs these days.

Now, on to the content. I have to say once again that putting five episodes put on this DVD was a great start for the series. It makes it a lot easier to get hooked on Fancy Lala. Three episodes would have left you disappointed, and four would have made you wonder if you were going to be wasting your time with this series. However, five episodes is perfect, because you get all the character development you need for the series, and you start to truly get into the plot and story. After the last episode, you will definitely find yourself wanting to continue watching. The end of the fifth episode was simply a great stopping point. The extras weren't much to write home about, but they included a clean opening and trailers for other titles. But enough about that... At this point, you must be asking, " What is this series about? "

Allow me to introduce you to the world of Fancy Lala. Miho Shinohara, aged nine, is also the up and coming teen star Fancy Lala. Miho is a normal everyday schoolgirl whose mother is a studio producer and whose father is an archeologist. She also has an older sister named Chisa. Everything was normal for this aspiring animation artist, until the day she met up with two dinosaur fairies. The fairies, named Pigu and Mogu (or in the English version, Pog and Mog), grant her the power to transform herself into a fifteen-year-old hottie who calls herself Fancy Lala. Miho is left with two distinct lives that she tries to keep separate - her school/home life as Miho, and her work life as Lala. It seems that each dictates the use of different portions of Miho's personality. Heck, maybe the series could even be considered a deep, thought provoking psychological insight on how we perceive ourselves versus how others perceive us? .......Nahhh. I think in all reality, this is just a lighthearted series that explores the private wishes of younger folk, and introduces it in a magical way.

Overall, if you aren't strictly anti-shoujo, you should at least give this DVD a watch. It may just catch your interest in some way, especially if you can remember when you were a kid and just wanted to hurry up and be older - not to mention the fame-and-adulation part. Now, for those of you who haven't found a pair of dinosaur fairies, you can relive your child hood through Miho. I recommend this series as a good piece of shoujo work. Even if the animation is a little dated, it is nice to see it finally come to North America, and even nicer to see it put together so well.

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