Yuri Anime: ROD The TV, Vol. 1

July 8th, 2004

Okay, so last month, I picked up the first DVD of ROD The TV.

While the story and characters remain excellent (and the subject of the next entry,) this DVD release does have some issues.

Let’s start from the beginning…the packaging. Geneon had this oh-so-clever idea about the packaging. They’ve made it look like a book with the “pages” being slots for actual disks. Let me be clear – not like usual box sets with room for DVD cases – this “book” only accepts the disk itself. For this neat look, one pays nearly ten dollars more than the regular price of the DVD alone. Here’s the problem though – what to do with the other DVD cases that one will have to buy when one gets the next volumes? Good question. Throw them out and lose the art? Cut them up? Stick them, empty, on your already overcrowded shelves? It’s up to you. And there is no, say, discount for future purchases of non-boxed DVDs, which is what *I* would have done – offered $5 off for every future volume you buy in a non-over packaged form.

For your extra money you get a $3 pencil baord with Michelle in semi-transparent clothing in a “sexy” pose and Anita looking appropriately loli on the other side. What will they think of next? Maggie in a lace teddy? I shudder to think.

Now, let’s move onto the DVD itself – the main menu is fantastic. Abolutely the best I’ve ever seen on a licensed DVD. It’s made up to look like the ToC of a book and makes sense, is easy to figure out and navigate. Kudos on that.

The English language track is okay. Personally, I can never stand to watch the dubs, because no matter how much better North American voice actors and actresses are getting, they never really sound natural. And they always cock up the pronunciation of the characters names. It’s about rhythm and phonics. For examples of the dub, check out that official site – you can watch clips with the dub track. It’s not painful, just not my cup of tea.

So, that brings us to the Japanese track and the….subtitles. *They* were painful. Once again, the DVD was made with the assumption that English-speaking viewers are morons who cannot, under any circumstances, understand the relationships expressed by honorifics. Here’s my rant from the Yuricon Mailing List:

“Maggie-chan” became “Maggie dear,” while “Anita-chan” just becomes “Anita” and all the ” -‘nee” endings Anita uses disappear, except when Nenene insists that Anita call her “Nenene-‘nee” (which is really awful in *any* language.) So then, the translators capitulate and use “big sister” as they do when Maggie calls Michelle “onee-san.”

You see the problem. Translating “-chan” as dear, regardless of the actual relationship is awkward and, in many case, incorrect. Drives me nuts. Inexplicably, they simply ignore the existence of “-kun.”

I think I may very well start attending Industry panels, just to ask them what the deal with the honorifics are. If we *all* do that, maybe they’ll get a clue. Send ’em a letter, because emails bounce and don’t look as real as a bag full of “Leave the honorifics alone, please” letters.

I would also have much preferred 5 episodes on the first volume. If it were me, 26 episodes would be on 6 volumes, with 5 episodes on the first and last volume. It seems fair-ish, even though we all know it could really be on 3 or 4 DVDs comfortably. But TPTB (The Powers That Be) are releasing it on *7* DVDs! What’s that 5 of 4 episodes and 2 of…3? That’s pretty cheesy, IMHO.

So, while ROD The TV remains an *excellent* series and chock-full o’yuri, the Volume 1 DVD is, at best, a 6.

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