Information: title graphic

As mentioned before, MTT (OAV and TV series) has been released in North American by Media Blasters/AnimeWorks. I thought I'd make a small section with information on the release, some scans, and my personal opinion about the first 3 volumes. These comments refer to the DVDs, but the dub/sub/translation (and the packaging to an extent) should be the same as the VHS editions. You should be able to find a copy of these at any Suncoast, if not other video stores.

Magic User's Club! volume 1 ("I'll Follow You")
ISBN Number: 1-58655-127-2
Code: MTTDVD-4002
Length: 60 Minutes (episodes 1&2)
Special Features: Creditless Opening, Art Gallery, Scene Access, Interactive Menu
Comments: As a general comment for the releases, I think having 2 OAV episodes per volume is fair but pushing it. On the one hand, you could fit the entire series on one DVD, but on the other hand, it's better than it would be in Japan (1 episode per tape) and it's a short enough series that it's forgivable. That and they got a packaging theme arranged around the three girls. This package was themed for Sae, and thus the design is decked out in reds and pinks. I like the design, though the transparent box looks kind of cheesy. I also found it very fragile - one of the copies in the store already shattered before it was opened.
I would comment on the actual contents of the DVD, but I seem to have gotten a dud :/ It crashes after any 8 minutes of playing (and I couldn't get a refund. Bugger. ^^;)
The art gallery in the extras section wasn't much of an extra. There were a few pictures, but nothing I hadn't seen before online. The Scene Access breaks into 15 minute segments, opening, and ending which was enough for me. I will admit though, the interface for this DVD is adorable ^_^; It has a playful feel to it, just like Sae's picture diary.
Scans: Front (larger), Back, DVD

thumbnail of the coverMagic User's Club! volume 2 ("Magic is so Easy")
ISBN Number: 1-58655-130-2
Code: MTTDVD-4005
Length: 60 Minutes (episodes 3&4)
Special Features: Creditless Closing, Outtakes, Scene Access, Interactive Menu
Comments: The packaging for volume two was themed after Akane in blues and whites. Each volume appears to be assigned one of the female leads, which ties in vaguely to the contents of the episodes (episode 3 was rather Akane centric, episode 5 is prominent for Nanaka...). I vastly preferred the DVD packaging on this volume, which was an opaque and sturdier plastic. The inside also contained a listing of each scene access, which was nice.
This DVD actually let me play it, so I can comment on the content. It's a good translation, as far as I can tell (the fansubbers weren't exactly perfect, and I haven't sat down to compare them side by side). They translate Takeo & Ayanojou & Mizuha as Seniors instead of Juniors, which makes sense to me (there are only 3 years of highschool in Japan, so Junior year is the equivalent to Senior year ^^). Oddly, Mizuha's club is kept as the "manga club" in the subtitled version, which seems to be a gift to the die hard anime fans; the dub translates it into comic club. Most of the "Senpai" suffixes have been left as last names only, at least in this volume (though I did catch some glimpses of "Senior!" in what I could play of the previous volume - I suppose they thought it too awkward ^_^;). Some American slang is also slipped in the conversations, but nothing really jarring.
Then there's the dub. I'm primarily a sub fan, so I only watched it out of curiousity to see what kind of voices they decided to use. I have to say Takeo, Minowa, Yoshimoto, Takeo's advisor, and the extras were highlights of the vocal talent. They really made their roles come alive while still keeping a similar sound to the original characters ^^ Though he didn't stand out strongly either way, I've got to give Aburatsubo's dub voice kudos - the dreaming scene in episode 4 was priceless *grin* Akane's voice bothered me (low and breathless? It makes her sound much older than the other characters and doesn't feel as cute/ditzy ^^;) and Mizuha's voice, alas, can't seem to nail her trademark laughter (personal bias, but the character doesn't seem right without an ear splitting laugh). Unless my ears were playing tricks on me, they also dubbed over the Magic Wand - odd ^^;
As for the extras, this volume stands out above its predecessor. Why? Because instead of an art gallery, there are OUTTAKES ^^ Basically, various clips being dubbed with the actors messing up (stammering or missing a cue) or the actors saying random out of character things. They seemed to have quite a few of the random silly ones from Sae's actress, which I enjoyed ^_^ ("Takakura... take me NOW!")
Scans: Front (larger), Back, DVD

thumbnail of the coverMagic User's Club! volume 3 ("Believe in Yourself")
ISBN Number: 1-58655-140-X
Code: MTTDVD-4008
Length: 60 Minutes (episodes 5&6)
Special Features: Creditless Closing, Outtakes, Scene Access, Interactive Menu, Slates, TV spots
Comments: The packaging for volume 3 was themed after Nanaka, meaning most of the DVD is decked in yellows and whites. Animeworks has stuck to the opaque DVD cases which I appreciate, since they look nicer and they endure more. The only nitpick I have with this volume is the clip holding the DVD inside its casing is really difficult. It involves much maneuvering of fingernails and luck, sort of like a childproof cap on medecine. Bugger.

These two episodes are my favorites of the OAV episodes, so I don't think you can really go wrong to check them out *grin* I gave my thoughts of the translation and the dub for the previous DVD. I was disappointed with the first of Takeo's confession scenes in episode 5. I know he's stuttering, but in the Japanese it's obvious what he's going to say. I'd rather they translate a little of what's inferred, but that could just be the relationshipper in me speaking. The same critique applies to the dub ending of episode 5, which was a little more nebulous than the subtitles. Sae's voice actress bugged me less than usual in this episode (surprising me by performing quite well during her phone conversation with Nanaka or Takeo's, ahem, fantasy in episode 5 ;)), a trend I hope will continue. My only other new dubbing critique would be the little pre-broom riding scene in episode 5. Aburatsubo did wonderfully in episode 4 and episode 6, I was dissappointed that he didn't have the same zest for this one little scene *grin*

And yes, of course, the extras ;) Each volume of the OAVs has gradually increased the add-ons, though I still think the Outtakes are by far the highlights. Majority of the outtakes were from Minowa this time with a few minor flubs from the others. And yes, another Sae song reference ;) This volume also includes Japanese TV commercials for the OAVs, which are cute though not incredibly interesting ^_^; Also included is a "slate" which is the Japanese trailer for episode 6.
Scans: Front (larger), Back, DVD

And while I haven't sat down with official reviews for the latter DVDs, I will mention that the episode count increased from 2 to 4, the extras improved (constant outtakes, a few singalongs, etc), and the packaging was high quality and consistant with Japanese packaging art. So, you know, without the indepth reviews I still give them thumbs up.

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