She, the Ultimate Weapon
Volume 3

Starring (voice): Shiro Ishimoda, Fumiko Orikasa, Shinichirô Miki and Miki Itô
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 21 August 2006

In the not so distant future, war has come to Japan. Caught up in the configuration are two young high school lovers, Shuji and Chise. Chise is a young clumsy and not too bright girl who is in love with Shuji. The normality of their teenage romance is seriously interrupted when during an attack Shuji discovers that Chise has been turned into She the Ultimate Weapon...

If you think that the previously released episodes were sad then you really shouldn't be buying this DVD, from here on in the show becomes more and more tragic. This is a depiction of a war where everybody looses.

Episode Nine: Akemi, and Chise leaves Tetsu to return to the military, but things have not gone well and she lapses into a coma. Meanwhile, Shuji is trying to survive in a world that is slowly unravelling under the pressure of the war. Shuji goes to see Akemi, who is dying of her horrific injuries, and she declares her love for him. Like I said, the death toll really starts to mount up from this episode. In the scenes of death and destruction little is held back, allowing the audience the full visceral experience of watching someone die painfully and unnecessarily.

Episode Ten: And Then..., Chise is awake and angry, she finds Tetsu dying of his wounds after she kills the soldiers that shot him. With the military in full retreat the school is finally closed to become an army headquarters. As the world heads into its final nightmare everyone is struggling to find some love, as if love can conquer all.

Episode Eleven: A Time for Us, five days following Chise's return to Shuji and the two lovers have fled the war, trying to find a last chance at happiness. For a while the pretence seems to be working and the lovers find some peace at last. However, Chise is hiding the fact that she is running out of her medication, the only thing which stops her turning into a homicidal killing machine.

Episode Twelve: Love Song, and the war and the military have once more caught up with the lovers. With her medication finally exhausted Chise can no longer stop herself from turning into the ultimate weapon and falling back into the hands of the army. The lovers meet for one last time, though Chise is now almost completely a weapon.

Episode Thirteen: And We Will Love, and we discover why the story has all been told as if it happened in the past. With the planet in ruins will the power of love or Chise's power be enough to avert the apocalypse.

As before this excellent show comes on two discs due to the extensive audio options, so each of the two discs contains the same episodes, only the audio options are different. Disc two has English stereo and DTS, with Japanese DTS with subtitles, while disc one comes with English and Japanese Stereo and 5.1 also with subtitles.

Extras are still as good as the previous discs; you get an interview with the director and producer as well as another with Shin Takahashi, the creator of the original Manga. There is some production art and the usual over the top interview with some of the voice actors. On disc two there are trailers for other shows.

So another must see show comes to the end. For those of you that have enjoyed it you might like to know that there is, already out, a live action movie based on the Manga, though when we will get to see it on this side of the pond is anyone's guess.

Charles Packer

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