Otogi Zoshi
Volume 5 - Crossing Boundaries

Starring (voice): Fumie Mizusawa, Kan Tokumaru, Kenta Miyake and Kumi Sakuma
Manga Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 04 June 2007

Hikaru is a seventeen year old student living in contemporary Tokyo, little does she realise that she is the living embodiment of her ancestor from the Heian period. Unfinished business has drawn the spirits across time and space. Hikaru continues her quest to find her missing brother, Raiko, with the help of Urabe, a fortune teller, Sadamitu and Tsuna, a writer and a tenant of hers in the Minamoto Heights apartment complex. As Hikaru gets closer to an answer, both past and present collide...

This disc contains Volume Five of the series, Otogi Zoshi - Crossing Boundaries. When you get to review a lot of anime it takes a special combination of story and animation to really get the old flagging interest going. Otogi Zoshi has both in generous helpings making it into the coveted 'must see' category.

Episode eighteen: Ueno, and strange things are starting to happen. Hikaru dreams that she is eaten by fire only to meet a man who also saw it - making her worry that it might have really happened. Her brother's photos lead her to a magical pond which appears to link the Heian period with modern Tokyo. When she is nearly sucked into the past she is rescued by a mysterious man in black, Mansairaku.

Episode nineteen: Shibuya - Hikaru goes ghost hunting, after the ghost dog of Shibuya, with Tsuna who makes an embarrassing proposition, which Hiraku instantly misunderstands. She finally meets the white ghost dog who asks her to give back the chipped moon, possibly the Magatama from the Heian period, if so does that mean that the Magatama's are still active and are the cause of all the mysterious events? Woven around the main narrative are a lot of vignettes which help educate both the audience and Hikaru about the background to what is happening. If you're into detective stories, this part of the show will help you put all the pieces together.

Episode twenty: Azabu, and something is going on with Tsuna as Hikaru finds that he is all dressed up in a suit and having secret meetings. When they follow him to a meeting they overhear discussions about a wedding. Not sure what to do they consult Urabe.

Episode twenty one: Ikebukuro, and finally we are getting into the meat of the Tokyo story and the run up to the end. The pieces are finally coming together. Tsuna continues his investigations into the paranormal, which leads him to the tramps in Ikebukuro. When he finds himself thrown back in to the Heian period, Hiraku needs the help of Mansairaku to get him back.

The picture is up to its usual high standards as is the English dub. Audio comes in English and Japanese stereo, 5.1 and DTS with subtitles.

Of course we have my usual gripe, about the lack of extras; all you get here are six trailers, especially as the price didn't drop. You would have to accept that as a show comes to its end that the extras would fade away, but Manga seems to have decided to ignore them all together, it's not like they don't exist. So a great show is tarnished by having the extras removed and flogged off at the same price. Let's hope that this is rectified in a box set.

So only one more disc to go. Let's hope it's a goody.

Charles Packer

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