To Your Other Self - Volume 3

Starring (voice): Haruka Kudō, Kazuya Nakai and Fujiko Takimoto
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 12
Available 25 June 2007

A dimensional war is being lost. The dimension of La'cryma is fighting to save the earth but is loosing to the Shangri-La dimension. Their last hope lies fifteen years in their own past with Haruka and the recovery of the Dragon Torque...

Volume Three of Noein: To Your Other Self continues this interesting and engaging show. The series is a rich mixture of excellent animation and complex narrative and, as I've said before, you really have to watch the show from the beginning; otherwise the whole think will make little sense. The show continues to exude a look and quality more usually found in one of the more expensive Hayao Miyazaki movies.

Volume Three contains episodes ten to fourteen and comes as a two disc set. Both discs contain the same episodes with the difference being in the audio options and the extras, which given the normal fare that we are used to are fairly impressive.

Disc one contains a featurette called From Storyboard to Screen, which does what it says on the box and runs for a very reasonable eighteen minutes. For those of you that have been collecting the whole run there is part three of the interview with the director and voice actor - another decent feature at fourteen minutes. Lastly there is a picture gallery. Disc two fares less well, having only four trailers for other shows.

The other main difference between the two discs is the audio options. Disc one comes in English and Japanese stereo and 5.1 with subtitles and disc two has stereo and DTS. Picture quality is pin sharp but I still don't like the menus, which are hard to read. Okay, so the moving background graphic is rather cool for the first thirty seconds, but between that and the ghosting on the actual titles its like suffering a permanent migraine. However that's a minor quibble given the number of shows per disc and the more than reasonable extras and audio options.

Episode ten: A Stormy Night, and Haruka's friend's turn up to see what has been going on. Initially they are met by Yuu's mother who is a little worse for wear - her general tipsy ramblings bring a much needed comic relief to the show. Faced with the inevitable Haruka is forced to admit everything to her friends. Later Atori attacks Yuu and Isami in an effort to attract and attack Karasu. Behind the scenes the Magic Circle Project continue to shadow the friends and follow a mysterious agenda which you just know will turn out to explain why everything went pants in the future. Governments and their toys, they really never learn.

Episode eleven: Out of Synch, and oh dear Uchida explains to another member of the Magic Circle Project that they intend to break the bounds of time and space. Anyone else in the room thinks that this is a bad idea. Strangely enough the show takes its physics very seriously and the explanation is quite long. Yuu and Isami are having trouble with their studies, so decide to play football. It is a bittersweet affair as the friend's play their future selves look on knowing that this may be the last days of happiness that they will experience.

Episode twelve: The Battle - Haruka is desperate to find Karasu and Fukurou, knowing that the falling out that the friends had - when they were still Yuu and Isami - is coming to fruition, heading towards a fight, a personal battle. What looks to be a fight to the death is stopped by the arrival of Haruka, but she is not the only one who has a stake in the fight, Atori also turns up.

Episode thirteen: The Wish - Haraku cradles the barely living Karasu. The mysterious intervention which stopped the fight and killed Fukurou has also had a profound effect on Atori, apparently bereft of his memory, he seems also to have lost his hatred, together with the gang they rush to replenish Karasu's Reizu (his lift force) before it is too late. Meanwhile, the agents of the Magic Circle Project engineer a meeting with Haruka.

Episode fourteen: Memories, and an episode which, whilst interesting, is a little break in the story. Haruka's introduction to various beings from both the future and different dimensions has taught her that reality is much more fluid than she first thought. This is further brought into focus when she is able to use the Dragon Torque to experience different periods in her parent's marriage.

So there you have it, to be honest the show just gets better and better. Getting into it is a bit of a pain as the series starts in the middle of the action, but trust me - stay with the show until all the pieces fall into place and your patience will be well rewarded.

Charles Packer

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