DVD
Otogi Zoshi
Volume 6 - Full Circle

Starring (voice): Fumie Mizusawa, Kan Tokumaru, Kenta Miyake and Kumi Sakuma
Manga Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
MANG5027
Certificate: 15
Available 16 July 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 a writer, and Tsuna a tenant of hers in the Minamoto Heights apartment complex. Things are finally coming to a head as Hikaru gets closer to an answer both past and present collide. Her friends finally work out that Hikaru might be in danger as she tries to prevent a catastrophe...

Full Circle is the sixth disc in the rather excellent Otogi Zoshi series and contains the remaining five episodes of the series. The disc is a bit of an oddity, but great for those who want to complete their collection, as the broadcast show actually ends at episode twenty-four. The remaining Special was produced for the Japanese DVD release.

Episode 22, Ookubo, and the show is heading towards its fruition. With so many story strands still to work out its surprising that very little actually happens in this episode. Hikaru finally understands that the past and present are colliding, and that if she does not fix it the whole of Tokyo will be destroyed. Her friends also finally work out what is happening and go in search of her, but time is running out.

Episode 23, Marunouchi, The search for Hikaur's missing brother is finally over as Hikaru and her friends search for the distortion, which is starting to affect Tokyo. Urabe reveals that she has seen the future and that only Hikaru can stop what is about to happen. But things do not go as planned. Their way is blocked by security. When they finally make it to the deepest levels of the railway station Hikaru's gem opens up a passageway which leads to the Heian period and Mansairaku.

Episode 24, Manseibashi, and Hikaru and Mansairaku finally have to confront their part in the tragedy that has played out through the two time periods. With so much to explain and resolve, this episode is heavy on dialogue and short on action. Whether Hikaru can repair the damage, well I won't spoil the ending for you, except to say it made a satisfying end to this wonderful series.

Episode 25, Kimon - TV Special that gives a little of the Tokyo back-story. Set a year before the Tokyo story it focuses on Urabe.

Episode 26, Minato - TV Special, and this time the focus shifts to Mansairaku and his role as protector of the city.

Once again the extras seem to have disappeared, leaving only a bunch of trailers, it's a shame really as the series started out so strong. The show is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ration with a nice selection of either English/Japanese stereo, 5.1 and DTS.

This was always a series that repaid close attention, it strove for historical accuracy in an effort to raise the level of the shows reality and to a great extent it was successful. There were many elements which raised the show above the crowd, excellent characterisations and vocal acting; it's just a shame that the extras tailed off. Still there is the inevitable box set to look forward to, hopefully with all the extras restored.

Charles Packer

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