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feature2: Coicent/Five Numbers! (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

November 2, 2011 by  



Featuring two sci-fi OVA’s by the anime studio SUNRISE… “Coicent” features a sci-fi tale about a boy who finds love (with a girl with supernatural abilities) and “Five Numbers!”, about four characters trying to escape a prison in outer space.  Two exciting sci-fi OVA’s worth watching!

Image courtesy of © Coicent, Five Numbers!. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: feature2: Coicent/Five Numbers!

DURATION: 60 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital, English 5.1, Japanese 5.1, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Showgate/Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV PG

Release Date: November 22, 2011

Coicent

Director: Shuhei Morita

Script: Shuhei Morita

Character Design: Daisuke Sajiki

Art Director: Junichi Taniguchi

Animation Director: Yuuji Shigekuni

Theme Song by Minako Kotobuki

Anime Production: Sunrise

Five Stars!

Directed by Hiroaki Ando

Screenplay by Dai Sato

Music by Yasutaka Nakata (capsule)

Original Story by Hajime Yatate

Character Design by Masaru Gotsubo

Art Director: Yusuke Takeda

Animation Director: Hiroyuki Horiuchi

Mechanical Design by Kimitoshi Yamane

Anime Production: Sunrise

Featuring the following voice talent:

Coicent

Kappei Yamaguchi/Matt Greenfield as White Deer

Kensho Ono/Vic Mignona a Shinichi

Minako Kotobuki/Luci Christian as Himeko/Toto

Masako Isobe/John Gremillion as Company President

Takehito Koyasu/George Manley as Younger Brother

Tetsu Inada/Mark X. Laskowski as Older Brother

Five Numbers!

Kazuma Mori/John Gremillion as Chunen Otoko /N35 (Middle-Aged Man)

MEG/Hilary Haag as Ota-Onna/R12 (Otaku Woman)

Miyu Irino/Greg Ayres as Koseinen as N17 (Good Young Man)

Seizo Katou/George Manley as Rojin/VO (Old Man)

Takako Honda/Tiffany Grant as Ii Onna/R21 (Good Woman)

Coicent
It’s a quick time jump to the 26th century where a school trip to a rebuilt 21st century city turns into a wild adventure for teenaged Shinichi. While chasing a talking deer that steals his bag, he runs into a strange girl trying to elude even stranger pursuers, and then things get really wild. It’s a mad dash through a city of the past as two young people discover a chance at a new future.

Five Numbers
Four people awake to find themselves in the ultimate prison: an ex-soldier, a beautiful woman, an average Joe and a young computer hacker. Why are they there? What connection links them all? And how can they escape? The answer seems to lie with the fifth prisoner, an old man who knows far more than he is telling… and then there’s the cat. It’s the ultimate locked room mystery and all their lives hinge on solving it.

In 2010, Nara was celebrating their 1,300th anniversary and to celebrate the event, one of the works created by anime studio Sunrise was “Coicent” (Koi*Sento), while another OVA created by the studio titled “Five Numbers!” was created separately but both were featured at the “ANIME FES VS” event.

Unlike other OVA’s that may have many months of planning, for both, the writers were only given a month.

Now both OVA’s will be included together and will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in the U.S. courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.

“Coicent” is written and directed by Shuhei Morita (director of “Freedom” and “Kakurenbo”).  “Coicent” takes place in Nara in 2710 AD.  Technology in Nara is showcased and for young Shinichi, he goes on a field trip to rebuild the 21st century version of the city of Nara.  Shinichi is your average guy, not popular, thinks about girls and talks about them with his friends.  But while wandering away from his class, he sees a white deer which steals his bag.  So, he goes after it in order to retrieve the bag.

Meanwhile, a mysterious girl with special abilities known as Toto is being held captive by Madame President, a president of a large company who has her two goons, Older Brother and Younger Brother watch over her.  But Toto manages to escape and despite not knowing that he saved a beautiful girl, she is grateful to Shinichi for saving her and the two end up having a great time together, and the two fall for each other.

But what happens when Madame President wants her back?

For the anime OVA “Five Numbers!”, the film is written and directed by Hiroaki Ando (who worked on “Freedom”, “Steamboy” and “Tekkonkinkreet”) and is based on a story by Hajime Yatate (note: Not a real person but a pseudonym for the collective contributions of the Sunrise animation staff) and written by Dai Sato (“Eden of the East”, “Cowboy Bebop”, “Freedom”, “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex”, etc.).

The OVA begins with four individuals waking up in an isolated prison in space after a power outage unlocks their prisons and each are released.  Inside are N35 (who helped plan and build the prison), young man N17, sexy woman R21 and a computer hacker R21.  Four people who are prisoners and a cat, but also in the prison is an older man named VO.

With no guards or exits, each try to make their escape.  But learn that there is only one vehicle to escape and it only holds one person.  Who will be the person escaping the prison and for what reason were they incarcerated?

VIDEO, AUDIO AND SUBTITLES:

“Coicent” and “Five Numbers!” were created by the well-known anime studio SUNRISE and for most people who are familiar with the studio, one would think the series would be mecha or sci-fi action-based. But both have great talent who worked on them and for both OVA’s, each are presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen and English and Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital.

It’s important to note that if you want the best picture and audio quality for these two OVA’s, you want to go for the Blu-ray version of this release.

With the first anime, you have “Coicent”, a futuristic Nara which is well-rendered via 3D and backgrounds which were beautifully painted but also an OVA that has a retro feel to its character designs.

The character designs for “Coicent” is by Daisuke Sajiki who did “Kakurenbo” and “Princess Arete”, while art director for the OVA was Junichi Taniguchi (who did art for “Air”, the “Dragon Ball/Z” series and films, “Patlabor” and “Blue Sumbarine No. 6”.

Meanwhile, “Five Numbers!” is a sci-fi film originally created by the Hajime Yatate, creator of “Cowboy Bebop”, “The Big O”, “After War Gundam”, etc.  The character designs were created by manga artist Masaru Gotsubo, making his debut for an anime series.  Gotsubo did the art for the manga series: “Samurai Champloo”and “Shounen Tantei Inugami Geru”.  While art direction was by Yusuke Takeda (“Eden of the East” TV series and films, “Giant Robo” and “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex”.

The series is quite interesting in character design as the characters are created via 3D but on top is a layer with a manga style look courtesy of Masaru Gosubto.  The  prison scenery is also well-rendered via 3D and well-painted.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The following special features are included:

  • Coicent: Japanese Trailer
  • Coicent Clean Opening Animation
  • Coicent Clean Closing Animation
  • Interview with Miyu Irino (Voice of Noir 17) – (11:13) Interview by Gichi Otsuka with voice actor Miyu Irino about working on a short story.  NOTE: This interview has spoilers, so you may want to watch after you watch the OVA.
  • Interview with Dai Sato (Script Writer) – (17:23) Interview by Gichi Otsuka with Script writer Dai Sato who talks about the making of the anime OVA.
  • Five Numbers! Japanese Trailers
  • Also Available from Sentai Filmworks

In some ways, the release of “Coicent/Five Numbers!” on DVD is reminiscent to how anime was back then for anime fans of the early ’90s.

When we purchased our LD’s, we would get one-shot OVA’s, one that comes to mind was a popular LD featuring “Riding Bean/Madlax” and these worked great for an anime club setting (which were the primary way to watch anime back then) because the two stories would be so different and would easily fit to a club’s viewing schedule.

We don’t really see two different OVA’s being released on any physical media anymore, nor do anime studios create OVA’s not based on an anime TV series or well-established manga.    But for the case of “Coicent”, it was created by Sunrise to celebrate the 1,300th anniversary of the city of Nara (former capital of Japan from 710-794) and “Five Numbers!”, another half hour OVA was bundled together with it on DVD and Blu-ray.

While “Coicent” and “Five Numbers!” would have made great stand-alone animated films at 60-minutes, they are just OVA’s that are half-hour long.  Both are entertaining in their own way.  With “Coicent” about a lonely boy who meets a beautiful girl with supernatural powers.  In some way, it does have the banality of a “Video Girl Ai”, “Ah! My Goddess”, “Urusei Yatsura” but not heavily focused on character development but how the two-met each other and how they care for each other.

“Five Numbers!” is rather interesting as a sci-fi film about five prisoners getting released, but what is interesting is why they were imprisoned and what happens at the end of the story.

Both OVA’s are quite entertaining in their own way and for fans of the Sunrise anime studio or even “Cowboy Bebop” and “The Big O” creator Hajime Yatate (who created “Five Numbers!”), if you enjoy sci-fi, you’re going to enjoy this double feature of “Coicent/Five Numbers!”.

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