Please save my Please Save My Earth box set.
Warning; image-heavy post ahoy!
Please Save My Earth
지구를 지켜줘 박스 세트
Release Date: August 29, 2003
Most of you know my love for Please Save My Earth. So getting ahold of the OVA was a no-brainer. (C’mon, reboot!) This set, however, is not the North American release. It’s not even the Japanese release.
I’ll let this Buried Treasure article from ANN explain: (A fabulous read by the way.)
Back in my budding otaku days (the mid 90’s), the 6-part OAV was one of the most prevalent forms of anime. The short episode count made collecting the series easy, and the direct-to-video format usually meant animation of far better quality than TV series of the day. The most popular on VHS fansub were Iria, Video Girl Ai, and of course Please Save My Earth.
Despite its popularity in the VHS fansub scene, Viz’s dubbed release slipped by unnoticed. In those days, Viz (like many anime distributors) really didn’t know how to properly market a release, and a shoujo drama like PSME simply didn’t have a chance among the mecha and martial arts fanboys of the day. The DVD release occurred only a few years later, and retailers who were still sitting on piles of unsold VHS copies weren’t too keen on stocking a DVD.
A much better boxed set has been released by DVD Ani in Korea. The three disc set features English subtitles identical to the Viz release (but no dub) and video quality equal to the R2 DVD’s. The six OAV’s are spread on two of the discs; the third disc contains both the Movie version and the Music Image Video. (No subtitles on either, unfortunately.) The Movie version is over-edited and not worth your time, but the Music Image Video OAV is a must-have.
So this is the aforementioned Korean release. Of course, this set now out-of-print, so it’s hard to find for most people. Someone on the net recently said they managed to find it on Yahoo! Auctions Japan. The Japanese title is ぼくの地球を守って in case you want to search there, but you will need to get a proxy to actually get the set.
First of all, the English dub is terrible. (I rented it a long time ago.) So the loss of the English voices are not missed. (Well, it’s mostly the fact that Rin’s voice is so flat. They never should have cast a child in the role.) The subtitles being lifted directly from Viz’s version is wonderful since everything is written in actual English, not Japanese –> Korean –> English. For the music video and movie, you can choose either Korean or Japanese subtitles, which can be turned off.
I don’t know much about DVD encoding, but I would suspect the set would have a higher visual quality because it isn’t putting all six episodes on one disc. (A DVD definitely has enough space for all six episodes, but I imagine DVD ani didn’t need to compress the video.) This is a Region 3 DVD, so some hardware may need to be unlocked to Region 0 or changed to Region 3 to play the disc. (As a test, I had no problem in my laptop, an older Alienware model.)
The inserts give a summary of each episode… (Well, I’m assuming anyway since I don’t read Korean.) The OVA itself tries to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, but it also avoids a lot of the early manga’s pitfalls. Namely, the fangirling and overly-exaggerated comedy.
Like many DVDs, the menu images contain a lot of shots in the background. So the menu isn’t fully static.
With Please Save My Earth being such a short series, all additional animation beyond the OVA is appreciated. Unfortunately, as the summary mentioned, the movie is mostly a rehashed version of the six OVA episodes weaved together with Alice’s narration as she waits to see Rin. You get a few new scenes from the later volumes, but I think everyone would have rather had a movie that jumped ahead and contained all new content. The music videos contain a combination of cute pictures and old and new scenes as music plays. Some of these will give you goosebumps as much as the manga did. What else could you expect from the pair who would later work on The Vision of Escaflowne? Plus look at that adorable shot of young Shion and Mokuren being watched over by Kyaa and Alice. How adorable!
The box itself is made up of sturdy cardboard that still looks pretty darn good considering how old it is. The flowers surrounding Mokuren are slightly glossy. While this looks good next to Mokuren, they’re even more hauntingly beautiful on the back of the box set with the moon in the background.
Most people will probably be satisfied with Viz Media’s DVD version of Please Save My Earth which can be bought for under $20 used. If you can find the Korean box set, however, you will absolutely love it… until you reach the ending and yearn for a continuation.