Apocalypse Zero - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Apocalypse Zero

Apocalypse Zero

By Chris Beveridge     September 25, 2001
Release Date: September 25, 2001


Apocalypse Zero
© Media Blasters


What They Say
In the post-apocalyptic world that Earth has become in the 21st century, monsters, mutants, and demons all roam the land looking for human prey. Kakugo and Harara have been trained by their father in the ancient Zero fighting technique, to protect the last remnants of humanity, and restore hope and peace on Earth.

Powered by both their superior fighting skills and their secret techniques, as well as special living armor made from the souls of ancient warriors, they are sent into the world to defend the weak from demons and mutants who savagely attack and destroy human life.

Yet, with all their training, Harara succumbs to the evil within, killing their father and believing Kakugo is dead as well. But their fates are still intertwined. Kakugo comes to the remnants of a city to help the few human inhabitants. As he saves them from the ravages of cannibalistic monsters and depraved mutants, he once again encounters his psychotic sibling, and the bloodiest battle of the 21st century brings new meaning to Sibling Rivalry!

The Review!
According to Animerica, "If nasty isn't enough and disgusting seems dull, Apocalypse Zero will open even the most desensitized media zombie's eyes."
Yeah, mine were opened. And rolling. This show belongs firmly in the trash layer of anime shows, the kind that get the Dragonball Z fans to go "woah" and realize that yes, there is more violent stuff out there than DBZ. You know who I'm talking about.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. This is a pretty straightforward stereo soundtrack. There's decent usage of the forward soundstage with a few moments of directionality, but otherwise most of this track is center channel based outside of the music. Dialogue is clear and there weren't any noticeable dropouts.

Video:
Originally released in 1996, these two OVA episodes are of pretty decent quality. The backgrounds in particular do a great job of giving the show a real apocalyptic look. There's no cross coloration visible, though there's a bit of bleeding with some of the reds, notably Horie's hairbow. This is a good looking transfer overall with no real problems, but the source material doesn't make it really shine. It's true to the source material though.

Packaging:
A very dark and murky looking cover, it captures the feel of the "hero" and the living armor suit he wears. The back cover gives a good summary of the show as well as providing a mixture of images from the show. Technical and production info is nicely laid out as well as the language features. The only discrepancy is the running time is listed as 90 minutes when it's actually 75. Both episodes run just over 35 minutes.

Menus:
The menu layout is pretty simple as there's not much to the disc outside of the show. Other than the still image gallery, you get language selection and chapter selections off of the main menu that plays some music to a static image. Moving around is pretty easy and access times are nice and fast.

Extras:
The small image gallery has a few pictures from the show, some nice artwork and what appears to be the two Japanese release covers.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Welcome to the world of the near future, where three years of massive seismic activity have turned things to utter crap. Apparently there's some massive radioactivity floating around there too, presumably from reactors getting blown up from the seismic activity. This story focuses on New Tokyo, which is just like the old Tokyo, except all the buildings are in ruins.

In this new hellish world, kid still have to go to school. The reasoning behind it is that they need to learn things to make things better. Schools have their own armed guards to defend the kids, and nobody stays out past dark. There's sections of New Tokyo that are completely off limits. Section 13 is home to large and still-growing cockroaches where no human can live. Giant moths fly around as well, and their dust movements cause machines to lock up. It's just bad.

In one of the remote regions of Japan, we're introduced to two brothers, Harara and Kakugo. The two are being taught in this snowy wilderness by their father the Zero form, a way of fighting that can help people. The two boys are quite slim and lithe. Kakugo is shown with a number of ball bearings seared into his flesh, and his opening fight with a multi-breasted mutant bear shows the bears acid blood splattering across him. Suffice to say, these are a couple of tough boys.

Even if Harara for some reason does have breasts.

Told in flashback throughout both episodes, we see how they both trained, both learned of the two pieces of powerful armor their father had ownership of, how Harara is actually the evil one of the two brothers and the battle the had him killing his father and supposedly killing his brother. It takes so long for this to be told, it's told up into the final 10 minutes of the show. Of course, if it was all shown at once in the beginning, the lack of actual meat to this story would be even more obvious.

The present day story deals with the supposedly dead Kakugo arriving in New Tokyo and going to school. It's from here that he makes friends with some of the rough and tumble kids and the girl-who-will-always-be-in-distress. The kids are constantly getting into trouble with the various mutant evil that runs amuck in the city. Kakugo dons the Zero Form armor and then kicks their asses. He proceeds to do this until his brother possesses one of them and fights through that form.

The evil run amuck mutants are just insultingly stupid.

A huge woman who wears only straps that doesn't cover a thing, but gives her appropriately placed crotch spikes. She likes to kill girls who have "seduced" men and then give her love to the men. She basically squishes the girls so their guts pop out of their mouths, and then she ties the guy down in her bed, kisses him and tears his face off. She then puts the face over one of her nipples and goes looking for more love. But not before she EATS the entire body. Later we see her vomit up a still-living person alongside dozens and dozens of skulls and ribcages.

Another is a building-sized blue presumably female creature who attacks after his flower creature is killed by Kakugo. This creature uses it's tongue to attack and pass massive electricity through and then yanks a massive flesh microphone from its crotch area and sings, much to the dismay of those around it.

Another is a normal sized female nurse that's very attractive. She ensnares a few random people at one point and offers to make love to them. The first guy slips his hand inside her, only to pull it out and find that there's nothing left but bones. She later attacks Kakugo and friends, with a transformation that gives a massive face through the center of her body, and her breasts turn into massive pieces of bologna-like things. Cut 'em off and she can just re-attach them.

The final bad buy is an oversized decrepit old man with his wiener in a bandage that's eternally erect. He drools ice and has various ways of using this ability as a weapon, along with his cane. And yes, when necessary, he can unbandage his wiener and it turns into something to do with Golden Balls.

I kid you not.

This is just trash level anime. Not only do I wish I had the 75 minutes back I watched it the first time, but I wish I had the 40 minutes back I had to watch again while writing this review. But if I can save even one person from such bad anime, it'll be worth it.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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