Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 125
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Arc the Lad
Arc the Lad Vol. #6
By Chris Beveridge
December 24, 2001
Release Date: January 22, 2002
Arc the Lad Vol. #6
What They Say
© ADV Films
As the awesome power of the Chimeras is unleashed in waves of horror that engulf the planet, the Lords of Darkness launch a new offensive against the Champions of the Spirits.
Now the crew of the Silver Noah must face their greatest challenge and fight against their ultimate fears. Will Elk be forced, out of necessity, to kill his beloved Lieza? Will Arc survive his final confrontation with the sinister Clive?
The final volume of the exciting Arc the Lad series! The Review!
After a fairly uneven series, the show comes to a pretty decent and final conclusion that should leave most fans of it pretty satisfied. Audio:
For the purpose of our primary review, we listened to this in its original language of Japanese. Being a TV series, there's little surprise here in how it sounds. The opening song is strong and probably the loudest part of the show. Dialogue is crisp and clear with no noticeable dropouts or other distortions. There's some rather good directionality across the front soundstage through a couple of scenes that works really well.Video:
If there's one thing this series has been for the most part, it's been that its had gorgeous transfers. This final volume is definitely no exception in that department. Colors are strikingly beautiful and solid, backgrounds are perfect with no color shifting and there's no visible cross coloration at all. While some of the character designs may not be appealing, the look of the show comes across great with these discs and fans of the series are bound to be really pleased.Packaging:
Arc and Elk, bathed in flames, take up the final cover for this series and looks pretty good. Even with such a goofy looking design as Elk has. The back cover is set up identical to previous volumes with a fair number of animation shots and some menu captures. A brief summary talks about the episodes and the technical information is fairly well represented, though finding the running time is a bit of a chore. The insert provides a lighter version of the front cover with an all-white background, while the reverse side features each of the episodes and their respective chapters.Menus:
The menus are pretty simple since there's little to do with the disc beyond watching the content and the trailers. The main menu is done in a similar cut style as the cover with one section playing part of the opening music and animation. Access times between menu selections are pretty fast and without issue.Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
For a large part of this series, it's been fairly difficult to tell who the real villain is. It's almost shifted in an strange way from different people, but there's always been the involvement of Clive in the doings of evil. So it's really not much of a surprise to find that even at the end, he's still using others to do most of his evil work for him.
With his capture of Lieza for the Namless Crusade, the woman from there that he deals with has gone beyond his orders and started the bonding process for Lieza to turn her into the new Holy Mother. While Clive doesn't appreciate his orders being ignored, he does take the best route of simply waiting to see the results. And oddly, they're the results he expected - the bonding doesn't take and Lieza's body, presumably too entwined with the Spirits, doesn't take well to having this thing inside of her.
Clive still has uses for her though. Provided the incompetent staff doesn't let her escape after she awakens from the rejection. The two end up facing off of each other in a very cinematic moment, with her on the railing against the moon in the night time sky. It's very visually appealing and ends up showing a lot of just how far her character will go to preserve what she believes in. But being the bad guy, Clive has his ways and ends up mentally dominating Lieza, turning her into his tool for a larger purpose.
That purpose? Realizing that she has the same level of power as Kukuru, he's going to use her to open up the Holy Ark and release the Darkness into the world. This would be the Darkness that's crept in a little bit and has been dealing with the Four Generals who've been taking over the world and ruining cities and nations like mad. The Darkness has reached a critical level even with Smeria being freed by Arc and his gang.
The remaining generals have achieved a level of Chimera's that the need for their plan. Using the technology that they've been placing throughout the lands for quite awhile, they "activate" what appears to be hundreds and hundreds if not thousands upon thousands of Chimera's. People who normally wouldn't be thought of as having the potential are unlocked, and these beasts now run free and destroy everything they can. With it, they unleash massive amounts of negativity into the world, weakening the Spirits and strengthening the Darkness. Enough so that the controlled Lieza can facilitate its return to the world.
Frankly, these episodes probably made the most continuous sense of what we've seen in the series so far. The action is solid, the characters act appropriately and while you know how things are going to end, the ride to that point is pretty much a good time and well done. Clive's revelations lack something to make him seem truly evil which ends up reducing his overall impact, but the overall execution is still pretty well done.
I doubt that I'll be revisiting the series anytime soon, but it's one that may flow and make more sense seeing the episodes in a quicker fashion over one weekend than over the course of several months with many other series mixed in-between. For those who've enjoyed it though, they've got a solid release whose only real shame is that there weren't any really nice extras for.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.