Armitage III: Polymatrix -

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Mania Grade: A

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  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Armitage III

Armitage III: Polymatrix

By Chris Beveridge     January 31, 2002
Release Date: October 14, 1997

Armitage III: Polymatrix
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
2179: Mars has been colonized by Earth, populated by humans and "Second Type" robots - robots designed to perform the menial tasks humans won't do. Then there are the "Third Types" - illegal humanoid robots designed by a nationalist force to look and behave exactly like humans - living undetected among the Martian population as citizens, until one man, Rene D'anclaude, declares war on the "Thirds," starting a massacre in a vow to destroy them all.

That's where she comes in. She's Naomi Armitage. A cyber-punk Martian cop in hot pants, with an attitude as deadly as her gun. She's also a "Third," and her fight against D'anclaude is a fight for her survival. Her partner, Ross Sylibus, lost his partner at the hands of a cybernetic killer and hates robots. Ross must face this prejudice when he is injured and receives cybernetic limb replacements, bringing him closer to becoming one of the monsters he abhors. He begins to realize that being human is more than just flesh and blood and joins Armitage in her fight against D'anclaude and her quest to discover the mystery of why the "Third Type" was created. Armitage and Ross are brought together in a bond of love and hope as their journey uncovers a secret that could destroy two worlds! This is a story about technology and emotion. About hatred and love. About a human on the verge of becoming a machine and a machine on the verge of becoming a human. It is a story of survival.

The Review!
Armitage III: Polymatrix is one of the stranger anime titles out there. Originally released in the US in four volumes, they contained the standard Pioneer Japanese language and an English language soundtrack. Overall, they did fairly well, but nothing hugely successful as the Tenchi series. Pioneer, after seeing the breakout success of the English dubbed version of Ghost In The Shell, tried to do the same with this show. Taking the four episodes, cutting the lesser needed parts, and adding in new follow-through animation, they meshed it into a singular movie, with the noteworthy redubbed dialogue from Elizabeth "Showgirls" Berkley and Keifer Sutherland.

And while this comes out very well, it didn't catch the same way GitS did. The DVD release, as well as the other formats, contain only an English track. This itself is unique in that there was animation produced for US audiences that was exported BACK to Japan for viewing! So lets jump into it, shall we?

The voice acting, overall, is very good. I laughed when I heard that Bekley was playing the lead Armitage character, but I found her performance to be both the most accurate, and most enjoyable. Sutherlands performance however was more like slumming for him. Very little emotion coming from him, way too flat. Other than that, the majority of the voice actors did a great job.

The English soundtrack was also mastered in a 5.1 format, and it shines through in several segments of this disc. Any of the gun firefights sound incredible, especially the ending sequences. The dialogue is very crisp, and the music comes across well in its technoish format.

The menus are well designed as well, giving you plenty of options via animation and music. Pioneer really has outdone themselves with their menus (Ran being the exception). There are also multiple goodies in the extras section worth perusing through as well.

Overall this is a high production valued disc, and definitely worth your time and money if you're into anime, SF styles or just looking for something loud and shiny to show off on your player. Try the Japanese subtitles sometime if you haven't seen them on your TV too, it's a hoot!

English Language DD 5.1,Japanese subtitles,Closed captioned in English,Production notes,Original theatrical trailers

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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