Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #04 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Votoms, Armor Trooper

Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #04

    July 17, 2001
Release Date: July 17, 2001


Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #04
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
The hunted becomes the hunter! All hell breaks loose as Chirico makes his move against the Secret Society and the Uoodo City police, and when his Armored Trooper explodes into action he gives his enemies more than they bargained for. But Captain Rochina and the Melkian Army have been watching, waiting for the right moment to move in with all the force at their command.

Chirico fights his way all the way into the heart of the enemy stronghold and finally wins the heart of the Phantom Lady. But Iskui and Borough have enlisted A.T. pilots from the Battling arena and getting out will be a lot tougher than getting in.

Just when it seems things can get no worse, Captain Rochina's army parachutes into Uoodo for a full-scale invasion. They will catch the Secret Society even if they have to destroy the entire city to do it. It's a tornado of fire...with Chirico caught right in the middle!

Contains:
11: Counterattack
12: The Bonds
13: The Escape

The Review!
Overall Rating: 3.9
(on a scale of 1-5)

-Technical Ratings-
Sound: 5
Picture: 5
Menu: 4
Presentation: 3
Goodies: 4
Overall: 4.2

-Content Ratings-
Animation: 3
Sound: 3
Plot: 4
Japanese Acting: 4
Music: 3
Entertainment: 4
Overall: 3.5

-Intro-

This story arc reaches it’s conclusion but like any good anime it leaves you wanting more. Chirico reveals a bit of his past, not only to his friends but to us as well. The Phantom Lady gets a bit more time in the spotlight and a much larger conspiracy is hinted at. Oh yeah and there are about a hundred explosions as well. It’s full contact mecha combat in this disc of Votoms.

-Technical Review-

The technical ratings stay the same. The sound and picture remain high. The menu’s got great style and works fine. The subs are hard matted onto the screen for this series. So you can’t get rid of them and watch this raw. The keepcase tells you everything except for running time and that it’s in Japanese with subs. The extras include a Gallery of stills and production art (the same from the first disc). You also get some introductions to characters, mecha, vehicles, and weapons. These are comprised of text and design sketches. The last element called the "World Guide" gives you an in depth look into the technology of the Armoured Troopers. The difference between this and the last "World Guide" is that this goes into the inner workings of the Armoured Troopers. In other words you find out what all those controls are inside the cockpit. As usual you might want to watch the whole disc before you do any reading, as some spoilers to episodes are given away in these ex!
tr!
as.

-Content Review-

Chirico was preparing for a big time showdown with the Uoodo police in the last episode. And now he’s got his wish. The chief of police and his "holiness" Borough throw everything they can at him. It’s also time to unveil the secret behind the Phantom Lady. If you hadn’t guessed by this point she is the pilot of that red Armored Trooper that kicked Chirico’s butt all around. But there seems to be a problem, she is now unwilling to fight Chirico! Things go from bad to worse... for the Uoodo Police that is. Chirico is a one man army and he battles his way to the police station. It comes down to a duel between the Phantom Lady and himself. The next episode continues the forward momentum as the army (those guys who have been snooping around the whole time) launch their attack against the Uoodo police. They want the Phantom Lady as well! Now Chirico has to escape from the police tower with the prototype (Proto One/Phantom Lady). Will his friends come to save him (again!
?). The last episode lets the final battle explode it’s way into Uoodo city. General chaos is the theme here and all the main characters are caught up in it. Who will end up surviving and who will end up dead? You’ll have to see in the next disc!

The animation remains the same, as does the sound on this disc. I want to comment on a couple things. The depth to which the Armoured Troopers were thought out is amazing. When you look at the extras on this disc and then you see them in action during the animation itself, you can see the great detail the design team used on this series. It makes you wish the animation was a bit cleaner. Again, it’s easy to see how Gasaraki evolved from the same creator. I also want to mention that the look of Uoodo city reminds me a great deal of the film Blade Runner. Now I know that Blade Runner was an inspiration to many anime directors. Check out Bubblegum Crisis (the original) and see how many similarities and tributes you can come up with. But the look of Uoodo with it’s huge buildings and dark grimy look are very similar to the film. The thing is, Blade Runner was released in 1982 (I believe). This series came out in 1983. I doubt that the creators of Votoms had a chance to see the movie and get inspiration. Could it be that both creative groups came up with a similar idea? Maybe they based their image of the future on a similar book or other work. It was just an interesting observation.

The plot itself didn’t really come to a conclusion but it did make me want to watch more. The climax of the Uoodo story arc comes with a ton of explosions and combat. But it also comes together building the tension perfectly. Certain elements remained predictable, like the fate of the Phantom Lady. But I did enjoy seeing Chirico come to grips with the fact that he now has friends: people he can trust. Things are definitely going into a new direction and I’m eager to see what the next story arc has in store.

The Japanese acting by the mains was well done. I didn’t notice anything that seemed too overdone. I can see how this series would be tough to dub. Like Gasaraki there are lots and lots of characters. I’m sure more will be introduced in the next story arc. It would have been nice to have a great dub team tackle this one though. Oh well.

This disc was very entertaining. I almost gave it a half point up. But I think I’ll wait and see how things pan out in the next disc. So far I can say that if you enjoy a good story with mecha action, intrigue, and lots of explosions at the end, then you can’t go wrong. I can also see the older animation and lack of mecha fan service turning some people off. It’s a tough show to recommend. But if what I’ve said about it so far intrigues you, give the first couple of discs a shot. Well it’s time to say goodbye to Uoodo city and say hello to a different type of jungle in the next disc of Votoms.

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...
roman@animeondvd.com

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Phillips Flatscreen (27 Inch), Sony Playstation 2

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