Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #05 - 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: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Votoms, Armor Trooper

Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #05

    July 17, 2001
Release Date: July 17, 2001


Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #05
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
Three months have passed since the fall of Uoodo City, lonely months for renegade Armored Trooper pilot Chirico Cuvie who was separated from his beloved Fyana. But as he travels to the war-torn jungles of Kummen, fate moves him another step toward his ultimate destiny. Arriving at the Assemble EX-10 military base, Chirico signs on as a mercenary A.T. pilot, finding both old friends and new enemies to deal with. The EX-10 mercenaries are locked in combat with the native guerilla forces, who fiercely resist outside invaders to their jungle home. Both sides use powerful Armored Troopers, and Chirico's hopes are raised when he encounters a mysterious blue A.T. aiding the enemy guerilla forces. Who else but Fyana could be so fast and deadly? But when Chirico engages the blue AT, he is shocked: the pilot IS a Perfect Soldier--but it ISN'T Fyana! Episodes 1-4.

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-

Well the second story arc to Armored Trooper Votoms gets underway in this disc. But there is a recap episode (of course). And you also get to meet 5 new supporting characters as well another character who will undoubtedly be an important part to the story. Looks like it’s time to make a flow chart for this show as well as Gasaraki.

-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 dealing with this set of stories. Some of it was promotional art used on the box covers and there are some stills from the series as well. It’s totally different art from the last set of four. 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 world and history of Kummen. It explains the reasons behind the civil war in greater detail and clears up some general questions I had about the setting of this story arc. 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 extras.

-Content Review-

There is lots of stuff going on in this disc, so I’ll try my best to be brief and informative. The first episode is a recap that basically tells you what happened to Chirico in Uoodo city and his connection to the Phantom Lady. The next episode pushes you right into the civil war on the world of Kummen. It seems that the Melkian army (the group that Chirico was fighting for during the 100 year war) has tried to modernize the world or Kummen. But the people resisted and have gathered around their prince who feels the old ways and old religion will be better guides than this new government. Chirico falls into the group of mercenaries that are battling for the new government. The Veela Guerillas are fighting for the prince and the old religion... got all that? O.K. Chirico arrives and quickly finds himself at odds with Captain Kan Yu, who is convinced that Chirico is a spy. Chirico reveals that he is not a spy but that he is looking for the Perfect Soldier (aka PS aka Phantom Lady aka Proto One). So General Gon Nu (who seems to know something about the PS himself) lets Chirico stay on board and be part of Captain Kan Yu’s group. Chirico runs into his old pals Gotho, Vanilla and Coconna in the village near the army base. Seems that they are part of the military underworld here and doing quite well, thank you very much. On Chirico’s first mission he runs into a mysterious Blue AT. The pilot is awesome and Chirico believes it must be the Phantom Lady (aka Fyana aka the Prototype aka How many other names does she have). During the following three episodes Chirico comes mecha to mecha with her, but she keeps trying to kill him. What’s happened to make her forget Chirico? There is also a subplot involving Chirico’s new crew. Aside from Captain Kan Yu, there is Pol Potaria, a native of Kummen and ex-military, just like Chirico. Bully Kiddera lives up to his name and is gung-ho about blowing everything up. Then there is the stoic giant of a man, Ru Shako who comes from the mysterious world of Quent.. It seems that Pol knows one of the guerrillas who attacks the base in the last episode. Just how much does Pol know about this conflict? More intrigue abounds in this disc of Votoms

The animation remains the same in this disc, as does the sound. The quality is showing it’s age a bit. But this was done in the early 80’s so you expect that. Aside from that the overall mood is well done. We are now on a world that is totally jungle. The heat and oppression are captured very well by the animation. You can also see the inspiration that the film Apocalypse Now and the Vietnam War in general had on this story arc. The opening scene with the mercenaries on the boat going down the hot, humid river just reminded me of an animated version of a scene from the Coppella movie. The sound design gets some new work with the jungle sounds filling the air. There are some new mecha as well and their design is as well thought out as the previous ones in the last story arc. I’m still not too impressed with the backgrounds and the incidental characters. They are the weakest parts of the animation.

This story is getting really dense now, especially with all the characters in it. I’m interested to see more and that’s a good thing. There is an twist at the end of this disc that changes the way Chirico is approaching things. That and the addition of some of the new characters is keeping this plot moving forward and keeping it interesting. The only thing I’m a bit fuzzy about is why is Chirico obsessed with finding Fyana? Was it love at first sight? Was it the fact that she was bald and naked in a tube when he first saw her? He keeps saying that his destiny is tied to hers, but how is he so sure? I’m definitely curious to know more about that whole storyline. So far this story is well done and the background of mecha warfare adds to the plot but isn’t the whole plot.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a tough time judging Japanese voice acting. It all sounds good to me. It’s good to hear Chirico having more lines than he did in those first three discs. The music also remains the same. It’s got that early 80’s late 70’s feel. It works most of the time, but there are moments that make you do a double take.

I’m enjoying Votoms more than I thought I would. This set of episodes has had more mecha action right off the bat. But we are in the middle of a civil war so you expect it. I’m interested to see how the Perfect Soldiers fit into this war and how Chirico and Fyana are going to meet up again (you know they have to). It’s good classic mecha action for all of you craving good classic mecha action with a very involved plot.

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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