Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #08 - 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. #08

    July 17, 2001
Release Date: July 17, 2001


Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #08
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
As the opposing forces in the Kummen civil war stand poised for the final battle, Ypsilon prepares to exact his own vengeance upon Chirico for stealing Fyana away from the Secret Society. And as the storm clouds boil, Prince Kanjielman is forced to make a decision that will shake the faith of even his most ardent followers.

At long last, all the forces of this war meet in a fiery finale. As Potaria meets Kanjielman in ritual combat, Chirico engages Ypsilon in a duel to the death.

And while the EX-10 mercenaries attempt to exterminate the Veela Guerillas, the Melkian Army moves in to crush whoever stands between them and their stolen Perfect Soldier: Fyana.

Once again, the time has come for Chirico and Fyana to decide their own path. And this time they aren't going to let anyone keep them apart!

Contains:
12: Infiltration
13: Closing in
14: Dark Change

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-

The final disc of the Kumman Jungle War saga comes to a close. While there are no huge surprises, the story comes to a pretty good conclusion for it’s second story line. We’ve reached the half way point in the series Armored Trooper Votoms and I’m ready for some more.

-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. It’s the same set that was on the fifth 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 history and cultures of the two societies involved in the civil war, Gigamesh and Balarant. You also get some images of the space craft they use as well as the outfits the military wears. Could this be set up for the next story arc? Probably. 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-

Just like the previous disc of this series the plot is pretty straight forward and doesn’t really have any surprises in it. Chirico has teamed up with Fyana, Pol and Bully to fight their way into the Vella’s main base. Of course each has their own agenda once they reach the inside. Chirico wants answers about the Perfect Soldiers. Fyana wants to protect Chirico from Ypsilon. Pol wants to kill the prince. Bully just wants a good fight. Vanilla gets into the mix and soon all hell breaks loose as the mercenaries attack the Vella guerillas. When the Melkian forces (led by Jean Paul) show up its a flash back to the last Udoo city. You got quite a few final battles here and several questions are answered. Also some really annoying characters finally get what’s coming to them. Kumman erupts into hell in the final episode, but things lead off to the next story arc entitled Deadworld Sunsa.

Animation in Votoms has been pretty average the whole time. This first half looked a bit dated, especially in the smoothness. People used to more contemporary animation might be disappointed. Where Votoms really shines is in it’s mecha design and realistic feel. Compared to the director’s later work Gasaraki, you can see how much of the same feel and to some extent the look was honed in this series. Combined with some very good sound design the mechanical and military aspects of this series are top notch. Some of the costumes (especially for minor and background characters) are not very imaginative or practical. But that is a small thing compared to the rest of the series. Considering it was made in the early 80’s this series is very well done.

While the first story arc in Udoo City was not light or fluffy in the least, this story line seemed a bit more dismal and oppressive. The war torn story line was a bit exhausting at times and very well done. Compared to the more glitzy version of war in Gundam Wing, Votoms has mastered the cloudy reasoning behind wars and was great at making you not want either side to win. Again I think that the writers were influenced in part by the Vietnam War or perhaps another war that took place in Asia that I’m not familiar with. I especially liked the Prince’s point of view on war and why he did what he did. Again realism is a major key to this series and the plot works very well with the more fantastic elements. There wasn’t much fudging of the plot in this story line, but the focus on warfare and battle was greater. But since we had already established Chirico and the gang in the last series, they could focus on the mecha and showing them off a bit.

The acting in Japanese continues to be well done (at least to my ears). I don’t think anyone really overdid it this story arc, but my judgment of Japanese acting isn’t the best. I think that a great English dub could be made, but I’m not sure if there would ever be a great desire in the general anime watching public to see that. It’s a shame too, this is a good series.

The music is going to be hit and miss with people. It’s grown on me, and even though parts really remind me of the score to Charlie’s Angels. The opening and ending themes are very good and done in an early 80’s/late 70’s style. I hope some new score music was composed for the second half, but I won’t hold my breath.

Final verdict for the first half is "very good". This is a great action/war drama series. The characters are definitely growing and changing. It also seems to be going in a new and interesting direction. For some it might be a bit cliché (even though I think it started many of the clichés), and for others it might not be action packed enough. But I think that if you are enjoying Gasaraki, than Armored Trooper Votoms will definitely hold your interest. Well, the second half awaits...

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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