Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #12 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: NA

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  • 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. #12

    February 05, 2002
Release Date: July 17, 2001

Armored Trooper Votoms Vol. #12
© NuTech Digital, Inc.

What They Say
As Chirico and his friends prepare to meet the Balarant in battle to protect the weakened Fyana, a familiar face makes a surprising comeback. John Paul Rochina has returned, only now he's working with the Balarant!

Rochina quickly captures Chirico and gives him an ultimatum: face Ypsilon in a duel to the death and Chirico's friends will go free. It's an offer he literally can't refuse!

But the final battle with Ypsilon raises more questions than it answers. A cave-in traps both men underground and they are forced to cooperate if they hope to escape. They see themselves reflected in each other, and both realize that forces larger than either of them have locked them into a course of mutual destruction.

The time has come for these two warriors to settle things...and a devastating revelation awaits Chirico at the end of the battle...

The Review!
Overall Rating: 3.5
(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: 3
Acting: 4
Music: 3
Entertainment: 3
Overall: 3.2


We have arrived at the final disc of the Sunsa cycle. That means only one more story arc left, and it all takes place on the planet Quent. But is anything resolved or concluded in this story-line. Or have things remained as they have been for the last nine episodes. Well it’s a mixed bag. I’m hoping the concluding story-line doesn’t let me down.

-Technical Review-

The technical ratings stay the same. The sound and picture scores 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 images that were in the gallery in disc 9. 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 merchandising world of Votoms. That’s right! You get a behind the scenes look at some of the other items that came about because of the televisions series. This disc focuses on published materials (and future discs will go into other items). This is a neat extra that I wouldn’t mind seeing on other DVD series. 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-

As the last disc of the story-line you expect some kind of climax and conclusion, right? Well, it’s all here. There are epic mecha battles. There is meaningful moments between friends and enemies. There is a startling revelation and of course another final battle between Ypsilon and Chirico. And yet things are still not moving along quite so fast...

With our group of hero’s strapped in the Balarant Station on Sunsa untill Fyanna regains her strength, things get tense. The Balarant are in the area and are aware that Proto-one and Chirico are on this world. Meanwhile the secret society has not given up the chase, and Ypsilon is moving in on Chirico for another showdown. The Balarant commander strikes and strikes hard. But wait, that’s a familiar voice I haven’t heard in a while? Yep, this Balarant commander is an old friend. He quickly captures Vanilla and Gotho. Chirico surrenders but is offered a deal by the commander. If he fights Ypsilon one last time, to the death, then the commander will let Goth, Coconna and Vanilla go home unharmed. Chirico takes the deal, as much to save his friends and as to finish his business with Ypsilon. The final two episodes deal with the two battles that make up that showdown. Things are wrapped up with a revelation about Chirico, but one that if you’ve been paying attention should not come as any surprise. Chirico is then handed a clue to discover the truth about himself and the Perfect Soldiers. He must journey to Quent. And what about Ypsilon? Well, you’ll have to watch this disc and find out what happens.

The animation and sound are remaining pretty solid. I noticed that some of the battles have not been quite so well choreographed as the earlier ones in the series. I’m not sure if the budget was running down, or if was done for time concerns but things seem a bit sloppier in general in this story arc. The design remained very well done however and balanced out the weak points. The sound design also remained very good. The sheer number of different sound effects used in this series impresses me.

The music and acting have also remained solid and not changed their grades. Both add to the series and don’t harm it any way. I’ve grown used to the mix of 70’s/80’s pop in the soundtrack and find myself humming the opening theme way too often. The Japanese cast all has done a fine job to date, and will probably continue to do a fine job.

What we come down to on this series is the plot and entertainment grades. Both wend down a notch from the previous Udoo and Kummen cycles. This really felt like an OAV storyline or movie storyline stretched out to twelve episodes. There are two key events that have to happen in this story arc and they happen in the last episode. With some tighter writing and fewer episodes this would have been as engaging as the previous cycles, maybe even better. But because it got drawn out, I found it full of pointless shots and meandering dialogue. I have to give extra credit to the actors for making the some of the dialogue bearable. Poor acting would have really hurt this story arc. It’s not horribly dull, but I did find myself waiting for the eye-catch quite a bit.

I was really enjoying Votoms up to this cycle. I was impressed by the density of the plot and realism in many of the situations and in the design. But this cycle really tended to drag. You do need to see it to help you along in the story for the whole series, but it should have been about half as long as it was. But hey if you’ve been watching this far, you’re probably gonna finish the whole series anyway. And that’s how I feel. That means another disc next week.

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...

Japanese Language,English Subtitles,The World of Votoms

Review Equipment
Phillips Flatscreen (27 Inch), Sony DVP-NS300


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