Mania Grade: C-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Media Blasters
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Babel II
Babel II Vol. #4
By Chris Beveridge
May 15, 2003
Release Date: April 29, 2003
What They Say
Leon has penetrated the hidden city, and has come back with the forbidden weapon. Guided by Ferris, Leon is absorbed into Valdouk and proceeds to lay waste to the entire Earth. Babel summons his three servants to stop him, but they have all been defeated. At the moment of destruction he is saved by his former nemesis, Yomi. Possessing the power of the ancient artifact known as the Monolith, Yomi is more dangerous and more evil than ever. If Babel the Second can't stop Yomi and Valdouk, will it mean the end of humanity?The Review!
With all the anticipation of watching grass grow, the final installment of Babel II has arrived.Audio
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Though the show only just ended airing in 2002, the show features a pretty basic stereo mix that doesn?t really take advantage of forward directionality all that much, though the music does a good job of giving things a nice full sound during the opening and ending. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and there aren?t any noticeable distortions or dropouts.Video
Originally airing in late 2001, Babel II seems to have gotten a pretty small budget as the shows animation feels very awkward and almost unfinished right from the first episode. The transfer is quite good here, showing through the nice color palette of the show and dealing with things such as sandstorms without any breakups. But the material itself just isn?t all that involving.Packaging
The front cover for the final volume goes for the main protagonist/antagonist shot with Yomi looking evil in the background and the determined look of Koichi in the foreground. The back cover provides a number of animation shots and a good summary of what to expect. The discs episode numbers and production information is also clearly listed and the technical aspects are wonderfully listed in a great little grid at the bottom. The insert provides a listing of the chapter stops on one side while the reverse is just adverts.Menu
The main menu is a nice piece of mixed static animation and some flowing colored clouds moving through the background while Koichi is standing centered in front of the citadel as he glows blue and green. Music from the show plays during this as well. Access times to the submenus is nice and fast and moving around is quick and easy with a simple but effective layout.Extras
Two extras make it into this volume; A few pages worth of production sketches showcasing some black and white conceptual artwork and just over a minute worth of dub outtakes.Content
: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If anyone has followed my reviews for this series, it should be fairly obvious that after the first episode, the bulk of this series was something of a chore to watch. The final volume was pretty much the same as the last couple of volumes as well.
With the final three episodes, the storyline moves quickly to dealing with the big battle to save the planet. Things kick off fast with Leon now gaining quite a bit of power after seeming like he was going to be cast aside after the battle at the Babel Tower. Now with Valdouk, a massive construct, under his power, he?s going to bring his dream of destroying humanity to its conclusion and thereby get the revenge on the world for the pain he suffered as a child.
To do so, he uses the power of Valdouk to create massive snowstorms that start from South America. These storms, at least in the initial area, create snow drifts well over a hundred feet high right off the bat, causing both Koichi and Reika to be buried. The storms then spread across the globe and Leon?s pain rages through Valdouk?s systems. Koichi of course manages to use his powers to free himself, as well as eventually finding Reika. This new foe has now set Koichi on the path to bringing a final resolution to everything that?s been going on.
And that sets the stage for how each of the final three episodes will play out. Each episode essentially has one foe to defeat. The first episode has Koichi dealing with Leon, and the next has him going against Ferris in the massive base where the big evil group has been plotting all this time. From there? Why, there?s only Yomi left to deal with. Like any good all-powerful villain, you just can?t keep them dead from early on in the series.
As it turns out, Yomi?s power is derived from human suffering. With Leon?s previous plan of basically freezing out humanity, the world is providing plenty of suffering for him to draw on now. With Koichi going against him, the two basically face off a few times as they each go for the big prize of the Great Inheritance.
Can you guess how it ended? There?s no surprises here really.
Babel II is a show that pretty much played things by the book and without much in the way of something special to really draw you into it. Combined with below average animation, character designs and general pacing, this was a series that just had very little appeal from the get go. For the most part, the release was well done and pretty much problem free, but the show itself just kept us from being interested in the slightest.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Outtakes
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers