Battle Angel - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Battle Angel

Battle Angel

By Chris Beveridge     January 31, 2000
Release Date: January 31, 2000


Battle Angel
© ADV Films


What They Say
Gally, a cool and efficient bounty hunter. Armed with a knife, fists and a lethal metal body, she is the Battle Angel: a Hunter-Warrior paid by "The Factory" to eliminate Scrap Iron City's most wanted and dangerous criminals. Raised by Cyborg-Doctor Ido, who found her broken cyborg body beneath the Sky City of Zalem, she has no memory of her past and an even more uncertain future. A pawn in game played with living pieces, Gally finds herself set into motion against such foes as brutal spine thieves, the brain-eating gladiator Greweicia, the sinister Mr. Vector and the beautiful but ruthless Dr. Chiren. The greatest threat of all, however, comes from Gally's own employers. For when the mysterious Factory orders the execution of her best friend, Gally must make a terrible choice between her own code of honor and the life of the man she loves.

The Review!
I'll say it up front if you haven't figured it out from the ratings above. We're psyched about this disc.
Battle Angel, or Hyper Future Vision Gunnm, was the third or fourth title released by ADV when they started up. Released in 1993 in Japan and picked up and released shortly thereafter in the U.S. under the title Battle Angel (Alita, the Viz name for the manga), this title was one of the early ones that began the shift in quicker licensing and release.

With the source materials being slightly older, there was some trepidation as to how the video would look. Let those fears be laid to rest, this is simply a gorgeous transfer. There was very minimal amounts of line shimmer scattered in a few complex scenes and a little soft in a few areas, but by and large this is simply a very good looking disc. Though not filled by any means with vibrant colors, the dark colors and tones are rendered very well.

The audio on the disc also holds up well over the years. Presented in a stereo format with a few throws to the rears, the sounds is very crisp and dynamic. The front soundstage is used very well with directionality spread into several sequences. Dialogue is clear and undistorted on both language tracks.

This is my third time owning this title and I was definitely pleased to see some new cover artwork used for this release over the original VHS and Laserdisc releases. I had hoped that they would include them on the disc or use it as the insert artwork, but alas, I'm denied on this count. The cover artwork used is much more vibrant and dynamic and probably a better eye grabber overall. The back cover is chock full of information about the show and the Japanese creators as well as the DVD producers for this release. Once again though, the only thing missing on this release is the region coding on the disc packaging.

The menu system works quite well and is very much in a Battle Angel style with nice animations and great full motion chapter select menus. Selections are quick and easy to access on the disc. The only negative to the menu is the same issue that was on the Queen Emeraldas disc. When selecting the spoken language or the subtitle language, the selection you make isn't highlighted afterwards to reflect what you've chosen. You know in your head you made the selection, but you just want that visual confirmation.

But when all is said and done with the extremely minor nitpicking, this is a fabulous disc and one I'm extremely happy to have in my collection. When things started picking up in the spring of 1998 with DVD, I started to sell off a lot of my laserdiscs, knowing that it'd be hard to go back and watch a lot of them. In that first batch that I sold off was my Battle Angel laserdisc. It's one of the reasons I put it up early on the petitions when we were doing those.

Though the story is a condensed version of the first few chapters of the manga, and no more episodes were made beyond the two, this is a well crafted couple of OVA's. The character designs are gorgeous and stylized and the animation is spectacular in the couple of combat scenes where the fluidity of the animation was essential.

Though not in detail with character study and growth, the show does have several excellent moments with the characters learning more about themselves and they do have an impact on the story as it goes along. There's plenty of violence in this show, though not horrendously graphic, it's well executed. And of course there's some token nudity as well.

This title falls just short of being in the Essential Collection, but it should be in most of them. For a look of things to come from ADV, this release will definitely give you a good idea.

Features
English Language,Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Spanish Subtitles,Production Portfolio,Slide Show,Alternate Credit Angles

Review Equipment
toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.

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