Beyblade Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Beyblade

Beyblade Vol. #01

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: February 25, 2003


Beyblade Vol. #01
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
As a young Beyblader, Tyson has a dream to be the best blader in the world! Tyson decides to challenge Kai, undefeated blader. Unfortunately Tyson is crushed by Kai's blade. Vowing revenge, Tyson begins his quest to rebuild his Beyblade.

With help from his best friend Kenny, Tyson searches to find a bit beast strong enough to take-on Kai and his Dranzer. What Tyson doesn't know is, the power is already in the family.

The Review!
Tops, tops, and more tops! Another Japanese series based on mass marketing a line of collectible toys for kids makes it to the US. Two challengers take custom built tops and battle it out in an arena.

Audio:

As a series purely aimed at kids in the US, Nelvana has only provided Pioneer the ability to listen to the show in English. I don?t think we?ll ever see a repeat of the Card Captor Sakura situation, with a show like this being released with the original Japanese language. Fan support there was very strong before the series was released.

The dub is a stereo mix, with limited amounts of directionality. The majority of the sound is directed toward the front sound stage. The sound track is clear, with no distortion or problems with sound levels. Dialogue was also clear.

A closed captioned track is made available as a DVD subtitle track.

Video:

The video is absolutely beautiful. This transfer is flawless in execution. I could not locate any artifacts, cross coloration, or chroma noise. Seeing as the show is very recent by Madhouse, I?m not very surprised. Bright colors permeate the series.

Packaging:

Tyson gets center stage with Max, Ray, and Kai in the background as they all wind up their Beyblades. The show?s logo almost takes up the entire top half of the cover. Let it Rip, this DVD?s subtitle, is on the bottom of the front cover and on the spine. There is no volume number, but the episode names are listed on the back cover. The simple insert inside is a copy of the front cover plus the episode names.

Menu:

Surprisingly, the menu is not as simplistic as Pioneer?s other animated dumps to DVD. There?s a spinning Beyblade in the background with the sound of it spinning playing. It?s very annoying after a while. Images from the show scroll across the center of the menu. There is access to Play, Scene Access, and Set Up. Set Up just enables you to turn on closed captioning, play lets you select an episode and whether to start at the opening credits, the start of the content of the episode, or the ending credits. No chapter stops are present within each episode.

Extras:

None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

I saw a few clips occasionally on ABC Family, but I never took the opportunity to check out what this show was. I?m truly amazed someone thought this would work.

So, what?s a Beyblade? It?s a top. Yes, a top. Basically, two Beybladers (a Beyblade user) each have their own Beyblade, which they build, and they spin it using a launcher. Each top then lands in an arena. The two Beyblades basically ?fight? each other and try to knock the other top out of the arena. A fight can also end if one top destroys the other top.

You might think, well once a fighter releases a Beyblade, it?s all basically luck. Of course not. Each Beyblade contains a Bit Beast, which is an AI that responds to the Beyblader?s commands. In addition to the Bit Beast, there are a few Beybladers who also have a spirit residing in their Beyblades. These are known as the Ultimate Beyblades.

Our story begins with a young Beyblader named Tyson. He?s the heir to his family?s martial arts tradition. Tyson?s grandfather is his trainer, who uses words like ?dude?, ?dawg?, ?jive? and ?boogie? in his speech. Listening to him is painful. Tyson wears a red cap, a red shirt, and blue shorts. What an inspired character design.

Tyson goes to battle another Beyblader named Andrew, but before he gets there, another Beyblader named Carlos challenged Andrew and took his Beyblade away after winning. Carlos is a member of the Blade Sharks, a gang looking for Ultimate Beyblades. The head of the Blade Sharks is Kai, who already possesses an Ultimate Beyblade and is the reigning local champion. Not the friendliest guy.

Tyson and Kai come to butt heads, and Kai destroys Tyson?s Beyblade. With the help of the Chief, a Beyblader Tyson befriends, Tyson works on creating a new Beyblade. Tyson?s family has an ancient sword, which contains a spirit called the Dragoon. The Dragoon helps Tyson by joining with his Beyblade. This gives Tyson the edge to be able to compete near Kai?s level.

This covers the first two episodes of the series. The rest go into a tournament, where we also get introduced to Max who befriends Tyson. All the dialogue between them basically follows the ?we?re good friends who stick together, and can compete together? act. When I listen to the dialogue in the show sometimes, I just cringe. It?s poorly written, and designed to be hip.

There?s nothing that gets you into the characters. I couldn?t get behind any of them. The story is just lacking. A show about battling tops? Sorry, it just doesn?t work.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

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