Mania Grade: C+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Image Entertainment
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 71
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Big Wars
By Chris Beveridge
October 14, 1998
Release Date: October 14, 1998
What They Say
© Image Entertainment
It is the dawn of the 21st century. mankind has terraformed and colonized Mars. But we are not alone in the universe. An ancient race of alien beings, known only as "The Gods," has been watching mankind's progress... and waiting. Now, these mysterious aliens have returned to halt mankind's expansion into space - by force. Now, the planet named after the God of War will become our final battlefield, as mankind fights a separate battle with the latest in high-tech, military hardware: hyper-advanced aircraft, orbital fighters, and gigantic, desert battleships brimming with the most advanced weaponry. But will it be enough? The aliens have awesome, incredibly destructive weapons at their disposal - including "Hell" - an unstoppable stealth carrier. Our last hope lies with Captain Akuh and the crew of the Battleship Aoba. If his top-secret mission is successful, mankind will deal a decisive blow to the alien armada.The Review!
At long last, one of the other of the original announcements has come to pass. Originally due out in late spring of this year, Image has managed to get one more disc out to the anime eager public.
Big Wars is a self contained movie presented in the 1.85:1 widescreen format. It's running time of 71 minutes is a mixed thing. If it had run longer, there may have been room to actually flesh out a story, instead of just having sequences of events that somewhat mean something when put together.
Or, it could have just made an already slow movie even slower.
Anyway. In the year 2416, mankind is facing an invading threat from a race called the Gods. The movie takes place on Mars, where the Gods are making their most progress, and follows the experiences of Captain Akhu and his crew of the newly recommissioned Aoba. We met an ex-lover of his, which provides us with two love scenes within the first 20 minutes of the movie. We get some background, some shooting, lots of flying ships, and a conclusion.
I'm pretty big on SF and especially military SF, but only if there's a good storyline behind it. As mentioned above, this one could have used some serious fleshing out to make it better. But, that's just how the Japanese made the movie.
The audio on the disc is a clear and straightforward Dolby 2.0 track. Nothing exceptional, nothing wrong with it. There's an occasional rear sound effect, but nothing to get too excited about.
The video had me concerned at first, as it looked quite grainy in the black/red sequences. Throughout the rest of the movie, the show alternated between indoor scenes which were clean and clear, and outside shots that usually contained sandstorms, which it seemed to handle well. I can only assume, having not seen the tape, that the opening sequence is a mix of a sandstorm at night with red flashes.
The snapper case used by Image isn't terribly eye-catching. Like the show, it's mostly the dark browns and reds, though it at least has a decent "widescreen" banner across the top.
The menu is a little flashier than normal coming from Image. Looks like they're actually trying to show off a bit. Access to each of the submenus was quick and easy, which is always a plus in my book.
Overall, this is an iffy title, if mostly for the content and not the DVD presentation. I'm a completist, so I'd end up picking this up anyways even after reading this kind of review. Your mileage may vary.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.