Black Cat Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: D+
  • Age Rating: TV 14
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Black Cat

Black Cat Vol. #3

By Justin Rich     July 19, 2007
Release Date: March 20, 2007

Black Cat Vol. #3
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.

What They Say
As all attempt to hide and heal, Train's conscience grows deep... Deep enough to make the decision to leave Chronos for good. Unfortunately for him, the life he has left proves unwilling to let him go. Sought by both the Chronos Numbers and the new Taoist rebels working against them, the former assassin loses faith when he loses a friend. But his newfound companions, Sven and the young bio-weapon Eve, teach the stray cat a new way of life...

The Review!
We get to see the fallout of Saya's murder and the changing of Train, but can he hold back his unyielding desire for revenge?

Due to the fact that there wasn't a 5.1 Japanese track I decided to view the disc in the English DTS instead. The dialogue was clear without drop outs from the first three speakers, with Train continuous gunfire rattling behind you in the rear speakers. I did a spot check on episode eleven The False Cat and found no problems with the Japanese 2.0 soundtrack.

Black Cat began its run in October of 2005 so the transfer is 16:9 widescreen. Animation is sharp and crisp with beautiful combination intense fighting sends blended with an imaginative world which differed in each episode. There is no bleeding in the animation making the background scenery and the characters come out vibrant and lifelike.

The disc comes in a white lockcase with an insert that has the cover of volume 4 on one side and a cross promotion with Viz for Black Cat manga on the other. The cover is a white back drop with the Gonzo and FUNimation logos side by side in the upper right corner, Shonen Jump logo sits atop of the Black Cat series title with the disc title "Cat and Mouse" to the lower left and vol. 3 to the lower right. The main picture of the front cover is Train jumping over the hood of Sven's car with Rinslet tossing off a wig and Eve reading a book on top of the logo. On the back cover is a similar picture of EVe inside the black top half with a ton of screen caps and episode names on the bottom white half.

There is a thirty second sound clip from where Train usually is rushing into battle looping over this dark colored menu, with the Eve book open and hair askew on the left and the series logo with the disc title directly below in white cursive writing to his right.. Below the disc title is Play all, Episodes, Audio and Extras all in gold with a white cat paw as the curser which responds easily and quickly, also as you travel between portions of the disc you move back to the menu with a gold XIII, which adds a nice touch.

One of the major disappointments with this release is once again the anemic amount of special features. The only things on here are textless songs of the opening Dain no Hana by Yoriko and closing Namidaboshi by Puppypet. Also we get a plethora of FUNimation trailers including: the FUNimation channel, Black Cat volume 4, Yu Yu Hakusho rerelease, Solty Rei, Fullmetal Panic TSR volume 4, Burst Angel, Samurai 7, and finally the Z-Store.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The volume opens up with an old adversary of Sven, Gyanza , murdering a woman with his infusion of Tao power. When the sweeper team arrives they only thing the find is a ghost town and a they split up. Train runs into a bizarre girl named Kyoko, who works for Creed, but he saves her beginning her complete obsession with her "Mr. Black" as he affectionately refers to Train. Kyoko's eccentricities always amuse me in her carefree but stalker-like attitude, for her ability to breathe fire makes her very capable yet she always tries to play damsel in distress for Train to save her.

One of the most amusing moments comes in this episode where Eve volunteers to be bait but instead Sven cross dresses in the most hideous dress to lure out his old nemesis. Instead, Kyoko, finds her target first and is about to beat up the man who reneged on their deal, but Train shows up and she resorts to her helpless mentality to win over more favor with Train. Gyanza gets slapped around by Train and Eve only to become infuriated to find out that Sven is there, but in unison Train and Sven stop him as his power becomes instable eventually killing Gyanza. Right after the defeat Charden shows up to meet his partner and to pass a message from Creed to Train that he should show up in Sangeles City in three days, unfortunately that is an invitation that Train can not refuse.

The world summit is in Sangeles city under the protection of Chronos with Jenos as the head of security, but he receives a rude welcome from Creed as he cuts his helicopter in half with his invisible blade. But, like always, Lucky number seven finds a way to survive even as the world around him is exploding. This episode spends the first half giving us an introduction to the Apostles of the Stars, Creeds' minions in world conquest, as Creed's true intentions are put into motion. Then Train attempts to go through any of the Apostles who try to stop him from getting to Creed, and his rage would have got him killed if not for the magic eye of Sven seeing the bullet aimed for his heart. Sven is a man who uses his power to make sure that he never makes the same mistake of getting his partner killed, and mistake that he never lives down and becomes a living promise in the form of Train.

In the town the travel to next there is a man pretending to be the Black Cat and using lame sharpie-like tattoos on his arm of the number 13 to scare his prey into submission and pick up easy bounties. Unfortunately, if you pretend to be Train expect that some people will be looking for him, like Durham, the gunman for the Apostles who feels he must settle in his mind who is a better marksman. Woodney, the fake cat, almost gets himself killed because he is with Eve who was watching out for him, as Durham searches for his duel. Even with the unlimited bullits Durham finds out that without distractions and help he is absolutely outmatched by the legendary Black Cat. Woodney pledges himself as Train's apprentice and they take Durham prisoner to find out the location of Creed and the rest of the Apostles.

The war is starting unfold as Jenos leads his fellow Numbers into Creed's castle where he nonchalantly baths waiting for no one but Train. We get to judge the power of all sides collectively as we see the first all out fight between the two and there doesn't seem to be a huge difference in the Apostles vs. that of the Chronos numbers other than Creed who over powers all he faces effortlessly. Train shows up by himself, as he had left the rest sleeping, so that he could sneak in through Creed's window to fight him head on. But, we see just how truly twisted Creed is as he urges endlessly for Train to shoot him and bring forth the blood thirsty killer he used to be, but just as Saya had been a thorn to Creed he sees that his new friends are that now too. Creed also becomes insane with jealousy as his bizarre obsession with Train drives him to practically destroy his castle to make sure that no one else could interrupt him and Train. What will Train choose now that he is segregated alone with Creed? Will he allow his rage to consume him or will he turn his back on this particular fight to save his friends?

In Summary:
This volume keeps up the good pacing from volume two and also extends the cast a little more as well. We see a lot of growth of the relationships and we also see that Train cannot control his intent to avenge Saya which could be problematic, since it seems that Creed is far more of a threat then Train would have ever imagined. The line now is clearly drawn as we can see that Creed and his Apostles of the Stars will stop at nothing to get what they want and Train and his new allies must meet that challenge. But, can fight Creed on equal footing if he allows his rage to cloud his judgment?

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Songs

Review Equipment
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 via Monster optical cable. Tv is Sony 55" SXRD Grand Wega 1080p widescreen rear-projection HDTV, Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player via HDMI cable.


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