Black Cat Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • 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. #5

By Justin Rich     August 02, 2007
Release Date: June 12, 2007


Black Cat Vol. #5
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
It is the eve of the battle between the Chronos Numbers and the Apostles of the Star, and an understudy has stepped onto the stage. This stray alliance follows the code of the Sweeper. Creed Diskenth has unleashed new and terrible forces onto the world, having damned it as corrupt. For this, he must be punished. But as Black Cat extends the hand of salvation at the hour of defeat, the curse will be to live out a life of repentance... Life, not death.

The Review!
The final battle between Creed and Train is here, but can Train hold to his principles and defeat his nemesis?

Audio:
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 nineteen The Sprinting Cat and found no problems with the Japanese 2.0 soundtrack.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
The disc comes in a white lockcase with an insert that has the cover of volume 5 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 "The Cataclysm" to the lower left and vol. 4 to the lower right. The main picture on the front cover is centered around Train and the mutated Creed diving at each other in front of Eve and Leon going head to head slightly above of the logo. On the back cover is a similar picture of Leon inside the black top half with a ton of screen caps and episode names on the bottom white half.

Menu:
There is a thirty second sound clip from where Train usually is rushing into battle looping over this dark colored menu, with the Leon on his air board looking off to his right 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.

Extras:
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 Katsuzure by Matsuda Ryouji. Also we get another multitude of FUNimation trailers including: animeOnline, Black Cat volume 5, Yu Yu Hakusho rerelease, Solty Rei, Fullmetal Panic TSR volume 4, Case Closed, Tsubasa, and finally the Z-Store.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The volume opens with Train catching a train to go and begin his collision course with his nemesis Creed after he slipped away again, apparently learning nothing, in the middle of the night to go it himself. Instead he gets caught in the mountains and runs into a bizarre girl who looks like Saya and stays at her home which she is protecting from a weird invasion from her homeland as she continues to protect a child that is destined to be the destroyer of the world. The episode for the most part turns out to be rather pointless over considering it is practically filler, which is sad, considering that there is so few episodes left for actual content, but at the end Train runs into the waiting fist of Sven to get the series back on track as he reunites with his teammates to go forward towards Creed's island.

The next episode opens up with three individual training rooms to demonstrate while Train was following his own path Chronos has too been preparing for this battle with Creed by getting their new numbers ready for battle. As the Sweeper Alliance has completely arrived at city by the bay across from Creed's home Train fires a shot at Grin to show that he really is Chronos number 10 Lin Shao Lee and the group disbands as all the Sweepers feel that they were tricked. It really shows the rogue attitude of sweepers how they have a collective lone wolf idea of how to run their lives. But one of the most interesting portions of this volume is watching the biases that all the different factions have towards the motives of each other. Chronos looks at Sweepers as whores who just follow the almighty dollar while Sweepers see Chronos as heartless thugs bent on causing world submission and they both see Creed as simply mad, while he sees them as thorns in the side of his chaotic symphony.

The doctor, who has been stealing people from the village for his experiments, sends his Tao infused creations into the village. They first interrupt Lin and Train's fight and they begin to see each other's point of view as they are forced to fight together, but Lin's eyes really open when he watches the rest of the sweeper alliance defending the village for no money which completely destroys his preconceived notions about sweepers. After cleaning up the mess they decide to use Lin's boat to go to Creed's island until Echidna pops in with a grenade blowing up the boat splitting the sweepers, Lin and Eve into smaller bands that wash up on shore. They join Jenos who was already there leading the numbers against the Apostles as Sephiria heads into Creed's castle to face him head on.

During this time Eve finds the one Apostle she was looking for Leon so that she can defeat him and save him from Creed's evil grip retuning him to the friends who truly loved him. Those friends that he abandoned for power end up being the exact ones that give Eve the courage and strength to fight on against Leon's unyielding rage. Showing how human Eve became over the series as she stuck to Sven' side and learned to be a person even though she was created for nothing but murder. This is interesting since that was her destiny in life and yet she still wouldn't kill anyone she captured or Leon during the series.

Sven finds Eve right after her defeating of Leon and they head towards the castle to help Train when Silphy drops out of a tree under attack from Saya's old target Preta Ghoul just as Sephiria arrived to see Creed playing his piano. Echidna time warping power is easily thwarted by Sephiria as she makes her way to Creed who then just as easily disposes of her. While that is going on Sven figures out with a combination of Preta's unburnable cloths and his vision eye how to defeat the woman slaying pervert. We get one final look at Creed's delusions as he sees the wall explode and doesn't see the true perpetrator in Train but rather that of his obsessions in Saya, and then the fight begins and continues up onto the roof above. With his combination of nanotechnology and Tao he is able to create a third arm/sword which is his primary weapon against his two adversaries. We also get to look at the clear distinction in philosophy as Sephiria pleads for Creed's death but Train sticks to his principle of not killing. The battle is extremely quick and hard to believe that with all the build up it is done so quickly. The bullit that was foreshadowed in volume four is what is used but not for murder, like Sephiria wanted, instead he splits both the arm and end the Tao power and Eve destroys the rest of the nanotechnology leaving Creed nothing more than a mere human to live with the awful decisions he made as Echidna takes him away with her. The volume the ends with Mason, Chronos number XII, along with a few numbers and Apostles is ready for some sort of final battle.

In Summary:
The final battle between Creed and Train had wonderful build up but felt horribly rushed overall. The beginning episodes with the Sweeper Alliance and Chronos joining forces to battle the Apostles was entertaining, and the Eve/Leon fight was a great match up, but then the series hit light speed as it come to a close. It was odd that the show introduced so many characters so close to the finish. Unfortunately just when Black Cat was finding its stride the cat comes to a screeching halt with only one volume to go. Too bad that Gonzo didn't make this series two seasons so that everything could have been flushed out properly instead of doing it so rushed at the end.

Features
Japanese 2.0 language,English subtitles,English 2.0 language,English 5.1 DTS language,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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