Black Cat Vol. #6 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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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. #6

By Justin Rich     January 30, 2008
Release Date: July 24, 2007


Black Cat Vol. #6
© FUNimation Entertainment, Ltd.


What They Say
As the world rejoices in its newfound freedom from terror, their celebration is short-lived as an even greater threat reassembles from the wreckage: The Zero Numbers. Led by traitors from both sides, this new enemy is bent on establishing a "world peace" where salvation comes at the cost of humanity.

As Sven seeks to untangle that which binds Eve, Train seeks to unravel the past from the present. The former assassin's sight must remain true to see this through to the end...

Contains episodes 21-24:
The Lost Cat
The Cat Bares Claws
The Cat's Paradise
The Carefree Cat

The Review!
Eve has been kidnapped by the Zero Numbers leaving the fate of their friend and humanity in the hands of the Black Cat.

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 twenty-two The Cat Bares Claws 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; especially during the transformation of Eve into Eden and the multitude of rainbow colors surrounding it.

Packaging:
The disc comes in a white lockcase with an insert that has the cover of volume 6 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’s Nine Lives” to the lower left and vol. 6 to the lower right. The main picture on the front cover is centered around two different pictures of Eve with Train off to her right and the Doctor pushing up his glass to her left slightly above of the logo. On the back cover is a similar picture of Train 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 the eerie music that usually played in the background of Creed’s solo planning scenes looping over this dark colored menu, with the Doctor pushing up his glasses 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:
The final disc is no different than its predecessor’s 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, DBZ Frieza Saga box set, Yu Yu Hakusho rerelease, Solty Rei, School Rumble, Samurai 7 box set, Suzuka volume 2 , and finally the Z-Store.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After victory on the island we begin the disc with some touching return amongst the villagers and their rescued loved ones, and we see Eve feeling the same way with her “family”. Even though the sweepers were back on land the war between the Zero numbers and Chronos was fully under way. The first move of the Zero Numbers is to send the Doctor to capture the forlorn Eve as she is thinking along the dock.

Sven and Train are desperately searching for Eve, while Rinslett locates the scientist who along with the Doctor created both Eve and the Eden project that is supposed to be Eve’ destiny. Sven and Train catch up to the Zero Numbers only to have to fight Eve once again under the control of a card and unable to control her actions. To avoid hurting her they are forced to stand down as the Zero Numbers fly off in a helicopter to get Eve to her further calling.

After loosing Eve Train runs off to gather aid in the battle with Zero Numbers while Sven recovers from the wounds he suffered at Eve’s hands. Rinslett shows up with Tearju (Eve’s creator) and the full plan of Eden is pulled out of Tearju after her self imposed hypnosis is broken. At the same time Eve is trying to resist Adam (the personality of Eden) who continues to tempt her into merging with him to bring the monstrous Eden to life.

Eventually Eve succumbs to Adam’s temptation in the reenactment of the biting of the apple from the story from Genesis where Eve and Adam are thrown from Eden fore breaking the only rule of God, but in this case Eden comes to life by Eve biting into the apple. This causes a gold rain to fall from the sky which is laden with nanomachines and causes the hit human to become enveloped in a gold cocoon and then Eden which has morphed into a giant flying machine swallows for power supply and the fuel to go into her next transformation.

Train along with Sven, Rinslett, Tearju, the remaining Chronos numbers, the sweeper alliance and some ex Apostles of the Stars join forces to try and bring down Eden. They watch as a strike team of air fighter jets and helicopters are destroyed with no effort by Eve, so they decide a frontal attack isn’t going to work. After brain storming it hits Sven that the only way to truly grab her attention is fireworks, so Leon races back to the city to bring the fireworks back so that they can spring the trap. While waiting Eden transforms what looks like a flying mermaid, just then Leon shows up on the horizon but is being slowed down by the Doctor’s creations so Train rides back to lend him a bullet or two.

The plan is simple yank her attention to them with the fireworks so that they can pull her into a ravine so that she is trapped and they can invade to rescue Eve. The fireworks work and she comes towards them but the Doctor uses his Tao power to get back on the right direction but not before Train, Sven and the Chronos numbers get on her back to invade the infrastructure of Eden.

The momentum is building up well and then Gonzo decides to use a really bizarre outline for the final episode where they jump back and forth between the fight and future sequences. It really threw the continuity up for me and left me unsatisfied by how the final episode transpired. I don’t even see a worth while use of this timeline technique for a show, which really made me end the final portion of this series like I started it: disappointed.

But for the overall end of the series it rushes into a hyper excelearted conclusion as they had spent a lot of time wasting on pointless fluff. The wrap up was exactly as unsatisfying as the build up to the final conclusion with Creed. There is a whole lot of suspense and then it all amounts to nothing as the fights last mere seconds and we don’t even really get to see the fight between Mason and Creed. Mason stands between Train/Sven and Eve and easily with his Tao armor is able to stop them but Creed appears and nothing else but fade out transpires. Train defeats his inner demon and fires one bullet to free Eve from the oversized flower she was trapped in splitting her from the subconscious of Eden.

To end it all we see Eve and Sven driving off while the flash around to all the other characters showing us how the ended up. A very commonly used tool in the anime world as we watch the final credits of this series, and certainly the final character shown is Train who walks by a Saya look-a-like as the Gonzo symbol shows up the screen ending this horribly discombobulated series..

In Summary:
The overall feel of this disc felt a lot like most of the series, virtually unsure of where it intended to go. Odd use of flashbacks and flash forwards makes some of these episodes sputter in their delivery causing Black Cat to close out like it had been for the most part lack luster but amusing enough if you wanted to watch something that doesn’t require a lot of thought. I had a lot of hope for this series going in but to say those expectations were not met would be accurate, leaving this series entertaining at some points but for the most part forgettable.

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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