Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A+
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 34.98
- Running time: 120
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Blue Submarine No. 6
Blue Submarine No. 6 Special Edition
By Chris Beveridge
September 05, 2003
Release Date: June 03, 2003
What They Say
From critically acclaimed GONZO Digimation (Hellsing, Vandred) with mechanical styling by renowned creator Shoji Kawamori (Macross Plus).
In the future, the rising heat has begun melting the polar ice caps. As if humanity didn't have enough problems, a group of ocean-dwelling creatures led by the scientist Zorndyke have seemingly declared war on mankind! Humanity’s last hope rests with the state of the art vessel, Blue Sub 6 and her crew! Can Tetsu and Mayumi stop Zorndyke’s army before it’s too late?
The Special Edition collects all four unedited OVA episodes, a collection of new footage from the Japanese Playstation video game, and a ton of DVD extra features in one 3 disc set. Blue Submarine No. 6 Special Edition is the definitive anime release that should be part of every anime fan’s DVD library. The Review!
Originally released back in 2000 as their first wave of DVDs, Bandai has managed to put together a nice little special edition set.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. There is a solid set of sounds sent to the rear speakers directionally throughout these episodes, but the front soundstage is also filled out quite nicely. There were several times during the sub sequences where they used their ping and man did it ever sound distinct. One of those moments where I was glad I had invested what I did into my setup. The English track, while lacking the same kind of distinct sounds, was no slouch either. The track sounds solid overall, but simply lacks the punch and directionality of the Japanese one.Video:
The transfer here is simply outstanding. The underwater sequences with their multihued blues and varying blacks just look so unbelievably gorgeous. The interior scenes of the Ghost Ship with the dark grimy colors intermixed with the fog rolling about is stunning. Mix it in with the darkened water rolling about and the soft pastel colors of the various creatures and it's top notch. Going in the opposite direction of that is the combat scenes inside the various Blue Sub's which have their battle red lights on. There's a great clarity to these scenes which aren't over saturated at all. I don't think I could be more pleased by the visuals of this disc.Packaging:
Done up in a triple keepcase, the front cover has the dark creepy image of the sub moving deep underwater with the light reflections of the surface at the top. The back cover provides another variation view of the same thing and the basic production and technical information. The insert is rather nice with the front having the shows logo set against black while it opens up to a great underwater interior image that lists the chapter stops for each episode and all the extras. This release also came with a blue frosted slipcover that’s made of plastic so it won’t go bad as easily as some of the paper ones. The front uses the series logo while the rest of it is pretty clear outside a SE mention. The packaging overall is pretty snazzy and classy looking.Menu:
The menus on the disc are also very snazzy. The animation is very nicely added behind the selections (and look wonderful, definitely giving it a feel). There's music running in the background, though it may be a bit short and should run a little longer before looping again. But that's really the only quibble. Selections are made quickly and accurately. For this disc, the Japanese language and English Subtitles are the default settings. Also a great plus is in the scene selection submenu, the chapter selections are all animated.Extras:
With a third disc included just purely for extras, it can go one of two ways. Either there’s just a couple of small things on there and you wonder why they bothered, or you’re almost overwhelmed with what’s on there. Blue Sub goes the second route with some great extras. The first is a 42 minute segment called Digital Plus, a great look at all sorts of aspects of the show, from the characters, OVA design, playstation game and more. There is a ton of material in this that’s new and interesting. The Data Files section has about 100 pages worth of information, providing numerous details and designs on the characters, machinery and ships and key terms for the entire series. The three promotional spots from the Cartoon Network broadcast are in their own collection here as well as the two trailers Bandai used for the video release. Related but not directly is a brief music video for another Gonzo series titled Yukikaze, which looks to take the general ideas of Blue Submarine No. 6 and apply them to fighter craft instead.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
For the actual content review, please see the individual disc reviews. The way Bandai has done up the actual content release is by taking the original pressings and creating DVD-10’s from it. A DVD-10 is a double sided single layer disc, so on one side is episode one and side 2 is episode 2. The second disc holds the content for episodes 3 and 4 in the same fashion. What this really results in is that the discs themselves are identical to the original release back in 2000, so there’s very little new to say about them other than I still find this a very enjoyable and fun show with some truly standout moments. After watching three years of Gonzo animation since this and seeing the evolution, it’s easier to appreciate what they started here.
The special edition is truly special primarily for its extras that we covered above. Between that and the repricing of the series down to something more affordable for those who balked at the single volume releases, it’s a hard bargain to pass up considering what’s here. Bandai came out of the gate strong in their 2000 DVD launch and looking back at it, realizing that it has only been three years, show just how far they’ve come since then.
I loved Blue Submarine No. 6 when it came out since it felt like it was optimized for DVD. While the shiny level is showing up in many shows these days, some of the gloss may feel like it’s gone. But in the end, the show itself is what counts and I continue to find this one to be strong and engaging and recommend it heartily, especially to people not familiar with anime.
Japanese 5.1 Language,Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles, Creator’s Eye Interview,OVA 1-3 Summary Feature,Blue Submarine No. 6 "Digital Plus",Background Info on Blue Submarine No. 6 "Antarctica",Blue Submarine No. 6: "Antarctica" Playstation Game – Anime Footage,Making of the Playstation Game Featurette,Interviews include Shoji Kawamori / Mahiro Maeda / Satoru Ozawa / The Thrill / "Antarctica" Game Creative Staff,Cartoon Network Promo Spots Collection, Blue Submarine No. 6 Trailer Collection, Animerica Feature Spotlight: Blue Submarine No. 6,Blue Submarine No. 6 Cover Illustration Gallery,Character Encyclopedia,Blue Fleet Background Info, Zorndyke Forces Background Info, Key Terminology, Submarine Terminology,EXCLUSIVE Music Clip: ‘Yukikaze’
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.