Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A+
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Bandai Entertainment
- MSRP: 19.98
- Running time: 30
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Blue Submarine No. 6
Blue Submarine No. 6 Vol. #1
By Chris Beveridge
April 04, 2000
Release Date: April 04, 2000
Blue Submarine No. 6 Vol. #1
What They Say
© Bandai Entertainment
The Earth's oceans have risen, leaving most of the land now underwater. Even worse, humanity is plagued with attacks by a race of sea mutants who are dedicated to eradicating mankind. Our last hope is the state-of-the-art Blue Submarine No. 6 and her crew, made up of the best personnel available. Join ace pilots Mayumi and Tetsu as they fight for the fate of all mankind. Combines traditional 2D animation with breathtaking state-of-the-art 3D computer animation.The Review!
One of the initial releases from Bandai Entertainment as they make their way with anime on DVD in 2000, Blue Submarine No. 6 should definitely go a long way towards easing a lot of minds about their feelings on DVD.
The audio for this disc is simply gorgeous, providing you're listening to it in Japanese and have a 5.1 receiver. The soundtrack is very vibrant during the music sequence and there is a lot of directionality going on from peoples voices walking around to such scenes early on when Hayami is messing with the radio volume levels. This is probably one of the more active 5.1 soundtracks to come out in the region 1 anime scene. The 2.0 versions sound good as well, don't get me wrong, but they do lack the oomph of the 5.1 track. The English language version is also very well done, with Coastal Carolina being behind it.
The video on this disc is simply gorgeous. Unlike most releases, I couldn't see any moire or line noise anywhere on the disc. The animation, be it CG or traditional, is beautiful. Both forms of animation lend themselves well to the process, though the length of the episode (30 minutes) and the higher bitrate also more than likely helped as well. Suffice to say, this is definitely a reference level disc for video and one you want to show off to non believers. The only thing that may irk some people is that the end credits song has the hardmatted English translation to the lyrics on it. But this is something that almost all the studios have done.
Essentially, this show almost feels like it was optimized during its creation for DVD.
When this show was originally released on VHS here, I found the cover to be quite striking and eye catching (regardless of the media!). Thankfully the same front cover is used for the DVD release. The back cover contains a set up fairly similar to Pioneer (which isn't too surprising). There's some good background on the story as well as the creative teams and those behind the adaptations for domestic release. For those who complain about the lack of a 5.1 English remix, consider that they listed the Japanese 5.1 itself as an extra and not a regular language feature. The insert inside the case is also rather nicely done. The front part is a cover reproduction while the inside has the storyline in brief as well as the main Japanese cast voice actors. The other side lists the chapter stops and has a couple pictures of the main characters. The back side shows the covers for Gundam Wing, BS6, Cowboy Bebop 1, Eatman 98 and Haunted Junction.
They also included a postage free survey card in the case. Since there are DVD related questions in there, I urge everyone who gets the initial batch of Bandai titles to take the time to fill them out. These probably do more good than emails in the long run.
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. Trailers included: Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Gundam 0080 and Silent Mobius TV. Also a great plus is in the scene selection submenu, the chapter selections are all animated.
For those wondering who did the authoring (since I've see many posts by people that believe it was done by Bandai in Japan) it was done by POP/Cinram studios, who have worked extensively with anime titles via Pioneer in the past. With the job done on this first release for Bandai Entertainment, a tip of the hat is duly deserved.
But what about the content? As most people will say, I only wish there was more ready now. The first episode pretty much sets the stage and introduces a few of the characters. The world is definitely an interesting place with most everything underwater. Scenarios like this, which aren't done all that often, are among my favorites, so I was already drawn to this title.
There are of course several questions raised in this episode that aren't answered, after all that's what episode 2 is for. The characters are very distinct and have a great design. People will go back and forth for ages about the computer graphics vs. the traditional way, but from the number of titles I've seen that have both in them, this is one of the better ones done. Everything seemed to really blend well. What I found most even on repeated viewings is that the story still drew me in more than the animation.
Blue Submarine No. 6 will be a controversial title for a lot of reasons. For a first release, it shows a lot of work done by the folks at Bandai in trying to meet the fans needs. The disc looks great, the packaging is well put together and everything is solid. Definitely a title I'm glad to have in my collection.
Japanese 5.1 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.