Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 3 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040
Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Vol. #2
By Roman Martel
February 06, 2002
Release Date: December 05, 2000
Overall Rating: 4
(on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 3
And who is that staring at me from this keepcase. My favorite Knightsabre, Linna! So that means it's time for some more girls in hardsuits kicking butt. Whoo hoo! But wait. Is that a dark cloud of despair I see lurking over this DVD? Has something happened to decrease the fun of this series? Is it another attack of pickiness! Find out in this review.
Well, ADV keeps on par with this release. It basically has the same stats as the previous release. The sound and picture looked great on my set-up. The menu was just as good looking as the other one. You got lots of sound and motion as well as quick response. As I mentioned above, Linna's my favorite boomer-buster so I like this cover the best so far. We're still missing region coding and sound set up for this keep case and that brings the score down. You get another set of 4 character bios as the extras. I think I liked the text with the clip on the same page from the first disc better. Having the bio on a separate page works fine, but the other way is more compact.
We still have the trailers that are skippable right before the disc starts. I'm not crazy about them, and prefer having them on a separate menu, like ADV's earlier discs had them.
The continuing adventures of the Knightsabres and the introduction of the new character Maki(oto) (Sorry, had to be done.) is what is in store for you on this disc. You also get lots of action and boomer crushing and Leon and Daley bantering. It's all there, and yet something is missing. Something that was in the first disc of this new series but that was also in the original series as well. What's going on?
The first episode begins with a rampaging boomer and the girls go to stop it. But something strange is going on. Just what is going on with the AD Police? We got plenty of flash backs to Sylia's past and then a cliffhanger ending. In the second episode the cliffhanger is resolved (we do get to see all four suits in action, finally!). Maki shows up in this episode and we get to see him and Sylia interact, which is just plain weird. The episode ends with Maki stumbling upon some half-naked Knightsabres. I think someone's in trouble. In the third episode an underwater boomer goes rogue. It's up to the Knightsabres to stop it. This boomer seems to be focused on a particular target. There are hints at an interesting relationship between boomers and humans. The final episode of the DVD deals mostly with Priss and how she relates to the other girls and her band. We are given some more clues to why she is fighting the boomers.
The animation stays exactly the same in this disc. There is some great fluidity and overall the look of Tokyo and the world around it is great. The character designs are still hard for me to get around. But I'm working at it. The boomers and the creative way they are handled is interesting. These are not like the boomers from the first series at all. These creatures mutate as they go rogue. It seems that whatever is happening to them is effecting their physical appearance as well as the programming. The result is some really interesting fleshy looking creatures. Or course this also allow for the animators to come up with new ways for the boomers to take on our almost invincible girls. The sound also remains in the same realm. Most of it works well enough and every once in a while you get some unique work that adds to the show.
The plot was doing a good job at keeping me interested in the whole story, but something is really lacking in this disc. The strange part is that I can't really put my finger on it. The characters are being developed and the action is interesting. The plot is moving forward and it's not slow. But for some reason I just don't really care too much about any of the characters, with the exception of Linna. I think this is because, of all the girls, you are getting to see more about her. The last episode did develop Priss a bit, but she still comes across as a total ice queen. She seems to be bent on revenge but there is little underneath the super-cool exterior. We also are getting some intriguing information on Sylia. I think I know what's going on with her. Still she is not a likable character, she runs too hot and cold, and frankly I'm a bit frightened of her. Nene is a bit of a ditz, and seems to be a fun character, but needs some more screen time, I think. The rest of the characters we know very little about. I think there is a balancing act going on here between plot and characters. It's a tough thing to do and while the show is entertaining, it's losing me a bit. I'm hoping for a jumpstart in the next disc.
The English dub still has its good points and bad points. I'm leaning toward the original language with this one. Some of the actors are overdoing it a bit or getting a bit confused by the characters. It's not a bad dub, but it does need a bit of work. Also, the songs work much, much, much better in Japanese than they do in English. I think those should have remained in the original form, because the dub version is really hurting the show.
I still feel the same way about the music. The songs are good. So is the score. It's not enough to grab me and make me want the soundtrack. It works with the show and yes the old 80's style soundtrack would be out of place in the show now. It's a good soundtrack overall, but it's not going to find it's way into my CD collection yet.
Yes, I'm still interesting in seeing the rest of the show. Everything on the surface seems to be going in the right direction but it's lacking something. I'm not sure what it is, and I hope it finds it in the next disc. I want to like this series. I really do. Let's see what happens next.
Roman J. Martel
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General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony Playstation 2