Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Toshiba
- MSRP: ¥4800
- Running time: 134
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Bubblegum Crisis
Bubblegum Crisis International Edition Vol. #3
By Chris Beveridge
Release Date: May 25, 1999
What They Say
DVD Vol.3 containing episodes #7 "DOUBLE VISION", #8 "SCOOP CHASE", and "Hurricane Live 2033". Vision is a pop rock singer who comes to Japan to find his sister's killers. A reporter named Lisa approaches Nene to find out about the secrets of the Knight Sabers. The Review!
With all the controversy surrounding the U.S. release of the Bubblegum Crisis series, I was very curious to see how the Japanese release would compare, and ordered only the third disc which contains episodes 7 & 8, ending the original series.
Yes, these are my favorite episodes. Vision's a babe, and I'm a die-hard Nene fan. How could I not love these episodes?
Part of the problem with the region 1 release was a noticeable audio hum/thump sound that could be heard on the Japanese audio track. Even worse, it was only noticeable on some players but not all of them, and there seemed to be some dependencies on other hardware as well. The hum is there on all of the 3rd disc of the region 1 release, but it's not noticeable to everyone.
I did my best to try and find it on this region 2 release, but it's nowhere to be found. The audio sounded great. How else does it compare?
The region 2 release contains the English dub and the English subtitles as well. Unlike the region 1 release, the subtitles are straight white with a black border, and songs are put in italics. Very clean and easily readable. They translation is identical as far as I can tell. I still dislike the way the dub seems to overpower the background audio sounds, but as I generally avoid dubs, well, this isn't a big problem.
Video quality seems to be on par if not slightly greater than the U.S. release. The 3rd U.S. disc wasn't packed with a lot of data, so it was afforded a higher bitrate and better quality than the earlier two. This release contains a few rainbow effects and a little pixellation during some shots that pan across skyscrapers (I've noticed this on some Hollywood movies too), but otherwise looks very sharp and clear.
One reason die-hard BGC fans who have region free/2 capable players will want this disc is in that it contains the Hurricane Live 2033 music videos. Released domestically as two low priced VHS tapes and on one laserdisc, this is definitely a fan portion of the series. Several of the videos are intercut with live action concert performances by the voice actors, allowing those who wish to do so to drool properly.
To date, there has been no announcement of the Hurricane Live videos to be released in the U.S.
With the cost of an individual Japanese disc nearly the same as the cost of all 3 domestic releases, a fan will be hard pressed to pass up the domestic release even with it's varied glitches. Video quality is comparable, audio and subtitles are fairly close as well. It really comes down to which you feel will be the best presentation. I'll likely pick up the other two releases over time, but they're not titles I'm in a rush to get right away.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Hurricane Live 2033