Burn Up Excess Vol. #4 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Burn-Up Excess

Burn Up Excess Vol. #4

By Chris Beveridge     December 31, 2002
Release Date: January 21, 2003


Burn Up Excess Vol. #4
© ADV Films


What They Say
When an army of mecha cops are put on patrol, it looks as if the women of Team Warrior might be out of a job-until the electronic enforcers start breaking the laws they're supposed to protect. But while the cops are in for repair, the Team finds a connection to Maki's past. This mysterious link to the Black Diamond Case proves dangerous for the entire team as Maki discovers the truth about her team's emergence, and the girls face their most dangerous, deadly enemy ever!


The Review!


Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show features a pretty basic stereo mix that sounds good but has a fairly limited sense of directionality, with only a few moments of the forward soundstage being used. Otherwise, it sounds good but without much depth or range. We also spot checked the English language track and the Spanish language track and noted no issues with it.

Video:
The transfer for the final release manages to look a bit better than the previous volumes as the animation in general improves somewhat. With only a few very minor places of cross coloration and aliasing, there isn’t too much to really complain about. Colors are strong and solid with no noticeable bleeding, though the color scheme doesn’t give it a really vibrant sense most of the time.

Packaging:
Nanvel finishes out the series with a good looking shot that’s actually somewhat short on the fanservice side, though there is the amusing detail of her hands being handcuffed to her ankle. Much like the previous covers, there’s the blinds style background as well as the Charlie’s Angel style imagery in the “X” portion of the logo. The back cover provides a number of small snapshots of the show and of the menus as well as a decent summary of what to expect. The discs features and technical features are clearly listed, but the volume/episode numbering continues to be a mess. While the lack of a volume number is normal, it’s extremely bad form to not list the episode numbers and give people an inkling of figuring out what volume they need to get. The insert provides another shot of the cover while the reverse side is just boxart adverts.

Menu:
The main menu utilizes the artwork and background from the cover in an even more vibrant color palette while the selections are listed along to the right. Moving about the menus is quick and easy and the layout is easy to figure out. Access times are fast and there’s little issue here.

Extras:
The usual host of extras appear here as expected. The jiggle counter returns here, though I find myself finding more jiggles being uncounted than previous volumes. The production sketches mark the only really new aspect to the extras, as we’ve seen the clean opening and ending sequences before and the US trailer.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the final volume of the series, Burn Up Excess goes for continuity and stories that cover all three episodes. This goes against what was done earlier in the series, but proves to actually work here. With some of the episodes barely able to handle telling stories in the twenty minutes they run, I wasn’t sure they could carry it well enough across three.

Things start off bad for the Police Town officers, as a private company has developed the Mecha Cop. These human sized robots are the epitome of what a perfect police officer should be. Polite, fast, strong and adherent to every aspect of the law, the Mecha Cops quickly establish popularity within the community. Within the first couple of days that the first three models are used in active duty, they take care of well over ten thousand cases, from large scale things to simple jaywalking. The Mecha Cops are being asked for signatures, pictures and the whole ball of wax you get with Japanese pop culture fascination.

Of course, there’s something sinister going on with them, and the Warrior team starts to investigate it, especially since if these things catch on, the police in general will be disbanded and handed over to this crowd. With their investigation, they learn that the Cops are being powered by Black Diamonds, which goes back to some earlier things in the series and is also the focus of the mystery man arriving from Neo Hong Kong to start up his brand of evil in Japan.

Of course, he’s really only a mystery man if you weren’t able to pick up the clues that were broadcast loudly in earlier episodes.

As the Warrior girls actually figure out what’s unfolding in front of them, and with a much deadlier variant of the Mecha Cop now causing complete chaos and destruction within the city, the show goes into the big action mode and pulls out all the stops as the entire team is suited up and going after everyone involved. The end result of the plans is actually pretty nicely done, though is fairly predictable if you’ve seen either a lot of anime or a lot of police dramas over the years. But the execution is done in Burn Up style, which means lots of bouncing breasts, lots of skin and some highly amusing Yuji “theater” moments at the end of each episode.

Burn Up Excess is definitely a show that it’s fans enjoy, and this release probably gained some new ones. It’s not ground breaking or attempting to be something more than it knows it is. In a lot of ways, it’s a classic “turn your brain off” show and just enjoy the ride. There were a lot of good episodes throughout, and they brought it all together nicely at the end and capped it off just right. In the end, I don’t think I’d be adverse to seeing more of the show either.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Production sketches,Clean opening and closing,Burn Up Excess trailer,Jiggle Counter(tm)

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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