Dominion Tank Police (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, June 01, 1999
Release Date: Tuesday, June 01, 1999
What They Say
Welcome to the year 2010 A.D. – it’s a nice place to visit, but you definitely wouldn’t want to live here! The world is covered by a poisonous bacterial cloud and vicious gangs control the cities. A violent crime is committed every 36 seconds. What’s a poor defenseless citizen supposed to do? Desperate times call for desperate measures…
Enter the Tank Police, led by tough-guy “Mr. Squad Commander” Britain (lifetime subscriber of How to Kill magazine). Together, this elite squad of lunatics – along with new recruit Leona – is taking back the streets by excessive force and putting the "terror" back in "interrogation!"
Created by Masamune Shirow – the world-renowned creator of Appleseed, Black Magic M-66 and Ghost In The Shell.
The audio on the disc is pretty good, a fairly well used front soundstage with no detectable rear sound effects. I couldn't hear any distortion from it, and the dialogue was very clean and clear. No issues here.
The video gets a little shakier. The masters used for this release are from the two VHS releases. Episodes 1 & 2 were somewhat merged together, and 3 & 4 had the same happen to them. Credits for 1 & 2 appear at the end of 2, but they do have the opening song sequence in the middle to break them up a bit. A little strange, but what do I know? The only episode I have any kind of quibble with is the second one, as the age of the master is really showing. There are lots of nicks and small bits of damage on it, which was distracting in several sequences. These are the same masters that have been used since CPM acquired this title back in 1992 most likely, and it's showing. The other episodes looked good considering the age of the masters and the animation (1989) so I can't complain too much.
The only other thing that was more visible in episode two was the moire effect, or the rainbow effect. Some portions of the video shimmer a bit, while some areas of the animation, such as Leona's nose (and others noses too) shimmer in a rainbow like way. Only distracting when you're actually looking for it though in my opinion.
Due to the 160 minute running time, CPM opted for the dual layered DVD. There may be a small problem with it though. I believe the layer change is at the end of episode two, at the credits section. Once the credits complete, it goes into the Toshiba logo and then should go into the next episode. The first time around, during the brief music associated with the logo, there was a slight audio dropout, and when the logo completed, it simply froze there. Hitting chapter advance brought me to the beginning of episode three, so no worries there. After finishing the disc, I went back and played with it a bit. If you watch the disc straight through, it will freeze up at this point. However, if you advance to the chapter with the Toshiba logo and play, it'll play through fine. It's just a bit flaky there and doesn't stop playback at all, but it's just weird. My DVD-ROM drive handled it without issue though, and just played through without any distortion during the logo sequence.
CPM continues to get better at their menus. There was no slowdown on this one at all while a brief video action segment plays at the right. All the options work quickly and properly. Definitely gaining better mastering of their craft and graphic design.
As for the show itself? Well, that's a mixed bag definitely depending on your view of anime. I've been a long time Shirow fan, back when it took forever between installments of the translated Appleseed mangas, and filled the gaps with Dominion and Black Magic and eventually Ghost in the Shell. And if you've ever read any of his manga, you know how shaky the translation to animation can be, and Dominion is no different.
We follow the exploits of recently placed Leona Ozaki as she becomes a member of the Newport City Tank Police. We learn what a bunch of scoundrels they are, yet they're also a real close loving bunch too. We get some insights throughout the series as to why the world is the way it is with the bacterial cloud, the reasons behind the Tank Police's existence and a couple of other little bits.
Compared to the manga, it's a poor mans version indeed. The first two episodes have a lot of comedic bits, while the second two have very serious turns to them. This isn't in itself bad, but the pacing is not well done in my opinion, especially compared to the action/comedy/romance portions of the manga. Especially Leona's romance with her tiny toy tank, Bonaparte.
One nice bit to this release from CPM is that the subtitles are now yellow. Ah, one more joins the conversion! The only downside is the lack of strong enough (if any) borders, which can make the opening somewhat difficult to watch and read, as there are a lot of bright colors and the subs disappear into them. Of course, this would have happened if they were white too, but borders are one of the last necessities for all anime companies to tweak out.
Having bought the four individual tapes, the 70$ laserdisc set and now the DVD, I can still recommend this show for Shirow fans and those who want some laughs (episode two provides some hilarious ones, especially the anti-tank weapons). The characters act silly, but never go super deformed. The voice acting is good in the Japanese, but the English was done by and for Manga Video UK, so you can draw your own conclusions there. Those who are looking to replace their LD sets, I'd keep them and snag this for the convenience of having everything on one platter.
English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Language
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Central Park Media
Running time: 160
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dominion Tank Police