Flint the Time Detective Vol. #1 (of 3) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, December 05, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000
What They Say
In the 25th century, time travel is so common in fact that even criminals can visit any time period they choose. The answer is the Bureau of Time and Space Investigations! These elite agents solve crimes and right and damage done... including a missing artifact that keeps history itself together! Without this, the past present and future will come apart and take everyone with it!
The Right Stuf starts expanding their DVD offerings with this release of Flint the Time Detective. Of course, it's the TV edited dub version, much like Pioneer's release of Pokemon and ADV's release of Monster Rancher. Right down to the episode counts even. What really separates them?
Right Stuf prices Flint right: 14.98$ a disc.
Being the English dub only version, the audio is pretty straightforward. It's encoded in Dolby Digital mono, which is rather odd as the end credits as broadcast lists it in Dolby Surround. I'd have thought it would be a stereo mix at the list. Regardless, the audio sounds decent enough coming out of the center channel with no noticeable dropouts or other issues.
This is a really nice looking couple of episodes overall. Colors are pretty well saturated and there are some really sweet looking scenes that are CG influenced that really stand out. Some of the deeper blue scenes show more artifacting in the backgrounds and a few scenes look a bit grainy. But overall, this is a pretty solid release.
I just can't find the front cover appealing at all. Far too many dark colors and the somewhat obscured logo. The back cover is pretty solid in listing a show summary and then breaking down each of the episodes. There's also a couple of pieces of video captures as well. No insert is included in the disc. The only thing I can think of that could be changed is some bright shiny kid-appealing color for the side/cover. There's a reason Pokemon's are bright red and yellow and even the Monster Ranchers use bright colors. This disc just won't stand out on a shelf.
Straightforward sums the menus up as well. The intro menu gives you the ability to play all of the episodes in one sitting, select each episode (and then select 1 of 4 chapters for each episode) and a trailer for the show. Submenus are pretty minimal but work without issue. Access times are pretty fast as well. While there's no animation, there's at least a bit of music playing along.
Only the trailer, which most people don't consider an extra. I'm not really expecting any from this series to begin with.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Up until I saw the opening episodes on this disc, I'd never seen more than maybe a minute of Flint on TV. It just didn't seem my cup of tea at all. I can handle the dub only TV versions of some kiddie shows as being one of the sacrifices of getting some bigger name anime out here. But that doesn't mean I have to watch them.
Flint's not a bad show all things told. Originally broadcast back in 1998, there's some pretty good animation and bits of CG interspersed throughout, though most of it is typical anime style with low cel counts. Character designs are pretty decent, though the only abnormal character of note is Flint, unless you count the weird assistants.
The story revolves around the pre-historic boy Flint, who is turned into a fossil by a time thief who traveled to his era. Flint ends up being de-fossilized in the future and becomes friends with a couple of kids who are related to a scientist who works for the Time and Space Bureau. The time thief, who is after something Flint was protecting in the past, doesn't take this lying down and tries to take him out.
In the end, Flint is made a Time Detective by some mysterious short white bearded guy, given a Time Cycle and a badge. Oh, and his father, who was also fossilized, has been turned into a stone baka hammer that talks and turns others into fossils.
Yep. It's anime alright.
The following two episodes are pretty formulaic but fairly enjoyable if you like the first episode or the more simple anime kid shows. The disc is pretty well put together and frankly, you can't beat the price for it. If only Pioneer and ADV would follow suit and price according to the target market.
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster Component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B-
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: C+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Flint the Time Detective