Gestalt (of 1) (

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000
Release Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000

What They Say
In the tradition of any RPG, Olivier, a young priest in a powerful church, has heard rumors that a god who will grant any wish lives on a distant island called 'G'-a place no one's traveled to and come back alive! Along with Ohri, a mysterious mute girl, Olivier fearlessly sets out on his journey. But there's more than meets the eye when they come up against Suzu, the Dark Elf, Olivier's former ally! See sparks fly when Ohri's true nature is revealed and the voyage to 'G' gets more dangerous than our heroes bargained for!

The Review!
Released in 1997, these two OVA's which don't complete a full story (but do finish out the introductory story) looks to be one of Sony Music's earlier attempts at doing CG and digital painting in anime. So that means we've got some pluses and some negatives.

For our primary review, we listened to the Japanese language track and spot checked the English track. Throughout we had no real problems at all with this fairly typical stereo soundtrack. Dialogue was easily understandable and there were no dropouts or other problems associated with this track.

With this being a digitally painted show as well as one that uses extensive digital camera panning, it's not going to go over well with people, especially since it's overall quality isn't anywhere near one of the better looking ones like Sol Bianca. The general design of the show is very bright with hot pink hair and bright orange clothes being the norm, which seems to be usual for the early digital painted shows which looked to have really limited palettes. Beyond being bright, the show is fairly layered in places that look pretty unnatural at times and give more of a sense of stillness than you're accustomed to. Where the main problem is with the video is the general fuzziness to it; the majority of it tends to focus on the characters, especially the edges of hair, but also makes a number of prominent appearances on clothing and in backgrounds, causing them to looking shifty.

I really like the cover art for this package, which has nice sand style background tones and softer colors than you'll find in the show itself with the two characters on the front. The back has a few sketches as well as some animation shots. The summary is brief, but so is the show.

Pretty straightforward here with the main selections easily accessible and the submenus laid out well. Access times between each of the menus is very high which is something we always like to see.

There's an art gallery included with this disc.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As we mentioned at the beginning, this is a pretty incomplete show. The show is also very RPG oriented, so much so at times that it's almost a turn off.

The basic plot through the two episodes is that Father Olivier, a priest of one of the eight gods, has left his order to travel to the mysterious land of G. G is the shortened version of the name that must not be spoken, Gestalt. Through a quick history lesson, we learn that a long time ago, Gestalt challenged the other gods for power and ended up losing.

So off goes the priest in search of this mystery to help him affirm his faith in his own god. The other priest of the order summons a dark elf to go off in search of Father Olivier as no priest may leave the order. The elf is naturally amused to be used by the good priest, but strikes a deal and heads off.

Catching up with Father Olivier, he's off in some remote village and getting ready for the next leg of his journey. The head of the inn decides to thank him for performing a miracle and offers him a young woman. She can't speak however, but she does provide text translations of her silence in the form of RPG TEXT WINDOWS on the screen, which the priest can read. This was actually amusing for a few minutes but then really started to get on my nerves. Right about the time I was thinking about turning the disc off, the spell of silence was lifted from her, so we got to hear her talk now.

The show then follows typical patterns of hot woman falls in love with priest while battling dark elf. Add in hot woman's nemesis and the whole mystery of Gestalt itself and spread it across twenty six episodes and you might have something fairly interesting. Unfortunately this never got further than two episodes apparently, so the big picture is never revealed and you're left more with something similar to the first few episodes of a TV series similar to Slayers.

The animation is pretty decent at times and pretty poor at times. The combination of that plus the digital layering and painting can produce some really nice results to some god awful looking bits that just make you cringe. The show itself isn't half bad, but it's incomplete and pretty RPG and video game oriented, so you can predict a lot of it.

Of course, for some people, it's got elves, so they'll be hooked.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
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: C+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Media Blasters
MSRP: 24,95
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Gestalt