Getter Robo Vol. #3 (of 4) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2001
Release Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2001



What They Say
A dark shadow has fallen across the Earth. The black robot has arrived and brings with it a new terror. But its terrifying exoskeleton is not nearly as frightening as what hides inside it.

The Getters take their fight to the seared shell of New York City. The former center of the world becomes a dangerous playground for deadly robot fighting. The winner of the battle will claim the ultimate prize: The chance to face the ultimate evil from behind the moon. Humanity is pinned to the ground. The count is almost out.

The Review!
Just when I go and figure I simply can't get into this show at all, the third volume shows up and I end up having a hell of a lot of fun with it. Dagnabit, things are almost starting to make sense here!

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show continues its strong desire to yell out every other line (or word in some cases), so in one sense your speakers are going to get something of a workout. Dialogue is pretty much center channel based with little directionality. The sound effects and music do however make good use of the forward soundstage and provide some good action and relatively deep filling music.

Video:
While the second volume had cleaned up most of the problems I had with the first volume, there were still a few left. The third volume has eliminated those, providing me with a really slick looking clean image. The couple of minor instances of cross coloration just seem to have outright vanished and the color banding in the couple of noted areas such as Go's cloak, have also disappeared. There's still a fair number of darks and the like here, and they retain their solidity nicely and there's no noticeable macroblocking in the blue sky backgrounds.

Packaging:
The busy covers continue with this volume, though Kei gets the prime spot of the only visible character on the front with one of the Robo combinations behind her. The back cover provides some muted animation artwork in the background while the focus is given to the shows features and general enthusiastic remarks about it. Shots of the extras are included on the back as well. The insert provides another completely different shot of the Getter combination while the reverse side just has some boxart for other titles.

Menus:
The menu layout is again the same, but with different animation (presumably from these episodes) playing behind the selections. The menus have again added the scene transition animations, but these are better than the first volume in that there's no massive macroblocking and color banding going on. Access times between menus are decent, transitions considered, and everything is laid out in a straightforward and simple way.

Extras:
This disc has a couple of rather interesting extras on it. The first is a look at some of the inserts from the original Japanese laserdisc release. The insert is provided on screen with translations on top of the image. These aren't the usual production sketches kinds of things, but little mini-comics from the production staff, amusing comments from the creators about copyrights and other little things. Very amusing stuff. The behind the scenes segment of the disc is the other new extra, in which we get to meet with a couple more voice actors and hear them talk about their roles and the shows. I was pleased to see another youngster being tapped to play characters in the same age range and made a point of checking out her performance when the character showed up. The textless opening and ending are carried over from the first two volumes, which is a way of doing things I don't really mind.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I try to get out, and it pulls me back in. Curse this show!

The show picks up with the Whale, the large craft used by Benkei and the other Japanese, going over Alaska in an attempt to find the Shin Dragon. The folks in the Tower question whether they should allow this group to basically do as they please, but the general feeling is that they wouldn't obey orders properly to begin with, and they may be useful.

We come across the story of a group of people living in this cold wilderness that have built a Getter Ray collector, and find themselves under attack by some of the Invaders. The Shin Getter and its pilots arrive in time to take down the enemy and do their best to help out the people living here in these harsh conditions. A fair amount is learned about these people who are trying to make things work, but not before the Invaders reveal that they've gotten inside the compound and they begin to take out people.

This episode also features the introduction of the Black Getter Robo, a mysterious Robo that arrives in the thick of the second battle with the Invaders who've absorbed all the remaining humans in the compound. This new Robo doesn't introduce himself and says nothing, only letting its actions speak for it. And it's actions are among the deadliest we've seen in this series, as it simply kills without issue. The Invader suffers heavily from its attacks as it does everything from cut across with its axe to simply crushing the pool of goo that has humans in it. It's a very violent section but very well played out, especially by Kei, who can't believe she's seeing this happen.

The next two episodes provided an immense amount of fun and excitement. The crew of the Whale have detected an SOS in New York City and proceed to try and help out. Once in the city, they find an Invader standing twenty feet or so above the entrance to where the signal is coming from, and they perform an attack that distracts it while others go to the rescue. Unfortunately, those that sent the signal appear to be dead, with only a couple of puppies left in the room.

If you sniff once or twice, that heavy stench is called a trap. A pretty obvious one at that, but apparently nothing that the people here were expecting.

The Black Getter Robo arrives on the scene as the fight against the Invaders builds, and his origins are revealed, which provides something of a surprise to some of the members of the Whale. It's an interesting way of resolving things and bringing in something that was needed to the show.

It should be noted that the bulk of these two episodes contain massive robots kicking the crap out of giant space aliens against the backdrop of lower Manhattan. If you find yourself easily bothered by the site of the World Trade Center in any form after September 11th, 2001, you'll want to avoid these episodes. Especially since they, along with the rest of the area, get completely trashed. I personally found the action sequences on these two episodes to be among the best I've seen in the series before and wanted to see more building smashing going on. But when a tidal wave arrives, what're you gonna do.

With the introduction of the Black Getter Robo, the return of Saotome and the acquisition of the Shin Dragon and massive amounts of Invaders running around, these episodes went by fast, kept things light on plot and focused on moving the characters along. The animation is slick and the action is fast and furious. I'm finally starting to enjoy this show.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Original LD Inserts,Behind the Scenes,Textless Opening,Textless Ending

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Getter Robo: Armageddon