Wind Named Amnesia (of 1) (Mania.com)

Review Date: Tuesday, January 19, 1999
Release Date: Tuesday, January 19, 1999



What They Say
Silently, the amnesia wind swept away all of mankind's knowledge. Human civilization vanished overnight as people forgot how to use the tools of modern civilization - who they were - how to speak - everything.
Now, two years later, a young man explores a nation reduced to barbarism - America. Accompanied by a young woman, they search for those responsible for stealing their memories.

The Review!
I was with great enthusiasm that I received news that Central Park Media was planning on bringing this classic to DVD; this is one incredible movie, one that I've loved for years. Thankfully, CPM doesn't disappoint; this is one of the best DVDs that I've seen them produce.

The story of A Wind Named Amnesia is very unique. The world has lost it's memory instantaneously as a result of the mysterious Amnesia Wind, and humankind has been reduced to barbarism. In this world of utter chaos travels a man named Wataru, who has managed to relearn what was forgotten. He is soon joined by a mysterious woman named Sophia, and both set out on a trek across the now ruined United States to witness the forces that drive mankind at the most primal level. It's a very thought provoking film, and while I could easily elaborate on the plot I really think it would ruin much of it. If you haven't seen it yet, you really should do so!

The transfer of the film is excellent; clean throughout without a hint of distortion or artifacts. I was very impressed by the crisp and clean look of the video, especially considering some of what I've seen from CPM in the past. They are evidently learning their trade very well (which I hope is the case) or the masters they used for this film are just much better than what they've used previously. Interestingly enough, this disc seems to be produced entirely in house. There is no credit for Crush Digital Video on the back of the keepcase.

Speaking of the keepcase, it has been improved. Gone is the large "Anime DVD" banner on the right side of the front cover. This allows for larger cover art and makes the case look a lot more attractive. On the negative side, the "liner notes" are still on the reverse side of the insert, so you have to remove it from the keepcase in order to read them. They did round the corners out more than some of their past titles so it does go in and out of the plastic sheath quite readily -- you can see this in the scan I provided of the cover art. Still, it would be nice if they included a separate booklet inside the keepcase itself with this information; I doubt it would contribute much to the cost. The audio is presented as Dolby Digital 2.0. I watched the Japanese track in its entirety, and it was clean and dynamic. The subtitles are the CPM standard white subtitles, but they were easy to read and were never obscured by the background. A spot check of the English track revealed no flaws that I could detect.

I was particularly pleased with how the end credits were handled. CPM left the original Japanese credit crawl intact and just tacked on English credits after it was over. Bravo! This is how I like to see it done!

The disc's menu is also standard CPM; the character pictures (from the cover artwork) on the right with "speech bubbles" containing the menu choices as you cycle through them. It's still very slow. "Extras" consist of a "Meet the Cast" and "Meet the Mecha" section which provides a quick way to advance to scenes in which a particular character or machine first appears. I was a bit disappointed since I was expecting a text-based bio or something similar.

The previews on the disc are for existing releases; once again I was hoping to catch a glimpse of something new or not previously announced. For the record, there are previews of Area 88, Big Wars, Ayane's High Kick, Legend of Lemnear and Demon City Shinjuku.

All in all, I'm very satisfied with this disc, and I feel very good in recommending it to anyone without reservation.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Meet The Cast,Meet The Mecha

Review Equipment
N/A



Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Central Park Media
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 80
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Wind Named Amnesia