You're Under Arrest DTS Sound Limited Edition (of 1) (

Review Date: -

What They Say
Big theatrical anime hit of '99. There are 2 DVD versions: a Dolby Surround version and a special first-pressing limited DTS edition. Contains trailers, spots and a 24-page booklet! Running time: 92 mins. Widescreen (Vista).

The Review!
From seemingly out of nowhere, a new Taiho Shichauzo (You?re Under Arrest) movie was suddenly announced last year and within months it hit theaters in Japan. From the screenshots to the theatrical trailer released, one could tell that this was going to be an awesome quality production. And after months of waiting, Taiho Shichauzo: The Movie comes home to DVD, in both Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and a fabulous DTS 5.1 Sound Limited Edition version! And after reviewing both versions, let me say that Emotion / Bandai have only further raised the bar on quality DVD productions: Taiho Shichauzo: The Movie DTS DVD joins the ranks of Spriggan DTS DVD as one of the highest quality anime DVD?s ever created!
The visuals are downright stunning: a gorgeous 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen transfer makes this one of the sharpest, cleanest anime DVD?s out there. The transfer rate throughout ranged from a ~ 8.5 up to 10.0 at times. There was never a hint of any artifacting or shimmering. The quality was especially apparent during the many dark sequences: All the blacks held up perfectly, with no problems whatsoever. In addition, the quality of animation is great. While it doesn?t reach the heights of Spriggan DVD (import), Studio Deen?s work is still very impressive. You will never see more better looking renditions of Natsumi and Miyuki than in this movie.

The sound is where this disc truly shines: On the Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD, the sounds were solid, making full use of all 5 channels and great use of the subwoofer for explosions. Yet when compared to the DTS DVD version, there is nothing to compare: The DTS Sound Edition version is just phenomenal! The complex outdoor scenes in downtown Tokyo are just wonderful ? while subtle, you can hear automobiles or motorcycles driving by *behind* you, as well as the chatter of various people. The clarity is what separates the DD 5.1 version and the DTS version here. Similarly, during a scene at Bokuto Station (Natsumi and Miyuki?s precinct), a few of the police gals are chatting away, which uses the front center channel, but then when Detective Kinoshita walks in and talks to the chief (and the camera pans around to their conversation), the side, and then the back soundstage is filled with the police gals chatter. This wouldn?t seem that impressive to anyone who has Dolby Digital 5.1, but the naturalness and clarity that is created here in DTS was not present on the Dolby Digital version. Finally, the huge explosions and intense action sequences in DTS Sound are more impressive (deeper lows, better fill of all 6 channels) than the Dolby Digital version.

Yet the most compelling part of this disc is the story: "You?re Under Arrest" is a fantastic anime series that has partially made it over here to the US (courtesy of Animeigo ? now where?s the OAV / TV DVD?s, guys??). It?s a police comedy / action series with two lovely and talented female protagonists: Natsumi Tsujimoto, the brash, hot-headed gal, and Miyuki Kobayakawa, the smart, gentle, level-headed one. In the movie version, the creators have decided to take the "Patlabor" Movie approach ? taking a primarily comedy-driven show and placing the cast in a very serious, dramatic scenario. This movie really does feel like a Patlabor movie (as was also pointed out in Tong Lin and Kwan Fu Sit?s review), and one key reason would be that the music was composed by none other than Kenji Kawai, who did the music for Patlabor and Ghost in the Shell! Kenji?s compositions are wonderful, but there is one action music piece that could?ve been straight out of Patlabor: The Movie.

Even the story itself bears great resemblance to the Patlabor movies: Everything seems fine, when all of a sudden all the traffic lights in a key intersection in downtown Tokyo malfunction and go haywire (similar to the malfunctioning, rampaging Labors in Patlabor Movie 1). Accidents happen, and then later, a weapons smuggling ring is discovered. Soon after, telephone lines are cut and one of Tokyo?s main bridges into and out of the city is destroyed by a massive bomb. We discover that a former policeman, Detective Emoto created a plan that simulates a terrorist attack to cripple and take over a police station. The plan / simulation was so perfect, that the top brass shelved it for fear that it could really be used to cripple all the law enforcement forces. After that happened, Emoto disappeared, never to be heard from again. But now, all these ?malfunctions? and seemingly unrelated incidents turn out to be all related: They are all part of a live enactment of Emoto?s Terrorist Attack Simulation. To make matters worse, they find out that the plan was revised so that it would target key economic / financial centers as well! At this point, one can see that Emoto might as well have been called "Eichi Hoba" (from Patlabor Movie 1) and that this communications / economic crippling plot is very similar to Patlabor Movie 2.

But there are plenty of aspects that separate Taiho Shichauzo: The Movie from the Patlabor movies, and on its own, it is a great compelling story with the cast of You?re Under Arrest. While it is this reviewer?s wish that they dwell more on the comedic, light-hearted side to Natsumi and Miyuki and company, this movie is certainly not a disappointment. Seeing the entire cast placed in a powerful, gripping storyline makes this DVD worth it.

In addition there are some very nice extras, including what has to be the *best* DVD Menu ever created ? it?s a fully animated DVD menu that is keyed and choreographed to a great Kenji Kawai piece of music, and it serves to introduce the whole cast! The whole segment plays for 3-4 minutes, and the slick style at which it introduces and showcases each of the main characters is nothing short of wonderful. Also, the Chapter search menus are nicely animated ? when you choose to go there, the buttons rotate and form into their final position, as if you were navigating a fancy Shockwave computer interface. Lastly, they?ve included a stunning 24 page Illustration Booklet, containing the Making-Of-Taiho: the Movie, as well as pages and pages of gorgeous full-color artwork from You?re Under Arrest. And I almost forgot the 3 great postcards of Miyuki and Natsumi as well. And the transparent DVD slipcase.

Overall, if you have the capability to play both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 DVD?s, get the DTS version. I hope in the future, all US anime companies look into bringing out DTS versions of various anime series, or at the very least, put in the overall high production values that Emotion / Bandai used in creating this outstanding product. You?re Under Arrest: The Movie DTS Sound Limited Edition, is an awesome import DVD that should be seen by all anime fans.

Japanese DTS Language,Extra Booklet with Gallery Illustration

Review Equipment
Pioneer DV-606D (Code Free) DVD Player, Mitsubishi CS-3503R 35" TV, Yamaha RX-V2095 DD / DTS Receiver, MIT S-Video cable, KEF C85 Front speakers, B&W Center, Infinity Rear speakers, and NHT Subwoofer.

Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A+
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 2 - Japan
Released By: Bandai Visual
MSRP: 13650
Running time: 92
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: You're Under Arrest