Powerstone Vol. #5 (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, May 11, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, May 21, 2002
What They Say
When young adventurer Edward Falcon discovers Dulustown is under attack by powerful Indians, he has no choice but to use his Power Stones to save the troubled town. But when Falcon and his companions arrive in Aqua Land, they discover angry attackers are nothing compared to the devilish plot of the pirate Kraken!
In Aqua Land, Falcon and his friends find the only way to defeat Kraken is to join forces-or die trying! But things get even more mysterious for Falcon as he discovers his idol - the fearsome fighter, Valgas - in the midst of a heated battle. But is Valgas friend? Or foe? Find out in the exciting fifth volume of Power Stone!
This installment of Powerstone managed to cause the same problem as the last volume with me in that almost immediately after watching it, I had completely forgotten it.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in English as English is the only language presented on it. The show is presented in a basic stereo mix which is pretty decent, featuring some minor bits of directionality across the forward soundstage but otherwise just filling things up nicely. Dialogue is clear and we didn't notice any dropouts or distortions throughout
For the most part, this is a really nice looking release. Colors are vibrant and solid and cross coloration is extremely minimal to non-existent on some episodes. There are a few instances of jaggies that are noticeable along things such as some of the characters turbans, and some of the backgrounds look a little soft at times, but may be intentional.
The front cover this time around is pretty busy with a lot of clashing colors and a yellowish white background. Falcon and his armored form take up most of the area. The back cover gives a rundown of what to expect while providing some screen shots and also lists the episodes titles (but no episode numbers nor is there a volume number). The insert provides another shot of the front cover while the reverse side of it shows off more boxart.
There's really only one menu here, and that's the main one that has no music or animation, and just lets you select the episode you want or to check out the trailers. Though minimal and sort of bland, it does the job effectively.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the last volume, we had a two day gap between watching the show and writing up the review and the plot of the episodes ended up being something hard to remember. This time, it’s only been an hour or so and things are still fuzzy. Maybe with the final volume each episode will be forgotten just after it’s over.
The stories for these four episodes, which continue to move along in smaller arcs as opposed to just episodic adventures, deal with two different locations. Things start off in Dulustown, an old west setting where Falcon and the group get involved in a dispute between the sheriff whose secretly a bad guy and the Indians that are attacking the city. This is mainly used to introduce the ostensibly token Indian character that makes it into a number of the fighting games. These episodes were fairly weak in general, and their overall plot was more of a mini-filler arc.
Slightly more interesting was the second section when they moved off into Aqua Land where they get to deal with the pirate Kraken. His is one of the better transformation differences, though the pirate captain is something of a bumbling rube of a character who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn when it actually counts. He’s also got the obligatory goofs as mates on his ship, which means he’ll always be ineffectual. It’s times like this that I find it unfortunate that Capcom decided to go the childish route with this franchise instead of giving it a chance to go darker and make something a bit more interesting with it.
Powerstone is a basic reminder that yes, even anime can be just like Saturday morning cartoons. Being based on a video game (one I like at least), Powerstone's not bad, but it's just incredibly mediocre,
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: C
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: C+
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2