Silent Mobius Vol. #3 (of 3) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, October 31, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2002
What They Say
The final collection of Kia Asamiya’s best selling sci-fi anime series, Silent Mobius! The battle over Earth’s future is finally at hand! Will the women of the AMP be victorious, or will Earth fall to the demons known as Lucifer Hawk? Katsumi and the others will seek new powers and strength as old mysteries are unraveled. The end is near...
The conclusion to the Silent Mobius series casts a dark shadow over the cast as things go awfully wrong for just about everyone. You just have to love it when that happens.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The series features a solid stereo mix with some nice moments of directionality throughout it. There’s nothing noticeable sent to the rear speakers, but it doesn’t adversely affect things here as this is a good sounding track. Dialogue is crisp and clean and we noticed no dropouts or distortions.
While the animation quality level isn’t what it was during the first couple of episodes of the series, it still looks quite good through this transfer. Colors are good and solid, with the blues and blacks showing through at quite a number of intensities. Cross coloration continues to be very minimal and the aliasing we saw during panning sequences in the first volume have dropped off pretty well here. The show looks pretty good here.
Using one of the single keepcases with an inserted hinge, both discs fit snugly inside here. The front cover features a slick piece of artwork with Mana and Lum Cheng in the foreground while various imagery makes up the background. The front cover also includes a small “03” on it, the only indication of which number this is as episode numbers and titles are not listed on the back. There’s a brief summary and a couple of nice collages of artwork as well as the listing of features and production credits. With a strong cast of female characters, Bandai’s offered up a reversible cover on this one as well, with an image of Yuki and Tohru. Bandai and Viz have teamed up with this release as there’s also a small mini comic included from the original manga series. The insert provides another shot of the Katsumi cover while it folds open to reveal some small bios on both her and Nami. The back side provides the full credits listing for the shows. Or sort of. Some of the cast that could be considered main, like Cheng, aren’t listed. This is why I wish that individual episodes would have credits.
Using the pentagram from the show as well as parts of the logo with the lightning crackling over it, the main menu loads up to the opening song and looks and sounds great. There’s little to the discs outside of playing the show, so the menus are fairly minimal but nicely styled with solid access times. Moving around is straightforward and we liked the overall look and feel of them.
The second volume contains a nice little extra that’s well done, and that’s a karaoke version of the opening and ending sequences, with English, romaji and Kanji listed across the screen as they play back. Very nicely done and I wish we saw more of these.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The final arc of the Silent Mobius saga isn’t exactly, well, final. It’s more the end of the first chapter of the larger story, but it does end with some finality. But if you go into it expecting the entire thing to be resolved, you’ll be disappointed. If you go into it expecting to have a good story told with some surprisingly slow pacing, you’ll have fun with this volume.
Through one form or another, most of the cast has been through the proverbial grinder in this series and have had relationships basically stomped on repeatedly. The relationship between Rally and Rosa reaches a very emotional peak during all of this, as Rosa tries to turn herself human again, but as the only Cheyenne. She finds herself rebelling against Ganossa, but in the end is truly just a puppet to his schemings. The more we learn about Rosa’s past, the more sympathetic we get, but also the more we root for Rally in her attempts to save her regardless of her own fate. And Rally is not someone that can be lost, as the sponsors behind the police are moving to have the entire AMP division closed down.
The reason for that? There’s been no attacks for nearly six months. And that time coincides with the time that Katsumi has been gone, after her own sufferings during an attack and manipulation by Ganossa. While she had been confused and unsure about her relationship with Roy, especially after he had said he’d kill her and them himself if either were infected with the Lucifer Hawk blood, Katsumi had tried to move on past their relationship while he kept trying to get through to her about it. His deep and strong love for Katsumi becomes a focal point early on here, and sparks one of the more interesting battles between the Hawk’s and their human opponents.
But when all is said and done, Katsumi simply leaves to live in her guilt, running away yet again from things she couldn’t do anything about. Her personality has been one to try and deal with it, but also there’s a level of wanting to revel in the sadness and gloom. This has let her succumb to the wiles of Nemesis, and her eventual disappearance. As you can expect, her return isn’t quite what everyone had hoped for, and this leads into the final six or so episodes of anguish, battle and death for a number of the cast. No one is safe here, and with all the little bonds we’ve been exposed to throughout the series, they all pile on here.
These final episodes have been interesting to watch, as they closely match where there US graphic novel releases are, mostly through the first disc here. Having read those at the same time as watching the episodes, it’s been neat to see the number of similarities as well as the differences, and gives an appreciation to both. While I come out enjoying the manga more, with it’s much more detailed style and with my being a huge Asamiya fan, I’ve definitely enjoyed the anime quite a lot.
This series has a lot going for it. While it is a predominantly female cast, it’s heavily into women who are fairly well removed from their teen years. This lets them play with a wider range of emotions with each other and with the relationships that come up with the men in their lives. The additional plus is that we mostly get more mature looking women done in a more serious style. The wide eyes are still there and the comical moments exist, but this is much closer to a straightforward serious science fiction adventure than most anime releases in the past few years manage to achieve. That alone makes it something I’m interested in.
But with an engaging if elusive storyline at times, it becomes so much more. The pasts of the characters are integral to the present, and unearthing those moments throughout the storyline has been well done, giving you enough to see the larger picture but still keeping things somewhat blurry. If there’s a downside to it, it’s that the villains of Ganossa and Rosa end up being a bit more invulnerable than they should be. The lack of Lucifer Hawks on a regular basis is a good thing, in that it keeps it from being a monster of the week show, but also hurts it in that the threat tends to focus on just the couple of villains, with the larger threat of the King of Nemesis in the background.
Silent Mobius is an excellent complete chapter in a larger storyline. This release was well done and definitely benefited from having such a bundle of episodes per release, letting you really sink your teeth into the visual world of Asamiya. The mix of spiritual and science, women and technology cast against a post apocalyptic future is one of those titles that just manages to hit every beat right. A very easy recommendation for those looking for qualities like that.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Karaoke Opening & Ending
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 200
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Silent Mobius