Ronin Warriors Vol. #03 (of 10) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, June 14, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, June 04, 2002
What They Say
Ryo has succeeded in reviving the other Warriors, and now, they return to make their first assault on Talpa's castle! But reaching the source of the evil is not going to be an easy task, as they now must fight in Talpa's realm, and he has the home court advantage. Presented in unique DVD-10 format with complete, uncut Japanese language episodes of "Legendary Armor Samurai Troopers" on one side of the disc and complete, uncut English language episodes of "Ronin Warriors" on the other!
This installment of Samurai Troopers moves things forward a bit as the team is finally brought together again and the evil that is Arago is finally confronted as well.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Much like the previous volumes, the sound feels a bit low for this mix, but this is something we’ve noted on older shows in the past. There’s little in the way of directionality but everything across the forward soundstage sounds decent if a bit lower than I’d expect. Dialogue is nice and clear and we didn’t notice any distortions.
Things shake out in a similar fashion here as well, with lots of darks and almost soft appearance. There’s some color banding going on, most noticeably in still scenes with flesh tones, but otherwise things are in general decent if murky. With some grain and some cross coloration added in to some oversaturated colors, particularly the red of the Wildfire armor, you've got a show that's showing its age a fair bit here. It's not horrible by any stretch and still looks a lot better than broadcast.
Providing another reversible cover which gives the buyer the choice between logos, Bandai keeps both sets of fans happy. The only real difference on the front cover though. The back cover provides a summary of what to expect and some animation shots as well as the episode numbers and titles. The insert provides the same artwork on each side but with their respective logos and the episode titles, since the Ronin Warriors one used different names.
For both sides of the disc, the menus are pretty simple. You get episode selection right from the main page and the only difference with the Japanese side is that it has a selection for subtitles and the credits are several pages longer as they include the credits from the show itself.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the team finally getting closer together, everyone gets focused on rescuing their final comrade, Toma. Unfortunately, Toma’s had himself a really interesting way of staying safe while in stasis, as his body has decided that circling the Earth in a low orbit is the best place to be. While good for him, it certainly makes things much more difficult for the other Troopers to rescue him before Arago deals with him.
So a good portion of time is spent in figuring this out, but not with any real results. While the debate is partially shelved for the moment, Ryo and Shu decide to head to Tokyo and with White Blaze and figure out how Arago intends to get to Toma and try and use that to their advantage. Of course, they don’t tell the others, but just head off on their own. So already we’ve got great team playing going on here.
It’s here that we learn that Arago’s master plan is to essentially lob nether world blobs into space to that will hit Toma in his sleep mode and ultimately destroy him. He’s pulled some of his netherworld beings into this plane to convert various objects, such as entire buildings, into these massive energy balls. So Shu and Ryo have the odd choice of trying to either take these down outright or to use them to try and hitch a ride of some kind.
There’s also a fairly decent segment of actual team building as the group heads into Tokyo later on and Naste actually starts becoming somewhat useful by gaining some powers through an odd source. There’s also a bit of camaraderie with Jun and his involvement in the group, but these are pretty minimal overall, with the main focus on the Samurai Troopers trying to deal with Arago’s controlled plane of space in Tokyo.
With the group almost all together, these episodes felt like there was some progress being made in the story as opposed to just getting everyone rescued and ready to do business. Hopefully with the next volume we’ll get some more forward motion in the plot.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Reversible Cover
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: C+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 100/100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Ronin Warriors