Zone of the Enders Vol. #3 (of 6) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Sunday, December 28, 2003
Release Date: Monday, August 18, 2003
What They Say
The Links family has made it to Mars on a wing and prayer, but their troubles are far from over! For this rescue mission they need a hero, and fast! James Links doesn't want to be a hero except to his wife and children, but he'll have plenty of chances to practice for the role on Mars! Championing the people of a planet on the verge of insurrection, with the authorities still hot on his trail, this space trucker has more on his mind than any one man should have to cope with!
When the going gets tough, the Links family get going? all the way to Mars.
Sorry to be boring, but no fault found with either Japanese or English tracks- it?s all good Dolby stereo. Have I ever mention that I don?t like the opening track? I did huh, okay.
Ah, once again the presentation is flawless, bright and pleasing to the eye, if only we had it in 1.67:1 (grumble, grumble).
The front cover has the three ?Neith? pilots (Neith in the background). The rear cover has four stills from the enclosed episodes. The insert has a picture of Noel, Leon and Dolores. On the flip side is the usual episode listings with Noel looking perky. The disc itself has a printed picture of a ?Neith? in Action.
The main menu is adorned with mean looking ?Neith? LEV with episodes listings down the left side and the other options along the bottom. All buttons and hotspots links worked as advertised.
The interview with the two main voice actors was very interesting and worth listening to, so be sure and slide by that option when browsing.
James Diary is interesting if you would like to hear what James thinks of Dolores and women in general.
The mars map is mildly interesting, but a little tricky to navigate around, and so I gave up after a while.
The Karaoke is fun, but only to be tackled if you fancy practicing your Japanese.
Last, but not least, are the sketches and artwork section, which is interesting. All-in-all the extras in the volume are worth the effort to look at.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Episode 11 sees the Links family get to Mars, and covers their efforts to land without being detected. Some nice feel good moments, but still a reasonably tense story as their entry into Mars atmosphere is quite harrowing.
The next episode takes place on an oxygen refinery plant, where eco terrorists try to hijack the plant. Unfortunately for them they didn?t expect to run into James Links. Check out the 3D shot that James squeezes off in a fire-fight, nice animation. Meanwhile Delores unknowingly defeats some more terrorists whilst exploring the ocean beneath the plant.
Episode 13 has the Links finally making it to land and civilization at Esxaton. What they find there certainly isn?t what they expected, in more ways than one. For the first time this series gives us an insight into what life on Mars is like. And by way of plot expansion we are introduced to the political situation, and the puppet masters who orchestrate the forth coming war. These are the same people who know Dolores and have been after her all along. Certainly a milestone episode, so don?t FF through it.
In the final episode there is a big robot fight, when we meet a new type of LEV called a ?Neith?. The outcome of the fight introduces a new character (Rebecca) who tries to kill James and steal Dolores, but things don?t go according to her plan.
In summary- I don?t know how they do it, but the series continues to bring a smile to my face and no worry lines to my brow. The only downside is that we are now reduced to 4 episodes per volume :-(
Japanese Language ,English Language ,English Subtitles ,ADR Session with Hoko Kuwashima ("Dolores") and Tesshou Genda ("James"),Karaoke versions of opening and closing animations,Production sketches ,James' diary ,Map of Mars
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21? Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 2 - Europe
Released By: ADV Films UK
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Zone of Enders