Dragon Knight: The Wheel of Time (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Justin Rich
Review Date: Thursday, April 21, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, January 04, 2005



What They Say
Many years have passed since the shining example of knightly virtue, Takeru, performed his heroic deeds. Now it falls to his son, Kakeru, to save the kingdom from encroaching evil. The forces of Lucifon, ruler of the eastern realm of Reimling, are on the march, preceded by a black mist that turns everyone it touches to stone. Led by the mysterious Eto, Kakeru and his friends must take the fight into the very heart of Lucifon's empire or become statues for his garden.

The Review!
The heroic adventure of the time traveling Kakeru’s battle to stop the evil Lucifon is shown in this non-hentai complete collection .

Audio:
I listened to the 2.0 English track for this to hear the new ADV dub that was attached to the complete collection of Dragon Knight. The lack of a 5.1 track was disappointing though with some of the battle scenes would have benefited greatly from a better audio track. The sound was clear with no distortions making for a good listening.

Video:
The video quality is good here with no apparent cuts, (considering the sex scenes for this version were removed), making for a solid enjoyable presentation. Dragon Knights was released in 1999 and the coloring is good and especially of the dragons themselves.

Packaging:
The front cover art is similar to the original cover with both Eto and Bianca front and center, except this time it is from their battle in map 2 with a red background that really brings out the cover, rather than Eto standing over her shoulder. The title is in white lettering on the bottom with the ADV logo right next to it in the bottom right corner. Along the top is a blurb from AnimeonDVD.com. The back cover had another blurb from AOD with the two pictures from the menu of Eto below it.

Menu:
On the left half of the menu you have a head shot of Eto to go along with a full body picture of him leaning on his sword on the right half of the menu. Between the Eto pictures is the Dragon Knights The Wheel of Time in white archaic writing. Right below the title is the names of all four maps, within a red bar the options to change language, jump to the ADV previews or look at the DVD credits.

Extras:
The only extra on this disc is the presentation of six ADV previews (Saiyuki:Requiem, Chrno Crusade, Moeyo Ken, Maps, Sorcerer Hunters & Princess Tutu).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers) We begin the story with Kakeru talking to himself as he is chained in Lucifon’s dungeon struggling to remember how he got to where he was now. The door opens and Marlene, disguised as one of Lucifon’s soldiers, sneaks into to help Kakeru escape. She tells him that he must go back to the past and make sure he changes her mind, for the fate of the future and present depends on him convincing Marlene to stay true to their cause. She hands him the talisman, that his love Natasha had made for him, so that he could focus all his energy on his wish allowing the black stone she had smuggled in to his cell to transport him back to the past.

Kakeru must never allow his other self to know his true identity so when he arrives just in time to get Seal and the younger Kakeru to leave the city avoiding the Black Mist he tells them that his name is Eto. Eto then along with his young companions and some other villagers who survived decide to take battle to Lucifon and fight their way to Reimling castle. They soon meet up with all his old friends just as before with Natasha and Marlene joining the group.

Eto’s group is gaining a reputation for themselves as the only force that can actually defeat the forces of Lucifon which leads the sword wielding Princess Bianca to join their band. Yet, her unwillingness to trust leads her to challenge Eto. Despite her incredible abilities with the blade Eto easily defeats her. The next morning they take off on a ship to set sail and Eto takes his opportunity to talk alone with Marlene and let her know that he is really Kakeru from the future sent back by her to change her mind. She is leery to trust him but calmly Eto tells her that he has fought all these battles before and that in a moment the ship they were on was going to sink, and seconds later their ship was attacked by a dragon force.

The group was marooned on an island after the sinking and Eto has talks to both Marlene about her true identity as well as having his discovered by Natasha. Time though continues on and just as he knew it would a ship comes along to rescue them. They take a night to rest and then make their way through the mountains on the final leg to Lucifon’s castle only to be stopped by the dragons who order them to turn around, and when their warning is ignored they fire. The blast is averted though because Seal is the son of the Dragon Knight and is their ally recognized immediately by the elder dragon.

They continue on into a trap where the group is becoming slaughtered by Lucifon’s forces but in the last second Seal and the Dragons arrive to turn the tide. Marlene is captured by Eto follows and saves her. They are alone long enough for her to express her love for him and then when Eto wakes up she is gone. Did he achieve his mission? Eto is waiting for the group at the bridge and they move forward.

Inside Lucifon’s castle they come to the point that haunts Eto’s nightmares of everyone dying but him. Things are the same, with no one able to move and the ground breaking below their feet. But Eto had done his job for Marlene shows up and breaks Lucifion’s spell. Lucifion transports Marlene, Kakeru and himself into a world were only those from the underworld or with the bloodline of the Gods can go for the final battle. Lucifon is in control and takes Marlene as a hostage but there was a part of the equation he did not account for there is two Kakerus! Eto saves Marlene and takes Lucifon’s blade in his left shoulder holding him captive for Kakeru to run Lucifon through. After defeating Lucifon the three are transported back to the room with everyone else where Eto reveals his biggest secret to all present. As he disappears Marlene shows her love for Eto as he vanishes into the sun.

In Summary:
The four maps come together to make one fascinating story that really pulls you in. With the future and present both hanging in the balance with only Kakeru to save both makes for a story that grabs a hold of you and does not let go till the very end. Fantasy is one genre that I do not get to see enough quality adventures from and Dragon Knight really fills that hole for me in an extremely enjoyable way.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 Tv is Sony 57” widescreen rear-projection HDTV Model #KPD 57WS550



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B-
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Dragon Knight