Bubblegum Crisis 2040 Essential Anime Vol. #3 (of 3) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, August 22, 2005
Release Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2005
What They Say
Heroes are born. The adrenaline rush continues in eight turbo-charged episodes that bring the Knight Saber saga to a spectacular climax! With a limited supply of power and oxygen, the Sabers must battle their way though a horrifying gauntlet of living machines and stop the Voomer plague before it can consume the entire planet! It's a suicide mission with the fate of the human race at stake in the spectacular conclusion of Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040!
Chiaki Konaka brings the story of man vs. machine to a spectacular conclusion in this excellent value-for-money re-release.
As with previous volumes, the English 5.1 mix is excellent, making full use of the soundstage. Especially noteworthy was the use of the mix front to back, giving excellent depth to the listening experience. With the story in full force, there is very little singing in this volume, just Priss singing a capella a couple of times. It sounds excellent in the new English 5.1 mix, however.
None of the video artifacts that plagued the previous volume are present in this volume. The video transfer is gorgeous, full of dark shades in the persistent night time backgrounds. There was little to no aliasing, and everything looked vibrant.
The front cover features an image I hadn't seen before, of Sylia in her hardsuit, back to the viewer, and herself a child sitting on the ground behind her. The back cover has an action shot of Sylia in her hardsuit, with some images from the episodes in this volume at the bottom. The technical information is in a sidebar running vertically along the spine. There is also a blurb from AnimeonDVD.com's original review of the series. White and silver are the dominant colors, and it works well. The inside cover features the Knight Sabers in their white and gray undersuits against a grid background. Episodes and extras are listed by which disc they're on. The first disc has a close-up of Sylia, the second a close up of a surprisingly somber Nene. It's just as attractively designed as the previous two volumes.
The menus follow the Sylia theme, using various images of her on both discs and each menu screen. There are no transition animations, making the various menus quick to load. The navigation is simple and straight forward, but still attractively laid out.
On the first disc, there is an interview with the four English voice actors who portray the Knight Sabers: Christine Auten, Laura Chapman, Hilary Haag and Kelly Manison. Disc 2 has a commentary for episodes 25 and 26 featuring the four English VAs and ADR director and writer Matt Greenfield. It's interesting to hear their opinions of the show and their characters several years after originally recording their lines. It's clear everyone enjoyed working on it and they all still have a strong fondness for the show and their characters.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Galatea taking over Tokyo and Leon and Daley of the AD Police in on the Knight Saber's secret, they try to join forces to battle the rogue boomers running rampant all over Tokyo. Fortunately for them, Nigel has a new hardsuit ready to try. Having regrouped at Sylia's building, they are attacked by boomers trying to break in. They barely escape and retreat to a park that is free of boomers. There they meet a group of refugees living in the park. The rest of Tokyo is a ghost town, and these few stragglers are all that remain. Galatea goes after Mackie which forces the Knight Sabers to take the battle to her in the Genom tower. The fight is a failure, and Galatea absorbs the tower, using an anti-gravity device to launch herself into space. She will take over the Umbrella Genom built in space to take over all the boomers on Earth. The Knight Sabers race her to the Umbrella and face off against her in one final decisive battle for the future of Earth.
These final eight episodes bring the story to a satisfying conclusion. Interestingly, the original broadcast of the series in Japan ended at episode 24, as the Knight Sabers are traveling to space to face off against Galatea. The final two episodes were released 6 months later as OVAs, leaving fans on pins and needles for quite a while. So what did they get for their wait? Galatea giving a lecture about the Industrial Age. However, the exposition is necessary to bring all the various loose ends together. Some fans were a bit disappointed by the seemingly abrupt ending, but I found it to be everything I wanted it to be. The mix of action and quiet moments as relationships get cemented worked perfectly over these eight episodes. Thanks in no small part to Chiaki Konaka's tight scripting, the story's pacing never flagged. Characters went through tremendous development and real growth. This is eighth viewing of the series, four times in Japanese and four times in English, and I've never once been disappointed or bored. The story offers something fresh and new each time I watch it. Considering the price of this release, the video cleanup, the English 5.1 remix and all the extras, this has to be one of the all time great anime bargains.
English 5.1 Language,Japanese 2.0 Language,Spanish 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Character sketches,Vehicle technology,Interviews and Commentaries by Christine Auten (Priss); Kelly Manison (Linna); Hilary Haag (Nene); Laura Chapman (Sylia)
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: A
Age Rating: 15 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 200
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040