Gun Sword Vol. #3 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, October 06, 2006
Release Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2006
What They Say
On their trek to the next town, Van and Wendy locate Michael Garret, Wendy's older brother who had gone missing, but they're stunned to discover that he's aligned himself with the killer known as The Claw! More surprises abound, as the mystery behind Van's Armor is finally revealed when he crosses paths against members of the "Original Seven," the most elite and dangerous Armor Riders on the planet. But the biggest shocker is still to come, as the clawed man finally appears!
Wendy, Van, Carmen and Joshua continue forward in their search for the claw no matter where it takes them.
For this viewing session I listened to the show in New Generation's 5.1 DTS English track. The show's shonen nature has plenty of action and explosions coming at you from the rear speakers and the dialogue from the center, with no dropouts or distortions. I also took a look at episode 12 The Days of No Return in the Japanese DTS after watching the entire disc already, for I wanted to make sure there was no apparent problems with this audio which was balanced and functioning properly.
Gun Sword only aired last July so the transfer is 16:9 widescreen. Animation is sharp and crisp with beautiful combination intense fighting sends blended with an imaginative world which differed in each episode. There is no bleeding in the animation making the background scenery and the characters come out vibrant and lifelike.
The cover is Carmen 99 looking back over her right shoulder inside a purple shadow on a mustard backdrop with Gun X Sword going vertical on the left-hand side, and the volume title Separate Ways is on the bottom right corner. On the reverse side is the picture of Wendy standing to the side with the wind blowing her hair and her dress slightly in a clear keep case. The insert has the episode chapters and a fold out of Wendy during her slight tenure as a barmaid in episode 10.
Begins with the animation of Van cutting an X onto the screen and a thirty second clip of the opening theme playing repeatedly in the background. There is an exact replica of the picture from the cover of Carmen 99 on the right hand side of the screen with rotating scenes to the left of her. The volume title is on the top left and the options for play, setup, scenes and extras. The X from Gun X Sword as the curser, which responds quickly and is easy to use as the white on the red black ground is highly visible.
The highlight of the extras Gun X Sword-san five and six, which is Wendy on amphetamines insulting and shooting Kameo in both English and Japanese, but this time we get help in the insanity from Carmen 99 and Van, plus Michael and his horde of mini-Michaels. There is a pair of CD drama commercials for the soundtrack releases as well as the US trailer. A gorgeous 12 picture art slide show and Geneon trailers for Barefoot Gen, Petite Cossette & Kannazuki no Miko Destiny of the Shrine Maiden.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The volume picks up with Carmen flying her ship over a mountain and almost literally running into a hitchhiking Van. She gives them all a ride into the next town Trinolia, her home town. The beautiful, flower filled village is the home of her lifelong friend Hiyetah. We get to see how Carmen became the detached person she is today from the segregated life that she and her father lived. Finley, Hiyetah's father, was her teacher and equipment supplier for her to get into the information selling business. But, during the time while Carmen was gone Hiyetah became seduced by the money from the Claw and is really spreading a poisonous flower amongst the people. Carmen must go and stop her friend in their sacred place of their childhood. The garden is burned to the ground and the village hates Carmen for what she had done to Hiyetah, yet Carmen never tells the village the truth and carries the burden of Hiyetah's sins for her.
Carmen suggests that she will go ahead with the motherboard to get it analyzed at the train station city of Zonnet. In the ocean city of Meuuniere they're held up by the trains being attacked by pirates who are determined to stop the salvagers from bringing up artifacts from the ocean floor below. Van's reputation gets them hired as guards for an upcoming recovery which will include pay and transportation to Zonnet. The pirates attack and freeze the water causing the artifact to plummet back into the ocean.
The pirates go to recover the artifact for themselves, but Van and Dann are waiting. Even though Dann is not made for undersea battle, the armor is able to hold its own. The submarine drops Dann into an abyss but Van is able to activate Dann's thrusters; not only getting to the surface but also harpooning the submarine and stopping the attack. Van's victory gets them paid and the three now can ride the train into Zonnet to meet up with Carmen.
The arrive in Zonnet and the first thing Wendy sees is her brother Michael starring back at her from across the tracks. Wendy takes off with him, but the reunion isn't what she was dreaming of, for she finds out that Michael has no intention of going back with her. He keeps referring the Claw not as his captor but as his comrade. Wendy begins to hit the emotional meltdown point, at the rationale of accepting that Michael has turned to the side of evil. There is a tremendous amount of action going around the station as the cast of characters expands exponentially with all the Claw's followers and Van's group all with a small radius of each other.
In a strange twist of events it turns out that the box that Van protected was really the casket of another of the original seven armors, Sundade of Sunday, which is now in the clutches of the Claw and will be driven by Michael. Also, Van's old friend who actually saved him after the Claw killed his wife is now too a member of the Claws force. Gadved tells Van that he should join up with them reuniting all of the original seven, as well as the history of these specific armors. Van refuses and calls forth Dann to fight Gadved's armor Diablo of Tuesday.
As stress and animosity is ripping apart the group, Wendy wonders off on her own and meets a seemingly nice old man and his dog. Joshua finds her just as a box is being delivered to him containing his right hand, a golden claw. But, he's not the only Lundgren to find them as Ray jumps off the ceiling with bullets flying down upon them. Anarchy is all around and blood will be shed somehow, by someone.
An excellent volume in both pushing along the story lines as well as delving further into the background of the lead characters. We get to see glimpses of Van and Wendy's pasts that are driving them today as well as rather significant flushing out of Carmen's past. Unlike the first two volumes, there is not a single wasted episode as all add to the overall picture in some fashion. Joshua still needs to become more three dimensional as a character but with Ray coming back at the end of the volume I'm sure the Lundgren brothers will be next to be revealed in the terms of history. Another solid volume with some major developments at the very end of the disc leaving the viewer with a strong cliffhanger, which is always better than leaving on a flat, boring closing note.
Japanese 2.0 Language,Japanese 5.1 DTS Language,English 2.0 Language,English 5.1 DTS Language,English Subtitles,"Gun X Sword-san" Episodes 5 & 6,Art Gallery,
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: A-
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Gun Sword