Gun Sword Vol. #5 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, April 09, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2007
What They Say
Familiar friends and new allies band together alongside Van and Wendy to take down the Claw; however, other conflicts are already in motion. Dissenters within the Claw's own organization stage a coup d'etat, forcing "Original Seven" member Michael Garret to make a fateful decision that will affect entire lives.Meanwhile, a sneak attack in an underground tunnel pits Van, Pricilla and the El Dorado Four against rogue Armors and two of the most unpredictable Armor riders from the "Original Seven," but when the cold-blooded Ray Lungren is drawn into the fracas, it's a savage battle to the death as everyone's a foe!
The original seven are determined to make the Claw's dream a reality and end Van's no matter the cost.
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 17 Follow the X Spot in 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 a slight patch of tiling in episode 20 but it quickly rights itself. There is no bleeding in the animation making the background scenery and the characters come out vibrant and lifelike.
The cover is all the ladies from the series in their sexy swim gear for all the fanservice fans inside a green shadow on a mustard backdrop with Gun X Sword going vertical on the left-hand side, and the volume title Tainted Innocence is on the bottom right corner. On the reverse side is a picture of Carossa and Melissa brandishing their weapons ready to do battle in a clear keep case. The insert has the episode chapters and a fold out of the sexy ladies during in Bokini from episode 17.
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 picture of only Wendy from the cover in her blue bathing suit 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 beginning of the volume starts with a two part story of the land of Bokini, a small water laden city that is ruled by a man hating queen who also happens to feel the only true form of clothing is a swimsuit. The job is simple retrieve the queen for her old husband so that he can apologize for his slighting of her initial man banana hammock design, which for the first time I was happy to see something covered in a grey fuzzy squares to protect the eyes of the innocent.
Inside Bokini Fasalina is there on business and grabs the attention of Carmen as Wendy is forced to particapte in an anime form of American Gladiators to show that her group is worthy of sanctuary. The city is brought down but both Fasalina and the girls achieve their missions.
As the volume moves on it starts to become clear what the true madness behind the Claw's devious plan in his bizarre combination of self-sacrifice and genocide. Michael must make up his own choices of what is to be done weighing the heavy burden of protecting Wendy and following the Claw's plans, but he allows his lusting with Fasalina and blind devotion to the Claw cloud his judgement, causing him to execute the rebels that were holding him hostage. After the rebels make off in an armor, Michael pursues leaving nothing in the ocean but small ashes, he is solely the Claw's tool of "rebirth".
This also leads to a huge insurgence of jealousy in Carossa he feels he must prove himself to the Claw by bringing the war right to Van. We also see the rise of possible love triangle brewing with Wendy starting to make a move for Van with Priscella unfortunately in her way. As soon as they reach the freight depot they are attacked by the dragon armor guards of the claw, forcing the old timers and Priscella to go out and clear the way for the transport to keep moving forward. But Carossa and Mellissa attack the transport forcing Van to get DANN down for battle, and much to his chagrin he must join forces again with Ray he inadvertently digs into the battle. The mutual disdain and respect for each other always makes watching these two characters bicker and fight makes for some of the most entertaining moments in the series. It also is the emotional height of the series so far. For the most part as the new original seven member have been wiped out by Van I have little to no feeling, much like watching a monster of the week show, but this time watching Melissa sacrifice herself to try and save her brother, and then Carossa overwhelming madness at her death was sad to watch bring a lot of emotion to the series.
The Claw announces that the rebirth is upon us and sends Fasalina and Michael to try and make one final attempt to convince the group to turn around. But, just as Michael refuses to give up his dream of serving the Claw, Wendy too will not yield to her brother's wishes. He even tries to bribe her which seems out of character for Michael, but insulting to Wendy without a doubt. Even Fasalina's insane rantings and ravings didn't convince anyone on the transport to yield to the Claw's vision of the world. Michael declares that there is only one month to stop them, and Van of course boasts that he will do just that. Fasalina and Michael take off but only Michael is to return to the Claw for now Van must face off against Fasalina.
Each volume of GXS is stronger than the last, leaving the viewer eager to see where all the carnage is going. The emotional end of the siblings was very well done in both exhilarating action but still had the ability to pull on the heart strings. The final plays are moving forward leaving everyone in a clear path to where their destiny is heading, whether you have to go through extremely tough opponents like Fasalina, who has her armor out, or standing up to your own beloved brother like Wendy must do to save the world from the Claws' evil plan.
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 9 & 10,Episode 17 TV version,Art Gallery
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 via Monster optical cable. Tv is Sony 55" SXRD Grand Wega 1080p widescreen rear-projection HDTV, Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player via HDMI cable.
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A-
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