Gun Sword Vol. #6 (of 7) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, March 06, 2007
What They Say
As the countdown to The Claw's launch of the catastrophic "Time of Happiness" project draws ever closer, the deadliest "Original Seven" member, Fasalina, makes her move against Van and his allies. Thrown off by her bizarre and unorthodox attack, Van incurs major damage to his Armor and is further crippled when Fasalina's comrade, Michael Garret, destroys his orbital repair satellite. Unable to mend his Armor, Van grows weaker, while Wendy goes off to secretly meet with The Claw!
Van must get through the final two members of the "Original Seven" if he is to stop the Claw, but will he be able to do it in time?
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 21 Prayers to Heaven & Peace on Earth 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 no bleeding in the animation making the background scenery and the characters come out vibrant and lifelike.
The cover is Michael looking depressingly of his left shoulder within a maroon shadow on a mustard backdrop with Gun X Sword going vertical on the left-hand side, and the volume title Lost Prayers is on the bottom right corner. On the reverse side is a picture of the seductive Fasalina with her pole out and hair swirled around in a clear keep case. The insert has the episode chapters and a fold out of the Fasalina with her trench coat and hair blowing in the wind.
It 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 Michael from the cover 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 usually entertaining Gan-San that typically leave me in stitches are extremely poorly done in episodes 11 & 12 with zero of the fun that the previous episodes had and both just come off extremely annoying rather than zany fun. There is creditless openings as well as the gorgeous still panel art gallery again to go along with trailers of Ghost Talker's Daydream, Barefoot Gen and Petite Cossette.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The volume begins with Van and Fasalina going head to head in combat as the group races to stop Michael's firing into space. We get to look into the causes of Fasalina's loyalty and why she finds the Claw so alluring which leads to her unyielding duty to stop the Claw's main adversary Van. Her armor has unusual abilities which she wields as she dances around her pole like a contained stripper in a cage. Michael blasts off and Fasalina retreats with her mission complete, but Van and Ray are both wounded and desperately needing repairs. When Michael gets into orbit he destroys Dann's satellite which cause tremendous trouble for Van since the healing of Dann as well as his own life are tied together within the port of that satellite.
The relationships are extremely entwined in this series and that is an aspect that really pulls you into their plights. Van being unaware of the love triangle he is in, while Ray deals with his on mental wounds over the loss of his wife and the attempt at reconnecting with this brother, to the way that Carmen manages to hold the group together with simple ease and determination. On the other hand Fasalina's infatuation with the Claw pushes her forward, yet there appears to be a piece that is falling for Michael. Michael believes he is fighting for both his sister and the Claw in an extremely convoluted thought processes which he uses. This is what makes this series so fascinating to watch as this web that entangles all the characters continues to spread outwards.
Priscella gets an epiphany that since both Fasalina and Van's armor come down from the sky that they all must, which is a very logical if then statement which doesn't seem to happen much in the thought patterns of anime characters. Josh concurs and we see the entire group pull together to go over the left over schematics of Michael's launch to replicate it for Van and get Dann to Diablo's unused satellite, even Ray pulls together with his brother although he always puts up a front of isolationism. While Van's team is preparing his departure Michael is getting his work done in space making his way to the moon.
Vann blasts off from the same terminal that Michael did and arrives at Diablo's satellite just as Michael makes it to the moon to activate the next phases of the Claw's plan. Josh drives the hover ship to the Claw's base so that they can stop him, as Fasalina and her army of armors wait for their prey. All thepieces of this masterfully woven tale come together at this point. Michael beings to bring the moon, which is actually the anime version of the Death Star to destroy the planet, into the Endless Illusion's gravity but Diablo's satellite is obstructing his pathway so he destroys it just as he had with Dann's but he unfortunately releases Van from the recovering prison he had locked himself into when he hijacked the foreign satellite to regain his strength and fix his armor. Van and Michael fight as Fasalina attacks the hovercraft with Ray leading the defense. Michael appears to be loosing the battle but timing works in his favor as he escapes using the material that Fasalina had received from Bokini to absorb the heat from reentering the Endless Illusions's atmosphere and Van is swallowed by the by the strange blue tentacles that are extending from the moon. While Ray receives help from his "friends" as Brownie and the Eldoro 5 aid him in his battle by taking out the Fasalina's additional support allowing him to face off one on one against Fasalina. The final battle is underway but can Van and his group stop the powerful forces of the Claw or will the Endless Illusion become erased to fulfill the Claw's genocidal vision?
The frenzied battle for survival really has these three episodes fly by. Just when you think that the disc is moving to an even higher level it slams the breaks on you and ends, leaving you with three more episodes to see how this fantastic wild ride will end. The thing that really stands out to me about this series how deep this shonnen goes into the psyches of the characters making you understand the inner most thoughts and feelings of both sides; causing both empathy and attachment to the individual representatives of both of thet factions. The series never seems to let me down even with each previous volume building me up greatly and setting a high bar of anticipation as I set down to watch the group of episodes. Will the Claw succeed in his plan to destroy the world or will Van and his band of unusual allies stop them?
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 11 & 12,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: C+
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