Burn Up W (Mania.com)
By:Abraham Chinchilla Jr
Review Date: Tuesday, February 05, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2000
This series was pretty great. I had not seen it before on VHS, nor did I see the original Burn-Up, but I gave this title a try anyways. I wasn't too happy about the DVD and I have even began thinking about buying the dubbed VHS to compare the video quality. But, I don't have the money to use on VHS anymore! Oh well, the video wasn't all that bad (More about it, later in this review). This series as I have said was pretty great, and I can't wait for Burn-Up X-cess (And the original Burn-Up to be released on DVD). Let's get to my review, shall we?
ADV included three language tracks, which is one of the reasons I bought this disc as well. We get DD 2.0 English, Japanese, and Spanish tracks on this disc. Very nice, I've finally completed watching the Spanish version as well for this review. All tracks are very solid and clear. I liked the English version, the voices were good, though most of the cast remind me of ADV's dubbed Sol Bianca (I know Tiffany Grant is June, Maya sounded a lot like Janny, and Lilica sounded like May - which I did confirm a few days ago). I also enjoyed the Japanese version, but I seemed drawn into watching this disc mainly in English and Spanish (Spanish Lilica was the only voice I didn't like... Spanish Nanvel - WOW). No drop outs from what I've heard on this disc.
Here's the thing I wasn't happy about. Since there are quite a lot of dark scenes, you can easily spot artifacting! The openings for episodes 3 and 4 had rainbows! Oh gosh, the picture quality was quite bad. But, I noticed, the more I try not to notice the artifacting, the more I'll forget about it, and not even notice it later. But, then there's something else I wasn't happy about - hard subs, this DVD used the dub VHS masters? Oh boy... hard subs, in my opinion, are OKAY for signs, but not the openings.... Oh well. It doesn't get too distracting. We also get alternate angles for the Japanese credits. I rarely use these, but it's nice to be able to see the Japanese voice cast when I watch the Japanese version. That's all I have to say about the video.
The packaging was great. The same image from the complete dub VHS and sub/dub VHS volume 3, though it has been retouched - nicely. The back notes a few reviews, brief summary, and DVD features. We get a lot of screen captures here... The front of the insert was great, with a nice picture of Rio from the first VHS volume, but the back wasn't too good, advertising other ADV DVD titles. The disc isn't anything too special either. Just the target marker from a gun with the logo. Overall, the packaging was good..
Oh my god, these menus are great. (On the main menu) hmm... I have to press my remote arrows a little harder than usual to move around here, but it's not too distracting, it could just be me. The "cursor" on these menus are target markers as well. Nice. The menu titles were very spiffy and police-related. Dispatch Lingo is one I couldn't forget. We get great music in the background too. The main menu and sub-menus are basically static screens (except for the scenes section), but they are still nice, and access times are good.
Not much extras here. A nice image gallery ("Case Photos") with four retouched screen captures from the four episodes. Most of these pictures have already been on the back cover though. ADV put a trailer for Burn-Up W in the trailers section. Riiight... They could of put that in this section and call it an extra, oh well. I was hoping there may be the openings without the English credits overlapping the Japanese credits and the subtitles, but they weren't. Oh well. The gallery was still nice though.
Burn-Up W was a great series. I haven't seen Burn-Up, so I wasn't sure if I should pick this title, but now I'm glad I did. Since I don't want to give away everything, I'll give a brief synopsis of each episode. I'll try not to put any spoilers in. But just in case...
In episode 1, we meet most of the main characters. Rio is obviously an lowpaid police officer working in the homicide section. Maya is crazy about guns, Yuji is a guy who is in love with Rio, Lilica is some sort of computer expert, and Maki (from the original Burn-Up) is the leader of Team Warrior.
Well, that was actually an introduction... oh well. In episode 1, a woman takes a hotel hostage, leading the police to think it was a group of four male amateurs. After the four list their demands, Team Warrior decide to investigate, that this crime could be covering up another crime taking place. The name-less woman from the beginning tests out her "virtual drug" on some of the hostages. After she finds the drug to be a success she prepares to leave, knowing the chosen hostages will not speak a word what had happened. In order for Team Warrior to investigate, Rio would have to impersonate a famous idol singer and bungee jump in the nude! This, in my opinion, is a great way to start a series.
In episode 2, a famous female virtual idol is missing. The case begins to be handle as a computer thief, but ends up being a kidnapping. With no real evidence about this case, Rio is given this assignment. It seems the missing virtual idol, Maria, has been transported into the real world, with a real body. After Maria gets fraustrated about not having the body she had in the computer, she escapes and calls the police about the kidnapping, hoping to get some money. Rio is quickly assigned to deliver the ransom money. Before Rio could deliver the money to Maria, they notice an attack android, who was sent from the chief terrorist (the woman in episode 1) to find Maria. We are also introduced to a new character, Nanvel. She likes to spend her time building huge mechas!
In episode 3, Team Warrior has began to find clues to the mysterious virtual drug. Later, the chief terrorist uses her virtual drug again, on someone unexpected, who later plans an assault on Policetown! After finding her best friend murdered, Rio decides to kill the terrorists.
In episode 4, Rio and Maya are assigned to attack the two terrorists. After they defeat the terrorists they search Policetown for the chief terrorist, since it's discovered that there is a traitor. When Rio and Maya find the traitor, Rio surprisingly doesn't kill him. She decides to take him in for questioning. But, then a speaker is found on the body with the woman's voice coming from it. The woman tells them that the person will not say anything, and that they are wasting their time.
The series ends here, but the story is not completed. I believe the TV series, Burn-Up X-cess will continue from here. This series is really cool, and well animated. So if you like anime which falls into the catagory, "girls with guns", you might want to see this.
Philco 21" TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: B-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 110
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Burn-Up W