Blue Submarine No. 6 Vol. #3 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 06, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 01, 2000
As all of you who've read my review of the last Blue Sub discs know, I'm a huge fan of this show so far. Every disc manages to amaze me, and every disc just keeps getting better. This disc is no exception.
As with the Audio on all the Blue Submarine discs, this disc comes with an English 2.0 track and a Japanese DD5.1 track (and WHAT a DD5.1 track it is!). Every disc has had a fantastic DD5.1 mix for the Japanese track, and this disc lives up to its predecessors without a doubt. The sound of the wind and the crashing waters near the beginning of this disc is just a wonder to listen to. These discs are easily the #1 gem in my collection in terms of technical quality, and the Audio plays a major part in that. The English track also is very good, even though it's only encoded in stereo. The directionality is excellent for only a 2 channel mix, and with some Dolby Pro-Logic treatment it has almost the same "oomph" as the Japanese track, although it then lacks the directionality of Japanese track once this is done - so it's a tradeoff.
The Video on this disc is equal in quality to the previous ones. The only points on this disc where there are any problems are during the ending credits, where you have the typical rainbow effects that plague high-contrast black & white scenes which seems unavoidable except when working with a progressive source. Since there's only 30 minutes of video on this disc they were able to devote all the space of a single-layer DVD to it, and it shows.
The packaging is also up to par with previous discs, as we have a striking image of a Musuca and Blue 6 on the front surrounded by a school of female sea-creatures. The rear of the over also offers some great imagery, and inside the case there's an insert with chapter stops and a quick plot summary. Good marks there.
Now we come to one of the only two flaws on this disc. When I stuck this disc in my player, I expected the same treatment that I had on previous Blue Sub volumes. Instead, this time they force you to go through much longer trailers (including forcing you to watch the Dolby Digital trailer, the first time I have seen Bandai do this - normally they let you skip it) and then finally get to the menus about a minute and a half later. The menus themselves are good, there's music and video playing in the background, and selections are quick. However, there's not a whole lot to do here, there's only trailers and chapter selections. But that's the same as the previous discs, so it's not much of a disappointment.
This volume, the third and second to last installment in the Blue Submarine saga, we have a less action-oriented episode, which focuses more on character development and background information. We learn what Hayami's been really running from all these years, and we learn about what Zorndyke may really be after in his seeminly insane plot to destroy humanity. Definately not an episode that will get your blood pumping, but it's one that will move you emotionally.
Oh yea - and the ending is a HORRIBLE CLIFFHANGER!!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! YAADAAAAAA!!!!! Now I have to wait for the next one to see what happens! I really wish they would release this thing faster, it's just too dang good to keep to themselves. =p
Big thumbs up again. If you have the first two discs this one's a requiremed purchase. If you haven't purchased the first two, what are you thinking?!?! Go get them, they're great!
RealMagic Hollywood+ w/Cambridge Soundworks DTT2500 Desktop Theater 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound speakers
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A+
Video Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 30
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Blue Submarine No. 6