Zenki Collection 1 (Mania.com)

By:Dave Dougher
Review Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2001



The Review!
Packaging:
Not bad. It comes in a thick 2-disc keepcase with a nice shot of Zenki on the cover. The back has several shots from the show along with it's general description.

Audio:
Clear and useful. Most people won't have much to complain about. I watched mine through the original Japanese dialogue and didn't notice any problems at all.

Video:
Epitome of "average". There isn't a whole lot to write to mommy about, but there isn't much to cry about either. That average otaku shouldn't be bothered by the video.

Extras:
Nai!

Menu:
Very Basic. Just a simple picture of some decorative ribbons (?) with, play, scene access, and trailers for the most part. Quick access makes it serve it's function, though.

Content:
The real bonus with the content is that it has all 13 episodes of the first season of Zenki. All of which has a great price tag on it. The story is generally about a young priestess named Chiaki. Along with her withered up grandmother, she helps to run a local shrine. Always believing in a legend that says when the world is in danger, Zenki will come down and save them all. Zenki, apparently, is a monster that was created by their ancestor countless years ago. Sure enough trouble does come down, in the form of a few thugs looking to steal a "Seed of Evil" which has been sealed off and guarded by the shrine for some time now. Naturally the thugs end up getting used by the Seed rather then them using it and a whole mess of trouble starts. However, before things get too troublesome Chiaki suddenly finds herself with a mystical bracelet. Chiaki's grandmother recognizes what it is and instructs her to chant a spell, which revives the great Zenki... But instead they get this little sprite that calls himself the supreme and strongest being in existence. He's all talk and it shows when the monster beats the crap outta him. Before all hope is lost, Chiaki learns of another spell, which unlocks the secret powers in Zenki. She learns this from her ancient ancestor, no less. All is well when Zenki lays the smack down.

When all is said and done that's pretty much the gist of it. A seed of evil appears, chibi zenki gets his but kicked, Chiaki regains his strength, and then Zenki follows through and kills the seed. Zenki always eats the seeds after he kills them. (Apparently they are delicious) Zenki refuses to be the guardian spirit for Chiaki but is helpless of the power of her bracelet. This carries on for 13 episodes. Even though it is repetitive, it can still be an enjoyable series to watch. You have little Zenki running around pissing everyone off, which is generally amusing. I was fond of most of the main characters, finding them working well with each other. I do see the second season of this getting better. I hope at least.

Summarizing, it's very, very repetitive. However there is much more to the show then that. It is in this writer's opinion that it is worth picking up, especially for the $40.00 price tag. Zenki has some strong points to it and some weak ones. It's generally for those that like the comedy/action genre. Recommended.



Review Equipment
Samsung 19in. TV, Apex DVD Player. -Also, played in conjunction with my video capture card on my computer 1/surround speakers



Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: D+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Media Blasters
MSRP: 39.95
Running time: 325
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Zenki