Gasaraki Vol. #7 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2001
Overall Rating: 4.8
(on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 4
With the second to last disc making it's way into my hands I can say that things are wrapping up nicely. This disc leaves me wanting to know just how it will end, and almost every episode seemed way too short. Everything is coming to its climax and with all the set up, it looks like it's going to be a good one. Too bad I won't get this final disc before the end of the year, it would have been up for my series of the year recommendation.
The Gasaraki discs continue to get high marks in the technical arena. You've still got top sound and video. The menu has remained the same. The presentation gets the same score, with only the number of channels of sound missing from this great looking keepcase. Let's take a look at the extras, an area this series continues to excel in. There is a text interview with the mechanical designer. A glossary with some military and government terms that come up in this disc. There are production stills with further description. You also get a peek into the English Dub studio with some work from the gentleman doing the voice of Yushiro. On the insert you've got a diagram of the interior workings of the TA cockpits used by Yushiro and his crew. I have to say that these are some of the best extras I've seen from ADV and hope that they will continue to try and get such great material for all their series.
With this being the next to last disc I'll keep most of my content review short (since I like to go in depth in the final review). I'll also be able to keep my recap short too.
As we remember last time Miharu was spirited away from Yushiro at the end of the last disc. Well that doesn't keep Yushiro from trying to find her and get her out of Symbol's hands. Meanwhile the TA team finds themselves taking up riot duty. Can they handle hurting Japanese citizens, even as things turn ugly with the world wide grain shortage looming. The Gowa family and it's conspirators have all the wheels in motion and wait for all the pawns to make their moves. Symbol also begins reacting. And to top it off it seems that the government of the United States has a key role to play in the finale. You know it's going to come down to some pretty dangerous and heady stuff in the conclusion. So sit back and enjoy this disc because it is pushing things to final set of episodes.
The animation and sound are working perfectly together. In a key scene during a riot, we are often inside the TA cockpits with the pilots. The way the voices are filtered, and the way the faces look on the screen really raised the tension of those scenes. I'm very impressed with the technical work on the TAs and all the military equipment and weapons used.
The score and themes continue to be used well and work to highlight and support the action, but also work on their own very well. This is one of the better scores I've heard in an anime in a while. I'm also enjoying the English dub a great deal. With so many key characters and all of the doing a great job, well I'm very impressed. Again there are a couple minor characters and supporting cast that are not quite hitting it, but for the most part, this is great stuff.
The plot and pacing of these episodes are perfect. Never a dull moment and you can feel the tension building and building. If the conclusion is as good as the set up for it is this will be a great series. Some of the characters are a bit flat and I'm not pulled into any one completely, but I do think that the complex plot makes up for some of that.
This has been one of the best discs in this series so far. I'm actually looking forward to the final disc and completing this series. I think that like most of the viewers of this, I'll be rewatching it again soon and much closer together, so the flow of the story works better. So I'll keep most of my in-depth commentary for the final review, and that means I'm done... for now.
Roman J. Martel
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Phillips Flatscreen (27 Inch), Sony DVP-NS300
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2