Cosmo Warrior Zero Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Media Blasters
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cosmo Warrior Zero

Cosmo Warrior Zero Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     December 06, 2002
Release Date: November 19, 2002

Cosmo Warrior Zero Vol. #3
© Media Blasters

What They Say
It is a soldier's duty that makes him fight, but it is his heart that allows him to choose his battles. Zero puts his quest for Harlock on hold after uncovering evidence of a mechanized conspiracy within the government. Following the clues, he ends up on a frozen world, where thousands of human bodies are embedded in the ice. He meets the enigmatic Maetel, who tells him the secrets of the planet, Technologia and the end of humanity. To fight on, Zero must not only challenge the greatest power in the Sea of Stars, but he must fight alongside Captain Harlock himself!

The Review!
Though it lurches forward into several revelations far too quickly, this installment gets us right to the meat of the series and the big epic battle.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The audio track here is a pretty standard stereo mix with some good moments of directionality across the forward soundstage, but otherwise a basic stereo mix. Dialogue was nice and clear and there were no noticeable dropouts throughout.

The transfer for this release continues to look very good. With it being such a recent show, the materials are in excellent shape and the authoring job doesn’t appear to have brought anything bad to it. Colors are great looking without being over saturated or bleeding, aliasing is very minimal and cross coloration is relatively non-existent.

The cover this time around is one for the older fans, as it provides a great shot of Emeraldas on her throne with Tochiro stealing the seat all while having a big grin. The background provides the sea of stars filled with ships, including the Galaxy Express 999. The back cover provides a nice collage of images alongside a decent summary of what to expect. The shows production and technical information is all clearly listed, though a bit small this time around. The insert provides chapter stops for the episodes while the reverse side is more boxart.

The menu is nicely done, with the various ships from the series laid out across it in the grid format as well as having various destinations being dotted for the discs selections. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is very much in the shows style.

The extras this time around are a bit slimmer, with about a half dozen or so pieces of full color character art in the art gallery and just under two minutes worth of dub outtake. There’s some good outtakes in there, but the second volume still takes the cake.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There is just so much going on here, it’s almost surprising after the slower paced but enjoyable episodes we had previously. Things kick right off with a bang as we start to learn some of the secrets of the Chairwoman on Earth whose been directing Warrius. Her past seems to be haunting her and giving indication that she may not be human at all. Though she may not be human, she’s pushing for Warrius to uncover what’s really going on out there in the universe. And this becomes realized quickly, as Warrius starts piecing things together.

Not long after he realizes that Harlock’s Death Shadow couldn’t have hit all the targets he’s been found guilty of without a warp drive of unimaginable power, Warrius finds himself and the Karyu trapped in stealth mode in an area of space where hundreds and hundreds of Death Shadows have appeared. The frame-up is complete now, and Warrius has it realized and finally believes it. With this in front of them now, they follow one of the Shadows to a local ice planet to see what it’s doing. It’s here that they learn that they’ve been helping the enemy all along, as piles upon piles of humans are tossed to the planet below.

This knowledge of what the mechanical men are doing brings a new fear to the crew, though thankfully the human crew doesn’t instantly distrust the mechanical men. Once on the surface to try and figure all of this out, they come to realize that these aren’t regular mechanical men, but something more sinister. This was a real high point for me, as it brought in my favorite character of the Matsumoto universe in the form of Maetel in a lush light blue outfit, as her sadness isn’t galaxy-wide yet. Of course, Maetel is used to provide easy information access to Warrius, but I won’t begrudge them that maneuver.

She tells Warrius of a last stand world where Mechanical Men and Humanity are co-existing peacefully, and that this is the goal of the group that is orchestrating all of these ships and mass elimination of humanity. It’s here that the powerful mysterious enemy is going to really make his mark, before eliminating all life from the galaxy. And it’s here where Harlock has been building his forces to fight against this enemy, bringing things full circle.

There’s a whole lot of great little things throughout these episodes, though the overall larger plot almost feels a bit forced, especially in how quickly we shift gears into it at the beginning of the disc. Once it gets rolling, it all flows very well together, even with Maetel giving up so much information freely. What really makes it all work is the characters and their interactions, from Tochiro admiring the Karyu to Warrius and Marina coming to terms about who they really are in regards to each other. The cast here really shines throughout, though I do continue to consider this crew to be far too insubordinate to their captain. Far too much backtalk.

I’m loving this series even with its weird little faults and odd pacing moments. So many of the things that make the Matsumoto universe so interesting continue to arrive and get their little nods and winks in, that I can’t help but smile and enjoy it. Great stuff.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Dub Outtakes

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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