Coyote Ragtime Show Vol. #2 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Coyote Ragtime Show

Coyote Ragtime Show Vol. #2

By Bryan Morton     May 29, 2007
Release Date: June 04, 2007

Coyote Ragtime Show Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK

What They Say
Get Ready for the Big Bang!

The mission: To make their way to Planet Graceland before it gets blasted into the afterlife. The motive: 10 billion dollars in hidden treasure. But it ain't gonna be easy. Mister and his band of Coyotes could get busted by the Feds. Blown away by Madame Marciano and her bevy of brainy, ballistic, gothic Lolita battle babes. Or worst of all, done in by their own bombastic bumbles.

On top of all that, the insatiable, sexy investigator Angelica Burns and her plucky assistant Chelsea have a new weapon in their arsenal " the disembodied head of Marciano's daughter May. Add a flurry of threats and insults, a cunning kidnapping and a bullet in Mister's back, and you've just scratched the surface of this action-packed, anything-goes, frantically fun volume of Coyote Ragtime Show!

Episodes Comprise
5 - Never Change
6 - Fierce Fight
7 - Marciano, the Traitor
8 - The Road to Gigabanks

The Review!
Fate " or at the very least Marciano " seems determined to keep Mister from ever reaching Graceland, but no matter what obstacles are put in their way, Mister and the crew of the Coyote aren't about to give up without a fight...

Audio is provided in both Japanese and English 5.1 surround tracks " I listened to the Japanese track for this review, and this is one series where the extra channels offered by 5.1 sound are put to good use, with dialogue being well positioned around the soundstage and effects making good use of the sub. It all adds up to make this one good-sounding show. There were no obvious encoding problems.

Video is presented in its original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect, and while it looks very good for the most part it's not as impressive on the eyes as it is on the ears " some areas lack background detail, and there are some noticeable instances of banding on colour gradients. Nothing too serious, but could have been better. There were no other obvious problems.

Franca is the focus of the front cover of this release, looking worriedly into the distance with Mister in the background. The image is over a simple red background which has the show's logo repeated, watermark style. The reverse has the usual selection of screenshots, promotional blurb and disc info, with the screenshots framed by bullet holes - very tasteful. The cover is reversible, with Marciano taking pride of place on the alternate front, looking back over her shoulder with a suitably evil expression, while a gun-toting Angelica features on the alternate rear. Maybe a bit too much red on show for my liking, but the design's still eye-catching.

Simple but effective, as usual for ADV. The main screen uses a large image of Mister's gun, with direct access to the four episodes and menus for language select and extras. There's a short gun-shot transition animation whenever you make a selection that slows menu use down a bit, but it's easy enough to use, if maybe a little on the plain side.

Along with the usual creditless opening & closing sequences, there's a gallery of production artwork (hard to make out, sadly, as they've crammed upwards of nine images on the screen at one time in places). That's your lot.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Another volume of Coyote Ragtime Show, and Mister and co are on the trail of Bruce's billions. Under normal circumstances, it would take the Coyote 21 days to reach Graceland from their current location - by which time, if the Federation government goes through with its plans to drop their photonic bomb, the planet will be doing a fairly good imitation of Alderaan, so it's time to look for plan B. That takes the shape of the space station Big Pink, home to a warp gate that will allow them to cut a large chunk off the travel time - but with that route being their only shortcut it's likely that Marciano will be waiting for them. Angelica, meanwhile, has been holding the head of one of the Twelve Sisters captive, and she's been quite co-operative in filling Angelica in with what she knows about Marciano's and Mister's plans " meaning Mister's got another problem on his tail...

This volume starts off slowly enough, with Mister working out how best to get to Graceland within the time that he's got, and without drawing himself to Marciano's attention. There's some curious little scheming that goes on as part of the attempt to get the Coyote into Big Pink that should raise a few grinds, but all told it has to be said that episode 5 isn't the most exciting piece of anime you'll ever seen. Don't get me started on the space station names, either " between Big Pink, Pretty Red and a few others, I have serious worries about what the writer was smoking when they were thought up.

Coyote Ragtime's at its best when it lets loose with the action scenes, and that's exactly what we get with episode 6, which is dominated by an impressive battle between Mister and Marciano inside the warpgate station. It really looks the part, with plenty of high-speed animation and some great little set pieces, and it'll leave the adrenalin pumping so much you'll forget there's meant to be a story under there somewhere. I certainly did. As with all good battles, the balance of power shifts back and forth throughout, with both sides taking their casualties on the chin and both coming out at the end of the episode with their own minor victories to take into the next part of the story " although with Marciano and the 12 Sisters probably ahead on points.

As the disc goes on, both Mister and Marciano encounter their own fair share of problems in reaching their goals " for Mister, the problem is simply reaching Graceland in time (and thanks to Marciano's efforts that's looking increasingly impossible, leaving Mister looking for a Plan C), while for Marciano it's her former colleagues from the Criminal Guild that pose the greatest danger. The two groups don't actually meet during the second half of the disc, as they're trying to work out their problems " the pace of the story slows down dramatically here, and the series loses a little of its appeal with that, as the more sedate planning and character-based scenes are definitely the weaker side of the equation.

You may well be wondering where Angelica and Chelsea have disappeared to in all this. Good question. They do appear here and there, but they almost feel as though they've been bolted on as an afterthought. Given how the first episode of the series focussed so heavily on Angelica, you would have though she'd turn out to be one of the major characters, but strangely that doesn't seem to be the case. With the pace of events being set mainly by Marciano, Angelica's left chasing behind, both figuratively and literally " and while she does in one scene manage to finally catch up with Mister, their meeting is so short and almost irrelevant that you wonder why the scene was even included. The answer comes when you see Angelica's reaction when she finally meets her quarry, and you realise that it's maybe not just a sense of justice that's been driving her for the years she's been chasing Mister " there's something else there as well.

The downside of all this is that there's still a lack of depth to the series " that's not something that hugely bothers me, as this is really an eye-candy series that you can veg out to, but that won't appeal to everyone and it's always best to flag these things up.

In summary:
Coyote Ragtime Show works best when you treat it as an escape and a diversion from the real world " as something to watch when you want to unwind, it's hard to beat, and when it concentrates on the action and Marciano and Mister go head to head it can get truly spectacular. If you're looking for something more thoughtful or serious, this isn't it " but the show knows what it's trying to do, and does it very well.

Japanese Language 5.1,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Production Artwork Gallery,Clean Opening & Closing Animations

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.


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