Coyote Ragtime Show Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • Age Rating: TV 14
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • 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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     May 04, 2007
Release Date: May 15, 2007


Coyote Ragtime Show Vol. #3
© ADV Films


What They Say
In less than 24 hours, a photonic bomb will reduce the war-torn Planet Graceland to nothing but a memory. That is, of course, unless Mister has his way! He and his misfit crew of Coyotes are plotting a daring raid against the Federation warship carrying the bomb. The only problem is the Criminal Guild's Madame Marciano and her bevy of bionic battle beauties are also in on the action!

To make matters worse, the flames of war reignite as the Federation and Graceland's Liberation Forces fight like fools in a burning house, unaware of the danger that lurks beneath the surface! After coming all this way and getting tangled in such a huge mess, is it really all about money to the Coyotes, or is there something even more precious hidden in the Gigabanks' vault?

The Review!
It's a race against time as the hours countdown before the photonic bomb goes off and destroys Graceland.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The Japanese mix for this is a solid sounding 5.1 mix at 448kbps that really does a good job of keeping the overall level of immersion in the show. Though the rears don't get a ton of work, there's some good fun to be had there during the big action sequences as well as with the subwoofer channel. Dialogue is well placed throughout all of this with a good level of clarity and distinction. The English 5.1 mix is essentially identical and does a very good job as well. The only area that really left me wondering is in that the opening sequences in the English mix have heavy subwoofer usage to them while the Japanese mix is dead on it. The heavy bass really takes the opening song down a few notches as it overpowers the entire thing. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback of either language track.

Video:
Originally airing 2006, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The source materials for the show are obviously in good shape so we have no problems with that in this release and the actual encoding itself looks to have come across well. Colors have a good solid look to them, backgrounds avoid looking like they're alive for the most part and typical problems of cross coloration and aliasing aren't here at all. The style of the show sometimes looks a little problematic, particularly scenes that seem to revolve around Angelica, as they look a little brighter than they should be which means a slight loss of detail. This overblown look seems to be intentional though as most other scenes are consistently solid.

Packaging:
Finishing out the series with the same look as the first two volumes by having the silver foil and orange background, the artwork is good as it features Franca in the foreground while Mister and Marciano battle it out behind her. The back cover uses the angled style that the front cover background does and mixes in more of the silver foil with some of the taglines as well as adorning the numerous shots from the series. The summary is rather lengthy but it covers a lot of the basics while still giving plenty of space to the production information. A rather nice change-up is that the technical grid is through the center and at an angle but still manages to cover everything in a clean and readable manner. No insert or reverse side artwork is available with this release.

Menu:
The menu design for the show is very minimal which is a shame since there are a number of creative options they could have gone for. While it's not a static menu, the only thing that's here is a big area of red for the background and a close-up of a gun from the side that bobs up and down ever so slightly as some fast paced instrumental music plays along. The navigation strip of episode selection along with the series title is through the center and the extras and languages are down at the bottom. There are some good minimal menus out there that fit the theme of the show well but this one just feels weak. Access times are solid and the disc gets a plus just for the continual fact that their releases read our player presets.

Extras:
The extras are fairly standard here as there's a selection of production artwork in a gallery as well as the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences and some of the on air previews.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Coyote Ragtime Show draws to a close with the last four episodes here and continues to feel like an extended length action movie. With just a bit of judicious editing and smoothing out of a few subplots, this show could easily have been done as a live action Hollywood summer sci-fi flick. And that's likely one of the reasons that it seems to garner a fair amount of dislike among fandom.

The race to Graceland is pretty much over as all the sides have made it there. Angelica and her small group is on the planets surface near Godwing, Marciano has just entered the system while Mister has split his group into two. He and Katana along with Franca are headed for the planet where the Gigabank is located, underneath Godwing of course, while Bishop and Swamp head aboard the Federation fleet to figure out a way to make some noise. The massive photonic bomb ship is in the middle of all this as a group of negotiators from the Graceland Liberation Front are now on board trying to end things peacefully. All of these groups have come across each other at one time or another if not just in the same area so bringing them all together at the very end for the big bang isn't a surprise.

Just like any popcorn summer flick, it's very easy to see where all of this is going to go. Mister will have to deal with Marciano and others on the ground while trying to access the Gigabank, Bishop and Swamp have some fun revelations made while onboard the Federation ship as they hobnob with the top brass and the Graceland Liberation Front proves just how stupid they can be by accelerating the entire process. There are a couple of nice twists brought into the show at the end here, such as what the real deal is with the photonic bomb as well as the Federation president's past. Angelica also gets some really good scenes as she finally gets to confront Mister and we see her origin story that has given her the impetus to go after him. Most loose ends are fairly well tied up here and the action associated with these last episodes is well paced and fun to watch as they tinge some of it with the right kind of comedy.

As much as I love and adore the hard science fiction romps like Crest of the Stars and Legend of the Galactic Heroes, a series like this is also high on my list. Reminiscent of Outlaw Star in some ways, it's a guilty pleasure in that it doesn't require a lot to follow the plot. It has one linear storyline that it deals with and that alone is a rarity for a twelve episode series. Most tend to follow manga and do a couple of standalone tales or maybe a short arc or two. Coyote Ragtime Show takes one storyline, works in a few subplots and background pieces, but otherwise is all about progressing the plot as there is a deadline.

I also particularly liked the cast that was used across the board. The Twelve Sisters didn't get a lot of time which I was actually happy about since they could have dominated the show. Franca proved to not be a whiny childish younger character while most everyone else is of an older age. No teenagers in space here. Though I wish that Mister had been given a proper name, the character has a certain kind of appealing charm that can make a show like this work. It's filled with happy go lucky Coyote's that are kept in check by the more serious characters like Marciano and Angelica.

In Summary:
I'm not a fan of cutting down a TV series to make a movie, but Coyote Ragtime Show could be well edited down to a 2 ½ hour movie that would be quite appealing. The full length TV show really surprised me overall considering how many people seemed to dislike it when it was originally airing. It's not deep or profound, but it's very well executed and is a lot of fun to watch. It's also a show that really takes advantage of the 5.1 sound format and if you don't think that it can impact how a show is perceived I'd say you were very wrong. With solid looking visuals, a real sense of pacing and a complete storyline, Coyote Ragtime Show has been one of the best "space opera" romps I've seen in some time. Very recommended.

Features
Japanese 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening Animation,Clean Closing Animation,Production Artwork Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI set to 480p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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