Coyote Ragtime Show Vol. #3 -

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. #3

By Bryan Morton     October 12, 2007
Release Date: August 06, 2007

Coyote Ragtime Show Vol. #3
© ADV Films UK

What They Say
It’s the End of the World as We Know It!

In less than 24 hours, a photonic annihilation bomb will reduce the war-torn Planet Graceland to nothing but a memory. But not if Mister has his way! He and his misfit crew of Coyotes are plotting a daring raid against the Federation warship that carries the bomb. Problem is, the Criminal Guild’s.

Madame Marciano and her bevy of bionic battle beauties are also in on the action! And 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? Hold on tight – because the answer is right in your hands – in the climactic final volume of COYOTE RAGTIME SHOW!

Episodes Comprise
9 - Jupiter
10 - Angelica Burns
11 - Fading Memories
12 - Coyote

The Review!
The clock is ticking down to the destruction, and time is running out – for Mister to find Bruce’s stash, for Angelica to find Mister, and for Marciano to ruin everyone’s plans. Will anyone get what they want before the clock reaches zero..?

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 again is the focus of the front cover of this release, hands clasped in prayer, with Mister & Marciano going at each other 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 an ensemble shot of the Twelve Sisters on the alternate front and a solo image of April 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 and closing sequences, there’s a full set of next-episode previews for the series – these were broadcast with the on-air version of the show, but for some reason weren’t included with the DVD episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Sending Bishop and Swamp to work together may not have been Mister's smartest idea - they really don't like each other, and it's not long before they're squabbling full-time. Still, they get the job done, sneaking on board the ship that's carrying the photonic bomb to see what they can do about delaying its deployment, while on Graceland Angelica enjoys what could be the last sunrise and the Sisters continue their search for Bruce's replica Gigabanks. With the Federation government and the Graceland rebels talking about ways to settle their differences, there's a chance there may be no need for the bomb after all, but Mister's taking no chances - and with Bishop and Swamp assigned to deal with the bomb, he's on his way to Graceland, where Marciano's waiting for him...

And so Coyote Ragtime Show reaches the end of the line, as the three main parties in the series all finally converge on Graceland to find what they’re looking for – Mister in Angelica’s case, and Bruce’s horde of cash if you’re Mister or Marciano. They don’t exactly pick the best of times to arrive – peace talks between the local rebels & the Federation have broken down, there’s heavy fighting going on on the surface, and the countdown to the destruction of the planet continues to run. In those circumstances, you’d think everyone would be keen to get the job done and get as far away from Graceland as possible – but somehow, however long the events in these four episodes are meant to take in “real” time, it felt like forever when I was watching them. Mister even has time to ignore the Gigabanks search for a while, and go off looking for Angelica. Go figure.

Coyote Ragtime was never strong on plot – you got bang for your buck, literally, from the on-screen action (always very nicely animated and choreographed), and the banter between the gang on board the Coyote. This volume shoots itself in the foot by removing most of the opportunities for both of those aspects – Mister and his gang are split up for most of the disc, with only a little aggravation between Swamp and Bishop on the character interaction front; while moving the action down to Graceland’s surface neatly kills most of the ship-based action. Instead, you get a few decent scenes around the Jupiter (the ship allegedly carrying the photonic bomb) courtesy of the Twelve Sisters, with the rest of the story spent digging around caves looking for the Gigabanks. Add in an ending that’s best described as anti-climactic, and I was left wondering, “Is that it!?”.

I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy, though, and there are still some positives to be taken from this disc, even if it didn’t quite grab me the way the previous volumes did. There are some genuinely unexpected plot twists thrown in along the way here that have a noticeable effect on how the folks on the ground have to go about their search, and there are some great character moments, particularly for Angelica as she finally gets Mister where she wants him and has to decide what to do next; for Franca, who finds an unexpected surprise stashed away with her father’s horde; and for Marciano, who gets to go out in an appropriately dramatic way. Some of those scenes could even be described as touching, which maybe wouldn’t be what you were expecting from a series like this. It also has to be said that, while individually most of the characters in Coyote Ragtime play to stereotype, the way they interact with each other has been one of the show’s highlights. It’s a definite case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

In summary:
In some ways, Coyote Ragtime Show goes out with more of a whimper than a bang, as the setting here doesn’t allow for as much of the eye-catching space combat as previous volumes did, and the end of the search for the Gigabanks ends up being a bit of a damp squib. There’s still enough here to keep you entertained for a while, though, as some good character moments and a few surprises keep you on your toes. Not as good as it maybe could have been, but still an enjoyable release.

Japanese Language 5.1,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,Creditless Opening and Closing Sequences,On-Air Next Episode Previews

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.


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