Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: F/B
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: C
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
- MSRP: 34.95
- Running time: 149
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Cyber City
Cyber City Oedo 808
By Chris Beveridge
April 20, 1999
Release Date: April 20, 1999
Cyber City Oedo 808
What They Say
© NuTech Digital, Inc.
From the creator of "Ninja Scroll." Japanese animators take us to the year 2808 for a look at criminals given a "choice" of sentences. Action and suspense. Volumes 1, 2 and 3 included on one disc.
Volume 1: In the year 2808, three criminals are offered a choice: Spend the rest of their lives aboard a maximum-security orbital prison, or return to Earth as agents of the Cyber Police. Parole violations will be rare as each criminal is fitted with a booby-trapped, high-explosive collar which operates on a 24-hour timer. If ever a check-in is missed, the consequences would be... gruesome. For every criminal caught, the agents receive a "bounty" that reduces their total sentence, so some day they may walk free again.
Terrorists have taken control of the city's tallest space-scraper. Not only does the building hold the primary nodes for the city's computer grid, but 50,000 people are still trapped inside! In principle, the job is simple: Break into the most secure building in the city; find and eliminate the terrorists; rescue the hostages. But there's no time to waste, because the collars have a 24-hour time limit, and the clock is ticking!
Volume 2: A member of the Cyber Police has turned traitor and sold confidential police data to a mysterious customer who could destroy the Cyber Police forever. But before that can happen, the heroes have 24 hours to uncover the plot. The trail leads to an illegal black market dealing in stolen body parts. Goggles is reunited with his ex-partner-in-crime, and together, they find themselves face-to-face with MOCLOS, the military's ultimate killing machine.
Volume 3: The Vampire Case. One by one, genetics researchers are turning up dead - all have suspicious fang wounds on their necks. The most recent victim, Ichiro Edajima, used his own blood to scrawl a cryptic message on the wall and left notes to a very unusual retro-virus on his computer. The trail points to the top of the space elevator, and the cryogenic suspension facility tethered there. But the frozen death of cryogenic sleep may not have any meaning for one of the undead... and vampires can be hungry when they wake up!The Review!
Let's jump right into the technical side of this disc. As mentioned before, there is something seriously wrong with a portion of the audio on the disc, hence the breakout of the grading above. It has been confirmed by Central Park Media that all discs were affected by the audio problem on the first episode. Throughout the majority of this episode, you can hear an echo or some sort of reverberation. The amount you hear will vary depending on your hardware setup, but it is there. Coming out of the right speaker, if you turn the volume up enough and listen, you can hear the English audio track playing underneath the Japanese audio track. You cannot hear the Japanese track when playing the English track however. This is, unfortunately, one of those problems where once you hear it, you can't shake it when you watch it.
The audio on the second two episodes do not suffer from this problem at all, which is why they received the higher grading. There has been no decision as of the writing of this review on how this problem may/will be resolved, but if you have this disc and can detect this problem, send an email to CPM urging them to find some kind of resolution for it. You can make a difference.
The video on these episodes is gorgeous. Presented on a dual layered disc, the authors and compressionists had plenty of space available to them to bring out the best in the animation. I could detect no signs of pixellation or artifacting, and was just very pleased by how well things looked. A very slick looking presentation.
The packaging is typical of what we've seen from DVD Ltd. sublicenses before. Same style keepcase (not a bad one, just feels a little flimsier) and a complete lack of reverse side credits, even though they do list on the back that they should exist on the reverse side. We've seen this so far with the other six releases from DVD Ltd. so I wasn't terribly surprised.
The menu isn't anything too out of the ordinary, but is functional and has a bit of cool music, if a bit eerie, playing in the background.
As for the show itself? I hadn't heard much of anything about this show before I found out about it getting the DVD treatment last year. It never really got much notice as far as I could tell, which is a bit of a shame, as it's really a great show.
This disc contains three episodes (all that was produced most likely) that follow the story of three cyber criminals given a chance to reduce their sentences. Almost all of them start off with over 300 years against them, so it'll take them a long time and a lot of criminals to be caught before they can get their sentence down to a point where they may be free.
Each episode focuses on one of the three primary characters, though the others naturally are here and there to help out, but you know who the story is about. The stories vary a bit in terms of quality, though I found the third one that had to deal with mysticism and cyber organisms quite entertaining.
Created way back in 1991 by Mad House, the animation is top notch even by today's standards. The character designs have some retro flavor to them, but are very fluid and engaging. The female characters tend to be tough and enhanced, though there are a couple that exhibit a lot of beauty.
If you're a dub fan, this disc should be an easy purchase. The dub was done by Manga Entertainment back in the mid 90's, and has some good production qualities to it, though I admit to not listening to a lot of it beyond testing for the audio problems. Japanese language fans may have a slightly tough time with the first episode, but will completely forget the problem while enjoying the other two.
With over two hours of animation that can be found on one DVD for as low as 20 bucks on some sites, this is an easy purchase if you want to try something that's slick looking, has a good story, and some great action sequences.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.