Cyberteam In Akihabara Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • 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: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cyberteam in Akihabara

Cyberteam In Akihabara Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     March 01, 2005
Release Date: March 08, 2005


Cyberteam In Akihabara Vol. #3
© ADV Films


What They Say
The Rosenkreutz: a secret society as ancient as thought itself, whose time draws near. Soon, they will emerge from out of the shadows, and bring forth the final chapter in mankind's history: The coming of Metatron! Only the Cyber Team, a group of four junior high school girls, can stop them, aided by the mysterious powers of the Diva.

Now, with the stage set for the ultimate battle to determine mankind's future, innocence is a luxury the Cyber Team can no longer afford. Can Hibari and the rest of the team cope with the most severe test of their young lives?

The Review!
As more of the overall plot starts to appear, things get more serious for the characters, particularly as new people arrive to throw things off course.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The show has a very simple mix to it that's listed as stereo but is more of a full feeling soundtrack than anything else. There's a fair amount of action and sound effects throughout the show but there isn't much in the way of real depth or directionality to it. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 1998, the transfer for this series is presented here in its original full frame aspect ratio. Done in the traditional animation style and avoiding most of the obvious bad digital animation that was cropping up at that time, the transfer here looks good for the most part with a clean set of materials to work with. The main problem that some will see throughout will be the aliasing during some of the action sequences but otherwise it's fairly problem free. Cross coloration is very minimal with only some slight sight of it in a few scenes. Colors look good and maintain a solid feel throughout and you can see a good amount of detail in the animation when it's there.

Packaging:
While the main characters aren't used this time around, the powered-up Pata-pi's are shown in a split style with lots of vibrant colors. The style of the artwork mixed with the sleek logo gives it a really current feel and overall looks pretty sharp. Amusingly, this cover features three quotes from different sources on the front which can't be a good sign. The back cover has only a couple of very small animation shots and is instead filled with lots of pastel colors that hold the sizeable summary and the large section of production information. The discs technical features and extras listings are easy to find and are all accurate. No insert was included with this release though there was one in previous volumes.

Menu:
The menu layout continues to use the same design and colors as other parts of the release with a static background of a Pata-pi lined across it several times that changes color as it goes along to the music. On top of that there are the usual selections and a cute image of a Pata-pi being picked up with a claw arm game. While not the most amazing menu, it's nicely in theme and gets the job done without slowing you down in getting to the sections you want. Access times are nice and fast and the disc read our players' language presets without issue.

Extras:
The mix of extras continues to be decent here with this volume. The production sketches are still gone, but we retain the clean opening and closing sequences. An "In The Studio" session is included that shows the voice actors hard at work at bringing the show to life in English and there's also a commentary track for one of the episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Cyberteam in Akihabara continues to be one of the shows that's barely keeping my interest with each volume. In fact, with this volume, it's a show that I'm almost at a point on giving up on since within twelve hours after watching it, barely any of it was memorable and I've had to watch it again to catch up on it for the review.

One of the big focuses of this volume is on the secret society members that are long-lived and working towards their goal of making sure humanity doesn't ruin the planet. Through a couple of flashback scenes we see them looking down on the Earth and commenting on mankind's latest creation of destruction, the tank. Between this and a few other discussions with a new arrival, there's some small content that helps forward this idea a bit more but like any good secret society they like to cloak their discussions in grand terms and very few specifics.

For Hibari, things in this volume hit really close to home as she's convinced she's found her prince among her schoolmates having seen him around the school recently. Though he's very close to what she sees in her dreams, he's not the one since we can tell the differences but he utilizes her well in this and sets a trap that will allow him to destroy the others. The revelations about him not being the prince doesn't deter her in the long run but it's a crushing couple of moments after he's held her captive and she's managed to escape from his clutches.

One of the main changes with this volume is the addition of Tsubame to the cast, a young girl who is seemingly from France and has the attitude to go with it. She's brought in by the secret society for their goals along with her apparently unique Pata-pi that is purple. It's a rather violent little critter as once during class it strikes down another classmates Pata-pi brutally and quickly. Tsubame's basic coldness doesn't give her much of a character here beyond a basic stereotype but it's the kind of thing where you hope it changes later on. Interestingly enough, when she does arrive at the school, the other girls quickly realize that she may be the last of the Diva's that they need but that she may not really fit in with them. This is a nice change of pace from the new girl being given plenty of doubt about who she could be and then having everyone shocked by it.

In Summary:
This volume brings the show to the halfway mark but it's still not managed to pique my interest in practically any way. The last volume had us watching the countdown clock for each episode and this one had us repeating that. The series simply hasn't got anything that really draws us in but it has plenty of things that just push us away.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation, Cyberteam in the Studio, VA Commentary with John Gremillion (Principal Ryugasaki) & Greg Ayres (The White Prince)

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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