Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Central Park Media
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 83
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Darkside Blues
By Tena Mastrangelo
February 07, 2002
Release Date: October 26, 1999
Overall rating: A-
Central Park Media seems to be experimenting with the way they put out their DVDs, and they succeed in Darkside Blues.
The menus are a bit more stylized than other releases ... instead of still images on the main menu, you get background music with a montage of animated scenes from the film. Chapter selections also had some animation. All in all the menus were very easy to navigate and highly responsive.
This disc is also pretty flawless. I did not detect any shimmering or rainbow effects while watching. Of all the three audio tracks, the Japanese track was the most muted. Voices were mostly coming out of the center speakers, so surround sound wasn't fully utilized, except for the English 5.1 track, where background noises, conversation and music was more optimized.
The animation is bright clear, but sometimes looks a little flat. It is not vibrant, say, as in other CPM titles, like "Record of Lodoss War," "Cyber City Oedo" or "Iria." But overall it is very pleasing to watch.
I have noticed that CPM goes back and forth on its OS offerings for Webconnex features. So far the only recent CPM DVD I have seen that offers Webconnex features for the Macintosh is "Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Demon Womb." I wish CPM could be more consistent with its Web offerings and offer more Macintosh users access to these additional features.
As for the plot, if you don't pay close attention, you will miss out on things. This film is into a lot of symbolizm, and one character's comment at the beginning of the film makes much sense near the end when you are trying to figure out what happened. Also, pay attention to the singer's words in the movie's "theme" song.
The young man who seems to come out of nowhere calls himself Darkside. He was banished into the Darkness as an infant by someone in Persona, and when the dimensions lined up just right, he returned to the "light," or current world. In the present time, Persona has corrupted the light with its dark evil ways and it seems Darkside has returned to set it back in balance. To do this he performs "renewals" and also helps two characters absolve their inner demons. (More dark/light symbolism here.)
That may sound like a bunch of crap, but just watch the disc to get a sense of what I am trying to explain. Fans of surreal/paranormal shows like "The Outer Limits," "The X-Files" and "Millennium" will like this feature.
Toshiba 27-inch TV, Pioneer 525 with component video, Sony Dolby Digital-Ready/Prologic Surround Sound receiver and speaker system.