Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: F
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Image Entertainment
- MSRP: 24.98
- Running time: 104
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Eight Man After
Eight Man After: Perfect Collection
By Matthew Crisp
February 16, 2002
Release Date: October 30, 1998
8Man After is a four part OVA that tells the story of a private detective Hazama Itsuru who becomes the second 8Man, the perfect cyborg. The story of 8Man dates back to the 1960s when it was a TV series in Japan and later in America (who destroyed it with their awful translations). The first 8Man was a man named Azuma. Azuma was a police officer who was killed when he was chasing down some suspects in a crime. Then Professor Tani turns him into the 8Man, and then he fights crime and battles all types of evil villains.
8Man After probably begins five years after the disappearance of Azuma and the 8Man. The Perfect Collection DVD begins with Sachiko Yokogawa having a flash back of Azuma and how he abruptly left her life. (Take note: The 8Man in the beginning is not Hazama) We are then introduced to Mr. Boris Daigo, (AKA Mr. Halloween) and Hazama, the protagonist. Hazama Itsuru is a private detective who was hired by Professor Tani to locate an employee of Mr. Daigo, Eddie Schmitt. Eddie is wanted because he stole cyborg parts from the professor. Hazama investigates the case and is killed by a mysterious cyborg. He then becomes the 8Man and works with the police, to help put an end to the cyborgs in the city.
This is my personal favorite Anime OVA/feature film because from the moment I popped it in I was glued to my seat. Right from the beginning it drew me in. It has a somewhat dark-style to it that I thought was great. Not to mention I think the characters are fantastic. 8Man, Hazama, and Tony Glek, are some of my favorite Anime characters. Plus I think the English voice actors did a fantastic job. Some of the Anime I watch seems like there is two different things going on, but 8Man After had some good work. One more thing that I really loved was the entire BGM. Mike Kennedy did a great job creating the score for 8Man After. All of the BGM fit the mood of the movie perfectly. I must admit 8Man After has a somewhat predictable story line, but I feel that the way the story was presented and the character designs made a universal plot into something much more interesting. All in all it is a very solid Anime with great sounds and visuals.
The audio for the DVD was English 2.0 stereo; there was no Japanese soundtrack. This was upsetting because I had already seen the dub on VHS. The soundtrack itself was very good. I didn't detect any noise problems such as popping or cracks in the sound. The 2.0 soundtrack isn't that bad because all three front speakers are used well. Almost all the dialogue comes from the center channel and the action sequence blend in nicely between the center and the front left and right speakers.
Once more I must say that 8Man After is quite flawless when it comes to video. The colors are very bright and the edges are sharp. This also is attributed to the animation, which was done with awesome precision. There were never any parts of the film that were difficult to see. Everything was clear when it needed to be. I did not notice any visual deformities such as rainbows etc.
Like I mentioned before the biggest problem with me is that there is only an English dub. Secondly the menu is horrible it only consists of a chapter selection. For God sakes they should have at least put the BGM that Streamline was using, on the menu. The last problem is in the dub. In the beginning of the movie Tanaka says Hazama's finance was murdered. Wrong it is his sister, they finally get it right at the end, which in it self is dumb, because now there are two different people getting murdered in Hazama's past.
I think 8Man is a great Anime and I believe it got a great transfer onto DVD. If they had included an English 5.1 mix, Japanese soundtrack, some extras and interactive menus it would have gotten an almost perfect score from me.
Pioneer DV-333 DVD player, Pioneer VSX-607S DD Amp, JBL 6 speaker surround setup, Panasonic 32" TV