Galerians - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: D-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Image Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.99
  • Running time: 73
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Galerians

Galerians

By Luis Cruz     March 23, 2004
Release Date: April 06, 2004


Galerians
© Image Entertainment


What They Say
A murderous super-computer named Dorothy controls a post-apocalyptic Earth in 2516, and now she has created artificial beings called Galerians bent on destroying the human race. Only Rion, a vulnerable teenager with incredible powers, stands a chance of saving the world from the newest, most terrifying technological menace!

English soundtrack features a scorching roster of songs from Slipknot, Skinny Puppy, Adema, God Head, Seven Dust, Fear Factory, Andy Hunter and more!

The Review!
Yet another teen must stop an evil computer from destroying humanity in the CGI anime adaptation of the video game Galerians.

Audio:
Image certainly went the extra mile for the audio on this disc; you can choose from Japanese 5.1 audio, Japanese 2.0 audio, "enhanced" English 5.1. audio, and "original" English 2.0 audio. I chose to take in the Japanese 5.1 audio track for my initial viewing session. As the credits rolled at the end, I knew that there was no reason for me to listen to the Japanese 2.0 track.

The track sounded phenomenal; there were no dropouts, distortions, or noticeable places where you could tell that the audio was mixed up from a 2.0 track. Music and dialogue were balanced well with neither overshadowing the other. While the rear soundstage mostly featured ambient and background sounds, the front soundstage got a decent workout during the action sequences. Overall, the audio track was the best part of this release.

The English audio got a spot check for both the enhanced and original tracks. Image managed to assemble a great cast for the dub; they did a great job capturing the style and mannerisms of the original Japanese cast. This is definitely one of the more enjoyable dub tracks I have heard in recent memory. The original soundtrack is adequate considering it does not pack the full 5.1 punch.

By this point, you must be wondering what gives the enhanced English audio track its name. While it has been mixed up to a 5.1 soundtrack, Image has replaced the original background music with songs from artists such as Slipknot and The Vandals. For the most part, the songs fit the content fairly well; however, the audio track seems muffled and lacks the punch of the Japanese 5.1 audio track. It sounds like the audio was mixed at a very low volume.

You cannot switch audio tracks during playback though; I am not sure if this is an issue with my player or the disc itself. The soundtrack will also be available separately; a promotional copy was sent along with the DVD. It is a good collection of tracks that has made its way into my music rotation. Even if you do not like the DVD, consider picking the soundtrack up and giving it a spin.

Video:
One would be hard pressed to find a fault with the transfer of this title; the picture was sharp, vibrant, and had no noticeable defects. The subtitles suffer a bit at times during playback; there are a few bright white backgrounds during the show, and the yellow subtitles can be very hard to read against them.

While the picture is stunning and detailed, it is still CGI and looks too much like a video game. The characters lack fluid, natural movements as they move, and the backgrounds remind me of the many hours spent playing the Resident Evil series. This is more of a personal distraction; it is well done CGI, but it is still CGI in the end.

Packaging:
Befitting the CGI nature of the show, the front cover has a metallic, holographic look to it. Rion's eyes dominate the middle of the front cover with computer text reflected in his metallic eyes. Other than the title, only a few pictures of the characters at the bottom adorn the front cover. The back cover contains the requisite synopsis, disc details, and two screenshots. As this was a check disc release, there was no case or insert provided. It is a simple but eye-catching cover that perfectly conveys the style of the content inside.

Menu:
Visually, the menus for this release look great and perfectly fit the style and tone of the show. However, they contain some baffling user interface decisions; first, the subtitle options are buried in the "Extras" section. This is not immediately apparent though from the main menu; when you select your audio track from the audio menu, you are then taken to the "Extras" menu where you can select your desired subtitle track.

Adding to the confusion is the arrow at the bottom of the "Extras" menu. Normally, a right pointing arrow at the bottom of a menu indicates that you will be going to the next "page" in the menu; not so for this release. Selecting the arrow returns you to the film. One has to wonder if the menu author had never seen a DVD prior to this; I would have expected this haphazard grouping and arrangement of choices from a disc released when DVD was a new technology. Seeing it a new release just makes me shake my head in disbelief. Hopefully, they will clear this up before the official release, but I would not wager money on it happening.

Extras:
The only extra on the disc is the teaser trailer for the show. For some inexplicable reason, the subtitle options are also available in the "Extras" section. The promotional literature that came with the check disc claims that there should be some collector's cards bundled with the disc; I did not receive any cards, but it would be difficult to imagine that they would add much to the extras portion of this release.

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When Galerians: Rion first landed on my review pile, I knew I had heard that title somewhere before. I eventually found the source in a video game advertisement in a magazine from 2000; the plot of the game and the DVD were a match. Needless to say, I had a number of preconceived notions about how this game to anime conversion would fare; after an excruciating hour, those notions were all confirmed.

As the CGI fest opens, we find ourselves in Michelangelo City in the year 2522. A powerful mother computer known as Dorothy rules the city; against this backdrop, we find our young protagonist Rion being experimented upon in a hospital. A young girl's voice wakes him from the drug induced haze he was under. While he has no memories of who he is, he exhibits powerful psychic powers and quickly destroys all the security guards in his path.

He soon learns that his father and a man called Dr. Pascalle created Dorothy; Dorothy quickly gained power and acquired a god complex. To this end, she decided to create humans that would completely obey her and have great powers. These genetically altered humans are known as Galerians, and only Rion has the power to stop her. Inside his head is the launch program for the virus that can destroy Dorothy, but he must find Dr. Pascalle's daughter Lilia who has the actual virus in her head.

The plot lumbers along to its predictable ending, as Rion kills every Galerian sent after him. Considering this is a 3-D show, it is amazing how little depth it has. It literally feels like the creators just ripped the CGI from the game and slapped it together. There is no real sense of danger surrounding our hero or humanity in general, so you have little reason to care about the hero or his quest. Outside of her bizarre Geiger-esque appearance, Dorothy is unimpressive in her role as the power mad AI out to eradicate humanity.

Galerians looks like a video game, sounds like a video game, but is less fun than actually playing a video game based around its plot. There is even a gaping plot hole that one would have a difficult time accepting even if it were in a video game. While visually stunning, there just is not much in the content itself worth recommending. The premise behind Galerians had promise, but the creators did not put sufficient time or effort into developing it into a solid plot.

In Summary:
If you enjoy watching CGI cut scenes from video games, this might be the title for you. However, you are more likely to wish you were actually playing the game rather than sitting through the boring, cookie-cutter plot. You would be better off spending the money on the soundtrack and passing up the DVD altogether.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,Japanese 5.1 Language,English 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,French Subtitles, German Subtitles,Spanish Subtitles,Alternate Opening Sequence,Music Video

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable

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