Gall Force 3: Stardust War - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 62
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gall Force

Gall Force 3: Stardust War

By Chris Beveridge     March 21, 2003
Release Date: March 11, 2003


Gall Force 3: Stardust War
© Central Park Media


What They Say
Features character designs by Kenichi Sonoda (Gunsmith Cats and Bubblegum Crisis)!
Created by Hideki Kakinuma (Megazone 23)

Space scientist Catty faces her age-old nemesis, the Paranoids, in a devastating final battle. Guns blaze and planets explode as an ancient war ends with a bang!

The Review!
Stardust War brings the final volume of the trilogy, but not the series itself, to an interesting close.

Audio:
Having enjoyed the first movie in Japanese and liking the cast from there, we opted for continuity and watched it in Japanese here. The show has a pretty basic stereo mix with most of the dialogue through the center channel while the music and overall sound effects use the left/right channels. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and we noticed no dropouts or distortions on either track during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 1988, the materials here continue to look better than I would have expected. Colors are nice and fresh looking, cross coloration is very minimal and while there is a fair bit of aliasing, most of it comes from the complex spaceship animations being panned over by the camera.

Packaging:
The style continues to be the same, but on the downside the artwork used appears to be more of a screenshot than anything else as there is a fair amount of grain and softness to this large cast shot. It looks good in general, but once you get closer it starts to look not quite as solid as you would like it to be. The back cover has a few new shots from this show and a brief summary of the storyline. The discs features and technical information is all nice and clearly listed. The reverse side of the cover uses the same artwork but just in black and white while also providing the chapter listings, bilingual cast list and overall basic production information.

Menu:
The menu is reminiscent of the second volume with some of the cast along the bottom in battle mode while in a monitor you can see spaceship battles playing along while some of the creepier music from the show adds to the eeriness of it all. Access times in the menus are nice and fast and moving around is straightforward and problem free.

Extras:
The only extra here is a brief video artwork gallery and a quick recap of the first two volumes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the events of Destruction, things look just as bleak for those who’ve survived that particular adventure. The Solnoid High Command has their ships going about picking up as many survivors as they can, and our leading ladies are among the rabble.

They’re quite concerned though about what’s going to happen to them when someone higher up figures out just who they are though, since they’ve caused so many problems. The only one who doesn’t look concerned is Catty, which becomes more apparent later on when all the survivors are being relocated to different ships. Knowing that when their scans are done, they’ll be caught quickly, Catty pulls off a bit of a coup by using a rank that nobody was really aware she had, and she gets them and herself sent off to the fleets main Intelligence ship.

Their arrival there brings a new phase to the trilogy as we get introduced to the captain of Intelligence, the woman from whom Catty was based, Captain Nebulart. Through her, we get a lot of exposition in this episode, especially a bit of catching up about the entire Species Unification Plan as well as the past history of the Solnoid race and how things seem to be repeating themselves again. A good part of this final episode of the trilogy deals with explanations, so there’s a fair amount of dialogue.

This all plays alongside the main fleet converging on a sector that’s strategically useless but contains a place where they can lure in the remaining Paranoid forces and attempt to use their Planet Destroyers to take out the remaining ships. This battle brings some of the big epic spaceship action to the episode, giving everything a nice balance, much like the Destruction episode. But for the most part, we continue to follow the core group from Destruction with Nebulart as they unravel and reveal the Solnoid place in history and what they expect to happen in the future.

This final episode is a bit weak, but does a nice job of fleshing out things, though enough of it is really supposition on the characters parts. But some of the revelations about their own past and some of the projects that have gone awry, including some on the Paranoid part of the Unification Plan and other areas. Again, while a bit heavy on exposition, it works well as an overall ending to the trilogy in that things just had to be fully explained at some point. I definitely liked most of the cast of these two episodes better than the first, especially the older Nebulart. Yum.

Features
Japanese Language,English Langugae,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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