Gasaraki Vol. #1 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A+

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  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gasaraki

Gasaraki Vol. #1

By Felix Kuo     February 16, 2002
Release Date: September 26, 2000

The Review!
I haven't felt this good about a anime in such a long time. I had seen the first two episodes prior to its release sometime last year (during a club meeting) and instantly knew this would be an essential anime to own. Now I'm extremely happy (minus my damaged case) to own such an awesome work.

As far as technicalities go, Gasaraki is one of the best. While the overall majority of scenes all tend to be in the dark/dusk, the video rarely has any flaws. Nothing of real concern or impact that would seriously turn off the viewer.

The same applies in the audio department. I watched both languages in its entirety in one viewing (yes, it's that good) and I'm especially impressed. While both tracks sound similar (in terms of volume, effects, music) I must congratulate ADV on a truly spectacular dub. All the character voice actors do an excellent job except maybe Yushiro's sister. Then again her character seems to permit it, apparent in the sub too. A good example of the dubbing is episode two, when there are multiple news stations covering the military events. Other than the little dub glitch, where a sub appears around 17:30, everything proceeded smoothly.

The packaging is really well done, much like the menus. Consisting of a nicely bright-toned red, the box has a certain appeal to it. The menus "boot up" similar to the GDS system and are animated and accompanied with music. There's not too much acess/selection time and the easy organization along with a good amount of extras makes this one a winner.

Lastly the greatest concern, the content, which I absolutely admire Gasaraki for. While I don't dislike animes such as Gundam Wing (although it's not really the Gundam "norm"), where the suits are nearly invincible, I enjoy stuff where robots behave more realistically (i.e. are somewhat limited and fragile). By doing so this aspect makes accepting Gasaraki much more plausible, which is crucial to enjoying
almost any show. Add to this the well-designed GUIs (read: realistic, unlike other programs) and menus somewhat resembling a Mac OS, military chatter full of technical information and briefings, and you have a detailed map for success. Since I'm also currently studying Japanese militarism, it was interesting to see how the anime responded to the deployment of troops overseas and Japanese relationship with the US. On a different note, the disc ends with a pretty good cliff hanger which just had me dying for more. Heh, I must've watched the last preview several times over.

Now all ADV has to fix are those overly large credits or supply a creditless opening and I'll be in heaven (Wait! What about a nice red disc... nah). Like one would expect, this anime might appeal only to certain fans, but I do hope it will eventually be widely embraced. Oh, remember to check the online website too!

P.S. Is it me or does Yushiro look more like Rei?

Review Equipment
Toshiba SD-M1202, REALmagic Hollywood+, Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 900U, Monster Sound MX300 outputted to Yamaha YST-M15 speakers w/MSW 5 subwoofer and Cambridge Soundworks: PC Works


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