Gasaraki Vol. #1 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • 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 Brian Shea     May 11, 2002
Release Date: September 26, 2000

The Review!
I listened to the japanese audio track on my first viewing, then went back and listened to the whole disc again with the english track. Both tracks are flawless in technical terms as usually is the case. The japanese dub itself is the standard; every voice fits the character, and so on... While I found the english dub much better than the Evangelion one(done by the same dubbing group), I still found it mediocre in many aspects. The Gowas may be brothers, but their voices were so similar and indistinguishable I couldn't tell the difference between the 4 even by the time I reached the 4th episode. I disliked many of the voices that the female characters received. The minor parts were given rather bad voices as well. Overall not a bad dub, but nothing special. I'll be giving the japanese track primary listening on this release.

Looks simply amazing, the best video quality I've seen on an ADV release yet (although keep in mind I have not seen a vast amount of ADV licensed animes). The image quality was virtually perfect, I didn't notice a single flaw.

The cover for this volume features Miharu and a Tactical Armor. The back contains the traditional summary and screenshots. As usual, ADV has used a rather bad set up for holding the DVD, other than that its perfect.

Menus were done quite well, but were also rather dull, resulting in a 'B' instead of an 'A'.

Great extras on this disc including an interview, definitions, notes (all asking you to continue on the ADV website), and concept sketches. The best by far though was the character chart included with the insert. Despite having watched 3 of the 4 episodes on the disc, it wasn't until I viewed this that I realized all these various characters showing up in the show were all part of the Gowa family. Makes me wonder why ADV didn't put so much work on extras into their most high profile release, Eva, which was extremely medioce in the Extras department.

Hearing this show brought up quite a lot over the past few months I decided to pick up a copy of the first disc once I had some extra cash. The money spent was well worth it; the show's outstanding so far. Despite being falsely labelled as an Evangelion clone (atleast up to this point in the show), this show is quite unique and different than the usual mecha fare. An extremely heavy political show, Gasaraki revolves around the powerful Gowa family and conflicts surrounding a mysterious explosion in the country of Belgistan. While this disc has a few mecha battles, they're all done in a realistic, strategic manner that fits the rest of the show very nicely. In addition to the politics, this show contains its fair share of mysteriousness, especially around the organization 'Symbol' and a bizarre ritual performed in the first episode.

Gasaraki's far too complex to explain in a short review like this. I can tell you however that the show starts off with a bang, assuming you enjoy politic heavy, mysterious shows that leave the mecha fighting as a support aspect instead of the main feature. These first 4 episodes are a great start to the series and ends with a pretty good cliffhangar. I anxiously await purchasing the next volume in the series.

Review Equipment
Panasonic DVD ROM, 17 inch Monitor, Cambridge Soundworks Speakers


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