Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 3 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Gasaraki
Gasaraki Vol. #3
By David Owens
February 16, 2002
Release Date: January 23, 2001
Well. Suffice it to say, I was paranoid. Very paranoid. After Gasaraki v1, I decided that it looked interesting and showed promise....but was boring. Horribly boring. Then I bought the second disc, and it stayed on my shelf for months, until a day before this disc came out actually. I finally decided to watch it, and was slightly more into the story this time, as there was some action.
For a brief synopsis of the discs so far, here goes: Disc 1: "politics politics politics Miharu politics politics Yushiro politics politics politics politics whiny sister politics."
The second disc was better: "politics politics Yushiro and Miharu politics TA troop goofing around politics action action politics whiny sister cameo."
The third disc REALLY kicks into gear, and I'm glad I stuck with the series. Obviously, I'm not mincing words when I say the first disc bored me to tears (despite the incredible video, and despite my somewhat self-neutered review). I'll bite right now though, I was so wrong.
Anyways. Reviewing this disc is in order, so per usual, the video is incredible. Gasaraki,
Dual, and Black Heaven are still my three "Look how good anime can look!" discs, and this one doesn't break the trend. It looks awesome, to put it lightly.
The audio is also rather good, and there's some nice explosions and other cool noises to boom through an audio setup, which makes it more fun. As with the first disc (and the second, which I haven't reviewed but would get the same comments), the dub voice actors do a fairly good job. The TA troop Yushiro is stationed with gets some more lines now, and it lets some of them work out their parts. There's some decent voice actors in the cast, including Kelly Manison (Linna from BGC2040, Airi from Those Who Hunt Elves), who does a great job for a supporting role. Anyways...
The packaging for Gasaraki this time didn't interest me. The first was pretty cool, and the second as well, but this one just...didn't do anything. Maybe it's because there's no character on the cover, just a TA. At any rate, I wish there'd been a character there to fill it out like the first couple.
The menus are the same as the first 2 discs, for the most part. One odd nitpick I have is that in episode 7's preview, they refer to episode 8 (first on this disc) as "Harsh Worlds" and yet on this disc, it's called "Inferno". Anal, I know, but it's kind of strange to see.
At any rate, the menus are functional and quick to navigate, so they're not bad.
The extras are also getting standard. Lots of goodies here, but I'm just not as interested in them lately. The glossary was neat though, and the production sheets interesting, but I wouldn't mind seeing a different style of extra next volume, maybe. What that should be, I have absolutely no idea...
At any rate, this disc happens to have a lot going for it. First, it has a lot of action.
Second, it advances the supernatural plot, instead of just the political plot. This is very appealing to people who have the attention spans of a fruit fly (i.e. me). The three episodes here detail Yushiro's return home after his little dance recital in the middle of battle on the last disc. His teammates are a little antsy about him, some downright not trusting him, and things just get worse when a pair of enemy jets warn them to land and surrender while flying through hostile airspace, even after the UN approved it.
A very cool action sequence results, with Yushiro saving the day (ooo, imagine!), and the gang landing. After they're split up, Yushiro heads home in search of some answers. What he finds isn't quite what he expects, and a very bizarre plot twist awaits. He goes off to talk to some old guy whose name and purpose eludes me, since I snoozed through the first disc, but we learn even more weird stuff. Meanwhile, Miharu and her buddies don't seem too please just letting him wander around, so they drop by to pick him up.
Since Cpt. Ataka and Yushiro's whiny sister, Misuzu, happened to be looking for him, they all have a grand old surprise at the place where Yushiro first danced. The next sequence is pretty intense, and I rather liked it, when Yushiro finally sees the kugai. Cool stuff.
Overall, the third disc of Gasaraki has hooked me. The first was a serious turn-off, the second was a teaser...this disc delivers a lot of action and more supernatural plotlines, without delving too deeply into all the somewhat boring (to peabrains like me) political stuff. For those who enjoy that stuff, rest assured that the political stuff is all there, just that we peabrains have enough other plots making us go, "What the...???" to let us not even notice their presence. ;)
Gasaraki is very, very close to a must-buy now. Disc four will cinch the must-buy status, or keep it as a very good series. Either way, if you enjoyed either of the first two, you will likely very much enjoy the third disc.
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