Gatchaman: Collectors Edition Vol. #10 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 14.98
  • Running time: 150
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gatchaman

Gatchaman: Collectors Edition Vol. #10

By Chris Beveridge     February 14, 2006
Release Date: February 21, 2006


Gatchaman: Collectors Edition Vol. #10
© ADV Films


What They Say
First, it’s a battle beneath the ocean when Galactor tricks the Science Ninja Team into unleashing devastating pollution into the Tarushia Sea. How can they save the sea while battling a giant magnetic tanker that is cracking the God Phoenix’s hull? Then in episode 56, Jun is attacked by Galactor’s Black Bird biker gang. The gang leader is a childhood friend of Jun’s and has his crosshairs aimed at the President! Next, an ex-con sniper is given an attack tank with a powerful freeze gun to eliminate the Science Ninja Team. Will our heroes escape “The Evil White Sea?” In episode 58; Ken buts heads with Dr. Nambu as the team goes on a mission to recover the ISO’s powerful Jet Cutter. While in pursuit they are attacked by stone Buddha’s and Galactor’s massive Mecha-Buttha! Then in episode 59, Gatchaman travels to Ghost Island to destroy a giant Galactor mecha factory. A battle ensues and Gatchaman has the chance to finally unmask the diabolical Berg Katse! And finally, a young Galactor amnesiac befriends the Science Ninja Team and offers to help them expose enemy mecha weaknesses. The team gets captured however, and the affectionately dubbed “G-6” has his crosshairs trained on Ken!

The Review!
After a strong volume with a lengthy storyline, Gatchaman takes a breather with a number of standalone tales again.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its original language of Japanese. Having never been able to hear it like this before it's an obvious draw for us and it's quite enjoyable. The mix for it is rather low though in comparison to other DVD releases out there, including ADV's own releases, but once kicked up a few notches it's still very clean and clear all things told for its age. There isn't much to really expect from this mix overall but it fills the forward soundstage nicely and it gets across the show as it was originally presented. We had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback though it does get a bit muffled during some of the louder scenes when played higher in volume.

Video:
Originally airing back in 1972, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. With this show being as old as it is, the transfer for it looks pretty much amazing. It's not problem free but it's something where I never expected the materials to look this good. There's a layer of grain to it that causes a lot of the solid color areas to look a bit alive but it was only noticeable when sitting about three feet away on my 23" widescreen set. When watching on the primary setup at a nine foot distance, it just looks all smooth and good looking. There are some visible areas of print deterioration and scratches along the way but these are fairly minimal overall and simply a part of the show. For something that as of this writing is thirty-three years old and who knows how badly stored over the decades, this is fantastic.

Packaging:
One of the better covers as of late, Berg Katse takes the stage this time as he stands in front of the communicator with his master. Ross' style works well with the very angular outfit that Katse wears and the colors, muted nicely, work rather well here with the maniacal expression on his face. The back cover is nicely laid out with several shots from the show and character artwork and the obvious plugs of its US relation to Battle of the Planets and G-Force. The summary covers the basics and a good clean listing of the extras. I was amused that their listing of the cover art included the world "famed" for Alex Ross though. The rest of the cover is rounded out with the technical information and production material. No insert was included with this release.

Menu:
Done up in a very 60's/70's-ish layout of multiple boxes with animation and various imagery of the show playing throughout them, the menu invokes the period and feel of the show nicely while giving it a mixture of a more modern taste as it has CG logos, sketches and new artwork mixed in while the opening song vocal piece plays through for its brief thirty second loop. The layout is easy to use with one small box containing instant access to all six episodes as well as the standard subsections. The disc also correctly read our players' language presets without issue and played accordingly.

Extras:
The extras mirror the previous volumes pretty closely. The opening and closing sequences are provided in a clean format once again and another episode is opened up for fans to do their own karaoke/fandub for. Also included in this release is an episode with a commentary track by the voice actors for Leraldo Anzaldua and Andy McAvin.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Gatchaman really wowed me with the last volume in the lengthy storyline it did that revealed information about Ken's family and their past as well as where things had gone until the present time. Ken's confused emotions over the entire thing, especially the amount of danger that his father was apparently in, pushed him to do some things that set him to going off alone, something that a leader of a team should never do. But all of that is in the past now and the show moves forward with more standalone adventures.

Galactor's plans to take over the world continue to be done in interesting ways. As if their plan to manipulate the Van Allen Belt before wasn't on a grand enough scale, they've come up with another one that's a bit closer to home. They've decided to start launching poisons into various seas around the world in very small amounts so they can show just how serious they are. If the ISO and everyone else doesn't surrender they'll just keep expanding the range. It's quite a deadly poison as we see the fish being little more than a bit of skin and bones on the shore and the birds that peck at the flesh end up dying seconds later. Naturally, the gang goes after Galactor while the governments try to buy some time and there's a fun underwater battle that gets fought that leaves a number of people floating about in poisoned water.

It becomes interesting again to see how little Galactor's upper command values the lives of its soldiers on any level. Those who were stranded in the water aren't helped in any way since they're considered weak so we get to see them fall prey to the poison. This kind of attitude crops up in other places as well such as the last episode when a plane goes down accidentally and the other planes are told to hunt down those who got hit and kill them because they aren't prime Galactor material anymore. We're used to seeing grunt level troops used as canon fodder before and not given much thought but it's rare to see them being so dismissed by their leaders or even acknowledged really that having the kind of hate going on here is really amusing and enjoyable.

With as much focus as we got on Ken's past recently, Jun finds herself the subject of some exploration during an episode where she's out on her bike only to be accosted by a biker gang of Galactor types. To her surprise though, the apparent leader of the group is actually someone she used to know years ago. He tries to convince her to head out of the country but of course she can't do that. He's actually wrapped up in a plot to eliminate the President of the country so that others can move into power and give Galactor some real sway in the country but you know that Jun won't let it go. Before she realizes it though, Dr. Nambu has already been informed of the situation as the plot has come to light from other venues and the team is sent in to deal with it. Jun gets some good conflicted moments here as she has to deal with her childhood friend and it helps to flesh out her past just a bit more.

There's a good bit of comedy included in one of the episodes as well such as the episode where an assassin is brought in to take out the team using a gun that freezes its target. The assassin is an older man with kind of a kooky look and attitude. The opening use of the gun is amusing as they take down a pair of oversized penguins who get frozen in place and then shatter into ice cubes. Ice cubes! It's priceless. The attacks on the Gatchaman team are a bit more interesting as it goes along and members of the team get taken down but not smashed into ice cubes before the assassin gets out and rambles on about not wanting to kill kids. The whole episode is just weirdly amusing in a lot of ways and even more so in its English form with the accents that are used.

In Summary:
Getting back to some simple fun and wacky adventures while mixing in the usual kinds of deadly machines and plots that Galactor likes to throw at the situation, Gatchaman is basically good clean fun here that just does what it wants to do. The shift back to shorter stories with less overall impact is definitely welcome after the previous volume and what we get here is simply a lot of fun with the characters and the situations they get put into, especially considering the number of mecha that Galactor throws at them. Fans of the show will just revel in all of this good stuff.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Clean Opening,Clean Closing Animation,Episode Commentary,Gatchaman Karaoke

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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