Geobreeders: Breakthrough - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 108
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Geobreeders

Geobreeders: Breakthrough

By Chris Beveridge     August 25, 2002
Release Date: August 13, 2002


Geobreeders: Breakthrough
© Central Park Media


What They Say
Join Kagura Total Security, a pack of lovable loose cannons dedicated to wiping out phantoms. Get ready for rip-roaring explosions, terrifying chase scenes, and lots of two-fisted fighting action!

The Review!
After really enjoying the original Geobreeders release back in 2000, most of the original team is back to provide a slightly longer OVA series. Unfortunately, it seems as if they lost their magic.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. This is a pretty solid stereo mix with some nice moments of directionality throughout it, most notably for several of the scenes involving guns or other weaponry. Dialogue is nice and clear and we noticed no distortions or dropouts.

Video:
The transfer for these OVA’s overall is pretty good, with the great coloring style showing through. Cross coloration is pretty much non-existent and aliasing is fairly minimal throughout, but there’s some serious ghosting issues going during scene transitions in the editing department as well as during several long panning sequences, where characters seem to just stutter even though they’re standing still. This is likely more in the source material itself than anything else, but is still distracting.

Packaging:
Done in a style more reminiscent of CPM’s manga covers than their anime, you’ve got several of the women from the show leaning forward with action style poses and the single male lead sort of falling in the background. It’s a pretty vibrant cover, but it just feels too manga-ish. The back cover uses a piece of animation artwork as the single piece with a brief summary of the show and lots of information on the discs features and technical information. The reverse side provides bilingual cast listings and the chapter listings for all four episodes as well as basic production information.

Menu:
Done up in a cat head logo design, the center of the menu has animation from the show playing with music while static pieces of character art ring around it. Submenus are set up in similarly themed ways but with static pieces. The menus are nice and quick to load and easy to move back and forth in.

Extras:
There’s a good selection of extras on this disc. There’s a section of character profiles, which is the only place some of these characters get their names used, a section detailing the comics and some storyboards. The interview with Yuji Moriyama is similar to the Project A-Ko one in that it runs just a couple of minutes from the Big Apple Anime Fest in 2001 when he attended. Both Japanese and US trailers for the show are provided here as well as a clean opening and ending sequence.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When the original Geobreeders anime came out, with it’s continuity being somewhat freer than the manga it was based on as it takes place after the ending, people were treated to an interesting if somewhat stereotypical cast dealing with Phantom Cats and just trying to make a living. The characters were pretty basic in their desires and individual traits, but they all played off of each other well, especially with the single male of the company, Taba.

This time around, everything that worked well is still here, it’s just poorly managed. Kagura Total Security is settling into their new office space, which means Taba is doing all the moving and everyone else is goofing off and doing nothing. Crimson Star, aka the gangster wearing blonde, complains about a crank call, not realizing it was all a set up for a mysterious red haired woman to try and assassinate her. That fails, if only by a hair, but Crimson Star is none the wiser. It does set things though for the entire office space to explode when a gas line is hit.

With their previous headquarters completely trashed and their new one unusable, Kagura Total Security now resides in the park and wherever they can find space until they can get a new client. That doesn’t actually take long, and the entire group rents a minivan and heads off to the Gifu prefecture to meet the client. And they summarily get lost.

For.

Three.

Episodes.

During all of this there are all kinds of political and military plots unfolding that lead up to the online system of the country being taken down and the potential for a coup of some kind, but this mostly seems to lead up to an attack on a building full of Phantom Cats in the third episode. Most of the characters involved on this side of things tend to be nameless. Whether manga fans will know who they are or not, I haven’t a clue. As a casual viewer, I had no clue who these people were for pretty much all four episodes, and for the majority of the four episodes, the Kagura folks were just traipsing around and goofing off. After the fun and excitement of the original OVA series one, this one felt like a complete waste, surviving on the hints of a bigger more complicated plot but during the final parts of the series, simply letting the Kagura folks stumble onto things and save the day.

While the show looked good for the most part, the lack of a coherent story simply kept us disinterested in what was going on. And since as mentioned, most of what was going on was nothing, there was little to really get excited about. The original series held a lot of promise for a follow-up series, but these four episodes completely let me down and have soured me on the characters completely.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Yuji Moriyama Interview,Original Japanese Trailer,Storyboards,Art Gallery,U.S. Trailer

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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