Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: C+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: All Region DVD
- Released By: Central Park Media
- MSRP: 29.9
- Running time: 90
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Geobreeders
By Chris Beveridge
May 16, 2000
Release Date: May 16, 2000
What They Say
© Central Park Media
Phantoms of the world... take cover!
The brave men and women of Kagura Total Security work around-the-clock to rid the world of its most troublesome pests - phantoms! Their only weapons: their wits, the most advanced computer technology and...really big guns. Okay, so they're bunch of trigger-happy lunatics. But when a young friend gets kidnapped by a mysterious enemy, the Kagura team is her only hope. Boy, is she in trouble...The Review!
Let's take a quick overview. Somewhat short yet cute women, some fan service, three OVA's and lots of cats. What's the net result? Ninety minutes of simple mindless fun.
Central Park Media has released a really good disc here. The audio for it contains the usual, Japanese and English tracks with subtitles. As with a lot of CPM shows, the dub follows pretty closely with the subtitled version, but there are differences enough that make me think it's not a dubtitled discs. A lot of dialogue is offscreen so it makes it easier to dub the original dialogue in English. The dub didn't sound too bad during the areas we checked it, but for the style of the show the higher pitched Japanese voice actresses really hit the marks for these characters.
What was a real surprise and a true treat was the video quality. With CPM releasing a lot of older series with less "fresh" masters, they've not looked as good as some of the other studios release. Geobreeders is a 1998 title and recently released here in the US, so the master is very new and very good. Colors are very vibrant and there's no bleeding and only a few hints of pixellation. We didn't notice any moire or rainbows throughout it on our main setup. Flesh colors look very good and the varying hair colors look wonderful. This is a great transfer.
The packaging is pretty decent but unspectacular. The front cover has all the girls posing and the blurb about it being from the animation director of Macross Plus. You have to cross promote these days! As with previous releases, the keepcase is of the clear plastic kind which allows them to provide a pseudo-insert with some useful material on it. The reverse side is the only place that lists the main voice actors for the Japanese cast as it's not on the disc itself (boo). They also use this opportunity to plug the manga that they have for the series. Overall the packaging is decent but it's not something that'll jump out and have you going ga ga over it.
The menus, for those who've bought any CPM disc from the past year or so, will know what you're getting. The main menu selections are made quickly though the main menu itself does take a bit of time to load before becoming useable. The submenus work well and everything is laid out in a logical manner.
The DVD-ROM side of the disc has quite a number of decent extras available for both PC and Mac users. There's a lengthy image gallery, the script for all the episodes, some storyboard to animation comparisons which are always interesting to me and the US manga covers and shots of the interior original manga.
Geobreeders is something I had heard of months before its release from some of the more hardcore fans. They all proclaimed a deep love of this series. So trusting their opinions, I went into Geobreeders with some hopes of being entertained by something similar to Ghostbusters.
While they're definitely two different beasts, there's the flavor of it in there. Kagura Total Security goes after phantom cats, beings that aren't really explained in the anime at all. Where they come from, what they want, what their full abilities are... none of it. They're just there as a normal occurrence of something that needs to be stopped. So don't go in expecting a full explanation. Go in for the ride!
What Geobreeders does have is a bunch of terminally cute girls with somewhat stereotypical personalities, one hapless guy who tries his best and all kinds of forces trying to achieve mysterious goals. And it all happens pretty fast at that. The action is well paced and the fight sequences, especially the one in the building in the first episode, is well played out with a couple of people from Kagura trying to "delete" one of the phantom cats.
The storyline in the end is just a means to provide the ride. It's got some logic to it, but with so much left unexplained about things, it doesn't amount to much beyond enjoying the situations and the reactions of the characters.
The animation is quite good, very much OVA level style and it comes across great on the disc. The colors, especially certain of the women's hair, is very vibrant. There's fan service scattered throughout as well with several bikini scenes included and some scattered nudity. And for those still sitting on the fence... there are catgirls!
That alone should sell thousands of discs. Marketing folks will one day wake up and realize that they can put a tag that says "Catgirls included!" onto the front cover and it will multiply sales. Seriously!
Geobreeders is light, harmless fun of high quality. It's pretty self contained and there's likely to be a follow-up sometime next year with the release of a sequel in Japan this coming summer. Easily recommended.
English Language,Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Scripts,Storyboard Comparisons,Manga Samples
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.