Get Backers Vol. #10 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Get Backers

Get Backers Vol. #10

By Chris Beveridge     October 22, 2005
Release Date: November 01, 2005


Get Backers Vol. #10
© ADV Films


What They Say
Himiko’s down for the count…Emishi’s out of commission… and Shido’s not even conscious. The Get Backers have lost nearly half of their team. They’ve searched every back alley of Lower Town and they’re still no closer to finding Makubex than they were when they started. Where can they possibly go from here? How about up! Break into the Beltline with the Get Backers as their drive through the Limitless Fortress rushes toward its conclusion! Kanou tries to bludgeon Ban with his deadly fans, while Kaoru’s passion for Ginji explodes into fiery rage. Meanwhile, Uryuu and Juubei face off in a furious battle over an old grudge. Ban and Akabane pair off for a savage showdown. And to save one old friend, Ginji must face another in a final fight between light and lightning. Can the Get Backers defeat the gods of the Limitless Fortress once and for all? Find out in the all-out, action-packed final volume of Get Backers!


The Review!
Get Backers concludes with the final four episodes that provides some interesting revelations but in the end simply closes the first chapter of a much longer story.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix is a solid piece of work with plenty of directionality across the forward soundstage that brings you fully into the action during the big sequences but also hits up the dialogue pieces just as well. The English mix is done in a 5.1 upgrade and that expands well upon the original mix by giving it some greater clarity as well as more oomph during some of the big chase scenes. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 2002, Get Backers is presented here in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. For a lot of it, this is a great looking release that really shows a lot of detail to the image and is generally problem free. Colors are rich with a mix of vibrant pieces and solid real world style backgrounds. Cross coloration is virtually nil while there's a touch of aliasing during some of the panning sequences. What was most problematic again in this volume is the amount of blocking going on, most notably along Ginji's back or various characters hair where there's a large area of a single color. Ginji's green jacket was the worst offender however as it was practically alive.

Packaging:
Using the Japanese release artwork, the final cover is done the way it should be with the two lead characters, roughed up but still positive, are leaning against each other with the kind of look that really is what the guys are all about. The original logo, complete with the small Japanese text at the top right end of it, is used and the volume numbering is there as well. The artwork itself is nicely detailed and gives you a good idea of what to expect in terms of character designs and the general feel of things. The back cover has a few shots from the show wrapped around a summary of the shows premise and the discs extras. Most of the important information for the technical side is listed in the information grid along the bottom just below the Japanese production information. The insert uses a variant of the front cover skewed a bit while the reverse side of it lists the episode titles and the discs extras. Essentially, this is a release that didn't need an insert.

Menu:
The menus for this release are simple and straightforward with just static images for the backgrounds with music playing along. The main menu features the lead duo on opposite sides of the screen while the series title and selections are between them. It's a decent looking menu but as a number of menus for ADV seem to be lately, they're becoming somewhat stale with all the static imagery. Access times are nice and fast and the submenus load quickly. The disc also properly read our players' language presets which continues to be a huge plus.

Extras:
The last batch of extras is probably one of the more detailed ones and one of them is something that I wonder if it would have been more useful a bit earlier on. There's a new commentary track by the voice actors for the final episode and the clean opening and clean closing sequences are provided once more. The interesting multi-page text piece that's new here is about the names of the many, many characters in Get Backers and what they mean. Some of it is really fascinating, such as Paul Wong's name and how strange it is. Some of these elements change how you can view the interactions of the characters as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ten volumes and forty-nine episodes brings us to the conclusion of the Get Backers series. The ten volumes managed to get done just a bit over a year in total which is pretty good for a series of this length and it definitely helped to get the episodes out as quickly as they did and with as many episodes per volume. This last set of episodes brings the final storyline to a close but as mentioned above, this really just brings what you could consider the first "book" of the series to a close as it rearranges where all of the secondary characters belong and gives a new reason to do things to the lead characters.

The storyline really started off in the previous volume when we saw Sakura getting nailed with the flame virus and coming to the others for help as it was revealed that several former VOLTS members or people belonging to Elegance had come back to wreck havoc on things as they don't like the things Makubex is doing. A lot of this isn't surprising that they'd feel that way and as these new characters explain themselves, such as Kurusu, it's easy to understand why they feel like they do though some of them are operating without up to date knowledge since at least one or two figured Makubex simply took over the name instead of doing it with Ginji's blessing. With Makubex now kidnapped and held safely away and Ren working with the bad guys, things look kind of bleak.

Surprisingly, it's the arrival of Akabane with a data disc that reveals where Makubex is that changes things. The pair is able to get some useful information out of the old man that's holding many secrets about the Fortress in general and we start to get that exposition sequence where we learn the real meaning of what the Limitless Fortress is really about. In a way, it's all kind of hokey since it's the kind of experimental project that you don't really do on this kind of scale in the middle of a city but rather something you buy an island for and work on it there, or at least some place less obvious. Of course, sometimes the most obvious place is the best place since the enemies least expect it, but the weird nature of the Fortress and the entire unexplained Babylon City level leaves plenty of options open for what's really going on up there.

With that information, the few that are able to walk head off to deal with this and it's amusing that Akabane comes along since he's interested in seeing what's going to happen. With Kakukei and Juubei alongside Ban and Ginji, they all head up to the Beltline level and make their way inside so they can get to the Archives, retrieve Makubex and foil whatever plan Kurusu has in the works as well as dealing with anything that those from above may throw at them since they know Kagami's been involved. There is an amusing bit of neo-mysticism going on with the guy who turns up to guide them and the concept that a lot of the residents of the entire fortress are actually solid virtual reality people gets a bit out of tune with how the show has been feeling up to this point, but it provides for a nice bit of mystery to it all as the last episodes move into the obvious and expected confrontations, fights, refusals to fight and the quasi-happy ending. The ending didn't really bother me and they do a nice job of wrapping things up while still showing that it's just the end of a particular piece of the story.

In Summary:
Get Backers overall has been a really fun show to watch though it took quite a bit of time to get into the set up of the world. It seemed at first to be a show about a pair of guys who had some powers to them but then it expanded into a lot of powered up characters and the entire Fortress full of them. It went from a couple of quick short stories to an extended storyline that really shined with the introduction of memorable characters like Akabane which I think was a bit overused in the show but still pretty much faithful to the manga. The unfortunate part is that in the attempts to read the manga, things are both close and different, which led to it being pretty much unreadable for me. The anime series though definitely has replay value to it and a wide enough door for there to be more.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,The Names of Get Backers,Cast commentary,Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation

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

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