Getter Robo Vol. #2 - 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: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Getter Robo: Armageddon

Getter Robo Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     September 11, 2001
Release Date: September 11, 2001


Getter Robo Vol. #2
© ADV Films


What They Say
The survivors of the destruction of Japan climb back to the surface, thirteen years after their nation was destroyed... only to find a devastated world locked in battle! Wave after wave of Invaders take their toll on the depleted forces of Hayato's Super Robot Army as the dawn of Armageddon approaches ever nearer.

Once again, humanity must rely on the tenacity and spirit of three young pilots and their mastery of the greatest of the robots, the Shin Getter Robo! But as the Invaders turn their victims against those who remain, can Shin Getter face the malevolent power of its very creator, who spurs on the end of the world?

The Review!
More fun with big robots who challenge the physics of the metal they're made of! Revelations, surprises, gender issues. Getter Robo Vol. #2 has it all.

Audio:
For our primary review session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The show, which I believe is an OVA series, has a pretty typical stereo mix that's very strong in the center channel with dialogue and uses the left/right channels for a lot of the music and more varied battle effects. Dialogue throughout is very strong and sounds great when it's moving across the front soundstage. The battle sequences also sound quite good here.

Video:
The second volume manages to eliminate some of the problems of the first, such as the noticeable color banding issues during the red sequences. The small number of rainbows are still present in various scenes, usually along the cheeks of very tightly drawn lines. Some color banding still goes on, noticeably in the gray wrappings of Go, but the level has certainly decreased from the previous volume. There's a number of dark sky sequences in these episodes, and they hold up quite well with very little artifacting and nothing at all in others. This is a very dark and fast moving show, and the authoring is really quite good for it overall.

Packaging:
The front cover is set up the same way as the first, with the Japanese-ish style logo on the left while the blocky English logo is along the top. The main image is the Getter Robo of course, and for some reason I can't help but laugh at the image of this robot. I know it's all based on its 70's styling and all, but sometimes the shots and angles just make the thing look damn goofy. The reverse side is similar to the previous volume, and gives a variety of animation intermixed with the features and the disc summary. My main dislike with the cover is the lack of a real volume number or the episode numbers. The insert provides a different piece of artwork from the cover, while the reverse side of it shows off some boxart of other titles.

Menus:
While the menu layout is similar to the first volume, there's no transition animation included this time around, making for a leaner and speedier version of what we had in the first volume. There's also no blocky artifact ridden animation being used for it either. The menus look very slick, with animation playing over a layered background while the opening song plays. Access times between the menus are solid and the layout in general is good.

Extras:
There's a bit of repetition here, with the textless opening and ending from the previous volume making an appearance here, not that I'm complaining. If there's space, toss these bad boys onto each volume. There's a couple pages worth of color production sketches as well. The fun part, especially for dub fans, is the behind the scenes sequences that talk with four of the voice actors and then shows about 2 minutes or less of them working. Even though I don't watch the dub, I enjoyed checking these extras out and hope that we see more of them, and lengthier ones as well.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If there's one thing to be said about Getter Robo, it's what Kei's English voice actress had to say about it; there's a lot of yelling going on here.

The show runs at a very high pace and high emotional level with its characters. Everyone is put through the wringer in some way, and some express their shock, surprise, frustration or even joy by constantly yelling.

The show picks up exactly where the last volume left off. So much so that in case you're even slightly unsure about what happened in the last episode, you're going to be better off pulling that disc back out and rewatching it. Or even that entire disc if you're like me and are still confused. With the story still taking place several years after the original events of the first disc, we get to know some of these new characters a bit better. But character development isn't what this is all about.

It's the action. The forces inside the Shin Dragon with the newly evolved aliens, having merged with machinery, begin to make their move and push forward with their battle plans. The arrival of the Shin Getter Robo, now with three pilots, brings something new to the battle with its use of the Getter Rays. This however doesn't go over well at all with most of the people that are left in the world. In fact, since hardly any native Japanese has been seen since they all went underground after the devastation of the planet, there's an intense hatred of the Japanese that have started to come aboveground.

This manifests itself in a few scenes throughout the episodes, with some of the robot pilots who encounter Kei and her comrades. Things get even nastier when Dr. Saotome reveals himself to still be alive after all this time, and that he has a relative among those who are fighting against the evolved aliens.

There's a number of interested revelations made in these episodes, particularly surrounding Go and Kei. We do get a couple of flashback sequences as well that start to flesh out the story a bit more, such as Dr. Saotome's findings with his deceased daughter and Go's never-born "brothers" that we caught a glimpse of in the first volume.

But do the glimpses of the storyline combined with the fast and furious action make for an exciting show? There are times when I really get into the action sequences, and enjoy the style that they use, and there are hints of an interesting story to be told in the other areas. The mixture of the two just doesn't seem to be happening all that well, at least to me. It may have plenty to do with my unfamiliarity with the shows previous incarnation. But since this was made many years later, they should have taken more care to bring people up to date, as I'm sure not all Japanese viewers knew what was going on either.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Production Sketches,Behind the Scenes,Textless Opening,Textless Ending

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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