Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A+
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Toshiba
- MSRP: ¥26000
- Running time: 427
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Giant Robo
Giant Robo Giga Premium Collection
Giant Robo Giga Premium Collection
What They SayThe Review!
Giant Robo is a series that needs no introduction. A true labor of love for the entire staff, Giant Robo was a 7 episode OAV series that started releasing in Japan in 1992, and didn't finish releasing the 7th OAV until 1998! But the whole series exudes such high quality production values and sense of style that it was worth the wait. Finally, early this year (2000), Toshiba and Amuse Video released this Limited Edition DVD Box Set of the complete Giant Robo OAV series, aptly titled "Giant Robo DVD GIGA Premium Collection" Box Set, as a final tribute to this masterpiece and what a tribute it is!
Simply put, this is hands down the most gorgeous DVD Box Set I've ever had the pleasure of viewing or owning. From the fabulous DVD Case itself, with a "landscape" original illustration of Giant Robo stretching the entire length of the DVD case (front, side, back), to the masterfully crafted DVD's, this is worth every penny of its hefty price tag.
For an in-depth story summary of Giant Robo, please see David Black's review. Don't get this confused with the old, 1960's live action show "Johnny Sokko and his Giant Robot." This is a totally new remake, done with awesome anime sensibilities. Essentially, it is a fantastic retro-futuristic tale of the battle between the Experts of Justice and the evil forces of Big Fire. This brief description belies the downright awesome nature of the series. For those of you who haven't seen it, I highly recommend you track down a copy of it on VHS, or you can wait for the DVD release next year sometime. Every episode features fantastic, over-the-top animation, slightly retro, but very well animated. The animation still beats most anime series released today!
As if getting this complete OAV series wasn't good enough, the video quality is downright gorgeous. The entire series is digitally remastered for this limited edition DVD release, and there is absolutely no artifacting or rainbowing during the entire show. None. It was absolutely breath taking watching the epic fights between Big Fire and the Experts, or Giant Robo as it crushed its enemies, all pixel-perfect, stunning. All the blacks held really well, and again, it looked like I was watching a brand-new anime series that just got made this year! Finally, they really went all out with the Chapter Breaks - fans have been complaining that most anime on DVD have little-to-no useful chapter breaks - well this Premium DVD set has it broken down completely for the fans: Each OAV episode averages 30 to 40 Chapter Breaks(!), with the Final Episode having a whopping 56 Chapters! Talk about fan appreciation.
The audio is also solid, remastered from the original source material. While only 2.0 Stereo, it is solid and the blend of voices and music is perfect. As a bonus they included they included the English Dub, but after listening to it, I can safely say that it is one of the worst dubs I've ever heard in my life, with serious over-acting, and bad voices over all. I would've preferred them adding in English Subtitles over this. The musical score is absolutely brilliant, with Masamichi Amano at the helm of the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. This is already considered by many anime fans to be one of the all time great anime soundtracks, let alone anime series.
Finally, the extras are wonderful. As aforementioned, there is a plethora of extras - so many that they had to include them all on a separate DVD. The DVD has promotional clips for Giant Robo, TV commercials, advertisements for all their incarnations, from the American and Italian promotional clips, to Gin Rei OAV clips. Finally the Soundtrack Only Music Mix segment was awesome. It featured Amano the composer and you could see the timing involved with the anime as you could see clips from the show and when the soundtrack kicked in at key moments. There's even a "Giant Robo Dictionary" included with the booklet - it features extensive definitions of all the key terms and people and places for those that wanted to know more about them!
In conclusion, the out-of-print, limited edition Giant Robo DVD GIGA Premium Collection Box Set is a masterpiece of Japanese Anime and a tribute to one of the greatest anime series of all time. From the stunning digitally remastered video and audio, to the tons of extras, and beautiful DVD Box, it also serves to show how anime can be done right on DVD. Sadly, the likelihood of Manga Entertainment reproducing this set for the US is slim to none. Patlabor Movie 1 and Movie 2 DVD's were recently re-released in Japan with a brand-new, phenomenal Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround soundtrack - they even hired back the entire original Japanese voice actors and music composer, Kenji Kawai, to re-record the entire movie! So many lines are slightly different, the musical score is even better, and the completely new sound effects and DD5.1 Surround mix is nothing short of amazing. But Manga didn't release this here for their US release (most likely money costs). Thus, it seems very unlikely they will do the same and pay extra money to get this new Giant Robo transfer or the extras. But if you have the money and can find it, hunt down this phenomenal Giant Robo import DVD Box Set. A true anime classic.
Japanese Language 2.0 Stereo,English Dub 2.0 Stereo,Episode 0,Last Episode Promo Clip,TV Commercials for OAV 2 and 7,American Promo,Italian Promo,Home Page Exclusive Promo,Super Robot Taisen Alpha / 64 Video Game Clip (features Giant Robo),Gin Rei Commercials,Soundtrack Only Music Mix,Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra Performance of Giant Robo Soundtrack,Interview with the Creators,Special Issue Book: GR Dictionary(!) Staff Voice Actor Comments Interviews
Pioneer DV-606D (Code Free) DVD Player, Mitsubishi CS-3503R 35" TV, Yamaha RX-V2095 DD / DTS Receiver, MIT S-Video cable, KEF C85 Front speakers, B&W Center, Infinity Rear speakers, and NHT Subwoofer.