Gilgamesh Vol. #7 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A+

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: TV 14
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh Vol. #7

By Luis Cruz     June 07, 2006
Release Date: June 13, 2006

Gilgamesh Vol. #7
© ADV Films

What They Say
In the heavenly embrace of "mother", Gilgamesh reunites and receives a gift "new power "a force that both resurrects and destroys, rebirthing the Professor's fallen children and fueling his grand plan. "A total cleansing of this flawed planet." Yet Gilgamesh is not the only contingent amassing strength. Kazmatsuri has created a massive, devious machine that should ensure his victory over the deadly terrorists and, literally, bring them to their knees. So in the lush gardens of a glamorous hotel, blood spills, thunder pounds, and the cocooning sheltering sky shrinks to birth a new world order. But in the midst of the battle, new players arrive, revealing true motives, with surprising consequences, and revealing shocking truths. Who's really behind every sick and sadistic event of this battle "and who always has been! Don't miss the shocking, violent, and devastating conclusion to the year's most talked-about, critically-acclaimed thriller.

The Review!
Whose side are you on? For some characters, the answer to that question may not be as clear as they thought. The final volume brings Gilgamesh to a stunning conclusion.

The Japanese stereo track was used for my primary viewing session and had no noticeable distortions, drop-outs, or other issues. The audio is primarily dialogue but blends music and atmospheric effects into the mix making for a rich aural experience.

The English 5.1 audio track was also spot checked; this track is as clear and crisp as the Japanese audio. Music and ambient sounds play an important role in how the story unfolds, and both audio tracks provide a superb experience in all aspects.

Gilgamesh is presented in a gorgeous anamorphic transfer. The transfer is free from any noticeable artifacts, aliasing, cross coloration, or other defects. The story of Gilgamesh is enhanced by its visuals, and the transfer allows the rich colors and details to provide the appropriate atmosphere for each scene.

The front cover features Enkidu descending a staircase. The series title is in the upper left corner with the volume title in the lower left corner. The back cover contains the requisite images, plot synopsis, credits, and disc specifications. Everything is laid out in a clean and readable format.

Inside is a one page insert of liner notes for episodes twenty-one and on. The notes for the final episode should help clarify certain points that may have eluded the viewer initially.

The menu layout is simple and clean allowing the viewer to quickly access the various sections and begin watching the actual series. The main menu features an image of a character on the left and the menu items to the right of the image. The symbols worn by the Gilgamesh members pulse in between. The images and menu items are set against a parchment paper background effect that has rotating images from the series softly watermarked in it. Some of the eerie background music loops along while the viewer is making their menu choice. There are no delays transitioning between menus.

The extras include a clean opening sequence, a clean ending sequence, a slideshow of production art, a seven minute Japanese promo, and a glossary of terms. The final eighteen minute "Revelation" segment reviews the various characters seen in the final episodes. One of my favorite extras on this volume is a thirty-four minute presentation that serves as a visual soundtrack/BGM album for the series. Rounding out the extras is a "Dark Diary" from Steven Foster that catalogs his thoughts and notes from working on the series; the notes play as audio commentary during two of the episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Gilgamesh has been a stimulating series on many levels; the intricate, detailed visuals were unlike most of the titles available and were paired with a haunting musical score. Featuring a top notch plot that focused on careful, nuanced character development rather than action, Gilgamesh created a science fiction tale seldom seen in anime. While the finale was eagerly awaited, it was difficult to sit down realizing that this story must come to a close.

As the Blattaria were gearing up for the final showdown, Gilgamesh has also been making their preparations. Receiving special Dynamis from Enkidu, they are now able to overcome the Lapis Warka used to dampen their powers, and their fallen comrades have been resurrected. Now at full force, they draw out the Blatteria and Kazamatsuri into the city to do battle.

As the two sides struggle to end their war, Fuko and Isamu have returned to the hotel after visiting the families of their "originals". There, they found nothing but unconditional love from the families despite being mere copies of their children. However, they finally realize that they felt this love before and that their true home, their true family is the Countess. While she hid the details of their origins, she sheltered and nurtured them as if they were her own offspring.

This reunion leads to some of the more touching and humorous sequences that underscore how well the characters have been developed. They are people the audience can empathize with; they are all looking for a connection in life, something to hold onto and love. Even the cool exterior of the Countess has melted, and she realizes how fortunate she is to have gained a second family after losing everything to Twin X.

Their reverie is short lived when Kazamatsuri requisitions the hotel as his base of operations. To prevent Enkidu from bringing forth the Cleaning Flood, Kazamatsuri prepares to make his final stand. Here in the only home the Orga children have known, the final showdown takes place, and the final mysteries are revealed. All the lingering questions around Twin X and everything after are resolved in a brutal but beautiful episode.

From the beginning, Gilgamesh defied convention and refused to pen the characters into traditional roles of good and evil. It simply showed two sides of a conflict and allowed you to reflect upon and to judge their motives. As it concludes, it continues to be defiant and provides an ending that follows suit; everything behind their motives is revealed, but can the end result be judged as something good or evil? With one last blood stained image, Gilgamesh leaves that decision for the viewer. A singularly remarkable series, Gilgamesh shines as an example of well-written fiction, science or otherwise.

In Summary:
The finale of Gilgamesh gives this unique series a final twist to bring it to a thunderous and unexpected conclusion. The climax answers all the lingering questions surrounding the events of Twin X but leaves the viewer with one last difficult question to ponder. A title of this caliber does not come around often; from its detailed visuals to its captivating story and characters, Gilgamesh distinguished itself from similar titles and cemented its place as one of the best titles, science fiction or otherwise, in recent memory. Very highly recommended.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Original Japanese promotional video for the series,Production sketches,Original segment entitled "Revelations: Final Secrets",The Music of Gilgamesh,Dark Diary: Lost Memories,Glossary of terms, Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable


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