Godannar Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: TV MA
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Godannar

Godannar Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     January 15, 2006
Release Date: January 17, 2006


Godannar Vol. #3
© ADV Films


What They Say
Five years ago, as the Mimetic Beasts laid waste to Japan, Dannar Pilot Go saved young Anna Aoi's life. As they prepare to march down the aisle, a new Beast appears and Go is summoned into battle once more. But he's not going alone, not if his blushing bride to be can help it! If they can mate their tobots' interlocking parts, they'll form the ultimate marriage of man, woman and machine!

The Review!
The four episodes on this volume bring the first season to close on a heavy down note as everything that could go wrong seemingly does so.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its original language of Japanese. The included stereo mix for this track is really well done with a lot of directionality across the forward soundstage in just about each area. Be it incidental music, the large sweeping moments or just the dialogue itself, the stereo channels are well used throughout the episodes and certainly helps the show flow and move along considering the general fast pace of it. We didn't have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback and overall found that track to be quite solid.

Video:
Originally airing in 2003, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. With the color palette used for this series and the high frenetic energy and action of most of the scenes, the transfer here comes across practically sparkling. The colors are bright and vibrant throughout and maintain a really great solid level. The blues in particular are gorgeous in a lot of sequences when there is both water and sky in the same shot. The print looks to be free of problems as there wasn't any visible cross coloration or serious aliasing going on. This in the end was just a lot of fun to watch and admire.

Packaging:
The covers continue to be very busy and full of stylized character poses as well as giant robot shots that are eye-catching even if dark by their use of vibrant colors and plenty of skin with the whisper thin female characters. Shizuru really takes the cake here with a backside shot with a twist though. The back cover is much nicer and cleanly laid out with a mix of whites and greens that showcases the fanservice and attractive designs of the show along with a one paragraph summary of the premise. There's a good selection of ten small pictures to check out in-show images while the discs extras and technical information is all clear and easy to read as it surrounds the production information. Unlike a lot of other recent releases, there's an insert in this one that starts off with a good illustration of the leads in full combat uniform against the Godannar. Inside there are several pages of interviews with the creative staff as well as the two Japanese voice actors for Anna and Goh and a nice two panel piece of fanservice artwork of Anna.

Menu:
The main menu continues the mechanical look from the back cover with the white and green rotating along the left while the main portion of the menu itself, a design of various angles and sections that are just "SF" in feel, are done up in a black and blue filter and have the instant episode access and other basic navigation features. Access times are nice and fast and the layout is very easy to navigate. Like practically every other release from ADV Films, our players' language presets worked perfectly and without issue. Why does it seem like nobody else is capable of this?

Extras:
There's a lengthy list of extras here but it's a bit deceptive. The clean opening and closing segments are welcome and right at the top of the list and they're followed by three sections of profiles. It's split up between character material, mechanical material and the top secret section which is filled with bits about the creatures that they're fighting. The Key Words section is basically a glossary of terms, some of which you hope don't really need to be explained but probably do.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the third volume of the series, Godannar hits up another four episodes that brings it to the conclusion of the first season of the show. The way it's laid out is nicely done since they knew there was going to be more from the start. What we get with this set of episodes is a section of a series where things get incredibly bleak as everything plays out and the odds get stacked against the good guys both in their personal lives and in terms of defending the world. It's a nice change of pace from so many shows where the middle arc of a series has some issues to it but the big problems are really kept for the last few episodes.

The personal side of the storyline is fairly amusing in some ways since it deals with Goh actually being someone who has had a life over the years and it's starting to catch up with him a bit but mostly because others have been protecting people around him, leaving him not really at fault at least in my mind. His living condition alone is one that's comical if expected but it's not surprising considering the caring nature of so many of the people. While Goh and Anna, newlyweds no less, are trying to learn more about each other in the crucial first year of marriage, they have Goh's brother there who really isn't a problem but they also have Mira and Lou. Mira's a definite reminder of Goh's previous love, one whose supposed death left him dead for five years until Anna woke him up, but she's someone who meant something huge to her husband and whose sacrifice those years ago being the only reason that she managed to get close to him.

Lou proves to be less of an issue but she's been getting closer to this neo-family of sorts as she spends more time with them but that doesn't last all that long in this volume. She's still got plenty of issues that have her desiring revenge and while she's been allowed some leeway with the Dannar pilots and the equipment, what she really wants is to be able to get serious and do some damage. An unexpected and strange twist gives her that chance when she befriends a man she meets on one of her bicycle treks along the coastline who is holed up inside a cave with some wounds. Of course, we know he's the pilot of one of the giant robots whose now wanted for causing massive destruction in critical locations but for Lou, he's someone who gives her the chance to prove herself while he heals and she tends to his wounds.

The world is changing dramatically around them in a number of bursts where the Mimetic Beasts are staging some strong attacks and seemingly resurfacing at alarming rates. We get to see this across all of the episodes such as where the new mysterious pilot wrecks havoc at one of the energy plants but also when Lou comes across a massive nest of them when she goes to seek revenge in her Cosmos Diver. The attacks at one point get so bad that it takes down both Goh and Anna's mecha for a significant amount of time and leaves things in the hands of Shizuru who finds herself overwhelmed, not that she'd say so with her mindset. The violence level really starts to spiral and the combination of personal issues and the growing feeling of darkness in the world due to the Mimetic Beasts causes a lot of strife and splits among the cast. The breakdown has been building for awhile with the way secrets are kept so it's not surprising to see it crack when the pressure is this high.

In a way, it's really hard to look at this as a seasonal break since the series isn't resetting to a first volume like Gravion / Gravion Zwei. The original airing had about four months between the end of the first season and the start of the second though which is definitely more than we'll get between DVD releases. The way the series is paced is what's really making it enjoyable in terms of this being a season closer since it brings everything to such a high pitch of action and drama, messing with all the characters and putting them in positions of having their secrets and agendas become so entwined with things that even when they're trying to do right by someone it causes grief. Things simply get twisted enough at times in ways I don't see happening in most series until they get to the point where you know it's all going to be resolved in the last ten minutes before the series ends.

In Summary:
Godannar hits some real high notes with the lows that the characters and the big giant robots hit in this volume as it goes through so much material. Godannar continues to have its quiet moments for the characters to run through their emotions and to figure out what's going on but it also really works through a fast hard pace for the majority of the show which can be off-putting at times. In a way, Godannar is a show that I know I shouldn't like but it's just such beautifully executed cheese on so many levels that I can't help but admire it. This season ends perfectly in my mind and sets a high mark for the second season to achieve that I hope it will hit. Good stuff and very enjoyable.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Character profiles,Mecha profiles,Glossary of Godannar key words,Top Secret Case Files,Clean opening animation,Clean closing animation

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI set to 480p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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