Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: C+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: A
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Urban Vision
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Golgo 13
Golgo 13: Queen Bee
By Mark McPherson
February 16, 2002
Release Date: April 17, 2001
Golgo 13 is what most consider to be the most man-y among men in anime. This OAV series was released fifteen years after the original movie debuted in Japanese theaters. For an OAV made in 1998, I must admit I was impressed at how well it was animated and directed.
Audio: Urban Vision will never be a burden in the audio department. The Dolby 5.1 sound makes this OAV sound crisp and clear. I primarily listened to the Japanese track and then rushed right over to the English version because I just had to hear the newly dubbed voice of Golgo. The audio is clean and clear with no distortion.
Video: From what I could tell, the video was really done well, despite Urban Vision's past problems with video quality (Vampire Hunter D, Wicked City). This comes as a relief to me because the artwork of Golgo 13 stays close to the comic. There was no detection of bleeding or rainbows from what I can tell.
Packaging: Oh boy. This is going to cause a commotion. Having a woman almost completely naked on the cover. I don't know whether to dismiss this as a way to entice young men to buy it or as a way to show what the show is talking about. Anyway, the packaging is solid for those who understand a good political story involving crime, greed, lust and all the other elements that come into play. But to most people, it's going to be a shock. You might want to keep this one at the bottom of your collection to avoid someone seeing it.
Menus: The menu system is pretty much what I was expecting, but not entirely. The menus were all still images, but the main menu comes with sound and you get to use a target as a cursor. Overall, an above average menu setup for Urban Vision.
Extras: The only real extra on the disc is the audio commentary with the director and executive producer. It was really quite enjoyable as they made a few jokes through it and they may even open your eyes on some of the references in the film. The only weblink is the web address for Urban Vision. There are way to many trailers on this disc. Thankfully, the original Streamline Pictures trailer of Golgo 13: The Professional.
Content: A lot of you reading this are probably asking "are you insane to give this title an A?" Well, to answer your question, I think I'm very much sane to appreciate reality anime. Reality anime creates a very realistic environment and makes it very easy to adapt. So what's the difference between Golgo 13 and some American movie packed with nudity and violence? Golgo 13 has a very intricate plot based on American presidency with a serious attitude.
The setting is in America during a presidential election with the leading candidate being Robert Henry. Robert Henry has dangerous deals with drug addiction and alcohol overdose. One woman wants him dead. Meet the female ex-soldier, codenamed Queen Bee. So how does Golgo fit into this? Robert Henry calls in Golgo to kill her.
So, how much content does Golgo have? For violence, the most gruesome moment would have to be when a soldier gets his head cut off. For nudity, that's really a question of quantity. Queen Bee spends about 35% of the 60-minute disc nude. As for sex, there is quite a lot, but most of it moves the story forward.
So in the end, Golgo 13 is a very realistic story that takes many twists and turns. I love this anime because it is not afraid to try anything at all. Nothing is taboo for this title and it will easily have a lot of replay value.
Oritron 2001 DVD100, RCA 19-inch television