Great Dangaioh Vol. #3 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Great Dangaioh

Great Dangaioh Vol. #3

By Luis Cruz     October 15, 2003
Release Date: March 28, 2003

Great Dangaioh Vol. #3
© Viz Media

What They Say
A mysterious explosion on Futagami Island begins a new chapter in the Dangaioh mythos! Witnessed as a bright light up in the sky by only one young girl, the mysterious someone in the sky could be a signal for the end of the human race.

The Review!
As we round the turn and head into the final stretch, what dangers await the Dangaioh crew? The mystery surrounding the events ten years ago deepens in this volume as the writers turn out two more intriguing episodes.

For my primary viewing, I listened to the Japanese audio. It is a solid stereo mix with some good directional effects throughout the title. There were no noticeable dropouts during playback; as with the previous volumes, there is not much to complain about here.

Another solid video transfer is present on this disc. Rich colors and great detail await the viewer. The grade does get knocked down a notch as I noticed some motion blurring in a few scenes. Overall, the video continues to be one of the sharpest things about this series.

For this volume, the Dangaioh mecha is noticeably absent from the front cover. Instead, we have a group shot of Miya, Hitomi, Manami, and Kuya. A large volume number appears once again in the bottom left corner.

The back cover contains an episode list and description of what to expect in this volume along with a few stills. The extensive listing of production credits returns at the bottom next to the listing of features. Gone is the "13 Up" sticker that was present on the keepcase of volume one and two; it is replaced by a ?13 & Up? logo at the very bottom of the cover.

Inside is a one-page insert that contains the front cover image on one side and a listing of episodes and chapters on the reverse side.

The main menu consists of a list of episodes; each episode has an option to play the episode or go to that episode's scene selection menu. Rounding out the main menu are options to go to the language and extras menus. The same issues I had from volume one and two are present; having the disc drop you directly into the show rather than the menu is still the biggest issue for me.

Once again, the extras consist of line art galleries for the characters and episodes as well as textless opening and ending sequences. The textless opening and endings were not listed on the back of the DVD however.

Content:(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After some decent character development in volume two, I was eager to see what the writers had in store for us next. The first episode of this volume Shooting Star from the Sky was a letdown after two solid episodes. A meteor is on a collision course with Earth; when it crashes into Narita airport, a huge creature erupts from the meteor and proceeds to build a large, crystalline formation using a beam from its head. The Dangaioh team is dispatched to the scene where their best efforts are blocked with minimal effort by the unknown creature.

After the pilots are knocked unconscious, the newest cast member Romalin, a rather lecherous robot, ?stimulates? Hitomi and Manami into action. Sadly, the arrival of and the battle with the creature take up only a few minutes of the episode. Most of the episode is devoted to Romalin providing an excuse for the animators and writers to indulge in some gratuitous fan service.

While I enjoy a nice dose of fan service (who doesn?t?), this episode was a waste if not for the small plot push by introducing the ?real enemy? from outer space and by showing us the mysterious ?Foundation?. Fortunately, the remaining two episodes salvage this volume.

Sneak Attack: The Sword of Shadows revolves around a plot by descendants of the Koga ninja clan to infiltrate the Agwarda fortress and reach its lowermost level. They aim to steal the deepest secrets of the Dangaioh project.
In The Great Solider, the US sends out their own mecha in an attempt to kidnap one of the Dangaioh mechas. They succeed in kidnapping Manami, and Kuya must find the strength to beat his foe without the power of the completed Dangaioh.

The plots of these two episodes sound like standard fare, but they take the small mysteries from the previous episodes and expand on them. I found myself sucked into the stories hoping they would reveal more. To say more about the plots would spoil the fun of watching the episodes. The designs for the alien creatures were great as well; while they were mostly mechanical, there was an organic feel to them. We will hopefully see more of them in the final volume.

With only three episodes remaining, there is a lot to still be revealed and resolved. As it stands, the series has been mediocre despite the mysteries surrounding the fatal events ten years ago. The final batch will have to blow me away if it wants to tip the scales towards being considered a worthwhile series to watch.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery,Textless Opening,Textless Ending

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable.


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