Gun Sword Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: ¬£19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gun Sword

Gun Sword Vol. #3

By Bryan Morton     July 25, 2007
Release Date: July 09, 2007


Gun Sword Vol. #3
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
Way out west where the mechs roam!

On their trek to the next town, Van and Wendy locate Michael Garret, Wendy's older brother who had gone missing, but they're stunned to discover that he's aligned himself with the killer known as The Claw! More surprises abound, as the mystery behind Van's Armor is finally revealed when he crosses paths against members of the "Original Seven," the most elite and dangerous Armor Riders on the planet. But the biggest shocker is still to come, as the clawed man finally appears!

Episodes Comprise
9 " Carmen Goes Home
10 " Thank You Ocean
11 " Where the Goodbyes Are
12 " The Days of No Return

The Review!
Film is rated as 15

Gun Sword, Vol. #3
Released By: MVM
MSRP: £19.99
Running time: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen
Release Date: 9 July 2007
Review Date: <>
Region: 2
Reviewed By: Bryan Morton

Disc Ratings

Content: A-
Audio: A
Video: A
Packaging: N/A
Menus: B+
Extras: A-

Features
-Japanese Language 2.0
-Japanese Language 5.1 DTS
-English Language 5.1 DD
-English Subtitles
-Gun√Sword-san Episodes 5 & 6
-Drama CD Commercials
-Art Gallery

What they say
Way out west where the mechs roam!

On their trek to the next town, Van and Wendy locate Michael Garret, Wendy's older brother who had gone missing, but they're stunned to discover that he's aligned himself with the killer known as The Claw! More surprises abound, as the mystery behind Van's Armor is finally revealed when he crosses paths against members of the "Original Seven," the most elite and dangerous Armor Riders on the planet. But the biggest shocker is still to come, as the clawed man finally appears!

Episodes Comprise
9 " Carmen Goes Home
10 " Thank You Ocean
11 " Where the Goodbyes Are
12 " The Days of No Return

The review
The Claw finally makes a personal appearance, as Van and Wendy finally catch up with the villain of the piece and his henchmen " but amongst the Claw's men are people who both Van and Wendy know and respect. Is the Claw really the villain of the piece, or is something else going on..?

Audio:
Unusual set of audio options with this release, with Japanese 2.0, 5.1 DTS and English 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks provided. I went with the Japanese DTS option here for the best possible experience. There's a lot of action in Gun Sword, and the fight scenes make the most of the available soundstage to place dialog and effects pretty much where you'd expect them, and to give explosions that all-around feeling. Very nice indeed. Spot checks of the other tracks didn't turn up any problems, either.

Video:
Video is presented in its original 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format, and is one of the best-looking releases I've seen in a while. The world of Endless Illusion is well-realised, with a lot of detail put into the background scenery helping to create the setting, while the quality of the animation and character designs is very good indeed. Good use of colour also helps bring the show to life. Add in that there were no obvious problems with the transfer, and you get one very happy reviewer.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
The menu on this release is a nice, simple affair - a static image of Carmen in an action pose, with a background of gunsmoke. A snippet of the opening theme plays throughout. Direct access to the episodes is provided from the main screen, and submenus are provided for language setup & extras. There are no menu transitions, so it's all pleasingly quick & easy to use.

Extras:
There's another decent batch of extras here " an art gallery, a set of promotional TV spots for the show's related drama CDs, and the highlight: two more episodes of the "Gun Sword-san" shorts. These are little comedy skits in SD-style, featuring Wendy and her pet turtle in a variety of situations that usually end up with the poor turtle being mistreated in a variety of violent & bloody ways. Good stuff.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
With Gun Sword just about having reached its mid-point, we get into the good stuff, as the second two episodes on this release bring the Claw to centre stage and throw a few surprises into the mix to really pick up the pace of the series. But first, Van, Wendy and new tag-along Joshua have to reach that point.

Episode 9 sees the gang pay a visit to Carmen99's hometown, Trinolia. Having left town without warning six years earlier, she's not sure what sort of reception she'll receive - she needn't have had any worries on that front, but when Van asks engineer & Carmen's old mentor Findley to analyse a circuit board for him, it creates some family tensions between Findlay and his daughter, Hayetah. Meanwhile, it turns out that Hayetah - also an old friend of Carmen's - has been engaging in a little botany, of the sort that threatens the lives of the whole town. Unsurprisingly, the Claw's been involved in Hayetah's experimentation, again painting him as a man who has little or no regard for others, and Carmen's forced to put her old friendship with Hayetah to one side while she deals with the problem. Episode 10 brings the gang to the city of Meunniere, which is where the Claw and his men are already gathered, but before Van and the others get to face them, there's the small matter of some recent pirate attacks on the local Salvage Union to deal with.

Gun Sword wouldn't be Gun Sword without some fun along the way, and episode 10 provides that, up to a point " although there's also a serious side to the story which becomes more obvious in the later two episodes. Episode 9 fills in some of the mystery behind the woman with 99 mysteries " although since we're never told why Carmen left home, there's clearly still more to learn about her. These two episodes have all the feel of filler, but they're worth paying attention to as there are useful tidbits buried in there that may well turn out to be important.

Episodes 11 & 12 bring an end to the chasing, as first Wendy is reunited with her brother Michael, before Van is reunited with the man who enabled him to use Dann of Thursday " and both are now working for the Claw. The elusive man himself makes an appearance towards the end of the disc, and turns out to be somewhat different from what I'd expected him to be. All this raises some interesting questions: is the Claw really as evil as Van makes him out to be? What we've heard of him through the series so far would certainly lead you to believe that " but if so, why would two people that Wendy and Van would normally trust with their lives, and in Van's case is fully aware of why Van's seeking vengeance against the Claw, choose to work with him?

Gadved provides some of the answers during his confrontation with Van (which I'm not going to spoil here), but the issue seems to come down to how far the Claw's methods can be used to justify his ultimate aim, which may be noble enough. That's for future episodes to unravel " here, the main focus is on Wendy and Van dealing with what could easily be considered the betrayal of people they love and trust, and who have now chosen to place themselves as their enemies. This wasn't the way I was expecting Gun Sword to play out, and as a result the disc became one that I wasn't going to press 'stop' on until the last scene had played out. The story ends on a cliffhanger, and left me fervently wishing that I already had the next volume so I could see what happened next.

On the downside, while the story played out in an unexpected direction, the new batch of characters introduced here " six of the "Original Seven" " play to a number of standard anime stereotypes, without apparently bringing much new to the party. With so many new characters introduced in one go, there's also not a lot of time available to develop them, so for the moment we're stuck with a bunch of cookie-cutter characters with cookie-cutter motivations who you can't really get worked up about yet. Hopefully later episodes will address that. Originality's never something you could accuse Gun Sword of anyway " it's made its mark in presentation and execution, not originality, and fortunately that trend has continued for this disc.

In summary:
This disc starts off normally enough, but soon brings us some of the best storylines that Gun Sword's presented so far. The arrival of the Claw on the scene shakes things up very nicely, presenting Van and Wendy with a chance to consider their own motivations and whether they're doing the right thing or not, while moving the focus away from the more standalone episodes we've had up to now and onto something more serious. Earth-shattering, no " but thoroughly enjoyable, yes.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,Japanese Language 5.1 DTS,English Language 5.1 DD,English Subtitles,Gun√Sword-san Episodes 5 & 6,Drama CD Commercials,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Pioneer DV-626D DVD player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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jnager 3/13/2012 10:35:46 PM

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