Gun Sword Vol. #7 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gun Sword

Gun Sword Vol. #7

By Justin Rich     May 23, 2007
Release Date: May 01, 2007


Gun Sword Vol. #7
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
At the bottom of the universe, on the planet named Endless Illusion, a man adorned in a tuxedo has scoured the wild lands... to finally accost the clawed man responsible for the murder of his bride. Outnumbered and outgunned, Ray, Pricilla, Carmen99, Joshua, and the Eldora Four make their last stand at the Claw's stronghold; however, Van is still missing in action while the Prison Planet Destroyer system has already activated. As Wendy confronts her brother Michael for the last time, will everyones' sacrifices and suffering have been in vain?

The Review!
The final showdown for the fate of the Endless Illusion comes to an explosive conclusion that will change the lives of our combatants forever.

Audio:
For this viewing session I listened to the show in New Generation's 5.1 DTS English track. The show's shonen nature has plenty of action and explosions coming at you from the rear speakers and the dialogue from the center, with no dropouts or distortions. I also took a look at episode 26 Van of Dawn in Japanese DTS after watching the entire disc already, for I wanted to make sure there was no apparent problems with this audio which was balanced and functioning properly.

Video:
Gun Sword only aired last July so the transfer is 16:9 widescreen. Animation is sharp and crisp with beautiful combination intense fighting sends blended with an imaginative world which differed in each episode. There is slight bleeding in the animation making around the eyes and faces of episode 25 as the camera pans around all the cast members but the background scenery and the characters come out vibrant and lifelike.

Packaging:
The cover Wendy and Van sitting down while looking up at the sky within a goldenrod shadow on a mustard backdrop with Gun X Sword going vertical on the left-hand side, and the volume title Last Rites is on the bottom right corner. On the reverse side is a picture of Ray using his teeth to pull bandages tight on his hand and the Claw levitating behind him with his arms fully extended in a clear keep case. The insert has the episode chapters and a fold out of Michael with his gun out on a space backdrop.

Menu:
Begins with the animation of Van cutting an X onto the screen and a thirty second clip of the opening theme playing repeatedly in the background. There is picture of Van and Wendy from the cover on the right hand side of the screen with rotating scenes to the left of her. The volume title is on the top left and the options for play, setup, scenes and extras. The X from Gun X Sword as the curser, which responds quickly and is easy to use as the white on the red black ground is highly visible.

Extras:
Gan-San returns to its more normal, if you can call it that, roots for the final episode which expresses Wendy's appreciation to everyone. David Vincent's marriage proposal through GXS clips was one of the most unique special features I have ever seen There is also creditless openings as well as the gorgeous still panel art gallery again to go along with trailers of Rozen Maiden, Ayakashi and the high powered Black Lagoon.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With Van missing in action the group breaks apart so that they can make the rush to stop the Claw in his final stages to active the Birthday armor. The first to reach is Ray who knocks his brother unconscious so that he isn't killed by the Claw like his wife was. Ray really evolves as a character in these few scenes with Joshua and finally with the Claw, for we see his humanity return and finally he is willing to give even his life to save the world and his brother. Ray climbs the steps to the Birthday armor with his vision fading and the Claw's guards moving in and he gives the Claw and option his life or the life of his dream which the Claw scoffs at. Ray smiles and fires one last bullet as the gunfire rains down on him and the Claw easily deflects the bullet which ricchets into the gears of the motor of the Birthday armor. Ray had given him the choice and passes away to his peacefully heaven knowing that he had given Van time to hopefully save the world from the Claw's insanity.

Joshua awakes to see that Ray is gone and he knows that he went to stop the Claw but he is too late for Ray had already made his sacrifice, and this leads Josh to get caught by Michael who had just return from space. But, the Joshua who was taken prisoner was different, changed by the actions of his brother, almost invigorated by the return of the man he thought was gone. Ray even goes as far as to call him brave which I believe really is the shift in the mental outlook of Joshua. After he escapes he races to shut the power down perminantly to the Birthday armor no matter the cost, while Yukiko and Carmen make their way into the building to try and blow up the place. Yukiko as the worthless member of the group she is, gets instantly captured but the newly reformed Joshua saves her, which drives home for the viewer the change in his demeanor, as Carmen goes to the flower room to stop the Claw's mind control vegetation. But, the chance to detonate her bombs is cut short as Fasilina returns to stop Carmen, which begins the most odd conversation over jealousy and envy which seems extremely out of character for Carmen and made me scratch my head watching it.

Van returns to bring the wrath of vengeance to the Claw for his beloved wife and with his return comes with him the return of hope to the seemingly down and out Eldoro and Priscella. They regain their strength and the sleeping member of the team actually wakes up to power the Eldoro back up which comes off very tongue in check and highly amusing. They storm the Claw's compound and face off against the seemingly endless green armors as Van hops over the wall defense that should keep out any intruder. He begins fighting with the Claw's extremely powerful armor which slaps him around like he is disposing of a annoying fly, but there is one secret to his armor too as he is also able to tap into the power that the Claw is using forming a giant red energy sword. His attack continues and Joshua takes care of the technical problems as he shuts down the Claw's power grid removing the power to their base. Van cuts down the armor and exits. He walks up the long corridor to the coffin-like cockpit which the Claw rests in and he starts his insane babbling once more and Van cuts him in half, which I thought was a fitting for him to follow through with his dream rather than suddenly wanting to not be a killer and seeing the light of his errors. Van is a man driven by a single goal and the completion of that rings true with the character.
In a surprise move the series doesn't go the happily ever after route and instead everyone seems to go their own way. Joshua follows his dream of retrieving both Vulcan and Ray from the bottom of the ocean, Priscella goes back to her siblings and the Eldoro gang goes back to what they do best: drinking. But Van doesn't marry Wendy instead just gives her a smile and flies away in Dann thanks to the tweaks to Gadvad's base from Joshua. We flash forward to see a giant Komeo with French fries on his back come over to a table with Wendy who probably is about ten years older; finishing up her story and why the man that was found dead couldn't be Van. Just as we realize the entire series has been a flashback Van slams through the door asking for food and water just like he did to start the series and to his surprise sees the grown up Wendy. The series ends with the two of them looking at each other in shock and unfortunately for me leaves me wanting a second season with the Van of the Dawn and a grown up Wendy Garret fighting evil, even though that dream probably won't become a reality. Regardless the series closes just as strong as the last volumes have been.

In Summary:
If you want a show that is action packed but plot driven then Gun X Sword is the series for you. Great conclusion to a series that far exceeded my expectations from the beginning and left you thinking that twenty-six episodes was not nearly enough with these wonderfully complex characters. This show definitely falls into the category of I hope there is a second season somewhere down the road so we can take another adventure with the tuxedo clad hero and his odd group of companions. I'm not a huge mech fan when it comes to my anime choices but this series had me from disc one and never let go making it one of the huge surprises for me from 2006 into the beginning of 2007.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English DTS 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,"Gun Sword San 13 (Final Episode),Creditless Ending Collection,Art Gallery


Review Equipment
Sony SAVA D9000 Dual Stack DTS w/ 5 Disc Changer in stack 1 and subwoofer in stack 2 via Monster optical cable. Tv is Sony 55" SXRD Grand Wega 1080p widescreen rear-projection HDTV, Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player via HDMI cable.

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