Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B+
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 2 - Europe
- Released By: MVM Entertainment
- MSRP: 19.99
- 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 Bryan Morton
February 22, 2008
Release Date: March 03, 2008
Gun Sword Vol. #7
What They Say
© MVM Entertainment
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 everyone's sacrifices and suffering have been in vain?
24 – End of a Dream
25 – Fool Comes by Armor
26 – Tuxedo Blowing in TomorrowThe Review!
End of a Dream, says the title of episode 24 – but for whom? Will the Claw see his dream of transforming the world? Will Van see his dream of avenging Elena? Or will the dreams of all concerned simply come to nothing? Time to find out…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:
Wendy and Van take centre-stage this volume, sitting together and looking off into the distance. 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:
This volume serves up the final instalment of Gun Sword-san (which out-weirds anything that has gone before), another set of creditless opening sequences from the latter half of the show, a small gallery of colour character artwork, and Dave's Wedding Proposal – a short "trailer" for the series that Van's English VA, Dave Vincent, used to ask his girlfriend Kasey to marry him. Awww, sweet.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
With the Claw ready to begin the next phase of his operation, Fasalina retreats to join him. Keen to keep her within reach, Carmen and some of the others try to follow her, leaving Pricilla and the Eldora to cover their back against the horde of automated Armor that has been sent against them. As time goes on, the Claw's plan seems to become clear - he's started re-terraforming Endless Illusion, a process that will likely kill all life on the planet. Carmen and her group can see
where the Claw is operating from, but if they want to stop him they need to get to him - and that's proving difficult.
Michael, meanwhile, is separated from Van on his way back from orbit - whether he was destroyed during re-entry or has somehow survived, he doesn't know. Having Van possibly on the loose is the least of the Claw's problems, though - Ray's actions may have only caused a temporary delay to the Claw's plan, but they still need to be put right, and with Van possibly still around and Carmen and the others on their way, his time is running short. Within the base, Carmen comes across a room containing vast numbers of the flowers they'd encountered back in Trinolia - and another reason for stopping the Claw makes itself known. Outside, meanwhile, Van arrives...
It's the all-action finale – three episodes of pretty much non-stop action scenes, where all the main characters get to play their part to some extent or another, and where both sides get their fair share of success and defeat. If you're looking for character-based scenes, you'll probably be disappointed, as they're contained to a short epilogue sequence towards the end of episode 26 that tries to redeem some characters but that, in keeping with the theme of the final fight between Van and the Claw, leaves most of the characters short of being able to live out their dreams. The real theme here seems to be that you can't always get what you want, so there's a certain bittersweet feel to how events play out, but at the end of the day everything is properly tied up in a way that's very satisfying to watch.
With Van missing-in-action for about half the disc, the focus to begin with is firmly on Carmen99, Ray and Pricilla, as they fight to make their way to the Claw's base, with Fasalina and her horde of automated Armor standing in their way. These scenes give the fringe cast their big chance to make an impact on the story's outcome, and it's not wasted – as you'd expect, there are moments along the way when all appears lost, but of course nothing is settled without Van being back on the scene.
When the tuxedo'd one and Michael arrive back on the surface, the focus shifts to two main confrontations. In the foreground of the story there's the Claw versus the Idiot (that's Van, in case you were wondering – the Claw's description, and not mine!), which is all shouting, insults, explanations and action. After waiting the whole series to see these two together, I was hoping for a bit more from it – but as the Claw points out, Van is rather simple in motivation, so maybe I was expecting too much from him. Finally getting the explanation from the Claw about what he's really trying to do was worthwhile, but otherwise this battle was a bit anti-climactic.
In the background, meanwhile, there's Wendy's confrontation with her brother, who she still sees as the traitor for choosing the Claw over her. This is the nearest that Gun Sword
gets to tugging on the heartstrings, and there are a few moments where Wendy behaves in ways you wouldn't really expect from her – definitely one of the best scenes on the disc.In summary: Gun Sword
has been thoroughly enjoyable throughout, and while not all the main characters get what they want following this disc's various confrontations, the series ends in a way that leaves nothing left unanswered and that shouldn't leave anyone with too much cause for complaint. In an ideal world, a little more character work and a little less fighting would have been nice, but at the end of the day the series has done what it set out to do, and in the process produced a show that's well worth picking up.
Japanese Language 2.0,Japanese Language 5.1 DTS,English Language 5.1 DD,English Subtitles,Creditless Opening Sequences,Gun×Sword-san Episode 13,Art Gallery,Dave's Wedding Proposal
Toshiba 37X3030DB 37" widescreen HDTV; Sony PS3 Blu-ray player (via HDMI, upscaled to 1080p); Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.