Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A+/A-
- Video Rating: A-
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A
- Age Rating: 14 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 90+35
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Gunsmith Cats
By Scott Hughes
February 16, 2002
Release Date: March 27, 2001
This is my first ever published review. Due to a mistake from the local video store, I bought this series early. Anyway, let's get to business. Gunsmith Cats is now one of my top three favorite anime series of all time. I really like this series. The animation is extremely well done and music is superb. I could not get enough of the opening song. It kind of gets stuck in your head after a while (kind of like Cowboy Bebop's does). Also, this is one of the better story lines that I have seen in a while.
What can I say? Crisp, Clear, Clean. That is what I say. This disc is the best in my collection. I saw little to no flaws in the animation. What I did see was probably so minor that an ordinary person could not see (I am an extremely detailed person and I look at everything). The characters are flawless and backgrounds are well done. I tip my hat to the art staff of
WOW!!!!! (Mouth dropped to floor) I love this music. Instrumental music, in my opinion is the way to go when you put together an anime series. Instrumental just fits this series perfectly, much like it did with Cowboy Bebop. Its fluid and goes straight with the story and characters.
Audio (Sounds, Dialog):
It is pretty good all around. With my stereo, it was great to hear the character voices as well as the music. Listening to the dubbed first, I noticed a few little things wrong. I know its tough to get the English voice actors perfectly in sync with the characters, but I did notice very small distortions in the synchronicity of English voices with them. A lot of attention went to gun sounds and car sounds (Shelby GT 500). Listening to it in Japanese was great . I noticed little if any flaws. Overall it was very well done.
Extras, Packaging, Menu:
I love these extras. I especially like the "Making of" extra on this DVD. It was about 35-40 minutes long. The text-less opening was also a nice touch from ADV. I wished all of there series came with "Making of" specials (Hint, Hint to any companies reading this).
The packaging of this DVD is good. It has a great picture of Rally Vincent on the cover. There is very good usage of colors all around this DVD. The back is good with excellent screens and features listing. The side of this DVD (which is usually overlooked) is very nicely done with a picture of "Minnie" May Hopkins.
Menus are good. There are excellent access times and great in-between sequences. There is easy access to everything on this DVD.
Content (EXTREMELY DETAILED SPOILERS BEWARE!!!!!):
Gunsmith Cats is a story about Rally Vincent and "Minnie" May Hopkins and their adventure as bounty hunters. It is split up into three chapters. I will go chapter by chapter to explain this stupendous series. In this series, there are cars, guns, bombs, knives, guns, corruption, guns, and can I say more guns. There is lots of action and a great story.
Chapter 1: Neutral Zone
This episode starts out with a John Washington, a bounty in the eyes of Rally and May. It is an easy catch for the two bounty hunters. Washington is a gunrunner who is trying to move mass storage of weapons. He is taken to jail and the two go back to their gun smith shop called GUNSMITH CATS. There, they encounter the friendly neighborhood ATF agent, William Collins, a man who is blackmailing the two bounty hunters. Rally happens not to have a certain license for her store and Collins makes her do a job for him. They decide to help him to get him off their backs. But Collins has tails all over them. He has their house bugged and everything.
The story then takes change and goes to Rally and May's house. During the night, burglars break into their house for Rally's gun collection. Rally and May go to work and stop the burglars, no thanks to grenade-happy May. Can you say BOOM, BOOM, and BOOM? Rally goes and bails Washington out of jail to track the guns and leader.
The scenes then switch to ATF headquarters where Washington talks with his chief. He brings up the idea of a mole in the ATF. The next scene is where the other member of girl gang makes her appearance. Becky comes in.
Rally and the group go to meet Washington at the warehouse where the guns are. She talks to Washington in the top room of the warehouse. In order for Rally to be trusted, she has to kill Agent Collins who got captured. Rally then takes the gun and sets Collins free. The two then get into an excellent gun battle. May hears the gunfire and comes running to the rescue with none other than grenades. Rally and Collins take out all of the guys but one. That one is left for May. She drops about ten grenades on the leader of the thugs in the warehouse. The police drop by at the end of this first episode and assist everyone. Collins still wants the assistance of the two.
Chapter 2 (Swing High):
This episode starts out at a dock where guns are being smuggled by thugs. There a new character, a Russian assassin, Natasha Radenov, makes an appearance by killing the dock guard. Rally and May go to an ATF safe house where Washington is. He tells them that he knows too much and he needs them to break him out. They refuse and he gives them a Rolex watch that he wants them to deliver to his daughter. They leave. As they are traveling down the road, the Russian assassin almost drives them off the road. Rally says she will not forget her face. Radenov goes to the ATF house and then proceeds, in an excellent assassin style, to kill every one of the ATF agents guarding Washington. Radenov then kills Washington by firing a knife into the chest of him. Washington is then put off the case. Scenes change to Radenov's apartment where she gets her new targets, Rally and May.
Rally and May then go to Washington's so-called daughter's apartment to find out that he has no daughter. They go back to their house and try to figure out what was going on with Washington's watch and paper. They go get Becky to help solve the puzzle. Washington never had a daughter, but the stuff he gave to her was a pass to an internet site where all of the enemy's information is kept.
From the information on the web site, they go to a yacht club where they find another gun shipment. Another great gun battle occurs where the thugs get taken out except for Radenov, who has come for Rally and May. Radenov takes May and gets in a car and drives away. Rally and Becky go after May and Radenov. There is an excellent car battle that ensues. Rally shoots at the window and catches Radenov's ear with her bullet. Radenov gets extremely angry and then tries to kill May, but she fails and May uses an explosive to disrupt Radenov and jumps out the back of Radenov's car and on to Rally's superb Shelby GT 500. Radenov then goes racing through the smoke of her car off a bridge and her car blows up in mid-air. Unfortunately, Radenov is not dead.
Chapter 3 (High Speed Edge):
This concluding episode starts out with Rally and the gals at the police station. They are given a stern talking to. They go to their car to see a knife sticking in the hood of her beautiful car. They go back to their shop and get a call by Edward Haint's office. He is a candidate who is trying to get elected senator. He wants Rally and May to come get an award for stopping the gun dealers. Edward Haint is the man to be watched because he is a very secretive man. The story then goes to William Collins who finds out that his boss is in on the guns and that a safe house that was supposed to be empty is being used. Used by Radenov coincidentally. The ATF chief goes to the safe house and meets Radenov. Radenov is on the phone with the leader of the entire operation. Radenov then kills the chief. Collins and his partner then go to the house to find the chief murdered. His partner picks up the phone and presses redial. It goes to Edward Haint's office. It seems that Edward Haint, Radenov, and the ATF chief were all in on the entire scheme. As Collins leaves the safe house, it blows up seriously injuring him and killing his partner.
The scene then goes to the reward ceremony at Haint's conference. As they accept the award, Radenov fires at Rally and May. She runs off and Rally follows her. They go into a building under construction. Rally and May go into two directions. Rally makes her way on to the roof where she tells Radenov to freeze. Radenov turns slowly around and she has a bomb trigger on her hand. The water tower next to her blows and almost gets May. Radenov stabs Rally in the left part of her chest. As a diversion, May sends a flash grenade at Radenov allowing Rally and May to move away from Radenov. Radenov follows Rally's blood trail. The two make their way into the bathroom and go into a stall. May has set up booby traps for Radenov. She gets past all of them and goes into the bathroom. She sees them in the last stall and as she is about to fire, a bomb goes off behind Radenov and gets her.
The next part is where Edward Haint unknowingly confesses everything he did to a camera. He is caught by the police and is taken to jail whining like a little baby. The body of Radenov was put into the ambulance. Radenov is not dead and goes after Rally with an axe. Ironically, Collins shoots the axe out of her hands and Rally proceeds to shoot her entire clip into Radenov. There are a couple of one-liners and the story then ends.
Having now watched this splendid animation, I have a great admiration for the creators of these series. Seeing how they scout and research before they go to work makes me love it so much. I enjoyed every second of this DVD. From the episodes to the extras, it was well put together with attention to detail. In my opinion, this DVD should be put in the essential collection. This is an absolute must-have. The story is great with a great opening and a great ending in which everything was brought to a conclusion. Gunsmith Cats gave me a great feeling after watching it and if you want this feeling to, I suggest you buy it. It is 90 minutes of non-stop action and thrills.
I highly recommend it to anyone.
P.S. I am a real Eliot Ness pussy cat.
Panasonic CT-27D30 27" Television, Sony PlayStation 2, Aiwa CX-ZL500 component stereo system, Sony component cables