Mania Grade: NA
1 Comment | Add
Rate & Share:
- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- Menus Rating: N/A
- Extras Rating: N/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 Roman Martel
February 16, 2002
Release Date: March 27, 2001
Overall Rating: 4.8
(on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 4
I'm going to be brutally honest here and say that I am a very big Gunsmith Cats fan. I love the manga, I love the OAV, I love the characters, I love everything about it. I even adapted the manga into a screenplay, just for fun! That tells you how sick I am. So what I'm trying to say here is, this is not going to be an unbiased review. I'll try my best, but I figured I'd warn you all first.
On with the review!
It makes me happy to see this series get the full DVD treatment. The sound and picture are excellent, especially compared to the tapes I've been watching (and watching, and watching). The picture was clear enough to really let lots of the detail pop right off the screen, and the sound is top notch. The menu . . . I love it. It's got music, motion, it works nice and smooth and all the animation is taken from the opening credits. Great job! The presentation would have got a 5 if the number of channels on sound had been somewhere on the keep case. Otherwise you get all the other necessary information right there. For extras you get a credit free opening, the making of Gunsmith Cats (hey Amanda is doing voice over!), and the original ADV trailers from the trailer master himself, Dan! Yes I liked them all! Excellent job guys!
Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention that the trailers on this disc did not start when you put the DVD in the player. You got to select them from the menu! That is definitely the way they should be. Looks like ADV is back on track in that department.
Like I said above, I really enjoy this series. There is just something about it that makes it so much fun to watch. It also has a bit of nostalgia value for me. This is the series that got me back into anime. So I guess it will always be special in that way. But for those of you who have never experienced Gunsmith Cats, well let me give you a little summary.
Rally Vincent and "Minnie" May Hopkins are the Gunsmith Cats. The two run a gun shop when they aren't chasing after the meanest criminals in Chicago. You see they also do bounty hunting (the gun store is more of a side-line thing). With the help of their friend Becky Farra (she digs up the leads and helps with the computer work) they have made quite a reputation for themselves, both with law enforcement and the local underground. Well when super sleazy ATF agent Bill Collins comes to ask them to help him with a little sting operation (he basically blackmails them) they decide they have to help the forces of good. Nothing is as easy as it seems and soon the little stake-out turns into a major battle. You see there's this crazy Russian hit woman who's been hired to take the Gunsmith Cats out. She never fails a mission. If you're ready for some explosive, gun-toting fun, this is a must see.
If you've never picked up a Gunsmith Cats manga before, don't worry; the story works fine on its own. The only references to the manga are mostly humorous in-jokes. If you have read the manga, this story line seems to fit between the Grey and Goldie stories.
The animation has lots of detail in the weapons, cars and look of Chicago. If you watch the making of, you'll see why. The crew got to come to the States and experience Chicago first hand. The little trip included seeing a real Shelby Cobra in action, and firing some guns off. As a result this series has a realistic edge to it. But compared to the manga, things have been toned down just a bit. Explosions don't blow limbs off, and the sexuality has been decreased to mostly panty shots and fan service. But the fluidity of the action makes up for the minor changes. The chase scene in the second episode is excellent, and the gun battle in first episode is well choreographed. The whole look of the show has the feel of those action comedies that were popular in the 80's and early 90's (Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon and of course Miami Vice). So it's a good bet if you liked those movies and shows, this will entertain you. The sound work is accurate as well, since the cars and guns were recorded during the crew's trip here. So you get a nice realistic soundtrack to go with the visuals.
The plot for the series is pretty straightforward. There is a bit of a twist, but if you've seen enough action movies than you can pretty much see it coming a mile away. The characters are fun and you get to know them pretty well in the three episodes. This series is more of an introduction of the characters, some tension and then the climactic ending. It doesn't have any revelations; it's just pure entertainment, and it does that very well. The manga tends to be better in the plot department, but that's because the series format lets you develop the characters and really mess with them. So the OAV can't really measure up to the manga. But for a one shot it works great.
The English dub is very good, especially for its age. The whole main cast really does a great job. I tried to watch the Japanese cast, and they did a good job, but for some reason, I prefer the English cast. Rob Mungle is perfect as the sleazy agent, Bill, who seems a little too concerned about Rally. The girls themselves make the characters very realistic. I especially love Becky's "No pizza and no Chinese." And how can I forget the deadly cool Radinov, "I have beaten you Rally Vincent." I'm not a fan or anything. Anyway, there is some overacting here and there by the main cast, but mostly the supporting cast is more guilty of overacting. Still it's a solid job that proves not all older dubs are crappy. There are some really good ones out there.
The music is jazzy and fits the action and feel of the show just fine. It reminds me of the same type of music used in Riding Bean. Considering they are both based on Kenichi Sonada's characters it works great. I wish there was a soundtrack to this series, but I haven't been able to find one.
Well I don't think I need to say that I love this show. The gushy review says enough. If you like action films, especially with a dash of comedy, get this disc. It looks and sounds great and I'm pretty sure you'll be very entertained. This is up there on my list of "Have to watch once a year." But now I've got it on DVD and I'm a very happy camper. (sigh) Rally...
Roman "Rally-fan" Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...
General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony PlayStation 2