Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: 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 Edmund Lee
February 16, 2002
Release Date: March 27, 2001
Ah... Gunsmith Cats. The only other anime that I collected when it was released on VHS by Madman. And when ADV announced that this series would arrive on DVD, I took it upon myself to upgrade to a better version. I like this series that much, that's why I didn't hesitated to get it on DVD. Can you blame me? Anyway, on to the content review.
The first episode, Neutral Zone, has Rally capturing an escaped convict, only to be drawn into an undercover operation run by an ATF agent. Though not willing at first, but after a house raid, and a swarm of ATF agents arrive to investigate, she has no other choice, call it entrapment :). After a phone call, they soon are thrown into a gunfight that rivals any of the police drama shows in the 1980s.
The next episode, Swing High, the case isn't close yet as it moves on to a gun smuggling operation and all the conspiracies that follow with it. The gals do their own investigation on the case, while the ATF are close behind them. Not to mention an ex-KGB agent hired to take out the gals. To finish it all off, we are given one spectacular car chase.
And finally in High Speed Edge, they thought that they have gotten rid of the ex-KGB agent, but now she is back for revenge. Soon the gals delve deeper in the gun smuggling operation and finds out that even politicians have their so call business deals. To finish the 3 part OAV series, we have a showdown between Rally and the ex-KGB agent.
Why do I like it? Well you could say that it reminds me of the times I use to watch all those police dramas in the 1980s and to have an animated version of these sorts of shows is what really got me hooked on. Sure it's doesn't have a deep political conspiracy sort of story that fans of the manga complain about, rather it's the whole feel of the show is what makes it interesting Not only that the entire atmosphere of the show is so authentic it feels like you are in Chicago. Plus the attention to detail on the items shown in this show is really outstanding. Guns models are exact along with the GT-500, oh baby.
The video is absolutely perfect. There isn't any noticeable flaw I can find apart from some aliasing and shimmering, but that's due to my equipment.
The audio for both tracks seems good too with no noticeable dropouts or distortion.
Extras are very good indeed. First there's the regular trailers from ADV's other shows, trailers for Gunsmith Cats itself, the awesome creditless opening animation, and rarities among rarities, a making-of feature that will definitely grab anyone's attention. The making documented the history of Gunsmith Cats, the production crew's trip to Chicago, visits to actual police stations, test-driving the Cobra GT-500, and interviews with the Japanese VAs who play the gals in Gunsmith Cats. One gripe I have about the "Making-of" video, it should have some chapter stops as this thing runs for like 30+ minutes.
Onto the dub. Well what can I say? I prefer listening to the English version than the Japanese version. Why you ask? Well the English VAs gave the show an authentic American feel to it that the Japanese VAs seems to be lacking. It's not that the acting is bad for the Japanese track, rather it just doesn't feel right since the atmosphere feels so American, it was rather odd to hear Japanese coming out of these "Americans". The dub itself is damn good and there isn't anything that's really grating on my ears, and the there is no loss in the translation side of things.
For new and old fans to the world of Gunsmith Cats this is a great buy. I highly recommend giving this a go.
Panasonic SA-HT80, Sharp 25" X-51F4