Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Guyver

Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor Vol. #2

By Dani Moure     November 13, 2007
Release Date: August 06, 2007


Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
A world controlled by a sinister brotherhood who hide their fangs behind masks of humanity, known as the Chronos Corporation. While investigating a mysterious explosion near his school, Sho Fukamachi happens upon the Chronos Corporation's greatest: a techno organic suit of bio armor known as "the Guyver." But Chronos is determined to conceal their secrets at any cost. Sho soon finds himself relentlessly pursued by its army of horrific biomonsters. With nowhere to run, Sho is forced to call upon the fearsome power of the Guyver and rip his opponents limb in a desperate struggle for survival.

Experience this all new production of this sci-fi anime legend in the most complete rendition of Guyver ever animated. Dare to discover the horror that lies beneath!

The Review!
The Guyver returns with more troubles for Sho and Tetsuro in the latest volume of the action packed series.

Audio:
I listened to the Japanese stereo track for my main viewing, and found it to be a pretty standard TV series stereo mix. I also listened to the English 5.1 track for most of the episodes, and dialogue in that is mostly from the centre channel, with the directionality coming mainly from the music and effects. The English dub, despite having a strong cast, does seem to be lacking something that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it wasn’t as enjoyable for me as most dubs featuring these cast-members. It’s not bad by any means, it just didn’t blow me away. I noticed no technical problems with either track.

Video:
With this being another recent show, it looks as great as you’d expect. Presented in anamorphic widescreen, the show looks extremely vibrant with the very colourful palette reproduced extremely well, with no noticeable artifacting on my setup. This just looks like another top-drawer transfer from ADV. My only qualm with it is how they did the morph to the English logo in the opening; while it doesn’t look too bad or out of place something about it just looked odd to me.

Subtitles are in a nice yellow font (ADV’s usual), and I didn't notice any grammatical or spelling errors.

Packaging:
The focus of the cover is an action shot of Guyver 1, with Unit 2 and some Zoanoid’s in the background. The show’s logo is along the bottom along with the volume title and number, and the top has a funny tag line of “All New! All Different! Meet the new face of ultra-violence” which left me amused for a while after I first saw it. The back cover has a suitably dramatic summary of the show, with screenshots on either side, an episode list and the feature list. The bottom of the cover has the usual technical grid and show credits. The inside cover this time is more of a reversible type, featuring the front cover art untouched with the Japanese logo at the bottom, a spine using the Japanese logo as well and a few screenshots and a short description in Japanese.

Menu:
The menus are simple but work well. The main menu has an eye as its main image with a bit of revolving video in the pupil, while the opening theme plays. The episode selections run across the top, while the sub-menu selections are at the bottom. The two sub-menus are in the same vein, either side of the eye with different pieces of music playing over them, and moving to them triggers a short transition. The menu system is definitely functional and really in-theme with the show.

Extras:
The extras drop down for this volume but are still decent. First you have four manga to anime comparisons (one for each episode), showing you scenes side-by-side in manga and anime form. There’s also the obligatory clean opening and ending, as well as some production sketches.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After quite an impressive opening volume, things calm down somewhat in this second outing, although it still remains quite enjoyable. After all of the Guyver’s fights with the Zoanoids in the last few episodes, Sho and Tetsuro see plenty of cover-ups on the news. Sho begins to stress out, and he ends up taking much of it out on Tetsuro. But the latest Zoanoid attack hits, and Sho is forced to transform in public for the first time. After uncovering one of his new powers – a powerful beam thrust from his forehead – Sho is tricked and Mizuki is kidnapped by Chronos. This doesn’t last long though, because Unit 3 is on hand to make the save and return Mizuki to the boys.

When she wakes up in hospital, Mizuki’s not entirely sure what to make of things, and given a rather unbelievable story of a film shoot by Sho, she doesn’t really believe his cover story. Meanwhile, Chronos have developed an all-new enzyme that will dissolve a Guyver’s armour, and they plan to use Makishima’s dad as the test subject. Of course, Makishima is aware of this all along and it’s all done with his blessing, so we still can’t be sure where his loyalties lie. Sho does all he can to try and distance himself from Sho and Mizuki to try and save the heartbreak – a noble thing to do for sure, but something that’s simply not going to work given that Chronos knows the pair, and Sho himself is hardly the most stable person in his current predicament, needing all the support he can get.

The Guyver’s inevitable fight with Enzyme goes back and forth, until Chronos order Enzyme to make the ultimate sacrifice to gain control of the Guyver’s control metal, with Sho apparently paying the price. With the control metal in Risker and Chronos’ hands, Tetsuro is taken in to custody and questioned, while he blames himself for Sho’s untimely demise. But Chronos’ victory is short-lived, with an attack from within by Guyver Unit 3. Of course, it soon becomes apparent that there’s more than one Guyver working on the destruction, and the fall of the Japanese branch seems imminent.

There’s no doubt that this volume takes the story in some interesting directions, effectively ending the threat of Chronos Japan in one fell swoop by the end of the volume, but still leaving the prospect of the ongoing battle with the corporation as a whole open, and also leaving some interesting questions in mind about the nature of the Guyver, what it means to be one, and its regenerating capabilities. But at the same time, it does feel as if the pace has slowed slightly from the first volume, and occasionally it feels as though certain things are meandered on a little. I think part of that might come from having seen the OVA before, which I seem to remember speeded through some initial aspects of this arc a little quicker than the TV series. It’s a little unfair to compare the two, and the series here definitely tells a more meaty and complete story, but it’s something that is worth mentioning anyway.

As for the characters, well the ongoing pressures of being a Guyver are clearly having an effect on Sho’s mental health, as you would expect, and at times he acts quite irrational and unstable. It’s all quite well-portrayed and seems realistic enough, and it’s great that he’s given the loyal sidekick in the form of Tetsuro, who will not only stick by him through thick and thin, but also will act as his conscience. Makishima is still something of a mystery though, because he’s so hard to work out. Although it appears as though he’s working against Chronos with his actions like fighting alongside the Guyver, it’s never that clear cut and you can’t always be sure exactly where his loyalties are. Seeing where he goes and what he does will definitely be one of the more interesting things in the series.

In Summary:
Unless you really hate shows that focus on super-powerful transforming heroes and have plenty of violence, you’ll probably find something to like about the Guyver series, as it has a strange charm about it. There’s plenty of action and the problems Sho faces being Guyver are really well brought out, and through Tetsuro and Mizuki we can see exactly how hard it is for him to protect what he cares about. The only thing that really works against the series is that at times, during the fights, the animation can be quite poor and resorts to very slow-moving or still frames. It’s a shame because the fights sometimes look quite good, but a bit of inconsistency is something you’ve probably come to expect from a late-night animation like this. Guyver is just a well-executed show that doesn’t necessarily bring many new ideas to the table, but does what it does really well. It’s just good, old-fashioned fun.

Features
Japanese Language (2.0),English Language (5.1),English Subtitles,Manga to anime comparisons,Clean Opening and Closing,Production Sketches

Review Equipment
Philips 28" Pure Flat Widescreen TV, Pioneer DV-464 code free DVD player, JVC gold-plated RGB SCART cable, standard stereo sound.

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