Hyper Police Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Image Entertainment
  • MSRP: 19.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Hyper Police

Hyper Police Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     January 19, 2003
Release Date: January 07, 2003


Hyper Police Vol. #3
© Image Entertainment


What They Say
Attempting to help futuristic supercops Natsuki and Sakura, the chief sends them on a high-profile case which results in Natsuki being detained by a criminal horde. A stint in prison with a gang called the Chameleons, an application for a bounty hunter license, and an assignment to protect a monk ensue in this quartet of exciting adventures!

Contains episodes:
Friendship Like Ice
Say Goodbye to a Cold Jail Cell
I Want the License
Osaka Rhapsody

The Review!
After being down and out for several episodes without a license and barely scrounging by, things are starting to look up for Natsuki and Sakura. Of course, they have to go even lower first…

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese but in the newly created 5.1 remix. We listened to this new mix for the first two episodes and found it to be decent, but the source doesn’t really offer up much of a chance to do a lot with it. Most of the audio is still through the center channel with mostly the music getting some playback in the rear speakers. Throughout what we heard, there were no discernable dropouts or distortions.

Video:
The transfer for this release is pretty much on par for what we were expecting, which is a solid but unexceptional looking release. While there’s no cross coloration or all that much aliasing, there’s some bits of dirt throughout the print. Colors look good though the show doesn’t use a very vibrant palette. There’s little to complain about with the transfer, but it’s not something that’s going to stand out based on the way the show was designed.

Packaging:
The cover this time finally settles into a more relaxing and non-blinding shade of purple and gives our two male leads a shot at looking all masculine and tough. The back cover provides a number of screenshots and gives a summary for each of the four episodes. The basic creative staff is listed as well as the technical features and language formats. The insert provides another shot of the front cover piece of Batanen and Tommy while listing the (9!) chapter stops for each of the four episodes

Menu:
The menu is a nice static image one brief pass of music that shows two of the female leads in a nice vibrant piece of artwork. All four episodes are selectable from the main page as well as a play all selection and the audio selection menu. Selecting an episode brings you to a chapter selection section. The menus overall are nice and fast, but we experienced some slowdowns in moving through chapter selection and trying to get back to the main menu.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Natsuki and Sakura are still living the low life and just trying to scrape by in capturing whatever criminals they can and turning them over to a middleman, only to get piddling pay for it. The life of an unlicensed bounty hunter is truly the worst. They even complain that they’ve had nothing but water for several days! Well, at least Natsuki should be able to get away with it.

But even while down and out, they still try to do their best and to help those in need. When they come across a child slavery ring of some sort being run by amplified mutant mushroom men, they go the whole nine yards on them and completely disrupt their operation. On the downside, every good deed goes punished because just as they finish, that’s when the police actually arrive and consider them all part of the operation. Sakura escapes, but this leaves Natsuki in the cold hard hands of the law.

This all becomes quite revealing for Natsuki, as she never really thought of what happens to the people she catches. Now being trapped in ice and in a cell, she starts to see the darker side of law enforcement. With first time offenders either doing time or paying a fine, she’s not too concerned, but when she’s told serious first timers can earn a memory wipe, she begins to really panic at the prospect of losing all her friends and her past. So what’s a kitty to do besides break out?

The darker side to Hyper Police here isn’t exactly the darkest you’ll find in anime, but it definitely offsets the lighter mood of the earlier episodes as well as the general cheeriness of Natsuki’s character. Her time in jail definitely changes the character some, but it’s too soon to see if there’s a long term change in her or not. The first two episodes on the disc that deal with this play out great, but also set things up nicely for them to walk back into the light in the second half, which also starts bringing back the comedy and lighthearted nature of the first episodes. But it also starts bringing in a potentially larger plot as the group spends some time on Osaka on a job. Hopefully this will be the tie that binds the second half of the series.

With the second half, I found myself starting to get back into the series as the time of the group being unlicensed felt like something that just didn’t belong all that early in the series, if at all. But now that things are progressing again and there’s hints of a larger plot to fill out at least the next several episodes, I’m looking forward to the next volume again.

Features
Japanese 5.1 Language,Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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