Infinite Ryvius Vol. #5 - 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: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Infinite Ryvius

Infinite Ryvius Vol. #5

By Chris Beveridge     June 28, 2004
Release Date: June 08, 2004


Infinite Ryvius Vol. #5
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Enraged by the attack on Kozue, Ikumi seizes control of the Vital Guarder and threatens to destroy the Ryvius unless everyone can coexist peacefully until they are rescued. Taking responsibility for the deaths of students during the Dicastia battle, Juli resigns as captain! Taking complete command of the Ryvius, Ikumi institutes a system of brutal martial law to maintain order. The closer they get to seeking refuge on Uranus, the further everyone drifts apart.

The Review!
Chaos and order is brought under swift and tight control as Ikumi asserts himself at long last.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The series was done in Pro-Logic with the bulk of the dialogue coming through the center channel. The music fills the stereo channels nicely giving it a much fuller feel. Through regular playback, we had no issues with dropouts or distortions on either language track.

Video:
Originally airing back in 1999, Infinite Ryvius comes across looking quite good here for the most part but not without a few issues. The bulk of the problems come in the form of the cross coloration issue, which features prominently during the second closing sequence. Since that's colored manga style artwork, it's almost alive with the shifting rainbows. This also shows up throughout the episodes at various times but not consistently. Colors look good throughout without any bleeding. Mid range shots look a bit soft and lacking in detail for the characters. There's also a slight feel of film grain throughout the print as well.

Packaging:
Part of Bandai's Platinum Edition series, the first thing you'll see is the thin strip along the top that indicates that status. Continuing the style of the earlier volumes with the black background with white line artwork of various elements from the show, it's overlaid by a full color shot of Yuki with his jacket wrapped around his waist and provides a normal brooding image for him. The back cover provides a couple of shots from the show and a summary of the way the universe works at this time and a bit of the opening plot. The discs episodes and titles are clearly listed (the spine indicates the volume number too) and the discs basic technical specs and extras are easy to find as well. The insert has another shot of the front cover but with less "clutter" that opens up to two panels that provide some conceptual artwork shots of various ships. The back of the insert is the standard production credits and bilingual cast listings. Included in our copy was a single pencil board that has the shot of Juli in her Zwei uniform.

Menu:
The menus are nicely done in that they use various pieces from the show such as the monitors and the green theme technical shots to provide animation to go along with the music. Selections are nicely laid out and easy to access, though submenus take a bit to load, as there are some transitional animations to go through. On the plus side, the disc correctly read our player defaults and used them without having to use the setup menu.

Extras:
There's a variety of extras that are pretty similar to the past volumes. The latest version of the textless opening is here, though I continue to not notice the changes between them. There's a section of TV commercials for the CD releases and the trio of art galleries done up to the audio drama is done once more. If not for the lackluster rotating artwork, I'd like to think Bandai would have gotten more kudos for this since it *is* the best way to do drama tracks and make them accessible outside of completely redone dubbed versions. And as usual, another array of Ryvius Illusion, this time with some truly creepy wedding moments.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As Infinite Ryvius continues along, I'm finding myself still enjoying the show a lot but at the same time finding the continuing changes in the social structure and the way order is implemented becoming confusing and almost disorienting. With the way those in power continue to treat the bridge like a revolving door and each volume seems to have someone new in charge, each time a new disc comes in it's like starting from scratch.

This time around, the change comes from Ikumi after he mentally snaps from what happens to Kozue after she spent her time showing off and waving her connections to him around. Seeing her being abused the way she was just pushed him beyond the limits and all he wants now is for some semblance of order to be in place. And with Kozue almost seeming to be disconnected from things after her ordeal, it only makes things worse for him. So using the Guarder machine, Ikumi essentially starts issuing orders to the ship and those on the bridge by insisting that he'll simply destroy everything otherwise. Things have gone so far inside the ship that he realizes he needs to go to the other extreme to fix things. He goes so far as to actually punch a hole into the ship to get his point across.

With the help of those on the bridge once they fall under his reasoning as well as those who help out with the Guarders programming like Yuki, the commands and rules he sets forth are spread about the ship. Using the previous set of rules that Airs Blue had set into place with rationing and credits for work done, he pushes it several leaps further and essentially turns the crew into a bunch of workhorses to get things done. The moral collapses quickly and fear sets into the general populace of the ship. A lot of the kids start sinking into themselves and withdrawing into just doing their jobs while a few others try to break the rules only to find themselves brutally punished by the enforcers that Ikumi sets out onto the ship. Even more curious, Faina's little cult sees Ikumi's rise to power as the key to their next stage and encourage him as much as possible while revealing her own ancestry as the granddaughter of a prime minister on the fringe of the solar system.

Throughout this we get some in-depth looks at what makes some of the characters tick that are now out of their previous places. Kouji's been locked out entirely from the special access level he was on and is refused entry to the bridge, which takes his usual desires and needs to try and help and solve problems into something he's unable to do, leading to a lot of frustration. His downward spiral leads him into several close calls and even being roughed up for his credit chips only to be tossed back as a useless person. To complement his own spiral, we get to see Aoi dealing with the changes in the two brothers as well and her own feelings about them becoming even more muddied. The revelation that she came just to ensure that they were ok causes Kouji to be unsure about things with her in general, but as we see more and more of her past and the way the three of them operate together it leads things to only one place when they're as emotional as they are now.

With the way the story has been woven so far, there just feels like there's been too many little power grabs and coups over the course of the ships long journey to safety. Another coup in this volume isn't exactly a surprise but it was interesting to see that Ikumi's style ends up being more ruthless than Air's was and that he goes looking to Airs for advice on how to deal with things. All of this mixed with the various relationships that are even more chaotic than normal due to the intense pressures has made this volume feel very oppressive towards its cast. It's becoming easier and easier to not like a number of the characters as they deal with things although it's veering into a dangerous direction of making you not like any of the characters.

In Summary:
Infinite Ryvius has been an intriguing series to date and has taken a lot of chances in really screwing over the characters but this volume takes it to a new level and really changes Ikumi and the way he deals with everyone. After dealing with what happened to Kozue, all bets are off in his mind and his will has become law and he has the gear to back it up with. But can he really maintain that kind of atmosphere for long is the real question, as well as wondering just what it is that Faina has up her sleeve on her homeworld with her grandfather. This one brings a lot of questions to the fore while also putting the characters into brand new places for them to deal with. With only four episodes left, I'm not sure everything can be resolved without it feeling too easily done though.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Opening,Commercials,Ryvius Illusion,Art Gallery/Audio Drama

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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