Judge - Mania.com



Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

0 Comments | Add

 

Rate & Share:

 

Related Links:

 

Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 50
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Judge

Judge

By Chris Beveridge     March 09, 1999
Release Date: March 09, 1999


Judge
© Central Park Media


What They Say
What goes around comes around... even from beyond the grave. Most criminals are only concerned with earthly justice - the laws of man. But there is another law. Deep within the spirit world, the wrongful dead seek retribution for the crimes committed against them by the living. These restless spirits have their own codes of justice, and they've chosen the Judge of Darkness to enforce them.

An appeal for justice leads to an investigation of a high-ranking corporate executive involved with embezzlement and murder. But the Judge of Darkness soon discovers that the roots of corruption run deep as he slowly works his way up the corporate pyramid.

Yet even the damned have rights as Judge and Defense struggle over a single soul before the mighty Ten Kings Of Hell! Whomever wins, you can be dead certain justice will prevail.

The Review!
What goes around comes around...ever from beyond the grave. Most criminals are only concerned with earthly justice - the laws of man. But there is another law. Deep within the spirit world, the wrongful dead seek retribution for the crimes committed against them by the living. These restless spirits have their own codes of justice, and they've chosen the Judge of Darkness to enforce them.
An appeal for justice leads to an investigation of a high-ranking corporate executive involved with embezzlement and murder. But the Judge of Darkness soon discovers that the roots of corruption run deep as he slowly works his way up the corporate pyramid.

Yet even the damned have rights as Judge and Defense struggle over a single soul before the mighty Ten Kings of Hell! Whomever wins, you can be dead certain justice will prevail. Most criminals are only concerned with earthly justice--the laws of man. But there is another law. Deep within the spirit world, the wrongful dead seek retribution for the crimes committed against them by the living. These restless spirits have their own codes of justice, and they've chosen the Judge of Darkness to enforce them. Yet even the damned have rights as Judge and Defense struggle over a single soul before the mighty Ten Kings of Hell! Whomever wins, you can be dead certain justice will prevail.

The audio on this DVD is quite good for a simple stereo soundtrack. The Japanese language track is of good quality, no hiss or any distortions and a well balanced use of the front soundstage. No throws to the rears at all, but it's not surprising for a simple OVA one-shot. The English track sounded pretty decent as well, though I didn't do much more than spot checking it.

The video level is overall pretty good, though there are a few obvious blemishes from the original master that not even DVD can clean up. Not the fault of the encoding, but some shows have a little more trouble than others. There's no evidence of artifacting or any pixellation, and overall the quality is good. It may be strained on larger sets, but in the 27" range, you should have little trouble with it.

Packaged in a standard keepcase, Judge has a very dark cover. Very much a deep orange and black style, it can be eye-catching if placed facing out from a store rack. Liner notes are provided on the reverse side (again, no voice actor credits) and the back of the box provides plenty of information and "pluses" in regards to the people who worked on it. A plus for PC and Mac people, they do list what version OS you need to use their weblink software.

The menu is pretty good, in keeping with the cover and the dark tones. There's plenty of sections to check out, with excerpts from the Laws of Darkness, Character Info and trailers. The new trailer on this disc contains the Wrath of the Ninja: Yotoden Movie. Looks interesting and probably something Ninja Scroll fans'll pick up easily.

I had known about as little about this show as possible before I got it. I had seen the tape in the store before, but hadn't even picked it up and looked at the storyline on the back. I just have a hard time justifying 50 minute VHS tapes for the most part. I must say, this show was a very pleasant surprise compared to what I was expecting.

The first thing I checked was the subtitles against the English dub. Bonus points for not being a dubtitle! Anyway, the shows about a Crow-inspired style judge of the evils of men that go unpunished. Though very un-Crow like in application, there were a few scenes that gave that feel. Beyond that, it's more like a supernatural courtroom show.

With a running time of just 50 minutes, they did a good job of not stretching things out too far and filling it with dead time, and also in making sure little was lost in what they were trying to get done. The story flows pretty well and has a definite beginning, middle and end.

In learning more of their DVD capabilities, CPM has done two new things with this disc. The first (to my knowledge) is the weblink feature. I found it to work very well and quickly and provided some interesting information, even if some of it is out of date in regards to titles. There are some definite advantages to be gained by pursuing this aspect more, especially in cross promotion of other shows. Good job on this count.

The other more interesting new thing is the multiple angle. At first, I wondered just what it was for. As it turns out, the last chapter, which has no timer, has two angles on it. It defaults to the English credits, but you can switch to angle two and get the original Japanese credits. Pretty slick. What really impressed me though is that it's an 'on the fly' angle change. To date, the only DVD's I have that have multiple angles, you had to skip back to the beginning of the chapter to make the angle change "stick". In my mind, this earns CPM some major kudos, and I hope they follow this up in the future with providing the credits translated (such as voice actors) in a menu somewhere as well as providing the actual footage.

Judge may not be a top tier title, but it's a solid middle tier story and DVD, and certainly not something to be ashamed to have in your collection. And at the OVA price of 24.95, with many places discounting down to 17.95 or less, it's an easy lark to take.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Multi-angle ending credits

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES



Be the first to add a comment to this article!


ADD A COMMENT

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.

POPULAR TOPICS