Mania Grade: C
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 17 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 19.98
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Kimera
By Chris Beveridge
August 25, 2002
Release Date: September 10, 2002
What They Say
For centuries, there have been legends of "devils" walking the Earth, feeding off the blood of humans. However, the truth behind these vampiric legends has remained a mystery until now.
Strange "lifepods" have crashed in the western mountains, bringing with them supernatural beings previously found only in the realm of folk-lore and fantasy. Vampires walk the Earth, at war with Humanity an each other, driven by the most terrifying of genetic imperatives! Like wasps seeking a spider, they have come to this planet for only one purpose: to perpetuate their species.
To save Mankind, Kimera must die. The Review!
The prime question asked by Kimera is, is a love that won’t be returned worth destroying the world over? Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. While not an old show, this is a decent track for both the dialogue and the music and sound effects. Dialogue is mostly through the center channel and comes across without any noticeable distortions or dropouts. It's an average stereo mix that serves the material well.Video:
The transfer for this mid 90’s OVA is quite good, with hardly anything problematic at all. Colors are nice and solid with no noticeable bleeding, cross coloration is non-existent and there’s only a few instances of aliasing during some panning sequences. The material itself looks good, though it doesn’t stand out too strongly against other OVA’s of its time.Packaging:
The front cover presents a great looking collage of images of various characters and themes in the background. The colors and detail are all great here, that spending some time I spent some time just admiring it. The back cover provides several animation shots and a decent summary of what to expect. Production information and basic technical features are all clear and easy to read. The insert provides another look at the front cover while the reverse side lists the discs chapters and what previews are on the discs.Menu:
The main menu uses a rather interesting part of the shows animation in the middle of a static image to provide a rather creepy piece of an eye staring out at the viewer, tied with some good music from it. There’s nothing on this disc outside of the feature and trailers, so almost everything is from the main menu and quick to access and load. Extras:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The story of Kimera is one that will appeal to fans of vampires, especially those who like the tales to be something a bit more different than the classic tale. Of course, fans of those kinds of stories will likely have seen the science fiction movie Lifeforce, of which this one shares more than just a few similarities.
Woe to the poor hunter and his dog who stumbled across the impact area of a spaceship, where some nasty creature has escaped. Said creature is also quite shy, and decides that nobody should see what’s happened here, and promptly turns the dog into a husk. The hunter is probably next. To keep things interesting, the show then shifts to two cereal salesman, Jay and Osamu, as they travel across America selling their cereal.
Their trek is interrupted though, as they come across a large scale accident on the highway. Jay’s a bit brash with the military that’s cordoned off the area, but manages to avoid a major scuffle when cloaked humanoid figures swoop in and start exploding vehicles. While Jay is knocked across the ground, Osamu gets tumbled into a trailer where he gets to discover a very androgynous woman who he instantly falls in love with. The two have a link after they kiss through the glass case she’s stuck inside of, only to have everything go bad when the mysterious figures begin to fight over her.
As luck would have it, Jay’s dad is a top level scientist at a local facility where the woman is likely being kept, and he gets Jay and Osamu out of the trouble they’re in pretty quickly. He refuses to talk about what’s going on, so that lets our two boys go exploring through the base. After avoiding some rather amusing low-tech security measures, they come across the woman again, and learn that her name is Kimera. Osamu’s all set to free her, except that one of the original combatants arrives and tells him that if he sets her free, it will be the downfall of the planet.
Apparently all these creatures and the woman are space vampires who’ve been betrayed once again by humanity. Kimera’s a rarity among the species in that she’s able to breed more of their race, one that’s dwindling. But if she breeds, and she’s chosen a partner in Osamu, it’ll cause utter chaos in the future as they’ll probably be unlike anything seen before.
And so the show sets the stage for the battle over what’s going to happen and who will win. Thankfully, since this is an OVA, it’s never clear which side will win, so that adds a bit of spice to things. But so much of the show feels like a retread of already done ideas (granted, ideas that I don’t think were ever executed all that well) that this feels like it’s just going through the motions. The animation is rather nice at times, the designs are interesting, especially Kimera, but there’s not much really setting this apart from other shows in its genre. It wasn’t a bad way to pass an hour, but reflections upon the show in the future will invariably have me thinking of Lifeforce before this show itself.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.