Mania Grade: C
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: D+
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: ADV Films
- MSRP: 14.98
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Knights of the Zodiac
Knights of the Zodiac Vol. #5
By Luis Cruz
August 25, 2004
Release Date: July 13, 2004
Knights of the Zodiac Vol. #5
What They Say
© ADV Films
Evil Docrates has managed to steal every piece of the magical armor, save one. Now all that stands in the way of his world domination is the gold helmet, so he kidnaps Princess Sienna and holds her for ransom. Can Seiya and his Bronze Knights battle phantom pirates, keep the golden helmet out of Docrates? hands and save the princess in time?The Review!
The interpretive dance master that is Hyoga gets a lot of coverage in this volume.Audio:
As it was the only audio track, my viewing session consisted of the English language track. It does not suffer from any dropouts or distortion; the music, effects, and dialogue are sharp and balanced with none overshadowing the others. Most of the action comes from the front soundstage, but there are some decent ambient effects present through the rear as well.Video:
For a series produced in 1986, the prints have held up fairly well. Grain is present throughout the episodes, and there were a few nicks and defects in the print. The colors seem a bit flat when compared to modern anime, but they hold up well against other series from that time. While not the most vivid art, it does provide some nice looking scenery and action sequences.Packaging:
Seiya and Shun are featured against a blue background on the front cover. The show's logo is at the top while a small volume indicator and title is at the bottom. Tiny ADV and Dic logos flank the sides of the volume indicator. The back cover features the requisite synopsis, episode titles, screenshots, and disc details. The insert is a reproduction of the front cover image with adverts for other "ADV kids" titles on the reverse side.Menu:
The main menu features the wheel of the Zodiac while an instrumental loop from the opening theme plays in the background. The top of the wheel features the various menu items while the bottom has pictures of the main cast. Quick and functional, the menu fits the overall tone and style of the series.Extras:
You get one playing card from the collectible card game for the series.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
There is little to say about this volume, as my disinterest in this series continues unabated. The dialogue and characterization continues to be a hodge-podge of clichés, poor stereotypes, and references to cultural items gone before the target audience was born. Case in point, after plunging a dolphin themed bad guy over a cliff and into the water, one of our heroes proclaims "There goes the chicken of the sea; sorry, Charlie". Find me one member in the young adult or younger market that can identify this as a Starkist Tuna™ reference.
Hyoga gets the lion share of the time in this volume; when we last left off, Docrates made off with Princess Sienna. He orders Seiya to bring the golden helmet to Sienna's coliseum for an exchange. Seiya complies but is tricked, as Docrates' henchmen take off with the helmet and the princess. Hyoga gets the helmet back and then comes back to the coliseum in time to use his Freezing Fist attack to stop Docrates.
For the villain's next trick, he enlists a group of fish-themed knights to hijack an oil tanker. The tanker is powered by a nuclear reactor; of course, the fish knights will not blow the ship up if Seiya hands over the helmet. The bronze knights lose the helmet once again. And once again, they manage to win it back.
Finally, the knights get the bright idea to actually hide the helmet; as Shun and Sienna hide the helmet, the rest of the knights head off to visit their respective masters. While the final episode features Seiya visiting Sanctuary, it is again Hyoga that steals the focus. The villainous new master of Sanctuary has hypnotized Hyoga's master the Crystal Knight. As Hyoga arrives in Siberia, he finds himself facing the frozen fury of his former master.
It was difficult to stay awake through all four episodes; the hackneyed script reduces the characters to caricatures. The actual plot is paper thin, held together by liberal use of repetitive animation. There just is not enough material to hold my interest; I find no connection to the characters or their plight. If this finds a foothold in the already crowded imported, dubbed market, I would be greatly surprised.In Summary:
The reality of broadcast is that a series imported from Japan has to be localized and edited down to meet the various broadcast standards. However, if you place Knights of the Zodiac
and other series side by side, you can see that there is a good, decent way of doing this and a horribly wrong way of doing this. Knights
falls solidly in the wrong way category. With a script better suited for an early 1980s import show, Knights
is unlikely to have the glitz or character appeal for the modern viewer. Each volume is more of a chore to watch than something entertaining; this volume is no exception. Unless you enjoy watching Hyoga do his Dance of the Diamond Dust, there is little to recommend or summarize.
English 2.0 Language
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Pioneer DVL-919, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable