Lost Universe Vol. #5 - Mania.com

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Lost Universe

Lost Universe Vol. #5

By Chris Beveridge     March 13, 2001
Release Date: March 13, 2001

Lost Universe Vol. #5
© ADV Films

What They Say
There was always something a little strange about Rail Claymore, Kain?s contact in the Universal Guardians. But who knew that he was a spy feeding information to the dark forces? Now that this former friend is on the lam Kain, Millie, and Canal are up the Psionic River without a phase drive. Four arch-enemies are breathing down their necks, Kain?s having a meltdown, and the whole Swordbreaker crew is wanted for treason. Things only get worse when three evil star cruisers show up with one goal in mind: to reduce Swordbreaker to space dust.

The Review!
As the series races towards its conclusion and the real and actual plot takes center stage, this disc really makes out well in having five episodes as there's a lot going on. As opposed to earlier discs where I wasn't entirely enthused about the next episode, this disc had me skipping openings and endings to get to the next episode quicker. Of course, this just proves the Slayers dynamic is hard at work here.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to the show in its original language of Japanese. Throughout the show, there's a fair number of directional effects on the front soundstage with the starship combat and a few of the more close and personal fight sequences. The majority of the dialogue is center channel based though, and there were no noticeable problems with it. The soundtrack is basically what you can expect from a typical TV series.

Things look up a bit better here on this disc than in previous ones, but there's still some minor things. Some of the CG animation continues to produce some ugly looking jaggies, but the main downside is the source material which just continues to look flat and lifeless in a lot of places. The amount of outsourced animation (which does not blend well) is far less in these episodes than in past discs, but it does show up from time to time. There's a bit of edge pixellation here and there, but this is a fairly average looking transfer.

The Lost Universe covers just haven't impressed me all that much overall, and this one pretty much keeps things in the same ballpark. It's not bad per se, but it just isn't all that appealing. Huge kudos again though for marking the volume number boldly on the spine though. The back has the episode summaries and a quick rundown of what's on the disc and the creative personnel behind the show and the localization. The insert provides another shot of the cover on one side and the chapter listings on the other.

The menus are the simple layout they've been since the beginning. With simple layering, access times are fast and moving between menus is a breeze. The main menu has a still shot with some music playing behind it, but no transition images when you move to the submenus like the last disc did.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The plot gets into gear right from the get go here. A Lost Ship is found buried under a city, and the Universal Guardians seal off the area and get ready to investigate. Unfortunately their high command has buckled under pressure and has decided to let the Gazer Concern deal with it. The Gazer Concern of course is the front company of Nightmare, the big bad evil getting ready to spread through the universe.

Kain and Canal also learn of this supposed new Lost Ship and head off to investigate. When Kain finally makes it into the underground lair, he's quickly assaulted by Kali and the two engage in a fast fight. They're actions throw off those from the Concern and allows someone unexpected to make their way into the new Lost Ship; Rail Claymore of the Universal Guardians.

Or is he? Rail manages to escape with the ship. And the first time he encounters Kain, he proceeds to attack them. Rail's up to something, and his indictment at the Universal Guardians as a traitor really helps push that line of thought. And when he's branded as a traitor, they also throw in Kain, Canal and Millie as well as they were in the same field of combat when Rail destroyed tons of Universal Guardian ships.

And if things can't get any worse, the Nightmare decides its time to take over the universe. Their corporate security vessels quickly turn over into attacking fleets and starting taking over strategic areas of the galaxy. The Universal Guardians get smacked down at every oppurtunity and take huge losses. This makes things even more difficult for Kain as the group continues to try and get repairs and supplies while being on the run.

But their situation does manage to go even worse as Kains opponent from the previous encounter at his Grandmother's arrives on the scene and several vicious encounters leave Kain near death and ready to chuck the whole thing. Kain and Canal's relationship definitely gets tested here a bit, but the focus falls mostly on Kain and how he's dealing with this new and really powerful enemy who has no respect for him at all.

Thankfully the animation for these episodes is consistent and goes up slightly from earlier episodes. There's a fair share more of the CG starship animation this time around as well, and it still looks as cheesy as it did earlier on, there's just more of it. The actual inclusion of a multi-episode plot this time around really does help though and out of the five episodes included here, there was no real filler at all. With luck the next and final disc will run the same way and bring the series to some kind of satisfying conclusion.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.


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