Mania Grade: C-
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- Audio Rating: C+
- Video Rating: C-
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 18 and Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Switchblade Pictures
- MSRP: 19.99
- Running time: 127
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Makiriko/Battler Sienne Matra Double Feature
Makiriko/Battler Sienne Matra Double Feature DVD Review
By John Rose
December 01, 2010
Release Date: December 01, 2009
Makiriko/Battler Sienne Matra Double Feature
© Switchblade Pictures
Average features times 2 still make for an average release.
What They Say
The monsters, maidens and mayhem are out of control as Switchblade Pictures dishes out a double helping of double-breasted demon hunting goodness!
First up: Makiriko, which transposes the perennial anime premise of high-school heroine with a giant sword into live action reality! When sailor-suited warrior Makiriko shows up at a new school, there are two immediate clues that trouble is brewing: 1) the soul sucking demons taking over the student bodies; and 2) the talking green demon thing sitting on her shoulder that tells her trouble is brewing!
Then get ready for babes, blades and bare-chested battles galore as a nubile ninjette in training must confront her treacherous sister student, a possessed demon hand and the even more monstrous monster master to which the hand belongs. Why she thinks a tiny leather bikini is the appropriate garb for this is anyone's guess, but that's why she's Battler Sienne Matra!
Two totally twisted fantasy thrillers on one great Switchblade DVD- because we know you like things that come in pairs!
The only audio present is a Japanese 2.0 track. It is a basic 2.0 track with nothing special to distinguish itself but that also means it has no drop outs or distortions. Dialogue is clean and doesn’t get buried during the presentation.
Video: The video doesn’t fair as well. There is noticeable grain which fails to cover some color blur, dot crawl and aliasing. The aliasing is especially noticeable in slower motion parts the features are presented in 16:9 so that is a plus for the release.
The packaging features the titles for both features on the left and a collage of the two main characters on the center and right. Setsuna is present with her spirit creature while Matra is placed in the foreground with a shot of her from behind in her leather bikini and her sword poised to strike. The back ground for the front of the cover is a red colored flower pattern. The back has a crouching Setsuna drawing her sword and Matra in a fighting stance with her sword in hand. Also present are 10 stills from the disc split evenly between the two features. The disc itself has Sayaka from Makiriko on the left and Kisara from Matra on the right.
The menu is a simple and static affair with the same picture of Setsuna drawing her sword from the back of the cover on the left but there is a new picture of Matra on the right. She is pictured with her red jacket and pants on while holding her sword over her shoulder with her left hand. The upper half of the screen has two screen length grey blocks that contain the individual titles for selection. The menu is quick to respond to changes in selection and the features are prompt to start when selected.
This feature contains no extras.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The first feature of the twin bill is Makiriko. The feature opens with a tour around a school after class has let out. The only person around is a young man dribbling a basketball through the halls. He notices something strange about a classroom he is passing and finds himself being yanked off his feet into the room. He tries crawling out while crying for help but to no avail as he is pulled back in. The scene shift to a young woman (Setsuna) elsewhere in the city removing her sword from its sheath as her eyes glow red.
The next morning a young woman (Sayaka Komaki) is walking to school and using her note cards to study English when she comes across Setsuna. Despite trepidation at this strange looking girl Sayaka approaches her and offers to help as Setsuna looks lost. Sayaka helps direct Setsuna toward the school but the odd smile on Setsuna’s face scares her off from walking with her. After Sayaka walks off a green creature appears on Setsuna’s face scolding her because she obviously scared the other woman off.
Sayaka gets to school and the boys in her class are talking about the basketball player who vanished at the start of the feature. As they talk about him the reveal they think he is just out gallivanting around. Any further discussion is interrupted as one of the teachers arrives. He wants to talk to Sayaka as he is her advisor and her grades have been slipping as of late, though his concern is for his own reputation of sending students to prominent schools to at least the same degree as concern for her. He is about to walk away when another young man, Shindo, comes in bouncing a basketball down the hall which sets him after Shindo.
Sayaka sees Shindo practicing in the hall through some windows and falling on a recently washed floor during a self study period later in the day and rushes to see him. It is shown that she has a crush on Shindo and they spend some time talking. During the conversation Shindo talks about how he is now going to be a starter on the basketball team since the disappearance of the boy at the beginning. Shindo is surprised that Sayaka not only knows this but also knows a number of other things relating to the basketball club and him-and isn’t completely pleased about it.
While they were talking Sayaka’s advisor overhears them and assumes Shindo is the reason for Sayaka’s recent lapse in grades. When he frames Shindo for breaking a window and threatens to remove Shindo from the upcoming tournament he suddenly finds himself next on the supernatural target list. When the supernatural creature finally shows itself Setsuna will step in but will she be in time and have the strength to prevent further tragedy?
The second part of the presentation is Battler Sienna Matra. This feature starts with a high tempo song as a young woman wearing tennis shoes and a leather bikini runs through a park throwing shuriken at targets set up by her teacher Hanzo. After seeing her finish he proclaims that he has nothing left to teach her. She asks to learn the final secret art but is warned she only has one chance to beat him and learn it. She discovers her skills are no match for him and some of the sexually harassing ways he implements them. Catching her off guard he knocks her down and declares victory.
While Matra goes home to lick her wounds her master is approached by Kisara who is his former student and Matra’s sister. She had left some time prior for reasons she never shared but has returned to claim the secret art for herself. She has teamed herself with Hanzo’s demonic enemy Grauzas that Hanzo had thought vanquished and gained some of Grauzas’ power for herself. Due to his age and living during a time of peace Hanzo has lost his edge and is defeated by Kisara.
While Kisara and Hanzo fight Matra is attacked by minions of Grauzas and learns of her master’s peril. She attempts to come to his rescue but finds that she is hampered in her ability to fight by her feelings for her sister and the shock she feels over her reappearance. Kisara uses Matra as a hostage to get the secret of the final art out of Hanzo before sending him to the afterlife. Matra gets free and attempts to avenge herself only to be defeated by her previous wounds. With his ancient enemy Hanzo defeated Grauzas finally makes his appearance and lays out his plans. Will Kisara be able to deal with it when everything is revealed and will Matra be able to overcome her situation and avenge her master?
The first title in this feature feels like an average adaption of an anime OVA and a self contained story of mystery and the supernatural that builds up the main character and relies on the mysterious monster hunter to come in at the end and take care of the finale. It is a low budget production that is an average story that is supported by some rather cheap effects. The Spirit Setsuna has looks like the puppet it is and as interesting as the design for the final monster is the lack of budget undercuts the drama at the end. The acting is OK for a piece that looks like it may be a character vehicle for the main two actresses who probably are idols or models of some kind. Battler Sienna Matra could only hope to be an average production. The acting is a step worse, the choreography for the fights is below average and it seems the purpose of the feature is to show off as much skin of the lead actress as the producers thought they could get away with. This is further demonstrated when she spends a good couple minutes essentially topless. When skin is the number one draw of a project it seems odd how tame the feature was in showing it off. And the story line is even skimpier than her leather bikini.
Makiriko/Battle Sienna Matra is at best an average way to pass the time. A couple of average stories with average effects and average acting leads to a product that only those looking for how to make a low budget supernatural film or those who want to ogle the lead in Matra in a leather bikini and topless for a bit. If you aren’t in one of those two categories just keep walking when you see it on the shelf.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Samsung 50" Plasma HDTV, Denon AVR-790 Receiver with 5.1 Sony Surround Sound Speakers, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080.
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