Monster Rancher Vol. #2 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: D
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 65
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Monster Rancher

Monster Rancher Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     May 23, 2000
Release Date: May 23, 2000

Monster Rancher Vol. #2
© ADV Films

What They Say
While searching for the mysterious Phoenix, Genki and his friends meet Allan, a monster rancher who uses his whip more than kind words. Will Allan's worm monster side with Moo and the evil Seed Sisters? Or will he forgive Allan and help Genki and his friends? Speaking of help, next, our brave heroes meet up with the fierce, strong Tiger of the Wind. And it's a good thing, because Tiger's probably the only one who can win the monster tournament against the crafty, tricky Hare! Can Tiger win? Will Hare need a lucky rabbit's foot? Find out!

Contains TV Episodes:
1. Eternal Worm
2. Tiger Of The Wind
3. Hare’s Trick

The Review!
Presented in the standard TV stereo format, this series only has the English audio track. This is due to licensing restrictions more than anything else, and much like the Pokemon releases, little that can be done about. Both properties are owned by big companies who only want one solid image to be presented.

Regardless, the audio is pretty good and the voice acting slightly above average, considering it comes from the Ocean Studios group who I think tends to be a little bland in the dubbing. Dialogue and effects and clean and undistorted.

The video for the three episodes presented on the disc is quite good with very high bitrates for a lot of it. Colors are strong and solid with no artifacts noticeable. Another advantage that this show has over Pokemon is that since it came later, the animation is of a noticeably better quality, both in terms of style and fluidity. The episodes are also strung together creating a near seamless continuity, with the exception of the individual episode titles appearing when a new one starts. The ending credits for all three episodes are presented at the end, with corresponding episode titles, so all credit is given to those involved.

The front cover artwork contains the Tiger and Hare in battle close up. The back cover contains a good synopsis of the episodes on the disc without giving too much away and lists which episodes are on the disc (though not by episode number, just titles). The only place to tell which disc in the series you have is to look at the spine where the production number (DVDMR/002 in this case) tells you which disc number it is.

This second volume of Monster Ranchers pretty much holds up well against the first volume. The three episodes here bring two more members into the main gang by having Tiger of the Wind join up and then after a confrontation with Hare, having him join. With it being a kids show, it's pretty simplistic but well done and I don't think it's terribly condescending like some of those shows can be.

The episodes themselves were pretty decent. The first one has a decent story that involves what may be a character to come back in the future, Allan and his worm monster. This is probably the most "moral" story of all three since the others focus more on general teamwork and getting their goals accomplished.

The animation in this disc continues to hold up really well compared to some of its companion kid TV series. The colors are very well represented with no bleeding. A touch of pixellation here and there, but the kids won't notice.

If you've seen the TV show before and liked it well enough, these discs are a no brainer. The technical side to them are well done and looks great and the content is a bit more involving than what's been out there in the past.

English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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