Monster Rancher Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • 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. #3

By Chris Beveridge     January 09, 2001
Release Date: January 09, 2001


Monster Rancher Vol. #3
© ADV Films


What They Say
At last we meet the evil Moo! Now aware of Genki’s plans to stop him, Moo orders the powerful Pixie to send her gang of black hares after Genki and his friends! Then, our heroes discover the secret behind Holly’s magic pendant and they terrible history of Moo’s very first attack! Finally, Genki and the group must work together to build an Iron Bird to fly over the bottomless Heaven’s Canyon and escape capture from Captain Kudo’s fearsome army! Get ready for the most exciting Monster Rancher Adventure yet!

The Review!
Audio:
For the most part, this is a typical decent sounding TV stereo track, in English only of course. There were a few parts at the beginning that were lower and hard to hear, but I'm unsure if it was intended or not since it was with the bad guys talking amongst themselves. Otherwise, the track is pretty clean and undistorted as well as free from the hollow sound many dubs have.

Video:
Much like the first two discs released, this is a great looking transfer. Bright solid colors are well represented here. There's no visible artifacting, no rainbowing or other distractions. If only the animation itself was better, this would be a stunning looking show at times.

Packaging:
Overall, this is a pretty nicely packaged disc. The front cover is eye-catching for the kids and the back has a good summary and episode listing. There isn't any listing of what disc number this is beyond the tiny print on the spine. Of interest though is the insert, which has box art for the Nadia DVD.

Menus:
Standard static screen with the episodes and the end credits selectable. Pretty much what you see for most dub-only DVD releases.

Extras:
Zip.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The three episodes contained here are a bit of a mixed bag. The opening episode, which focuses on saving a village from a breaking dam, is pretty much filler except for the fact we get to meet Moo at the beginning and the gang learns more team building stuff. The bits with Moo and his operatives were minimal, but it's starting to show a bit more of the bigger picture.

The last episode is fairly similar to the first, in that we learn a bit more about the world at large while the gang works together. An iron bird, a flying craft built by men, crashes while the group tries to decide how to cross an immense desert/canyon and get to the other side to continue their search for the Phoenix. What does provide some interest is that the person who flew the iron bird and crashed by the gang is an escapee from the forces of Moo that apparently control the entire other side of the canyon and force everyone into work crews. A possibility of something interesting ahead.

The more interesting episode of the three though is the middle one. It's an origin story of Holly! We learn of the village she came from where the monsters and the humans lived and worked together in harmony. The choosing of village leaders is also shown, and Holly's father, who was one, ends up being exiled after a new one is elected. Each of the leaders holds onto the magic talisman that is theirs to guard. The talisman of course is desired by the forces of Moo a number of years later, and they pretty much destroy the village in trying to get it. Holly does end up being entrusted to it, and she and Suezo head off into the world to try and find the Phoenix. Interesting stuff that hints at more dark spots ahead.

Features
English Language

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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