New Fist of the North Star Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: D+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 18 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 55
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: New Fist of the North Star

New Fist of the North Star Vol. #3

By Paul Jacques     February 14, 2006
Release Date: August 15, 2005


New Fist of the North Star Vol. #3
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
After escaping from the tower where Seiji imprisoned them, Tobi rallies the townspeople against Seiji calling them to a holy war in the name of Lord Doha. Wave after wave of people break against the fortress walls, but Seiji’s defenses hold firm. When Kenshiro finally returns, he finds that the entire city has been thrown into a maelstrom of blood and agony. The war of attrition, which Tobi initiated, has eaten away at his soul. In a deft and devious act of betrayal, Tobi confines Kenshiro before setting off to launch his all-out assault against Seiji and his guard. Can Kenshiro summon the power to break free from his prison? Will the justice of the North Star prevail.

The Review!
What’s this, a golden oldie resurrected for our delectation? Does the new North Star hold a candle to old mid 80’s post apocalyptic hokum? In part two of this trilogy we get more of the same.

Audio:
Wow, 5.1 Japanese and English! Both sound tracks delivered clean audio, although not much in the way of directional sound, still, at least it gives the speakers a work out, just don’t expect any swirling sound effects. All-in-all a complete waste of the surround sound experience.

The opening track is called Luna The closing track is called OASIS I particularly liked the opening sequence with the music and action fitting perfectly- it rocks! And here’s a game you can play, one of the characters is voiced by the lead singer, but which?

Video:
The video is mostly excellent, with nice colours and sharp lines, although it does lapse in cheap looking 2 D cell. The wide screen presentation has come through the transfer process very well, with no defects detected. And it’s visuals in this series that make it stand out from the original, as they make some use of the 3D CGI to give this a look of it’s own.

Packaging:
We get this first volume with a clear case and green reversible covers. It’s just a pity they didn’t capitalise on the opportunity to make a different graphic for both sides of the cover. As it is, we have the same picture of Kenshiro and Seijia on both sides.

The disc itself is glossy black with a few blood spots.

Menu:
A simple blue menu with Kenshiro in classic pose, with a looping Mr Gackt entertaining us with his dulcet tones. The menu has a link for Languages, Scene select and Extras. All links work quickly and no dead ends were encountered.

Extras:
Interview with real life martial artist- this time we cover Moy Yat WingTsun (this being Bruce Lee’s original Kung Fu style) with Sifu Aaron Vyvial.

VA interview with Magnum Tokyo (Pro wrestler). Plus an interview with the gentleman in charge of the music, Yashuhara Takanashi…. well worth a stop over when passing through the dvd.

A 4 minute behind the scenes which film which shows each of the USA VA in the recording booth. It starts off interesting, but gets a very same~y after a while and we learn nothing new.

A few character bios with voice over for the hard of reading, plus some trailers for the Italian release of New FotNS (no, I don’t know why either).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain some spoilers)
First we to sit through ~3minutes of recap from volumes 1 & 2. The pick the story as Kenshiro makes it back to town with the much needed medicine for Bista. Only since he’s been away (all 2 days of it) things have changed, and a lot of people are being killed in a “Holy War” against Seiji. Alas, Tobi (Bista’s big brother) is now one sandwich short of a full picnic, and rather than allowing Kenshiro to go kick Seiji’s butt, he imprisons him. Then Bista declares himself ruler of Last Land - ah, that revolving plotline door turns again - and all shall bow down before him etc.

Whilst the towns people gather for their final assault on the palace, Seiji does a quick Spec Ops behind the enemy lines, chops a few of the locals up and steals Bista back to make use of his god-like powers (again).

Back in the Palace Sara meets a strange woman who tells her to go free Kenshiro from his prison….. which she duly does. And finally we get down to the main event: Kenshiro v Seiji. And what a fight that turns into, with lots of love and reconciliation- an anti-climax to say the least.

An epilogue after the Ed suggests we may get more episodes in the future (groan).

In summary-
If they has spent more than the cost of a donut on the script – I’d swear the script writer was doing a cut & paste on the dialogue - you might overlook the poor animation technique (2D cell) and disappointing fight scenes. They must have thought we’d be too naļve not to notice the cheap production values used to ensure maximum sales return. The audience for this type of anime has matured since the original, and this 80’s style of animation just doesn’t work any more, even if it was trying to buy passage with a nostalgia ticket. Maybe a full 3D CGI would have worked better, who knows?

I’m just glad it’s over. Good Op/ Ed though ^_^

Features
Japanese Language 5.1,English Language 5.1,English Subtitles,VA commentary,Behind the scenes,VA Interviews,Character profiles,Professional Martial Artist interview

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 19” SM930bf LCD, ATI X700 & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones and a duck.

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