New Getter Robo Box Set - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 69.98
  • Running time: 325
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: New Getter Robo

New Getter Robo Box Set

By Luis Cruz     September 26, 2006
Release Date: July 18, 2006


New Getter Robo Box Set
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Huge monsters stalk the earth! Resembling the ancient legends of the Oni, the monsters begin attacking the laboratory where Prof. Saotome is developing the Getter Robo, a robot so powerful it overwhelms ordinary pilots! Prof. Saotome then locates three of the most dangerous men on the planet to draft as pilots: Ryoma the fighter, Hayato the berserker and Benkei the giant!

Contains all 13 episodes on four volumes.

The Review!
Mostly style, New Getter Robo provides an adequate amount of substance to hold one's attention for one viewing.

Audio:
I used the Japanese stereo track for my viewing session. It was a sharp and clear track free from any noticeable defects. While one wishes it were a 5.1 track, the stereo track does provide some decent directional effects and balances the music, dialogue and action quite well.

Video:
New Getter Robo is presented in its original anamorphic widescreen form. Nagai Go's work exhibits a unique style, and the transfer allows every detail of it to shine through without issue. From the bright red blood splatters to the ethereal glow of the Getter Rays, you will be transfixed by a gorgeous transfer.

Packaging:
The packaging for this box set remains the same as the previous single releases. The solid cardboard box itself features larger cleaner versions of two of the DVD covers; the texture of the box top and spine add to the appeal giving it a rough, scaly feel. The DVD covers are reversible, and the cases are clear allowing one to view all the art once the case is opened. Inside is also a one sheet insert with chapter listings and the primary cover artwork.

Menu:
The main menu captures all the essential elements into an easy to use package; some of the darker mood music plays intermixed with crashing thunder. Muted images from the episodes play in a portion of the background. Menu items are in a single row in the middle of the screen. Access times are quick and have no transition delays. They are a good combination of style and functionality.

Extras:
The extras are pretty thin and consist of a clean version of the opening and ending spread across discs one and two. All discs contain one or two music clips, theme music from the series set to footage from the series. The music clips are all subtitled.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Onis, the dreaded demons of Japanese legend have turned out to be quite real. Professor Saotome has built Getter Robo, a giant robot powered by the mysterious "Getter Rays" to combat this threat to humanity. Three unlikely men are tapped to work together and pilot Getter Robo. Nagare Ryoma is an exceptionally skilled but brutally brash marital artist. Jin Hayato is a psychotic terrorist searching for the truth behind the Getter Rays. Rounding out the team both literally and figuratively is the not-so-holy monk Musashibou Benkei.

The trio's battles take them across time and space; they battle the onis in the past and receive a glimpse of Earth's possible future. Their conflict ends with Getter Robo facing the four gods of the universe. And through it all the blood flows, splatters, and stains the scenery.

One word can adequately sum up most of Nagai Go's work -- brutality, and New Getter Robo is no exception. Ryoma and Hayato are not nice men; they revel in seeing their enemies fall before them in as many pieces as possible. A good portion of the action, especially when they are transported back to an alternate Heian era, sees Ryoma wading through oni hordes and lopping off heads whole or piecemeal.

But these violent characters are exactly the sort of men needed to combat the never ending stream of demons attacking them. The trio continually argues and fights as one would expect from three strong willed, violent egos. They only work together to sate their lust to defeat the enemy. Despite being thoroughly unlikable characters, they are true to the nature they have been given and help suck you into the story.

However, Hayato's character does feel a bit disjointed; he starts off as a near raving lunatic cutting down anyone, even his own comrades who get in his way. Abruptly, he turns into the Sherlock Holmes of the group, searching for concrete information on what makes Getter Robo tick. Fortunately, the transition to the Holmes persona happens early in the series, but it is still jarring to see Hayato go from a killing machine to someone on a purposeful and methodical quest for knowledge.

New Getter Robo bathes the screen in bloody style and sharp looking character and beast designs. But is there any substance behind the crimson mask? If you watch closely (and perhaps stretch a bit some might say), there is a theme lurking beneath though it is not explored much beyond the surface. Getter Robo's history appears to be tied to a never ending cycle of violence.

The theme as I see it this. If humanity wants to break this cycle, it has to consciously prevent itself from getting sucked into it. Humanity must determine that it will shape its destiny rather than allowing themselves to simply be pulled along by the currents of time. Ryoma's fate at the end seems to indicate that at least he has grasped this, but it is left to the viewer to ponder if he is pursuing a futile dream.

It certainly is not a novel premise, and it is easily drowned beneath the sea of ichor, blood, and body parts the series creates. Given more time, the characters and plot may have been able to play with this theme more, but there simply is not enough plot or theme development in the thirteen episodes to draw the viewer back for a repeat, unless they really dig splatter-robo shows.

In Summary:
Looking for a bloody action series filled with demons and giant robots? New Getter Robo should adequately fill your needs. Nagai Go's work is stylishly brutal, and this series is no exception. The trio of "heroes" are repulsive but so well written that you simply accept them and their behavior as necessary evils. However, there is little else to prop up the action; there is a thin semblance of a message or theme, but it is barely developed. It is a guilty pleasure action title worth a rental, but it just does not have enough plot to find its way into one's collection unless they are a die-hard Nagai or giant robot fan.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Music Clips

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable

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