Nightwarriors Vol. #1 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 90
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Nightwarriors

Nightwarriors Vol. #1

By Chris Beveridge     August 25, 1999
Release Date: August 25, 1999

Nightwarriors Vol. #1
© Viz Media

What They Say
In another world, another time, all the old legends of vampires...of ghosts...of werewolves...and all manner of things that go bump in the night...are real. And as all the old legends make so very clear, humans are the natural enemies of...The Darkstalkers. Yet one man with a mysterious past has made it his duty to seek out and destroy those who would threaten and eclipse humanity's future. Bearing a sword that seems almost...alive...he stands ready to fight all those who have dedicated their lives to The Dark.
Starring all your favorite characters from the hit video game, Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge, The Animated Series is a one-of-a-kind thrill ride that takes traditional "monsters" to a level beyond your wildest dreams!

The Review!
I have to admit right up front, I think this is probably one of the best anime presentations on DVD to date. Very little was known about this disc up until I had it in my hands beyond it having both Japanese and English with subtitles. Imagine my surprise at seeing a Japanese 5.1 soundtrack! I was giddy! And several extras as well.

Darkstalkers is based on the Capcom game of the same name, yet doesn't fall totally into the trap of most arcade-anime shows. There's plenty of style and flash in this show, but also a plot. Yup, a plot. A demon has been exiled to Earth for the past century and has placed the world in darkness as he gathers his power and strength via the human soul. The cast is pretty large, which is the general downfall of these kinds of shows, in that you really never get to know them. This happens a bit in this series as well, though unlike the Street Fighter II movie, this one is spread over four 45 minute episodes instead of one movie, giving it a slightly better feel for characterization.

The audio, as mentioned is in Japanese 5.1 and English 2.0. I have to be honest and admit that I cannot comment on the 2.0 English soundtrack, as I was so totally blown away by an OVA having a 5.1 track that I couldn't see how it could compare. Just the couple of A/B tests I did during some sequences made the English version sound flat. The 5.1 sounds so rich and full of life.

The video is very clean. I noticed no artifacting, pixellation or anything else on this disc.

Packaging. Oh boy. I finally get to give an A to a Pioneer/Viz title for this one. Gone, for this release at least, the cardboard box you all know I despise and replaced with a very well done Amaray keepcase. The cover art, while a tad hentai flavored, is very attractive and eye-catching. I hope that in some small way I had influence over getting rid of the cardboard box.

The menu is very well done and would have received a higher mark if the "load/switch" time wasn't so slow on the main menu. The submenus are very fluid, but the main menu is a tad clunky.

I have to admit, as I believe I've done in the forum, that this is exactly how anime was meant to be done on DVD. This is a 90 minute show, containing two VHS tapes worth of episodes, multiple languages, trailers and a couple of well designed character extras, all on a single-layer disc for 29.95. This is definitely how things should be done.

Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital,English 2.0 Dolby Digital,English Subtitles,English & Japanese Credits,Multiple English and Japanese trailers,Image Gallery and Fighting Sequences,Character Profiles and Conceptual Drawings

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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