Orguss 02 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Manga Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 160
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Orguss 02

Orguss 02

By Andrew Tei     November 18, 2003
Release Date: October 28, 2003


Orguss 02
© Manga Entertainment


What They Say
Two opposing armies race to unearth devastating weapons -as the world moves closer to an all-out war!

For 200 years they lay deep beneath the earth, silent on the ocean floor. Now, the rival nations of Zafran and Revillia race to gain possession of the Decimators, destructive robots of war. Even though the technology is from the past, the Decimators are important weapons in the fast approaching political conflict -- but the Earth is in danger of extinction if these ultimate weapons are unleashed!

Based onitheihit 35 episode Japanese television series Orguss, acclaimed anime director Fumihiko Takayama brings theistory into theifuture 200 years after theioriginal. Created asia directito video release, Orguss 02 features six pulse pounding thirty minute episodes featuring dramatic mecha combat, giant robots andipolitical intrigue intertwined with explosive sci-fi action.

The Review!
Giant Robots takes center stage in Orguss 02 as two nations drag their people into a war only desired by their selfish leaders. This is giant robot done right.

Audio:

I listened to the Japanese stereo soundtrack for my primary listening session. The soundtrack was clear and distortion free. Sound effects took little to no advantage of the stereo effect. I took a quick listen to the English soundtrack in 5.1, and it was clear. Voices were clearly sent to the center speaker.


Video:

Orguss 02 was made in 1994, and it has been preserved very well. I had to really examine the picture closely to find the few scratches that were on the print. The compressionist also did a great job on the transfer. I found some trace aliasing problems, but the transfer was free of rainbow effects. The color was not extremely bright, but it did not appear to be faded.

Hardsubs are used extensively on the DVD. One of the races on this DVD speaks their own language, and the translations for them are hardsubbed. Signs are also hard subbed. For episode 5 and 6, the actual subtitles are HORRIBLY mistimed. Most of them appear two seconds before the actual dialogue.

Packaging:

The front cover features the hero of the story, Lean, in a soldier’s uniform holding a gun with the Orguss 02 unit in the background. The English logo appears on top. The back cover features four shots from the show, one paragraph describing the show, and a technical overview of the show. All six episode names are listed on the back. Inside, there’s an insert that can double as a really awful looking poster. Twelve chapter stops are also listed on the insert.

Menu:

The main menu looks like the inside of a helmet, and in place of the goggles we get video clips from the show. The options are simple: Play, Chapters, Set-Up, and Features. The Set-up menu gives no indications what language options you have chosen. The menu system is extremely fast though.

Extras:

Sometimes, I wish companies wouldn’t bother including extras sometimes so I could just push N/A for extras. The only extra is a picture gallery, that features some shots from the show, and some of the VHS covers.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Some of the greatest creators of anime have produced a series bringing together a tight story of a world that brings itself to the brink of destruction due to the giant robots it keeps recovering from the Earth.

Orguss 02 is based a television series called Orguss, and this story takes place 200 years in the future. The series is directed by Fumihiko Takayama, who also directed Gundam 0080. In fact, a bunch of 0080 veterans are here as well. The original character designs are provided by Haruhiko Mikimoto, who did 0080 and Macross. Coming on board as the character designer for the OVA is Toshihiro Kawamoto, of Gundam 0083 and MS 08th Team fame. A simply amazing team.

For 200 years, giant robots named Decimators have been buried deep within in the Earth. When people started discovering them, they discovered that they were instruments of war. The two rival nations of Zafran and Revillia race to gain control of the Decimators. The destructive powers of the two nations only increase as the political situations between the nations deteriorate.

On the ocean, a trawler and a team of sea divers is searching the bottom of the ocean for Decimators. They locate one, and raise it up. It’s in bad shape, but there is a mechanic on the ship named Zante, and he has an apprentice named Lean. One of Revillia's soldiers, First Lt. Manning arrives short after the Decimators is recovered on a plane, and orders an immediate take off of the Decimator. Zante and Lean go with it in order to finish repairing it.

An easy recovery mission turns into a disaster though when a Decimator piloted by a Zafrin soldier spots them and attacks the plane. The entire crew of the plane is killed and soon only Manning, Zante, and Lean are left. At this point, you get your predictable young person who has never operated the robot, gets in the robot, and kills the enemy robot. At this point, you figure the show might continue the same format, but it takes a different direction.

A scene change though brings us to the political side of our story. King Mendez of Revillia is holding a council with his advisors, which are mainly a bunch of yes men except for two of them. There is Minister Kerachi, who is suggesting that Revillia start a war with Zafran over the attack on the recovered Decimator. On the opposing side, we have Minister Akamasu who is against going to war. The economy of Revillia is in horrible shape, and a war can only lead to increased outrage among the populace. The king’s health is in terrible shape, and it seems Kerachi is making a power struggle. Prince Perion, the eldest son of the king, is retarded, and the younger son, Siplay, is only nine years old. In the end, the King decides to build up the armies of Revillia in order to prepare for war.

Lean and Zante’s family aren’t in great financial shape either, especially with the bank wanting to foreclose the mortage on Zante’s repair shop. In order to get the money, Lean accepts a deal from Manning to join the army. Manning doesn’t seem to be an ordinary soldier though, as he accepts missions from Kerachi and even haggles over pay for the mission. Manning takes Lean with him on a mission deep into Zafran to spy on the largest dig area that the Zafran are recovering Decimators from.

Once in Zafran, Manning leaves Lean at an inn, while he makes the final expedition to the mine. At the mine, he discovers that the Zafran have uncovered a Decimator over twenty times larger than any Decimator recovered before. Manning knows he must immediately get back to Revillia to deliver this vital piece of information, and he steals a Decimator to get back.

Back at the inn, Lean gets interrupted when a girl with a gun takes him hostage. The girl, Nataruma, is hiding from the Zafran’s soldiers, and she needs to escape from Zafran. Lean suggests she heads back to Revillia with him and Manning. Unfortunately, when Manning tries to pick them up, the large Decimator, called Verifer, has been following him and fires a laser weapon that decimates the town where Lean is, making him unable to pick up Lean.

The story really begins as this point, as Lean and Nataruma must somehow get back to Revillia. On the way, we have a journey of discovery between the two young people, especially with Nataruma’s heritage and why the Zafran are after her. Other discoveries are to be made, such as the reasons why the people of this world are able to dig out the Decimators, which are far more technologically advanced than the era we are in. Political intrigue plays a major role within the politics of Revillia, as Kerachi and Manning try to outmaneuver each other amidst the King’s failing health.

Orguss 02 is one the best robot related series I have ever come to watch. This OVA is very well crafted with an intricate story that combines love, war, intrigue, and insanity. The action scenes are very well animated, with some intricate flying and battles. As a fan of Mikimoto’s and Kawamoto’s character designs, I enjoyed seeing the various characters in the series. With the DVD holding the entire series, I recommend Orguss 02 whole heartedly.


Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Photo Gallery,Orguss 02 Poster

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 to a Toshiba 36” Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

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