Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: B-
- Extras Rating: C
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Other
- MSRP: �40600
- Running time: 870
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Orguss
Orguss Limited DVD Box Set
May 11, 2002
Release Date: April 13, 2002
Orguss Limited DVD Box Set
What They Say
The year 2062. The world is sent into a state of chaos after the explosion of a bomb which oscillates the dimension, causing a mass of parallel worlds to become one. But what is ?The peculiar point?? This is where Kei?s adventure begins!!The Review!
After enjoying my Super Dimension Fortress Macross box set, I had the urge to see the next project that came from those responsible for Macross. That work was the 1983 TV series Super Dimension Century Orguss. With only half the series available on VHS and no plans for a stateside DVD release any time soon, I decided to get this R2 box set with R1, R4, and R5 compatibility. I found that it was a worthy investment.
The only audio track offered on the discs is a Japanese Dolby 2.0 track. Since this show came from the 80s, I wasn?t expecting much more than that. I don?t have a high-end sound system, so I can?t get into the technical aspects of the track. However, the audio is nice and clear with no obvious deficiencies.
The soundtrack isn?t exceptional, but I found the opening theme to be catchy. The ending song also was enjoyable along with some of the funky disco riffs used for background music.
Orguss looks very good for being a 1983 show. The picture is crisp and the colorful, which does the series? vivid characters and locale justice. As far as video quality goes, my only complaint has to do with the opening animation sequence. It has a duller look compared to the episode animation, a bit of a yellow tint to it. I can only speculate that the opening was not re-mastered as the credits and song lyrics appear to be hard-subbed.
The animation is dated by today?s standards but still looks good, especially the character animation. Being a fan of Haruhiko Mikimoto, I was pleased to see the characters retain a consistent look throughout the series, unlike Macross. On the other hand, I found the animation of the action scenes to be a mixed bag. Some sequences were fluid and well choreographed while others were awfully choppy and laughable. Since this was a more character-driven show, it didn?t bother me too much.
The discs are collected into a sturdy cardboard box that features a beautiful wraparound illustration by Mikimoto. The DVDs themselves come in seven individual keep-cases. Unlike the box itself, the sleeves leave a bit to be desired. Each one has painted artwork featuring characters or mecha from the series, but I feel the metallic gray border really cheapens the cover image.
There are few extras in this boxset and what is provided is rather unremarkable. Packed into the box is a set of seven trading cards. They are merely smaller versions of the sleeve art for each individual disc. The other extras are a pair of art galleries: a collection of paintings by Mikimoto on disc one and character and mecha designs on disc seven.
Menus are simple and easy to navigate with no understanding of Japanese required. The main menu on each disc features two options: play all and scene selection. Disc one and seven feature a third option, which is the aforementioned art galleries. Overall, the menus are pretty standard stuff that gets the job done.
Super Dimension Century Orguss is a 35-episode TV series, the second of Studio Nue?s three ?Super Dimension? shows. Many of the staff that worked on Macross also worked on Orguss, including Noboru Ishiguro, mecha designer Kazutaka Miyatake and character designer Mikimoto. Like Macross, it?s a show that features a lot of action drama with an interesting set characters and mecha. However, the plot of Orguss distinguishes itself as anything but a Macross clone.
It should be noted that I don?t understand Japanese, so I watched the series following episode synopses I found on the Internet. I missed a lot of dialogue but understood the overall plot.
Sometime in the future, Earth is divided into two superpowers. They are battling over control of a huge orbital elevator that allows them to easily bring materials into space. One of the superpowers hopes to end the conflict by detonating a space/time oscillation bomb and sending the orbital elevator into another dimension. Kei Katsuragi and his friend Olson, the series protagonists?, fight for the power that wants to detonate the space/time oscillation bomb. Plans go awry and Kei accidentally detonates the bomb while trying to defuse it.
However, the bomb does not work as planned. Rather than send the orbital elevator into another dimension, it brings parallel Earths into this dimension and the planet becomes an amalgamation of all these alternate realities. Now, the world is populated by numerous species but is divided into three main powers: the Emaan, the Terram and the Mu. The Emaan are a technically advanced race of traders. They are human in appearance but distinguished by the tentacles that sprout from their heads. The Terram is a human race whose society is built around the military and the Mu are a robot race bent on world domination.
As a result of the blast, Kei is thrust 20 years into the future to an Earth very different from the one he used to live on. He?s picked up by the crew of the Emaan trading ship Glomar and spends the duration of the series traveling and fighting with them. The crew constructs the Orguss, a transforming mecha capable of fighter, GERWALK, tank and battloid modes, for Kei.
It is onboard the Glomar that Kei, who is quite the ladies? man, also meets his love interest Mimsy. The two get off to a rocky start, but they overcome a lot of obstacles to be together by the series? end.
The show gets off to a slow start, as the first 11 episodes consist of character development and Kei fending off small attacks by the Terram in the Orguss.
The plot really picks up on the third disc as we find out why the Terram continuously pursue Kei, who they refer to as one of the Tokuiten. The Tokuiten are the keys to returning the Earth back to normal. Olson, who we learned was still alive in the first disc, starts to play a bigger role in the series. He is a member of the Terram military and also in command of Athena, an ace pilot who is revealed to be Kei?s daughter. Being the other Tokuiten, Olson is committed to returning the Earth back to normal, even if it means it will cost his and Kei?s life.
The remainder of the series sees the Emaan and Terram eventually band together to stop the Mu?s advances for world domination and create a solution to return Earth back to normal. The plan calls for Kei and Olson to ascend into space to the heart of the dimension effect called Daitokuiten. Since Earth is surrounded by an impenetrable dimensional shell, the only way to reach outer space is through the orbital elevator, which happens to be deep in Mu territory.
The Emaan and Terram battle their way to the elevator and Kei and Olson make their way up to the Daitokuiten to find their younger selves and the space/time oscillation bomb before it detonated. Kei and Olson understand the only way to return things back to normal is to eliminate their younger selves, so the four of them draw their guns and shoot.
The show ends with a set of scenes showing all realities have been restored and anything and everything is possible.
I had only seen a handful of episodes from the ill-fated U.S. Renditions release. Now that I have been able to watch the entire series I have a better appreciation of the show and its sequel, Orguss 02.
There haven?t been any indications that Orguss will have an English-language release anytime soon, but with other 80s mecha shows like SPT Layzner and Aura Battler Dunbine headed to R1, seeing this series stateside isn?t entirely out of the question. Until then, these DVDs will have to do.
Japanese Language,Collector?s cards,Art galleries
Toshiba SD-3750, Sony WEGA KV-20FV12