Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ImaginAsian Entertainment
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Running time: 96
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Orguss

Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     September 17, 2007
Release Date: September 25, 2007


Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #2
© ImaginAsian Entertainment


What They Say
In the year 2062, the world's two superpowers are fighting a long and brutal war. In a desperate attempt to win, pilot Kei Katsuragi is given the mission to detonate a super weapon called the Space/Time Oscillation Bomb. The bomb explodes, but the results are completely unexpected: a multitude of dimensions, times, and realities are unleashed into the world! Can Kei reverse the effects and bring life back to normal?

Contains episodes 5-8.

The Review!
Still on the run from the Chilum, Kei and the rest must make their way across Europe to return to the home of the Emarn.

Audio:
Though the majority of Imaginasian's releases will be single language only, Orguss makes out a bit better due to their being a partial dub made back in the early 90's. Only the first seventeen episodes were dubbed though but that track is used here thankfully, keeping it preserved for those that want to see a few name actors early on. That dub track is done at a decent 192 kbps for its stereo mix and it shows a strong difference in overall volume level compared to the weak mono Japanese track, also done at 192 kbps. Once you're in the show and you crank up the volume a bit it doesn't really matter much and it's pretty much just what the source material is. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Video:
Originally airing in 1983, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This single layer disc contains four episodes of the series with a very minimal set of audio tracks to share its bandwidth and space. The results are interesting overall but it clearly shows that the dual layered format is pretty much required for a cleaner look. Part of it may just be the source itself as well. The four episodes come across decently here and avoid the issues that were present at the start of the series with the space scenes. There's a bit of aliasing as well but what you do see feels incredibly mild after watching the trailer for this and the other two shows from the previous volume. In watching this across different sets after our first full viewing, it's continually apparent that the smaller the screen size the better this will look. The problems we had were less on our 50" than our 70" and less still when we shifted down to a 34" CRT.

Orguss is one of the anime titles to be released under the TitleMatch program in which all the authoring is done as normal but instead of replication it's done through burning to DVD-R, giving smaller publishing houses a chance to do some Print On Demand DVDs. Containing the usual CSS protection (that has been effectively useless for what, seven years now?) it's essentially the same as a regular release except in how it's actually put to disc. We popped this disc in a few of our players to see if we'd have any compatibility issues and it worked in just about everything except for our Toshiba TV/DVD combo unit.

Packaging:
None.

Menu:
The menu design is simple but fits nicely with the show though that TMS Classics logo is a bit bigger than I care for. The static background is a shot of space with an edge of the Earth showing where the orbital elevator reaches out. It's got some great colors and richness to it and some of the opening vocals play along the surprisingly long 94 second loop. The right side has the logos along it while the left has the navigation strip which is simple considering how little is really here. Access times are good and fast and everything loads without a problem.

Extras:
Though some may not consider it, the English language track from the 1993 version is listed in the extras as is the nearly ten minute long video art gallery. This has a lot of great looking pieces, some with notes on them, for the mecha designs and more. The colors are very vibrant and the stills look fantastic. Also included is a series of trailers for various Imaginasian properties. If you watch the anime segment before the show itself, you'll find yourself feeling like it'll be a horrible looking experience as the material shown here is just awful looking.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Orguss had a fairly chaotic first volume in that it had to introduce the world that Kei came from and setup how his actions and those of his side basically threw the entire world into flux. Thrown into the future a few years and finding it considerably warped from what he knew, he's struggling to keep up with it as well as keeping up with his sex drive. With some strange creatures, confusing countryside and an entire army after him, he's glad to be surrounded by people who have an interest in him that doesn't seem to involve being hurt or used.

Where most of Kei's problems come into during these episodes are almost the same as the previous ones. His confidence and lack of thinking things through has him getting into situations and making them worse before he can really make them better. With little knowledge of the land and its customs, he walks into numerous things that just make life more difficult for him and his Emarn companions. Shaia and Mimsy have quite a bit of patience with him and Jayviert seems mostly amused with him but Sley has nothing but contempt and distrust for Kei. Kei doesn’t do much to repair things with him either since he continually flirts and approaches Mimsy.

Over these four episodes, there isn't much in the way of actual story or plot progression however. What we get is some clean-up of events from the previous volume with the village that Kei and the others came into and then more of a roadshow. With the group basically being little more than a gypsy caravan with some great technology and sales ideas, their purpose is pretty loose. The group has been given instructions to bring Kei back to the Emarn home since he's so valuable. The usefulness of Kei is still something that hasn't been explored but it's definitely there as you have the Chilum after him for multiple reasons and his status as an idiosyncratic point as well. How it will fit into everything remains to be seen but part of it does become a bit more apparent towards the end of this volume.

Though the series does essentially keep to familiar points for most of it, there is something new that comes up along the way. During the travels back towards the Emarn home, Jayviet tells them that he senses a grape forest nearby. Since grapes are rather good items to sell, the Glowmer is brought there so the crew can harvest some of them. Where the trickiness comes from is that the area that the grape trees are in is set to "transfer" at some point soon. Jayviet is apparently sensitive to all of this as we see through a flashback to when he participated in a transfer that took him away from his girlfriends. Though the crew of the Glowmer appears to be pretty oblivious to Jayviet's warnings, the way it plays out with the Chilum attacking at the same time provides some illumination into the dangers of living in this world.

In watching this volume there is something that keeps getting mentioned that really has me laughing quite a lot. In every episode and sometimes multiple times in an episode, Kei talks about taking a shower. Often by himself but occasionally with a wink towards trying to get Mimsy to join him, Kei is either the dirtiest guy around or the cleanest. I'd actually opt for dirty based on his personality as he does things in the hopes of hooking up with random cute babes or just continually hits on whoever is around him. He even ends up in some highly amusing situations that have Muum being far too raunchy. This entire aspect of Kei's personality is something that may not get noticed much on a weekly basis but when you watch them in batch form like this you really have to wonder what's going through the creative staff's mind.

In Summary:
Although Orguss doesn't break much new ground here or progress all that much, what is here is fun and interesting to watch. These episodes aren't new but revisiting them in Japanese is continuing to be a plus. The biggest plus, one that overshadows the weak plot right now, is my adoration of Haruhiko Mikimoto's character designs. There is just a sense of life and warmth to them that keeps me captivated and fascinated. Traditional animation still holds a greater appeal for me in comparison to a lot of today's digital works so something like Orguss just has a wonderful kind of life to it. While not high art, Orguss has a lot of potential to it in that 80's kind of way and I'm really interested to see how it will replay for what I've seen but also how it will go in episodes that I've never seen.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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