Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #5 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ImaginAsian Entertainment
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Orguss

Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #5

By Chris Beveridge     November 13, 2007
Release Date: November 13, 2007


Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #5
© 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?

The Review!
Working hard to escape from the Emarn lands, the Glowmer and its crew face some perilous adventures.

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 some amount of copy protection, 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:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Orguss continues to have its world tour of sorts as these four episodes have the crew of the Glowmer on the run once again. This time however they're on the run from their own people after the Thoov family decided that it would be in their best interest to brainwash Kei into doing their bidding to fix the realities as they know it. Nothing makes enemies faster than wanting to wipe their brains clean.

Though the crew of the Glowmer is essentially the same as before, there's a touch more distrust going on at first. It's little surprise that Kei isn't terribly keen on folks considering what the Emarn as a whole attempted to do to him. He's also still coping with some of the things that Olsen had been telling him about how the two of them are the only ones that can repair reality. The idea isn't so far fetched considering how all of it started, but grappling with the idea of what it will do to the planet as it stands now is something that he hasn't completely wrapped his head around. He's not given much time to do so either as now both the Emarn forces and the Chilum are after the ship.

Escaping from the Emarn homeland is difficult enough but it's made worse on a personal level as Mimsy starts to fall ill. She's reaching an age where her body is going through changes that, if not married and pregnant, she'll basically become a eunuch of sorts and no male Emarn will be interested in her ever again. The process kicks off with a fever that lasts a bit and then hits again within the next month, after which she'll be changed permanently. With Sley's heroic act previously taking him out of the picture and Kei not exactly being daddy material at age twenty, Mimsy really has nowhere to turn and falls deep into the fever. Though this arc isn't resolved during these episodes, Kei now finds himself under a lot of pressure that he brings on his own. His position of not knowing a lot of this world has hurt him repeatedly so far but this is likely to be the hardest of them all.

Much of the show is focused on the journey to get out of the country and head to South America where Shaia is intent on using the space elevator to get up into orbit. The plan revolves around letting Kei and Olsen do what they need to do in order to fix everything before it all crumbles in on itself. That's being thwarted by the Thoovs and her sister but there are still some in the Emarn lands that don't like what the Thoovs are doing. Shaia finds that they do get some help along the way but it's still a tight and difficult journey. Part of what helps however is that since they're backtracking a bit they get help from those they befriended along the way, such as Jeanne from Fansui.

While the journey takes up a lot of this, there is some really good material within even if it is kind of forced. With Olsen being on the outs with the Chilum, he's getting most of his intel and help from Athena as she trusts him more than anyone else. Through a series of events that pit her and Kei against each other once again, the two find themselves caught up in a transference that takes them to what seems to be the past. Now, if you can get past the issue of lots of Thoov ships not doing damage to the Orguss II but these spitfire planes being able to shot the hand to crap, well, you can get past anything in this series. The two spend their time in this land in a way that helps each other since neither wants to die. Kei of course is completely the ladies man which is very weird when you consider that she's his daughter. He doesn't know but he's starting to get the drift as the two get closer and she reveals things about her mother.

In Summary:
Orguss doesn't really hit anything new here but it's little surprise after all the exposition and revelations in the previous volume. What we do get here are some good character moments as we see Mimsy's physiology change come to light and a real honest meeting between Kei and Athena. While Kei continues to be a ladies man, he is starting to think more of what's going on in the world and what his place will be in changing all of it. Combined with the influences of others, including Olsen, his choices aren't exactly clear. Everyone is simply interested in moving forward and living but what may happen could destroy almost everyone. How this will play out is looking to be interesting though I suspect we'll have more market day style episodes to deal with yet.

Features
Japanese 1.0 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.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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