Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #6 - 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. #6

By Chris Beveridge     November 14, 2007
Release Date: November 13, 2007


Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #6
© 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!
The personal issues facing the cast start to get dealt with all as the Chilum's pursuit becomes ever more dangerous.

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 gets a bump up to five episodes with this volume which is good as the story is really starting to pick up the pace. The series has had a number of revelations so far but the chance for the characters to actually digest and act on it has been minimal. The last volume threw a lot at the wall so it's interesting to see what's sticking and what's starting to fall away.

This set of episodes gets into things right away as Athena outright confronts Kei on the battlefield as she's intent on being able to bring her uncle back into her life properly. The Olsen is defending Kei only seems to heighten her intensity of wanting him dead which doesn't bode well for poor Kei. As much fun as the actual battle scenes are between the two, mostly because Kei finds himself really outclassed by her, it's the verbal sparring that happens afterwards in the presence of Olsen and Mimsy that really wins out big. When Olsen lays down the reality of the relationship between her and Kei, she pretty much has a breakdown as she can't believe what she's hearing. It doesn't help that Kei is having a hard time believing it too but it pretty much knocks the wind out of all of them on an emotional level. One of the best parts of it though is that we get to see more of Athena's past with her mother and a younger Olsen who was looking in on them. The relationship between Athena and Olsen is looking to be much more but events won't quite allow that just yet.

A surprising amount of background is given with another pair of characters in this volume as there is some good quality time spent with Shaia and Manisha. The two sisters have been contentious ever since Shaia return to Emarn and it only got worse so when Shaia decided to retrieve Kei and whisk him out of the country. Manisha has some long unresolved issues with her sister that start to come out more openly here beyond just Shaia leaving on her original journey with the factory. Their childhood looks to be fairly typical for sisters, particularly as Manisha is the younger of the two and always feeling left behind. But events go deeper than that as the reasons for Shaia's leaving the Thoov family management to Manisha as well as some surprising revelations about Manisha's husband. After learning of the physiological change that Shaia has gone through and what we learn here, it really speaks a lot of her character and helps to grow her beyond the same what scatterbrained personality she's displayed so far.

As much as there is of the good character issues throughout these episodes there is also a great deal of action. The chase between the various sides continues on and slowly changes in some ways but the Glowmer and its crew are no more safe than they were before. If anything, they're now more unsafe simply because Olsen is traveling with them and giving the Chilum all the more reason to take them down. There are some fascinating changes thrown into the mix though as both sides start playing around with their space time converter devices and that draws the attention of the always logical and near indestructible Mu. These guys have been lying low for awhile now and outside of the use of characters like Muum and the Colonel they haven't been getting much play. It may seem a bit forced at this point into the story but their intentions in the larger scale suddenly become far more important as the various sides are moving forward with their plans to save the planet.

In Summary:
Orguss doesn't have a lot of plotlines running through it but what there is for stories plays out rather well. Relationships are the key right now as the Glowmer is on the run so there is plenty of time to explore all the various ones that are in play. Kei and Mimsy take on a new level here which is very welcome, Athena and Kei now have a very different relationship and even Olsen is starting to realize things that weren't clear to him before. Even some of the more secondary characters like Shaia and Manisha spend some quality time on this. Of course, it's all mixed into some corny storytelling methods and unbelievable battle sequences, but the heart of it all is still a lot of fun. Firmly into episodes that never saw release in North America, it's all brand new to me which is exciting, even if it took far too long to finally happen.

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.

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