Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #7 - 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: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Orguss

Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #7

By Chris Beveridge     December 26, 2007
Release Date: December 11, 2007


Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #7
© 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!
Chilum and Emarn working together, Kei and Mimsy finding happiness… and robots getting high. It's mass hysteria in the super dimensional century.

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, which is obviously not on this volume, 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)
Change is in the air during the five episodes presented on this volume which gets us pretty close to the ending. Much has been going on both on the political level and the personal level as the crew of the Glowmer race (slowly) towards the orbital elevator so that they can get Kei and Olsen out into space and restore the planet. Forces on both sides are trying to stop them but events are starting to overtake the plans of both the Emarn and the Chilum.

The political side of the map has been interesting as we've seen people like Manisha change her allegiance over time and as events have played out. Now with her guarding the Glowmer with her small fleet, Shaia is able to make better progress towards their goals. But it's still murky as to whether this has assuaged the fears back in the Emarn homeland which means there could be potential trouble from there. At the same time, the Glowmer is finding that they have to move close into Chilum territory to gain raw precious materials they need in order to complete the Space Time Converter. That leads to enough headaches in and of itself, since the Chilum are now in a very desperate mode.

That desperation is borne out of the fact that the Mu are now on the move and intend to exterminate all illogical living life. Nothing is as good as they are and so they must destroy man, much like they did in their own continuity a hundred years prior. Their intent to carry out the plan is in full swing and they've made impressive runs at the Chilum already since they want to remove any chance of their own extinction. The idea of the Chilum having access to rewriting the worlds continuity has them on edge and they're quick to eliminate the problem. That brings all of the focus back on everyone's favorite idiosyncratic points as they're now the last best hope for survival. And even the Chilum realize that as the Mu start sweeping over the world carrying out their terrible distraction.

But can the Chilum be trusted, even when the president is involved? The turn of events in this direction is certainly intriguing and the arguments put forth by them are very convincing considering what's coming. Both sides get into bed with each other a bit quickly but times like this necessitate quick actions. What's most amusing is how smitten Shaia seems to be by the president of Chilum and we see Manisha trying to temper her in this area. Kei has some good moments during the negotiations as well, though he comes across as a playboy again when they trade hostages and he finds himself with five beautiful female pilots. So many missed opportunities in this show…

In Summary:
Orguss continues to work with some fun ideas but some difficult execution aspects. The plodding pace by the Glowmer continues to frustrate as do some of the back and forth moments with the characters. Yet there is also a great deal of fun in the midst of all of this, such as Kei telling Olsen it's okay to love his daughter or seeing the Colonel infiltrate the Mu headquarters only to find a lot of Mu who are basically high on robotic drugs. Orguss has so many different things to it considering its age, from drug use to sex, mixed in with basic action and military/world politics that sometimes it's difficult to come together. Yet in the end, it's a fun show that could just use a bit of tightening up in the plotting and a bit more time spent with characters actually expressing themselves. It's all good fun and it's really great to finally see episodes that I've never seen and be able to finish a show I started fifteen years ago. Now that's patience.

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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