Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #8 - 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. #8

By Chris Beveridge     December 27, 2007
Release Date: December 11, 2007


Orguss, Super Dimensional Century Vol. #8
© 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 end is near as Kei and company finally make their attack into the orbital elevator in order to save the world.

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)
Thought it took far too many years considering I started with this show back in the early 90's with US Renditions release of it, I've now finally seen it to the end and I feel complete. Not exactly happy, but this was sort of the standard for anime series back in the day with less than clear endings that leave it up to the viewer. As always though, the journey is far better than the destination and these last five episodes have plenty of payoff.

That payoff kicks in right away as the show decides to let us know that Mimsy is pregnant. It seems like only yesterday that Kei and Mimsy were even holding hands, never mind getting down to business. Yet this change is thrown in a bit quickly and it allows for Kei to have his mindset change completely. While he's been somewhat impulsive from the start and almost easily of mind to throw his life away in a battle, he's now far more introspective and thoughtful of other people. He's always had that sense of love for everyone he comes into contact with to some extent, but now he's getting a very different view of the world due to the idea of him becoming a father. It's cute and done with very quick cuts in order to highlight it, but it has a dramatic effect on the remainder of the series.

Once that's dealt with, the series gets moving forward more on the cooperation between the Chilum and the Emarn over the space time converter and setting up plans for the attack on the orbital elevator. In between all of this there's a fairly annoying secondary story that takes up a bit of time revolving around the Chilum officer Henry who wants revenge for his comrade's death, enough so that he actually takes ten or so men and abandons the Chilum chain of command so he can pursue him. This makes him the new number one enemy since the Chilum need Kei and Olsen in order to save the world. It adds a bit of needless drama to things but it does help to tie Athena a bit more to events and give her a reason to protect the Glowmer and everyone on it.

The Chilum and Emarn technical cooperation stage which started in the previous volume gets some good time here. As expected, there are plans afoot to subvert everything in the Chilum's favor and the uncertainty of whether League can resolve it or not in time is given plenty of chances to play out. That storyline gets woven into things for a bit as do several others. Muum has some good moments as her time with the crew has changed her and she feels closer to them than anyone else before. Javiet has a nice partial episode where he finally finds his homeland and has to deal with what comes of that. The best material comes with Athena though as she works through her emotions over finding out that she's going to have a sibling, dealing with someone like Kei as her father, abandonment issues in relation to her mother and her changing love with Olsen. She could hold down a series by herself and I'd enjoy it quite a lot.

A good chunk of this volume revolves around the action and it certainly doesn't disappoint there. Kei and Olsen get into a number of fights, you have Athena riding roughshod over Henry and his crew and you have a ton of Mu getting into things as they're swarming all over. It does provide some balance between aerial dogfights and some non mecha action and it even lets Muum get into things when she hooks up a cannon to her chest so she can have a weapon. Shows like this from this time period always fascinate me with how well they do things like the missile strikes and vapor trails, so getting a ton of that throughout these last episodes was a great payoff for me. As much as I enjoy it in newer shows, when we do get it, it lacks some of that real fluidity and feeling of these traditional shows in how they animated it.

In Summary:
Completing the circle at long last, Orguss has finally come to a close and I'm very satisfied with the overall experience. The ending they give us is something of a copout since it isn't clear cut, but we did get to avoid the Macross potential by having ten more episodes strapped on with something that wasn't originally plotted. That took a few more years to happen with the OVA sequel. As a whole, I really enjoyed Orguss and it was great to see it all the way through. Imaginasian certainly picked a good title to start with due to the older fanbase and having a dub for at least some of it. The show is certainly still a hard to near impossible sell for a lot of more recent fans, but hopefully the old school fans and mecha lovers came out of the woodwork and ponied up for something that US Renditions could never do properly for fans.

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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