Outlaw Star Collection 2 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 44.95
  • Running time: 225
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Outlaw Star

Outlaw Star Collection 2

By Roman Martel     February 16, 2002
Release Date: December 05, 2000



The Review!
Overall Rating: 4.2
(on a scale of 1-5)
Technical
Picture - 4
Sound - 4
Menu - 5
Presentation - 5
Extras - 4
Overall - 4.4

Artistic
Animation - 4
Sound - 4
Plot - 4
Acting - 4
Music - 4
Overall - 4

Intro-
The second set of Outlaw Star was one I've been waiting for. I enjoyed the first set a great deal and was hoping to see some more adventures with our crew. Does the show keep up its fun and entertaining style? Yes. Is it worth picking up? Well, I'm not gonna tell you till you read the whole review J

Technical-
This set keeps up the technical qualities of the first. You've got good picture and sound. The menu's volume problem seems to fixed (or perhaps it doesn't effect the Play Station 2, I'm not sure). That was a bonus. The presentation is great. You've got the show's catgirl, Aisha on the cover and all the info you need on the back. Plus it's in the same type of case as the first set (single keep case with a hinged flap for the first disc while the second disc rests in the usual place). Nice space saver! For the extras you get a non-credit closing and a image gallery of the ships, weapons, and mecha used in the show. For the insert you get a quick Encyclopedia entry of the ship the Outlaw Star. The copywriter seemed a bit fond of the term State-of-the-art, but it's informative.

Content-
Now that I've gotten over the initial surprise of Outlaw Star I was wondering if the show would start losing some of its appeal. I'd have to say that it isn't the case. This show remains entertaining and fun. All the characters are being developed and the story is moving along . . . maybe not as quick as I'd like it too, but it is moving.

The story continues on these discs with out crew trying to get enough money to keep afloat on the planet of Heifong (I'm guessing on the spelling here). The group gets various jobs from entering a space race, exterminating monsters in a sewer, a treasure hunt and of course entering a women's wrestling match. But intermixed with it all is little hints at the mystery of the Galactic Leyline, the dangerous pirates who want the Outlaw Star and of course the mysterious Mcdougall brothers. And of course with every mystery that is solved a couple more pop up.

The animation has remained the same in this set of discs. It's pretty good most of the time but sometimes the characters look a little funky. There is some interesting use of light and camera moves in certain episodes. Episode 15 in particular has a good sense of style to it, especially in scenes with Gene contemplating the duel he's been challenged to. The production design is constant but as I stated before, this show lacks some of the visual style of Bebop and Trigun.

The sound has also remained consistent with the visuals. There were some very different sounds used in the episode "Between Life and Machine", especially with the Space Force Mecha, and the dueling casters. I almost gave it a grade up, but that episode was the only one that really stood out in the sound department.

The plot is going just where I expected it to go. There is one small problem and that is the pacing. As I mentioned in my review of the first set, the pacing on the first disc is perfect. We follow Gene and Jim as they encounter Melfina and Hilda. The plot moves quickly as they crew attempts to steal the Outlaw Star. After they have the ship, the adventure should really begin. But what happens instead is a series of adventures with the crew trying to get enough money to stay alive and find out about the Galactic Leyline and what Hilda was really up to. I know it would be tough for the characters to search for something when they don't even know what it is, but the pacing seems to skip and jump from fun entertaining filler episode, to episode that gives you just some clues but not really answers any questions. These two discs suffer from that problem. But the show makes up for it with the cast and the variety of the adventures. Most of the jobs are different enough that you won't be bored watching them. And the writers keep the mystery going so you want to know what happens next . . . even if you just watched a mostly filler episode.

The last disc ends with the promise of the search for the Galactic Leyline. So I'm pretty hyped for the next disc. The characters are all fun and work well together. Gene seems a bit of a dork sometimes and you just want him to listen to Jim for once. The "we are almost out of money" gag has been running around a bit in the anime I've seen lately. I'm getting a little tired of it, but it does create situations that the characters would not get into otherwise. It was also good to see Aisha do more than act as comic relief in at least one episode.

The acting is still a mixed bag. I'm really enjoying the English cast for Aisha and Jim. They are really good and seem to be into character. Gene . . . I don't know, sometimes he's great and sometimes he seems a bit bored. Melfina and Suzuka are good. The supporting cast still ranges from overacted to bored as hell. Sometimes I'm tempted to switch to Japanese, but nothing has been bad enough for me to change it... yet.

The music is good. The score hasn't really jumped out at me at all. Again in episode 15 "The Seven Emerge" there is some interesting music that worked rather well. But that's been the only time where the score has stood out. I've said this before, but if the score supports the images and doesn't pull you away (because it's so good or so bad) than it's a good score. Here's a case in point.

I'm getting the next disc and I'm looking forward to it. This has been a fun ride so far and I'm ready for more. If the show can keep up the entertainment and not fizzle at the end (like happens with some shows) than I think we've got a good solid series. Let's see what happens next.

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...
roman@animeondvd.com



Review Equipment
General Electric Performance Plus (25 Inch), Sony Playstation 2

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