Overman King Gainer Vol. #2 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Overman King Gainer

Overman King Gainer Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     May 09, 2005
Release Date: April 12, 2005

Overman King Gainer Vol. #2
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
The London IMA (International Monitoring Agency) is the central government that strictly censors and controls the Domepolis throughout the world. In order to stop a massive exodus, the London IMA has deployed its troops to certain cities within its walls. Trying to preventing an all out panic, Gain and Gainer have hidden the attack from the people and resume the festival.

Meanwhile, Asuham Boone, who has a past grudge with Gain, launches in all out pursuit!

The Review!
The Exodus continues but not without it's big trials and little tribulations as forces continue to work against them.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this series in its original language of Japanese. The series stereo mix is very well done with a lot of directionality throughout it for both dialogue and action effects that go both across the soundstage as well as some good depth areas as things come from the background to the foreground. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and while listening to both language tracks we had no problems with dropouts or distortions.

Originally airing in 2002, the transfer for this series is presented in its original widescreen aspect ration of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for anamorphic playback. The series has such a mix of colors and a lot of focus on whites that it's a pretty vibrant visual experience that comes across very good here. The print maintains a very solid feel with all of these wide swathes of colors as well as avoiding any real gradient issues as well. Some of the areas are intentionally soft and look good without becoming pixellated and overall this is a really good looking transfer that's free of problems. Being produced by Sunrise, the opening and closing segments are fully translated instead of retaining the original Japanese text.

Using the same artwork as the first Japanese release, we get a dark and busy image that has Asuham and Gain providing the balance of good and evil here while the backdrop provides a look at the darkened city of London. It's a decent looking cover where Asuham really takes the attention due to his colors but Gain comes across well here in his action shot. The back cover continues the brown tones but looks a bit better with more shots from the show here that add color plus all the additional text for the summary and production information. The discs technical specs and features are scattered in a couple of different areas and not all of it is quick and easy to find but it's there. With this release, Bandai does something new that I hope they do more of and that's using the reverse side for all of their insert information. The left panel has some headshots of characters as well as the original staff credits and a Japanese cast credit list while the right panel provides a summary breakdown for each episode plus shots from the show lined next to it. Even nicer is that it's all in full color and not black and white. While this does remove reversible covers, it's something that I like how it's done.

The menu layout is nicely in-theme for the show with a design looking out from inside the King Gainer cockpit. The control panel has the discs navigation selections while the viewscreen has action clips from the show playing throughout it while some of the action oriented instrumental music plays along. The layout is nicely done and has the added bonus of loading quick and being easy to navigate, though I miss having instant episode access at the top level. Language selection continues to be prickly though as once you make the selections there isn't anything that indicates what the show is set at. Access times are nice and fast and the disc did read our players' language presets correctly.

Similar to the first volume, we get a basic line art gallery that has some good looking pieces to it. In addition we also get a video piece that's called a Director's TV Interview which provides a look at how Tomino works and what was involved in getting the show underway. As much fun as we poke at Tomino here over the years, he is fascinating to watch since unlike so many of his contemporaries, he is so vividly animated when he does things with the actors, animators and others involved in the production. This TV special runs about twenty-five minutes in length and covers several other people involved in the production and does a good job of really promoting the series prior to its Japanese airing.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Our look at the first volume of Overman King Gainer was pretty lengthy but it was due to the intricate and complex new world that Yoshiyuki Tomino was introducing us to that we had so much to cover to try and express just how fascinating it all was. The series had kicked off in a very complex manner and left a lot of things until further in to explain that watching what was going on was hard to really connect with, but done in such a way that once it all connected there was a great payoff to it. The end result though is that at least for the start of the series, we've got one big convoy rolling across the Siberian plains looking for a new place to settle in much warmer and comfortable settings.

For those of part of the Exodus, things have been left in a rather bad manner after the last volume as the first section of the city has been left tipped over and impossible to move. The various powered suits they have aren't able to move it properly and almost anything they do makes it worse off. This puts a good deal of stress on people which only adds to the personal stresses going around, particularly when people keep telling Gainer that he shouldn't let Gain and Sara spend too much time alone since he's something of a womanizer and already has children and supposedly at least a common law wife. Gainer is continually watching what the two are up to, which is of course completely innocent, but it's an amusing way to cement his feelings for her.

While they deal with trying to right their convoy and continuing on, the Siberian Railway has some really amusing pieces throughout the first several episodes here as we get to know the president, Kid Munt, has to deal with losing a good chunk of his power in his own attempts to undermine the exodus. With his Gauli forces having been defeated repeatedly and the loss of some key personnel, St. Regan from the London IMA has sent out a special task for to deal with this and it's headed up by Asuham, a forceful looking blonde man who really has a strong distaste for Munt and his people. This leads to some tension on board the train that must keep to its schedule as schedules are everything to Munt.

Since the schedule must be kept, the people on board the Exodus decide that they can use this to their advantage. Taking the invisibility cloak from the suit they defeated previously, they put that on Gainer so that Gain can essentially harpoon the massive train as it goes by and Gainer can stand on top of it and secure the harpoons. With a bit of luck and creativity they should be able to pull the front compartment of the convoy out of the mire that it's in and be able to cut the cables in time and be ready to go. It's an amusing plan when you really think about it since they simply intend to harpoon it but with the designs of the suits, the way everyone acts and the sheer audacity of it they manage to pull of a really great series of events over a couple of episodes in their efforts to get the convoy moving again.

As much fun as the suits and action is here, a lot of what continues to be fun about this show is the characters themselves. The show takes an amusing break for an episode with a festival piece for the school that got yanked along and we get a lot of the typical things associated with that. Sara and Gainer continue to be fun to watch as they're still really figuring out their relationship. The entire festival was worth it for me just to see Sara in a cheerleaders outfit as I'm really enjoying the character designs for this series. What turns into real fun going into the second half of this release though is the way Adette becomes key again as she ditches the Siberian Railway and signs up as one hell of a sexy teacher. More people need to cosplay as her in that outfit.

In Summary:
While the complexity of the show lessens a bit as it settles into its groove, it does continue to have a very neat and unique feel to a lot of it as it's a very imaginative piece that doesn't play completely by the standard rules. Each of the sides that run about here have very personable characters that are a lot of fun to watch as they chew the scenery a bit but not too much. The show moves along nicely here but without making so much progress that you start to wonder how the rest of the show is going to go. With five episodes, it covers a lot of ground and at times almost feels like too much so I'm looking forward to the slight drop in episode count coming up.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Lineart Gallery,Director's TV Interview

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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