Overman King Gainer Vol. #3 - 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: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Overman King Gainer

Overman King Gainer Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     June 20, 2005
Release Date: June 14, 2005

Overman King Gainer Vol. #3
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
Thanks to Gain and Gainer, the Siberian Exodus has completed the first half of its journey to Yapan, and its example begins to inspire the citizens of the other Domepoli. The vengeful Asuham Boone redoubles his efforts to stop the Exodus, but the hunter and the hunted soon find themselves confronting even more powerful enemies. In the ruins of an ancient town, their battle awakens a monstrous Overman which dates back to the days of the very first Exodus, and at Lake Baikal an old rival of Gainer is waiting to meet him face to face. Gain, Gainer, and Asuham are pushed to their limits as they battle the earliest of Overmen... and the very newest.

The Review!
Elements of Exoduses past come to light this time as does another look at the larger world itself as Gain and Gainer continue to defend the convoy.

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, this volume continues to have a dark feel to it but is nicely balanced by a lot of light colors inside of the character designs, this one in particular with a number of secondary characters in their bright outfits and hair styles all over the place. 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.

This volume has an interesting set of extras included in it. There's a selection of openings and closings with the standard clean version of the opening and closing. There's also a clean version of the special ending sequence which is the one where that cast is "rolled" over with an all-seeing eye a couple of times. We also get a little compilation feature that runs just over two minutes that covers the events of the first eleven episodes. Now that's a recap episode! And as usual, there's a section of line artwork that's included.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the opening sequence to this series, it's easy to get into the groove of the show right from the start and just smile. This sequence is simply so addictive and enjoyable to watch that I wish there were more musical oriented anime shows out there to showcase the talent and creativity. Of course, that gives people the fear of Disney-fied anime but I'm very curious to see what could be produced, even just for an episode of a series.

Overman King Gainer reaches the halfway mark with this volume and settles a few of the things from the past and essentially moves forward once again with the entire Exodus. There's some really fun material right at the start of this volume as the Exodus folks get to hook into the satellite feed of a nearby Domeopolis and they see how they're being viewed by the media. They actually come off rather well and unsurprisingly they've inspired numerous others to think about performing an Exodus of their own. The show shifts briefly to this as a part of anther Dome is starting to get underway by Asuham arrives there early enough in action that he's able to stop it. Plus, there's nobody like Gain on their side to help them do everything right. Watching all of this happen only reinforces the efforts of those in the Yapan Exodus to do their best.

One thing that is learned from the broadcasts is that the aristocrats of a Domeopolis that undergoes an Exodus are being dissolved or punished heavily by those above them. Princess Ana learns of this and when they arrive at the traveling bazaar where the Exodus is stocking up heavily on goods and items, she tries to sneak away so that she can return to the Dome and help save her family from punishment. Her attempt to flee comes at the same time Asuham and others descend to attack and it causes all sorts of problems, the most amusing of which has Lioubov on a hoverbike racing all over the place to save Princess Ana. Ana comes across well here especially for her age as she copes with what her family is going through and the way her father disowns her for her own good.

The big part to this volume, which is a bit overlong I think, has the Exodus coming close to an interesting place along the way that they decide is the original Meeya's Town. Covered in snow and looking like ruins, the place is where the original Meeya began her own journey and they discover buried within it an ancient Overman named Brunhilde. Normally, finding such a thing would be a good thing but it's actually awakened when Asuham launches an attack on the area and it awakens the thing in an absolute horrible mood and ends up absorbing into it both Asuhama and Sara. The two find themselves forced to work together from the inside while on the outside Gain and Gainer have to deal with the things Overskill and the way it seems even more upset than it should be.

What really seems to be setting Brunhilde into such a state of ire is that when Gain arrives on his hopper, we realize that the arm on it actually belongs to Brunhilde and that it feels its presence and wants it back. This works out well since the Overskill that Brunhilde has is something close to creating miniature black holes, the arm is able to repel them since it's a part of the original and it gives Gainer a bit of an advantage in dealing with the attacks. We get to see the back story of how Gain got the arm and its inclusion as his primary weapon for the hopper he uses. It's an interesting twist and explains a lot of what he's been able to do before since you realize just how powerful such a piece actually is.

There's a lot of fun to be had with this volume. I love the new Overman that Asuham has at the start and how he's able to use its stealing Overskill in a creative (if unbelievable) way of being able to steal things from within things, such as muscles from Gainer so that it's arm goes limp. If you're going to do that, just steal the pilot out from it and be done with it, or their brains, arms or something else. He does use his smarts a bit by swiping Gainers ammo at one point and making things more difficult for him. The show has a really fun and nearly over the top style to it that Tomino manages to bring to a lot of his shows and I'll readily admit that when I'm watching Overman King Gainer, I'm enjoying the hell out of it and loving the ride. But it really is a fairly average show that's pretty forgettable within a day or two if not shorter. It's a great experience at the time but it does leave me wanting something a bit more afterwards. It's like Tomino got over the complexity issues that kept Brain Powered from really being great and got back to the core action and adventure but lost some of what he did need.

In Summary:
The halfway mark of the series brings some interesting elements into the show, particularly the last episode, and this is all quite enjoyable fun. There's something just so addictive about it from the opening note of each episode but it isn't quite a filling show in the long run. This volume carries on much of what it did before but is feeling more and more streamlined as we know the cast better and better but it falls into the typical trap of battle repetition that Tomino has done so well in the past where it takes a lot of time before you really feel like this are moving along. This is bright shiny fun and a good way to spend some time with something that's not like a lot of other shows out there. Tomino's got a creative side that provides for some really interesting visuals and story quirks and Overman really has that in spades.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Lineart Gallery,-Episodes 1-11 compilation ,Textless Opening,Textless Ending (Pilot Version),Textless Ending

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


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