Pilot Candidate Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Pilot Candidate

Pilot Candidate Vol. #3

By Chris Beveridge     June 17, 2002
Release Date: March 05, 2002


Pilot Candidate Vol. #3
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
The importance of teamwork is finally bearing fruit as Pilot and Repairer Candidates alike defend against the onslaught of Victim together. But the price of victory is high when an Ingrid pilot is seriously wounded in combat. Will one of the new Pilot Candidates be called upon to take his place? Episodes 6-8: Pro-Ing, Ground Battle, Death

The Review!
Flying through the series, we did a triple header with the second through fourth volumes of Pilot Candidate, and as each volume progressed, we found ourselves liking it more and more, though still finding fault with it.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. This presented us with a bit of a problem this time, as the subtitles supplied on the disc are actually dubtitles (subtitles listing exactly what the dub says). This lead to a few poorly timed areas as the English dialogue starts in a different place, sections where a line or two in Japanese wasn't translated at all or an area or two where a subtitle shows up but nobody was talking For the audio track itself, it sounded fine with no dropouts or distortions. Dialogue is very center-channel based, but the music made good use during the opening of filling the entire soundstage through both stereo speakers.

Video:
The transfer is about on par with the second volume, though the cross coloration issue drops off slightly. It’s still very much present, but it’s not as prominent as it was before, with the exception of course being the logos and some of the CG. Characters come off much better this time around as well as the colors continuing to like good and solid, with less of the fuzziness we saw in the second volume.

Packaging:
The front cover for this installment is the pairing of Zero and Kizuna, now mysteriously renamed as Kizna. Both are in their uniforms with somewhat amusing expressions while some of the Goddesses do battle in the background. The back cover provides a number of screenshots melded together into a circle with a summary inside. The discs episode numbers are listed as well as their episode titles. These volumes also provide their number on the spine. The discs extras and production information are also listed here. The insert provides another shot of the cover while it folds open to reveal more detailed summaries of each episode and the artwork from the back cover.

Menu:
The menu system is designed similar to the goddess units, with the pod opening and then showing the menu selections across a tablet. The animation is pretty brief and runs without any problems. Accessing other menus is quick and painless and things are laid out in a nice and logical fashion.

Extras:
The extras continue with pieces started in the previous volume. The first is a “voice actor academy” which takes a couple of the lead voice actors and follows them through part of the production. This runs about seven minutes or so and is fairly interesting, especially if you haven’t seen many things like this before. There’s also a just under four minute director interview where he talks about the decision to do a CG show as well as comments from the special effects supervisor.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Things get tossed like a salad for the candidates as external and internal forces continue to push them towards their end goals of piloting the Goddesses.

The teams of the pilot and repairer has been strengthened since we last saw everyone, and things get stronger here as the two in each team work together closer and closer to bringing each other to a level that keeps the pilot alive. Kizna, who we previously knew as Kizuna but has had a name change in the subtitles, and Zero really start getting along quite well, though there’s enough prodding of each other to keep it lively. They fell rather quickly into a good groove, as do most of the others.

Of course, there’s one pair that doesn’t synch well, and that’s Hiead and his repairer. She’s already got the issue of being something of a meek character, which you can tell just from her design and the twitchiness she has, but she’s very deferential and only wanting to do good for Hiead. Hiead wants nothing to do with her other than for her to keep his craft going. His real personality is shown through the interactions with each other. But her personality doesn’t let her handle things in the right way, only allowing her to try and continue to please Hiead, going so far as to mess with other peoples crafts, which opens a whole nother can of worms.

The other major change in this group of episodes is that we get some sparring going on between these new freshmen and some of their seniors. Zero ends up being teamed up with Ernst, a rare telepath. Zero, being the open kind of guy he is, is very open and unassuming with him, but Ernst isn’t sure how to take him, considering the way his life has gone. The pairing works well, and provides a number of amusing moments. They also being to push things forward in realizing just what kind of skills Zero has, notably in the mysterious EX department.

Each volume of this series seems to get progressively better. If it wasn’t for the godawful CG, I’d probably be more enthused about this series. And make sure to avoid the dub.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Dubtitles,Voice Actor Academy,Directors Interview

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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