Reign: The Obsession of Alexander Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A-
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 80
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Reign: The Obsession of Alexander

Reign: The Obsession of Alexander Vol. #2

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: April 15, 2003


Reign: The Obsession of Alexander Vol. #2
© TOKYOPOP


What They Say
Alexander and his armies now occupy the many states and nations of Greece and is on the brink of approaching the great country of Persia. The fulfillment of an oracle leads to doubts concerning his destiny and Alexander ponders whether or not he will destroy the world with his Reign.

The Review!
Alexander continues his conquering of the civilized world, and picks up a few more companions along the way.

Audio:

I listened to the show in Japanese for my primary listening, and the soundtrack continues to be excellent. While the front sound stage does get most of the sound, there are occasional uses of directionality that fit the moment perfectly. The music on the series continues to be excellent. No noticeable dropouts or distortions were present, and dialogue was clear.

I played the English language version while I was writing the review, and everything sounded clear.

Video:

The video transfer remained the same as the first one. For the most part, the video is great, but there are occasional spots where the brightness of the scenes really affects the viewing experience. Dark scenes are poorly encoded, and there are macro blocking artifacts present. The CG scenes possibly saw the benefit of one less episode on the DVD this time, since I didn?t notice the encoding problems present on the first DVD.

Packaging:

The cover features Alexander slicing one of the shadow assassins that come after him occasionally, with a geometric shape in the background. Considering the philosophy in the series, this is quite appropriate. A stress about the original director?s cut being on this DVD is placed above the title for this volume. A volume number is present on the spine. On the back, there?s another stress about this DVD being the director?s cut, and there is a single picture for each of the three episodes on this DVD with their episode titles. The running time is listed as 100 minutes, but that includes the extras. The insert inside provides a character relationship chart, which is very useful.

Menu:

After the front loaded trailers, including one for Tokyopop?s ?100% Authentic Manga Line? (although they continue to leave Initial D in it), the front menu is shown, featuring a map of the area around the Mediterranean. Over the Mediterranean itself, glimpses from different scenes of Reign are shown with the main theme playing. There is a transition sequence when you go to another menu from the main menu. The main options are Play All, Scenes, Setup, and Extras. The setup menu has no onscreen indicators as to what language or subtitles you?ve selected. The Extras menu luckily has a play all option.

Extras:

There were a lot fewer extras on this DVD than the previous volume. There is a theatrical promo, a 30 second DVD commercial, and the trailer from MIPCOM. The only really good extra is from a press conference that features Hiroshi Aramata, who is the author of Alexander.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Things seem to slow down in the second volume of Reign, as Alexander begins his conquest.

Alexander of Macedonia continues his conquering of the various city states of Greece, and moves onto the city of Athens in God of Creation. Except Alexander still isn?t sure about his destiny, and whether it will lead to the destruction of the world. Inside the city of Athens, though, is the philosopher Diogenes, who was a student of Socarates. Alexander seeks him out in order to discover whether he can possibly change his destiny, and to decide the fate of Athens.

In the next two episodes, Alexander moves his focus onto Persia, which is ruled by King Darius III. First, some back-story gets uncovered with how Olympias, Alexander?s mother, met King Philip II, and the events that led to Alexander?s birth. On the third episode Alexander gains another member in his group, the doctor Philipos, from the school of Hippocrates. Philipos will only go with someone though who can solve the mystery of the Gordian Knot, a knot so large and twisted that no one has been able to untie it. Darius and Alexander send their armies against each other, and we explore a Judas relationship forming within Alexander?s ranks.

The pace of the story slows down a lot on this second volume. This second act seemed like more of a setup for later volumes than moving the story along. One of the best parts of the show is the characters, especially with the banter between some of the characters. Diogenes is a laugh riot with his interesting outlook on the world. Alexander continues to explore his destiny and whether he can escape his fate.

I had seen the entire series three months earlier on Cartoon Network before I watched this volume, so I know where everything is going. Reign seems like one of those series that isn't worth a rewatch. While I definitely see Reign as being worth a rental, only a true fan of Chung?s character designer will really want to own this.


Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Theatrical Promo,DVD Commercial,MIPCOM Trailer,Press Conference Footage

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rear


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