Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: N/A
- 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. #3
By Andrew Tei
October 14, 2003
Release Date: June 17, 2003
Reign: The Obsession of Alexander Vol. #3
What They Say
Episode 8: Here Shall Stand Alexandria
Upon his arrival in Egypt, Alexander sees an Oracle who orders him to construct a new city for himself, and to call it Alexandria. He has a vision of the city 100 years in the future and sees his own enormous grave. Alexander orders an architect of Dionis, Dinocrates, to construct the new capital.
Episode 9: The Oracle of Ammon
Alexander receives instruction from an Oracle at the Egyptian Temple of Ammon: "You will be the king of the world. However, you will be the Devil of destruction, and you will have the sorrow that comes with destroying even the people you love. Moreover, you will be killed by the person closest to you."
Episode 10: Persia Shall Fall
The final decisive battle between Macedonia and Persia begins at Gaugamela, while Diogenes and Aristotle have a meeting. The army of Macedonia braced themselves for a great counterattack ... until the moon, which is a symbol of Persia, started to wane. After a while, the light of Pathos began to emanate from Alexander's body, and then it darted toward Darius III. The Platohedron appeared from the depth of Chaos ... The Review!
Things are rushing towards a conclusion, as Alexander and Darius prepare for the final battle for the future of Persia.Audio:
For my primary viewing session, I listened to the show in its original language of Japanese. The music quality in this series is just fantastic and this volume doesn't fail in this regard. Music in the series is epic in nature, and the orchestration is beautiful. There is very little use of directionality for the sound effects. Most sound is directed towards the front sound stage. No noticeable drop outs or distortions were present, and dialogue was clear.Video:
The transfer for Reign
continues to be outstanding, but considering you have three episodes on one DVD, it's not all too surprising since they can use as much bit rate as possible. There were no major artifacts in the show, but the CG sequences still need some work as they are evident of some line shimmering. Colors were bright and clear. Packaging:
Alexander is present on the cover on top of his war horse. There's a background, but it's not very clear what it is. On the top of the cover, we've go "From the Director of METROPOLIS and the Creator of Aeon Flux". TOKYOPOP?s familiar logo appears on the left side of the front cover. A volume number is present on the side and back. The back cover features the names of all three episodes on this volume, and a shot from each episode. While the runtime says 100 minutes, it's really more like 60 minutesMenu:
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, since the amount of extras on this DVD is amazing. The menu features no indication on what language or subtitle is selected.Extras:
The extras on this volume were a bit lighter. We get a 15 second TV teaser, plus the trailer used to sell the show at MIPCOM, a trade show. The large extra is video of a press conference with Director Yoshinori Kanemori. There's a good amount of information in it, but I can't imagine too many people being all that interested in it.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The armies of Macedonia and Persia have been built up, and now they are prepared for the final fight.
Before committing all his forces to Persia, Alexander took a side trip to take care of Egypt. Afterwards, he was committed to building a city between a curve in a river near the city. One of his own troops, though, apparently is a civic genius. The man, Diocrates, has built other inventions. When Alexander learns of him, he seeks him out without letting him know his identity to get his opinions on what city should be built. When Diocrates describes the "cosmopolis" that we want to build, Alexander is taken into a journey in the future where he is actually in the city that Diocrates is describing. What's interesting though is, Ptolemy, is now the King and the Great King is in a tomb supposedly buried with the platohedron.
The second episode almost seems like filler, as Darius and Alexander are just building up their armies in preparation for the next episode. The magi assassins that are after Alexander's life return, and we learn that they are being sent by Zoroaster. Foreshadowing returns as a prophecy is foretold that tells Alexander he will be killed by someone close to him. Ptolemy gets the direct version himself though. The collection of heroes that Alexander brought with him talk amongst themselves and figure out why they are following Alexander.
Finally in Persia Shall Fall
, the two armies of each king meet each other on the battlefield. Darius? forces surpass Alexander's tremendously in size, and Alexander's forces waver. The king of Persia even figures out how to stop Alexander's famous cavalry forces. Behind the scenes, Attalos, Alexander?s teacher from Athens, meets up with Diogenes in his search for the platohedron, which was tossed into the Chaotic Universe by Diogenes per Plato's dying wishes. Only one thing can bring it out, the clash of forces between two great men. Is the platohedron's emergence on hand?
This volume, it seems, concludes Alexander's military conquest as he faces his greatest opponent ever, so that we can concentrate on the platohedron in the last volume. The forces of destiny seem to be following Alexander, and prophecies on both sides are acting. Attalos has left Greece and is now acting on his own, and through his own daughter Cassandra. Is Cassandra's real mission to protect Alexander though, or does her father and her have other plans for the great king?
Reign continues to surprise me. While the show features some of the hardest to look at character designs, there is a carefully crafted story here. The hard part is getting through the mess that they make crafting it all together. It's more complicated than it should be. The blend of ancient philosophies is also highly entertaining. If you ever find yourself needing a show to check out, Reign is still keeping my attention after three volumes.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,TV Teaser,MIPCOM Trailer,Press Conference with series director
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rear