Rhea Gall Force (Remastered) - 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: C
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gall Force

Rhea Gall Force (Remastered)

By Chris Beveridge     March 22, 2003
Release Date: March 11, 2003


Rhea Gall Force (Remastered)
© Central Park Media


What They Say
Features character designs by Kenichi Sonoda (Gunsmith Cats and Bubblegum Crisis)!
Created by Hideki Kakinuma (Megazone 23)

In the year 2085, a scientist resurrected bloodthirsty alien machines and brought about the end of civilization. Now, one woman must rise to fight this inexorable army, to unite humanity and regroup to Mars, where humanity will make one last stand.

The Review!
After the continuity linked first three volumes of Gall Force, Rhea takes things in a different direction and provides something of a more traditional post apocalypse tale set in the same universe.

Audio:
Having enjoyed the first movie in Japanese and liking the cast from there, we opted for continuity and watched it in Japanese here. The show has a pretty basic stereo mix with most of the dialogue through the center channel while the music and overall sound effects use the left/right channels. Dialogue is nice and clear throughout and we noticed no dropouts or distortions on either track during regular playback.

Video:
Originally released in 1989, the materials here continue to look better than I would have expected. Colors are nice and fresh looking, cross coloration is very minimal and while there is a fair bit of aliasing, most of it comes from the complex spaceship animations being panned over by the camera.

Packaging:
Keeping in style with the rest of the box set release, the logo here is done up with the same font and the cover is very black heavy on the background. The cast gets a bit more mixed here for the first time as we have a male on the cover in addition to this show’s lead women all hooked up in their gear. The back cover has a few animation shots and a quick summary of this episodes premise as well as listing the discs features and basic technical information. The black and white reverse side has the same pictures and has the chapter stops and the bilingual cast listing. The production credits for both sides are here as well.

Menu:
The menu layout is a bit simpler than the other releases with static character images in the foreground while a targeting sight goes back and forth over them. There’s some movement in the background as things move towards the front there and some minor sound effects playing to give it a bit of an eerie feeling. The layout is pretty standard CPM stuff, so I’ll let the rants be this time and simply note that things work well here outside of the normal issues.

Extras:
The only extra here is a brief video artwork gallery and a trailer for this release.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Rhea Gall Force had been released a few years back under a sublicense to NuTech Entertainment. I had originally passed that review to someone else to do since I held hope that the previous chapter would be released first, since I hate watching things out of order. Add in that the original release had no dub and I believe was also hard subtitled and it wasn’t something I’d want to spend time with anyway.

Having now seen the first three chapters in the space of a week, I decided to go all out and finish off the box and see what Rhea is all about. Whereas the trilogy part of the box tells the tale of the past with the Solnoid and Paranoid races deep at war and trying to figure a way out of their box of doom, Rhea Gall Force follows from a tangent in the first episode to take us to “our” Earth but in the year 2085. Humanity has gone plodding along much like we know it now, but sometime in the 21st century things went bad.

During a lunar excavation, the spaceship from the Stardust Wars episode was discovered, and inside that ship contained a chip that survived that told of all the technology and history of the Solnoid and Paranoid races. With humanity being what it is, and being part of the larger cycle that we saw throughout the trilogy, they adopted both the good technology and the bad technology. Quickly. Before anyone really understood all the weapons at hand, the androids they had built with their plasma weapons had removed the restraining shackles that kept them from hurting those who created them, and the androids began their war to take over the planet and eliminate humanity.

Obviously not caring for many of their own kind, they launched a massive plasma attack on the entire world, reducing it to ruins. There’s just scattered remnants left, taking potshots at whatever recon vessels come out hunting for them. Things are bleak and only looking bleaker as the story shifts to following one of the small groups of fighters lead by Sandy, the daughter of the man who discovered and unearthed the alien ship. Sandy and her group are riding a bit high after defeating a recon vessel, but their spirits plummet after they find their small group of refugees dead upon returning from the mission.

To make things worse, upon joining the larger main unit, they learn that the humans on Mars are planning to aid them, but it will take two years to do so. Most of the people there don’t believe they’ll live more than two months, and the two sides that hold meetings there begins to break down. So with Sandy trying to push a change and have them work together to take charge of their own destiny, they begin a daring plan to get the 30,000 remaining humans in their care off planet and into safety.

Rhea Gall Force plays very much like a traditional show and has very little to really have it be dependent upon seeing the first three. It really serves as a break in the series and allows a new jumping on point but also provides a great deal of little tidbits and hints of things from what did happen during the original trilogy. We see the results of each of those first three episodes throughout this single episode as well as getting a decent little post apocalyptic war story.

Rhea Gall Force won’t change the world, but it’s a nice endcap to the box set and provides a real change of pace and character to the series. This is definitely the release to get if given a choice of the two as the quality is much better overall.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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