Rhea Gall Force - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: C
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: NuTech Digital, Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Gall Force

Rhea Gall Force

By Chris Beveridge     June 26, 2001
Release Date: June 26, 2001


Rhea Gall Force
© NuTech Digital, Inc.


What They Say
World War III is now only a memory, but the same machines that will look familiar to people who watched the original series are walking the ravaged Earth. This title represents the link between the original series and the newer ones (but not surprisingly doesn't really explain why everyone looks so familiar!).

The Review!
Serving as the "bridge" between only lightly related OVA series, Rhea Gall Force is at its core your generic 80's science fiction anime movie. It's influences are fairly obvious, and if you're a fan of the dark future from the Terminator movies, you'll probably end up enjoying this anime take on it.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. This works out well as Japanese is the only language available on this disc. It's a pretty simple stereo mix, with no real directionality across the front soundstage. Dialogue is clear and the occasional bits of music as well as the sound effects come across clearly. No real surprises here at all.

Video:
This is a pretty nice looking transfer overall, with little in the way of authoring problems. A couple of areas have some noticeable color banding, and some of the skies occasionally break up a bit, but otherwise things are pretty solid. There's a fair amount of grain in a few scenes and some pretty regular speckling, dust and dirt throughout. The print in general is in good condition, but the animation level is something where you can see the cel laying over the background a few times.

Packaging:
I'm not overly fond of the rather dark and unappealing cover art here, and especially not of the "Preview Trailers" banner that runs across the bottom of the front cover. The back cover has a couple of shots of character animation as well as a decent summary of the show. There's not much in the way of flash or style with the packaging here.

Menus:
The menu system has a fairly nice interactive style to it, with animation playing in the background to the selections that come up. Access times among the menus are nice and fast, and as there's not a lot to this disc, the menus are uncluttered.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the longer running OVA series of the 80's was the Gall Force series, a few pieces of which have made their way over to the U.S. in the past decade or so. The first one that was released almost three years ago onto DVD was Gall Force: Eternal Story. This particular tale does a good job of bringing about the rise of humanity on Earth in the past, as a decent science fiction movie.

Rhea Gall Force takes place on this Earth, much like ours, but in the year 2085. Years earlier, humanity discovered the technology that was "lost" when humanity was brought to Earth during an excavation on the moon. The knowledge of life outside of the Earth, combined with faster than light travel, high tech weapons and robots and cyborgs, this essentially brought full scale war to Earth as everyone wanted the knowledge. Sides built armies using various new techniques, which in turn led to the creation of super powered machines that turned on humanity, and now hunts them all down.

But the feuds among the factions continue, even as millions and millions of people have perished. In-between warring against the machines, humanity continues to fight against itself. This would normally go on and on, but something has happened that is causing the sides to finally come together to work to get the non-combatants off-planet so humanity can continue in some way.

This brings in the various key players, who are essentially different versions of the same character design we've seen throughout the previous OVA series. The characters are fairly cookie cutter, and with a 60 minute running time to tell the tale, we don't get to really know them all that well. The only real enjoyable difference between this particular show and the past one is that the past one was exclusively women, so the interaction with men here brings something new to the Gall Force setting.

While there's really nothing wrong with this disc or its presentation, the short running time combined with the higher price and the lack of an English dub means that this won't get a heck of a lot of exposure. But with it being about twelve years since it was originally released, I don't think the Gall Force brand name has much sway anymore, and this is basically something that mostly die-hard fans of the show will want to pick up. Or if you're into predictable 80's sci-fi movies. Otherwise I'd give this one a pass.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

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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