Ronin Warriors Vol. #02 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: C+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 100/100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ronin Warriors

Ronin Warriors Vol. #02

By Chris Beveridge     June 01, 2002
Release Date: May 21, 2002


Ronin Warriors Vol. #02
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
After a fierce battle, the Ronin Warriors have been scattered across Japan. It is up to the remaining warrior, Ryo, to track down and revive the others before it's too late. But Arago's not taking any chances, and he sends his Warlords to block the path at every turn. Ryo will have to work fast if he's going to stand a chance against Arago and save his comrades.

Presented in unique DVD-10 format with four complete, uncut Japanese language episodes of "Legendary Armor Samurai Troopers" and four complete, uncut English language episodes of "Ronin Warriors" for a total of eight episodes!

The Review!
Samurai Troopers chugs along with another batch of four episodes as well as another four episodes of the dub only Ronin Warriors. I’ll admit it again, I only have time for one version and chose Samurai Troopers since I haven’t seen it before.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. The track is a somewhat low sounding standard stereo track. There’s little in the way of directionality but everything across the forward soundstage sounds decent if a bit lower than I’d expect. Dialogue is nice and clear and we didn’t notice any distortions.

Video:
The transfer here is about on par with the first volume, so expect more of the same with the way the show was done with lots of darks and almost soft appearance. With some grain and some cross coloration added in to some oversaturated colors, particularly the red of the Wildfire armor, you've got a show that's showing its age a fair bit here. It's not horrible by any stretch and still looks a lot better than broadcast.

Packaging:
This volume features another reversible cover, giving the buyer the choice between logos, which is the only real difference on the front cover. The back cover provides a summary of what to expect and some animation shots as well as the episode numbers and titles. The insert provides the same artwork on each side but with their respective logos and the episode titles, since the Ronin Warriors one used different names.

Menu:
For both sides of the disc, the menus are pretty simple. You get episode selection right from the main page and the only difference with the Japanese side is that it has a selection for subtitles and the credits are several pages longer as they include the credits from the show itself.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Legendary Armor Samurai Trooper picks up pretty much where things left off last time, with Ryo being the only awakened one of the group after Arago scattered them to the wind. We catch up with him, Jun, Naste and White Blaze as they head to an area where they’ve learned that Seiji may be. All the troopers except for Ryo continue to be encased in some different way, keeping them from reviving and joining back into the fight.

Ryo’s not going to have it easy of course, since Naaza and his venom tipped blade are out to stop him before he can revive any of them. The two go through some sparring matches, with Ryo showing off some of his increased abilities but still getting his rear end handed to him. It’s only the last minute intervention of White Blaze that saves him from being completely eliminated. Things do lead deep into the mountain where Seiji is though, and you can see how it’s going to go.

The same formula essentially applies as the show goes on, though spaced out a bit since there’s almost forty episodes to this series. Two more of the Troopers locations are discovered and the group opts to split up to go after them quicker. This only makes Arago more impatient about things because the Troopers are all learning more about their armor and their growing abilities. But of course, being the standard villain that he is, he only sends one of his minions of Doom after them at a time. And these minions continue to believe that while they haven’t been able to stop a single trooper, their own lowly servants will have the ability to stop them.

But that’s standard fare for this series, and this series is really just a fun little action show with some style for its time. With things being stretched out a bit due to the series length, the opening episodes that help introduce all the characters are a bit more spread apart, but we still don’t get to know the characters all that well. So far, it seems like none have lives outside of their armor, something I hope gets addressed in future episodes.

This batch of episodes was fun in its own way, but definitely pales next to a lot of series we’ve seen over the past couple of years. A lot of it is that I’m just not yet in the right mindset for a show that’s really aimed at a younger set than what I’m normally seeing.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Reversible Cover

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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