Ronin Warriors Vol. #05 - 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: 24.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ronin Warriors

Ronin Warriors Vol. #05

By Chris Beveridge     September 03, 2002
Release Date: August 20, 2002


Ronin Warriors Vol. #05
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Ryo and the other Warriors confront Talpa again, and once again, Talpa seems to have the upper hand. After Talpa quickly absorbs the others and their powers, Ryo and White Blaze are all that stand against the forces of doom and the conquest of the Earth!

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

The Review!
While this segment of episodes brings the series to a midpoint and finishes up the first arc, it tends to be mostly combat, combat and more combat.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Much like the previous volumes, the sound feels a bit low for this mix, but this is something we’ve noted on older shows in the past. 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:
Things shake out in a similar fashion here as well, with lots of darks and almost soft appearance. There’s some color banding going on, most noticeably in still scenes with flesh tones, but otherwise things are in general decent if murky. 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:
Providing another reversible cover which gives the buyer the choice between logos, Bandai keeps both sets of fans happy. The only real difference on the front cover though. 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)
With the big battle underway, the Troopers manage to get themselves a lot closer and deeper within the city. The main place that ends up slowing them up is just before the castle, and that means not only crossing over to it but trying to get inside it. This is an area where Kaos comes back into play, and provides his energies to accomplish both tasks and sends the boys over to deal with Arago as best as they can.

Arago’s definitely confident about all of this though, and between that and the remaining warriors he has on his side, he finds himself with little to worry about. This proves especially true as the real combat begins, and he begins to reveal more of the truths about the armors, and how they were introduced into the culture way back during the Warring States period. The Troopers can’t quite bring themselves to believe that the armors are really Arago’s, and that he can simply start calling them back. Until he starts doing it that is.

This leads to the last pitched battles with Ryo taking a lot of things onto himself, especially as Arago takes on a massive physical form of a several stories tall samurai encased in the acquired armors.

All told, these episodes fly by fairly fast as it was mostly fighting and more fighting with only a few minutes worth of new information. The final episode that deals with the situations resulting from the battle are definitely more dialogue driven, but there’s plenty of flashbacks and recap to keep you scanning forward through it. At most, it’s good to see the guys out of their armors and gaining some personality.

With the next new menace surfacing, and knowing we’re just now halfway through the series, I’m starting to find my attention wandering a bit with this show since it’s more of just a straight action show than anything else.

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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