Ronin Warriors Vol. #07 - 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: 200
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ronin Warriors

Ronin Warriors Vol. #07

By Chris Beveridge     October 29, 2002
Release Date: October 22, 2002


Ronin Warriors Vol. #07
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
The Ancient has appeared to the Warriors in a dream, telling them that they must all work hard and hone their powers. They split up and go off to practice and train, but Talpa is waiting for them. One by one, the Warriors fall prey to Talpa’s henchmen until there are only two of them left. And then, they evil Lady Kayura appears to deal with the last two Warriors.

The Review!
Arago’s making waves again and setting the stage for capturing all the Samurai Troopers. This sets things up for each Trooper to get some personal time, but also starts expanding our knowledge of the Netherworld.

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. The one area that shows how bad the source materials likely were is the new eye-catch, which has a lot of nicks and scratches compared to the actual episode itself.

Packaging:
Providing another reversible cover which gives the buyer the choice between logos, Bandai keeps both sets of fans happy. The only real difference is 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)
Now that Arago is once again working the scene, his group of evil doers is set to take down the Samurai Troopers. While they focused hard on them last time, they were too reliant on their numbers to do something effective. Arago, while not admitting to mistakes, is certainly learning from them. The goal this time is to bring them through whatever means possible to the Netherworld where they can be properly taken care of.

This results in having Naaza become the point man early on for capturing them. Naaza decides that the best thing to do is to capture them one by one when they’re not together. Go figure, using common sense of an evil doer! Naaza opts to go after Shin of the Torrents and has a rather cunning plan for it. Using the materials available to him, he essentially builds a robotic evil version of Shin’s armor, and set it against Shin. Of course, for this to happen, Shin has to be by himself.

This is coincidental, as all of the Troopers are now going in separate directions for training. After having dealt with the powers of the white armor that Ryo has called forth, each took some time to find their own way about things. In their dreams, they have visions of Kaos telling them what they need to refocus on to move beyond the stage they’re in. All of them have essentially realized that they’re too dependent on their armors, and must refocus on their spirits to become even stronger.

So, they all set out to different areas of Japan for self training and spiritual focusing. This allows Naaza to make waves and go after Shin for a start. Each of the episodes focus on the battle and attempted capture of a different Trooper, with the final two dealing with something very much missing in this series – a woman. A woman from the Netherworld with strong powers starts to get involved on what appears to be Arago’s side, which causes some male confusion among the remaining Troopers.

These four episodes were pretty good since they gave each character almost an entire episode to themselves and to flesh out their mindsets about the entire ordeal. This is all prep work for the final eleven episodes that are coming up, which are likely to be large scale battles throughout the Netherworld. But with the addition of the woman from that dimension, there’s hope for some interesting twists.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

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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