Ronin Warriors Vol. #10 - 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: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.98
  • Running time: 75/75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Ronin Warriors

Ronin Warriors Vol. #10

By Chris Beveridge     January 31, 2003
Release Date: January 21, 2003


Ronin Warriors Vol. #10
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
With everyone taken prisoner, Anubis is left to fight alone. His effort is valiant, but he is overpowered and taken prisoner. However, just as Talpa is about to complete a ceremony that would merge the netherworld with the mortal world, Anubis uses the last of his power to free Kayura from her possession. Yuli, meanwhile, manages to free the Warriors and the stage is set for the final showdown!

The Review!
The final volume of the series brings us the big climactic battle with everything at stake, all round up into three action packed episodes.

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 over saturated 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 that 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)
After thirty six episodes, the final three of them bring the final confrontation between Arago and the Samurai Troopers as well as certain other forces that have been deceived over time. While the Troopers get sent off-stage for a bit, they’re definitely back to finish things off.

Their training and preparation for their final battle with Arago now that they’re on the Netherworld has pretty much finished and each of the Troopers is ready to face down Arago and his forces and do what must be done to finish things once and for all. Ryo tries to convince Shiten to come with them, but Shiten is still trying to understand what’s happened to Kayura and what he has to do to free her. So the two travel their own paths.

Of course, those paths do intertwine again and not all that far along. Arago’s continuing to solidify his power by having Kayura be controlled by Badamon, the main Netherworld spirit/priest/mage person. As Shiten tries to free her from his control, the Troopers themselves end up under her sway and all tied up in the various power point towers across the capital. We spend a great deal of time with Shiten as he tries to follow through on what Kaos wants by freeing Kayura.

Badaman’s control of Kayura is near complete though, and not only does she just about take down Shiten, she takes out her own loyal samurai in the power armor that serve Arago, as their armors are necessary for the master plan. This takes the dark troopers completely by surprise and they wind up captured inside the power point towers, their armors ready to serve but their minds no longer wanting to.

Arago’s ready himself to deal with this once and for all. With the help of the Netherworld spirits, he intends to simply open the gateway between the two worlds and to let the energy and power spill forth, overrunning the Earth and either destroying or enslaving humanity. As the power begins to flow, this is when the Troopers begin to revive and the real battle with Arago starts.

As a conclusion to the series, it works out well and brings about a number of very conclusive points with various characters, particularly Kayura and Shiten. In a way, those two ended up taking over parts of the final arc and giving it more life, since the Troopers themselves only had the battle with Arago and saving humanity as their motivation, whereas the other two had a more personal level to it. In the end, the series was definitely fun but I still think it got itself far too dragged out in places and would have made a much tighter and more enjoyable twenty six episode series. But for those fans of this series, this release is probably something many thought they’d never see, and they got treated pretty well by getting both versions uncut.

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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