Mania Grade: B
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B-
- Menus Rating: B-
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Media Blasters
- MSRP: 24.95
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Sadamitsu the Destroyer
Sadamitsu the Destroyer Vol. #3
By Chris Beveridge
July 02, 2004
Release Date: June 15, 2004
Sadamitsu the Destroyer Vol. #3
What They Say
© Media Blasters
Earth's armies have fallen to the massive firepower of the evil Agni. His comrade, Ruga, has the lethal ability to attack Sadamitsu through his Material Guard. Ido, the devious master of mind control, intends to use Yayoi's planet-busting power to take over the Earth. But no matter how strong the enemy is, the fire in Sadamitsu's heart rages stronger. The Review!
With Sataima in such ruin and Kyobaku preparing for the arrival of even more Ryukeitai, things are at their grimmest for Sadamitsu as he discovers secrets from the past.Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The mix is a rather decent stereo mix with some good moments of directionality during the action sequences but less so during the dialogue, which is more center channel based. We had no issues with either track during regular playback for distortions or dropouts.Video:
Originally airing in 2001, Sadamitsu's transfer is a solid looking transfer that utilizes a good mix of colors. Much of the backgrounds are done in standard colors, but there are some good mixes of lush colors in there as well, such as the grass during the first episode. Foreground animation is much richer in style and vibrancy, with the aliens getting some good colors as well as other areas with character designs. Aliasing is pretty minimal and only a few instances of cross coloration showed up making the end result an enjoyable experience.Packaging:
The final cover to the series ends things well with a near full body shot of Sadamitsu in his armor and helmet set against a moonlight night with the tall buildings ringing around the background, giving it something of a closed-in feeling. The artwork for it even looks a bit more smoothed out than some of the past pieces and it looks good here. The back cover has several animation shots and one of the more comical disc summaries I've read in a long time. The discs features and extras are split into two areas, both well laid out and easy to read. The insert is just a rundown of the chapters underneath the logo with a few shots from the back cover included while the reverse side is boxart advertisements.Menu:
The main menu layout is heavy on the logo with it taking up a good chunk of the screen, though it does have animation from the show playing inside the letters to a red hue. Behind it is a series of black and white shots from the show itself. Selections are lined along the bottom and are quick to access and load times are fast with no transitional animations.Extras:
With the extras, it's almost entirely more of the same but in a good way. There was a lot of Japanese extra material available and the final volume has the third installments of a lot of it, from the visit to Kawaguchi city to more staff and cast interviews. The voice acting lessons session with Mitsuya are once again quite a bit of fun and there's the informative section on the Ryukeitai that goes over various ones found in different episodes. The fresh domestic piece of the extras is a new series of dub outtakes that covers the entire series. Some are good, some are lame and some are just brilliant. There's one scene in the series where the show shifts from standard animation to pencil roughs really and it's well done for what they're trying to convey, but the outtake version takes it one step further and overlays a version of that certain song from A-Ha in the 80's and it just fits beautifully. Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Sadamitsu the Destroyer, the series has proven that a very well told tale can be done in ten episodes and doesn't need that stretch to twelve or thirteen. This series has really been something of a surprise which has only been reaffirmed as it's gone along as it's avoided a great number of the traps of similar series. The general lack of filler and the focus on the plot at hand with a lot of style added to it that's non-standard helps Sadamitsu stand out in the crowd. Providing it got any kind of real marketing push that is.
One of the things that I liked about the show is just how far it's gone in messing with the world in general. The mass amount of destruction laid upon the city with the arrival of Kyobaku is just fantastic. The ruined buildings everywhere is a nice change of pace for the settings instead of the warehouses and other places that Sadamitsu has been fighting around for the past several episodes. With the final battles starting to happen, the view of the land adds a lot to the epic feel of things as Sadamitsu lays into those who are stopping him.
Another really interesting aspect of the show is that we get the history of this particular Vulture explained in full and how they are used by the Pursuers. In order to have them available on site when they're needed, the call that is made for their assistance has them traveling back in time and across space so that they can arrive in the local situation when needed, not weeks or months after the request. It's a bit tricky in a way but it brings in some interesting possibilities. So through one episode we get to see how the Vulture arrived and ended up going through the sequence of events related to it and Kamashiro, which in turn explains some of the sealed memories that Sadamitsu has regarding the past. It brings certain aspects from earlier in the series in a clearer light and helps explain some of her actions and the way the Vulture has been acting. All told, it was a nice little semi-recap and a good way of bringing everything full circle.
If there was anything to be disappointed as the opening arc in the larger story came to its conclusion is that a good part of the second half of the last episode is done as a recap of the series to date with Junk relaying his experiences on Earth and with Sadamitsu. It just seemed like they couldn't figure out how to finish things out without giving too much time that would make it feel like they were really going to continue the show on. Other than that, the ending is done rather well and I really like how the lead characters all played against each other in this. It's a show that put hard choices in front of the characters and they had to go and deal with that. It fits in perfectly with the style of show with its heavy leaning towards the classic western/cowboy look and tone, particularly with Sadamitsu's personal theme. With the way the show is left, it really felt like the end of any number of gritty westerns I've seen over the years.In Summary:
Sadamitsu started off as a series that I had practically zero interest in and turned into something that I really got into. It's sense of style and the way it does things takes some of the standards of a show like this and shifts them just enough from the norms to give it a really fun feel and something, well, less wimpy than a lot of similar shows. Sadamitsu is the school ruffian who doesn't put up with crap and ends up taking on the role of a real hero but one with flaws and with some tragedy in his life. While the show may not be worth the price of admission across all three volumes, this is a set that I'll highly recommend checking out when the inevitable brick set comes along.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Visiting Kawaguchi City,Outtakes,Ryuketai Encyclopedia,Staff and Cast Interviews,Voice Acting Lessons
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.