s-Cry-ed Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: s-Cry-ed

s-Cry-ed Vol. #2

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: September 02, 2003


s-Cry-ed Vol. #2
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
Directed by Goro Taniguchi ? Infinite Ryvius. ?X-Men? type action meets anime stylings. After repeated attacks against HOLD and HOLY, Commander Zigmarl is forced to initiate an operation to capture all the Native Alters in the Lost Ground. Spread across the city, the forces of HOLD and HOLY begin arresting everyone in their path. Determined to protect what they have, Kimishima and Kazuma rally as many Native Alters they can find to fight back! An uneasy alliance and the beginning of an unparalled rivalry between Kazuma and Ryuho - The secret to victory rests with the mystery behind Alter powers.

The Review!
Ryuho is after Kazuma with a vengeance after Kazuma?s repeated taking down of the members of HOLY that are sent out to capture him. Meanwhile, he forces behind HOLY increase pressure to take care of the Native Alter threat. Kazuma is only trying to protect the people he cares about, but HOLY doesn?t give an inch.

Audio:

For my primary viewing session, I listened to the show in its original language of Japanese. The music quality in this series is just fantastic and the soundtrack continues to keep my energy level high as I watch the series. Some directionality is used in this stereo track, but it is kept to a minimum. Dialogue and sound effects were crystal clear with no distortions.

Video:

The print used for s-CRY-ed is excellent, and has all evidence of a mostly digital production with film being used for the transfer. Due to the very detailed backgrounds and characters in s-CRY-ed, there is a large amount of line shimmering and cross coloration on small portions of the screen. Backgrounds did not have any macro blocking though. Colors were very bright, but some scenes seemed to be a lot darker than they should have been.

Packaging:

This time, we have Mimori taking front and center on the cover, clutching the pendant Ryuho made as a child. In the background, Ryuho looks up into the sky while Scheris is behind him with her left index finger touching the bottom of her lip thoughtfully. In the background, a storm seems to be brewing. The spine features a volume number, and all the episode names are listed on the back. On the back, the description gives a quick overview of 4 of the 5 episodes on this DVD. Inside there?s an insert that has the front cover, some line drawings of vehicles, and the cast list. Also, there?s a card featuring Kanami and Kazuma. Normally, I don?t mention what the image on the DVD is, but this one caught my eye. It uses the same picture of Mimori from the front cover, but it also feature the pendant. What is neat is the pendant is made by not putting an image over a part of the DVD, so that pendant appears to be a reflective silver.

Menu:

The main menu features Ryuho?s Zetsuei, but in its full powered form. I wish it hadn?t been shown until after the episode that it is introduced in. The main opening scenes play, while we get a moving plasma background. Menus were very responsive, and the fade out used during the eyecatch is used in the menu transitions. All the menus feature a different piece of music that plays. The language menu indicates which item has been chosen, but does allow you to select the currently selected item.

Extras:

Bandai added everything but the kitchen sink to the extras on this DVD. It?s truly deserving of the Platinum Edition label. There are textless openings from each episode on the DVD, since each opening is different. It?s nice that Bandai can get the different openings for a show, unlike other companies. A Japanese promo clip that is subbed has been included that is just perfect in introducing the show. In fact, Bandai should have been using it at conventions, or as a trailer. Tack on one promo for episode 1 also.

Two character videos are on the DVD also, featuring Kazuma and HOLY. They are basically music videos done to the opening. My favorite extra is the sound comic, which is basically some manga that has the character voices and sound effects added. They do some interesting pans, and the kanji text in the manga is ?highlighted? as the voice actor speaks. It?s pretty funny. Rounding out the extras, we?ve got Lost Ground Express #2 which explains more of the world, and a design gallery. Damn I?m impressed.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Let?s get right into this with the First Bullet!

Martin Zigmarl, commander of HOLY, is summoned by superiors and ordered to take care of the current threat in the Lost Ground. That threat is Kazuma, who continues to elude the forces of HOLY. Now, the full forces of HOLY will be sent after Kazuma. In addition to HOLY?s forces, which we became familiar with in the first episode, we now have the Dars. The Dars are the foot soldiers of HOLY, each wearing a mask and trained to fight using only a large Alter-controlled fist.

HOLY?s forces terrorize the countryside hunting Native Alter users, and this time even Kazuma might not be able to stand up to all of them. Kimishima gets Kazuma to join forces with a group of other Alter users, and Ayase Terada and even Biff show up. The Alter users plan to take the first step this time and conduct an attack on HOLY?s forces. Unfortunately, some plans don?t turn out the way you intend them to be. We also get to see a bunch of really strange looking Alters.

Kazuma and Ryuho battle again also, and Ryuho this time releases all the constraints he has kept on Zetsuei. Zetsuei?s speed now is unparalled now, and Kazuma?s end looks near until the battle gets interrupted.

When Ryuho reports back to HOLY and gives his report back to Martin, we learn that Martin doesn?t completely trust Ryuho. Martin gets another report from Elian, an Alter user who works for HOLY that has the power Absolute Perception. Basically he?s a listening post.

Episode eight, Mad Sprict is one the strangest episodes you?ll ever see. Kazuma ends up at HOLY headquarters and he wants to join HOLY! Apparently, his last encounter has turned him around. While all the Alter users at HOLY don?t want him, Commander Zigmarl welcomes him with open arms. Kazuma has a plan though, and that?s to rescue Native Alter users. HOLY is one step ahead of him though, and uses the powers of the HOLY Alter user Bunkei. Bunkei has the power to actually script a play around people, and suck someone into a fantasy world.

Something is going on at HOLY. Records are being deleted, and Mimori is noticing changes being made to the records that she is creating during her observation of captured Alter Users. Elian begins to notice Mimori poking around in the system, and shuts her out. Kazuma is in a slump trying to figure out how to handle HOLY the next time, since he?s beginning to understand his own short comings. Acting on something he learned long ago, he goes into the Alter Forest, a place where the Alter ability even exists in the animals of the forest. In the forest, there is supposedly a place where Alter powers are created.

HOLY continues to search the countryside for Native Alter users in the last episode on this DVD, but Kazuma goes after them by himself this time. In one town, Kazuma encounters Emergy Maxfell, who?s giving toys away to the kids in the town. Everyone in the town actually seems to like him. Emergy tries to talk it out with Kazuma, but Kazuma just ends up punching him time and time again. Emergy has something up his sleeve though, and it?s the Cliffhanger Super Pinch! I love it when this show doesn?t take itself seriously, and here?s a prime example.

The plot continues in the second volume as Kazuma continues his battle against HOLY, despite all the odds against him. Amazingly, despite his rashness, he comes to the realization that if he wants to defeat Ryuho and his Zatsuei, he must strengthen himself. Ryuho is now beginning to enjoy the challenge that Kazuma is presenting to him, but it?s not understandable why HOLY continues to accept Ryuho?s continued failure in capturing Kazuma. Lastly, we have Mimori, who is conducting her own investigation into HOLY, and it?s real purposed in the Lost Ground. What is HOLY doing with all the Native Alter users that it is capturing?

This series continues to draw me in with the episodes in the second volume. In addition to the action occurring with one set of characters, there is intrigue going on behind the scenes. While this certainly isn?t new, and reminds me a bit of Witch Hunter Robin, s-CRY-ed has its own unique twist on things. The characters in s-CRY-ed, especially the members of HOLY, continue to pique my interest. s-CRY-ed has something to offer every anime fan, and shouldn?t be missed.

Features
Japanese Language,English LAnguage,English Subtitles,Design Gallery,Promo Clip,Character Videos,Sound Comic,Ep.1 Preview

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 player, Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rear



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