s-Cry-ed Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • 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: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: s-Cry-ed

s-Cry-ed Vol. #3

By Andrew Tei     October 29, 2003
Release Date: November 04, 2003


s-Cry-ed Vol. #3
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
HOLD troops have finally come knocking on Kazuma and Kanami’s door. As HOLD sweeps across the Lost Ground, they arrest everyone, including Kanami and Kimishima. This latest infringement by HOLD enrages Kazuma and he goes on the rampage attacking all HOLD and HOLY personnel. A showdown between Kazuma and Ryuho soon erupts into an all out battle triggering a second giant seismic event opening a portal to the "Other Side," the place where Alter powers originated. Questioning whether Zigmarl can control the situation, the mainland sends Kinji Mujo to keep an eye on HOLY’s activities.

The Review!
As we hit the half point in the series, a climatic battle between Kazuma and Ryuho takes center stage to determine the future of the Lost Ground.

Audio:

Continuing my trend, I chose to listen to the Japanese original soundtrack. The soundtrack makes use of stereo effects mainly for music and some explosions. Dialogue is delivered from the center speaker while in Pro-Logic mode. Explosions were delivered to the rear speakers. All sound was clear, and distortion free.

Video:

s-CRY-ed’s video quality continues to be excellent. Due to the detailed background, there continues to be a little bit of shimmering. In the beginning of episode eleven, there is one scene that didn't encode very well, but the nature of the scene would challenge any compressionist. The opening and ending credits are left in Japanese, but Bandai provides English ending credits at the end of the DVD. Soft subs are used extensively for signs, episode titles, and the eye-catch.

Packaging:

Kazuma takes the front stage on the cover with his new upgraded Alter power, the Shell Bullet, and his friend Kimishima. Kazuma’s hands glow strong with his new found power. s-CRY-ed appears near the bottom of the front cover, with the subtitle The Other Side, and Bandai’s Platinum label is on top. The spine is very dark, making it very hard to actually read the title. A volume number is on the bottom of the spine. On the back, the episodes on this DVD are quickly summarized. Five different images featuring different characters add to the back. All four episodes included on the DVD are also listed. Inside there’s an insert that features some schematics of some equipment, a copy of the front cover, and the full translated cast listings.

Menu:

After an extensive loading sequence, the main menu features Kimishima with a psychedelic colored moving background. The opening, “Reckless Fire” plays. The options on the main menu are play, scenes, extras, and setup. Setup was the last option, which is an option I usually prefer second so that I can quickly change over to Japanese. The setup menu does clearly indicate what audio and subtitles options are chosen. Menu transitions are very responsive.

Extras:

The amount of extras on here is pretty good, in line with Bandai’s Platinum Series. s-CRY-ed has an opening that changes every episode, and Bandai has been kind enough to include the textless opening of each episode on this DVD since each one is slightly different. Two character videos are on the DVD also, featuring Kimishima and Ryuho. They are basically music videos done to the opening. There is another sound comic on this DVD, 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. One amazing extra is a seventeen minute musical score on the DVD that includes about fourteen different songs that I’m guessing are from two different OSTs. Lastly, there’s a fourteen page design gallery.

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

Destruction abounds in the third volume of s-CRY-ed, and perhaps a new beginning.

Volume three begins with Alters, which starts off as a recap episode. I thought it was a really good way to start out a volume. Mimori got captured at the end of the previous episode, and she’s now in prison going over what has occurred to bring us to this point. During the episode, we also get Ryuho’s, Zigmarl’s, and Kazuma’s thoughts on what has happened. Zigmarl, HOLY's leader, wants to hide the fact that he captured Mimori due to what she learned at the end of the previous episode. A knight in shining armor comes to rescue to her though, and gets her out. Kazuma is recovering from his fight with Emergy Maxwell and his Super Pinch, and finally recovers enough to head with Kimishima back to Kanami. HOLY though has been busy and attacked the farm she worked at.

Kunihiko Kimishima is the name of next episode, and continues straight after the events of the previous episode. Kazuma takes care of HOLY’s forces, while Kimishima goes to try to find Kanami. Unfortunately right after he finds her, they get captured by HOLY. Things go from bad to worse when someone leaks video to the press that claims Kazuma is the one who destroyed the farm. Kanami finally learns that Kazuma is an Alter user. Meanwhile, Mimori has stayed in the Lost Ground instead of leaving for the mainland after her prison break to get the truth about HOLY out in the open. In the wilderness of the Lost Ground, she meets up with Tachibana.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any hotter Lost Ground takes s-CRY-ed up another level as Kazuma goes on a rampage through HOLY’s ranks. Kazuma and Ryuho go looking for each other through the wilderness, and each one ends up with the other’s person’s female companion. When Kazuma learns that Ryuho is with Kanami and Ryuho learns that Kazuma is with Scheris, their anger towards reaches a new level. In the wilderness, Kazuma and Ryuho prepare for another show down with the stakes higher than ever. Their Alter powers go out of control as the anger between resonates. The entire Lost Ground begins to experience an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.5 and altered weather patterns. The destruction is immense.

At the start of Kyuji Mujo, eight months have now passed since the last episode, and Kazuma and Ryuho disappeared in a pillar of light. Mimori, Straight Cougar, and Tachibana search the country side for any signs of them, but come up with nothing. Kanami is part of a slave labor camp now, forced to work to build a camp. Zigmarl presents his findings to HOLD, but leaves information about of it. An advisor from the mainland appears to take control of HOLY and Zigmarl, and his name is Kyuji Mujo. With him, he’s brought Alter users that have been created. By the time this episode gets halfway done though, s-CRY-ed has become a completely different show.

After spending a lot of time developing HOLD and different characters in the last volume of s-CRY-ed, we have a three episode arc at the start of this DVD to bring us to the middle of the series. Kazuma and Ryuho are pushed to their emotional limits as HOLY continues to take everyone in the Lost Ground under their control. Kanami also begins to get drawn into the main story and the price to be paid is high for our heroes.

Mimori, Tachibana, and Straight Cougar find themselves together as allies while this mess goes on. While Mimori and Tachibana are now outsiders, Straight Cougar is still a part of HOLY and can supply them with information.

If there’s one thing I don’t like in any story, it’s the reset button being hit, and that’s what appears to happen at the beginning of episode fourteen. I was teetering between an A- and a B+ for the content rating, but settled for the B+ in the end. While this change in directions may turn out to be good in the end, I don’t see how this fits into the larger picture yet.

Despite all this, s-CRY-ED is still an exciting series with strong characters and a developing plot. Recommended for any anime viewer’s library.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Openings,Character Videos,Music Score Collection,Sound Comic, Design Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 to a Toshiba 36” Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

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