Space Pirate Mito Vol. #2 - 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: B-
  • 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: Space Pirate Mito

Space Pirate Mito Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     April 05, 2003
Release Date: March 25, 2003


Space Pirate Mito Vol. #2
© Media Blasters


What They Say
As a member of the Galactic Patrol, it is Mutsuki's duty to capture Space Pirate Mito at any cost. With no more time to plan, she is forced into a new offensive. The clueless Aoi has become smitten with the young officer and their first date went like clockwork. But bringing her home to mother isn't so easy. Mutsuki prepares to use the hapless boy as a hostage and capture the wanted felon. Will she complete her duty to the Galactic Patrol, or will her own feelings come first?

The Review!
After a chaotic first volume that overwhelmed us with all its activity, things slow down nicely here for the second volume and we get some good solid background on the show.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Though fairly recent, it’s like most TV series and uses the basics of a stereo mix without doing a whole lot in terms of directionality across the forward soundstage. Dialogue is clear and crisp throughout and we didn’t notice any dropouts or distortions, but this falls under your basic decent sounding television track.

Video:
The transfer here is decent with a good rendition of the colors, no cross coloration and only a few areas of noticeable aliasing. The series feels close to Lost Universe in how it’s going to look, as there’s a mix of traditional animation and then spaceship animation for some scenes being done in full computer generation mode. Those scenes naturally look much sharper, which in turn gives the regular animation scenes look a little more flat and almost grainy. The grain does become more pronounced in these episodes as well as causing some background shifting in the night blue sky sequences. The opening episode also tends to have a bit more jitter during normally stationary scenes, but this drops off as it goes on.

Packaging:
The front cover here is yet another big cast filled piece with lots of small sized alien characters all over it and acting out set against the spiraling galaxy image. The back cover provides a nice mix of shots from the show and more character artwork ringed around it and around the disc summary. The volume numbering is nicely placed on the cover but oddly enough not the spine, while the back cover lists the episode numbers and the discs production and technical information. The insert mixes up pieces from both the front and back cover as well as providing the chapter listings on one side while the reverse is just advertisements.

Menu:
The main menu is a bright character filled piece of static animation that twirls around with the selections ringed around it. The opening song plays along and loops very well, considering how badly some menus stop at the wrong point and loop again. Access times are nice and fast and the layout, thought bright, fits perfectly with the series and there’s all kinds of neat little things to see if you spend the time with it.

Extras:
There are a couple of small good extras included with this release. The first is the inclusion of a textless ending sequence, which is nice since this is the slower piece and much more pleasant on the ears. There are also some TV spots included as well as a “pirate video”, which is a short promotional piece for the series.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the first volume, I wasn’t really looking forward to the second installment all that much. The show simply was a bit too much for me to really get a foothold of interest in with all that was going on as well as characters that just didn’t seem to click for me. With this release though, things slow down considerably and we get some much-needed background.

Things start off quick with Mito going right into the big story of her past with Aoi, though her past for him only starts with her taking refuge on Earth (amusingly referred to as a planet where we’re being watched to make sure we don’t kill ourselves). Since the planet is fairly well off limits, she takes advantage of this fact and crashes in Japan. Her arrival brings her into the mountains where she comes across a wounded man. She’s fairly inconsiderate towards him and just uses him to get the electronics she needs.

She eventually takes him to his house where he indicates he has more, and thus begins the relationship between Mito and Kagero. Mito’s kept herself in her Mail unit, so he’s unaware of her true nature. Mito spends most of her time simply waiting, but Kagero lets her do as she wants without questioning her. And that turns out to be the one thing that frustrates her the most. So when the two actually go at it over the way they’re living while she’s waiting, they end up getting into a huge emotional rush and then start to really live with each other.

This is the period where Mito seems the most human, even more so than she does when she’s dealing with her son in the present. When she’s with him, and those around her, she tends to fall more into her captain mode and parental mode, both of which are fairly similar at times to cause it to happen. But with her also living with the fear of the Galactic Patrol also trying to capture her and use Aoi against her, she’s even more protective.

Another aspect that works well in these episodes is the growing relationship between Aoi and Mutsuki, much to the shock of her brother Masatsuki. What makes this situation stand out nicely is that Mutsuki’s feelings get revealed by others at school, and rather than complete denial and anger over it, she ends up happily accepting it, and finds that there’s power in saying the same to others, which helps her deal with potential trouble. But that power doesn’t work well with Masatsuki, and he ends up going over her head to get their actual job back on track.

And that’s the capture of Mito, which comes to a head when he launches his attack robot and starts an all out attack on Mito’s ship with his own, all while the big bad Ranban and his core fleet of hundreds of ships arrive on Earth to deal with Mito once and for all. It’s around this episode that things really start going back to the chaotic style of the first volume as Mito gets her large crew back into the show and the energy level goes up exponentially. But at least this time around I’m a bit more interested in the characters and the relationships.

I’m still not sure what to make of a lot of this show though, especially the entire “midget” aspect of Mito and those of the Patrol who are similar in height. Never mind the entire thing of how she managed to have Kagero’s baby, considering he’s grow up as tall as he has. Unless her Mail Suit performs that aspect of bodily functions as well. At least with this volume, we get some good face time with the cast that doesn’t involve constant high-pitched shouting.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Textless Ending,Pirate Video,TV Spots

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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