Mania Grade: C
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B-
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/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: Space Pirate Mito
Space Pirate Mito Vol. #4
By Chris Beveridge
August 03, 2003
Release Date: July 29, 2003
Space Pirate Mito Vol. #4
What They Say
© Media Blasters
The great battle between Mito and Ranban began long ago, when they were both heirs to the galactic royal family. Young members of the royal family have a certain genetic instability, and with Ranban and Mito fighting overhead, Aoi finds that this royal instability is about to affect him personally. The Review!
Space Pirate Mito takes all the revelations of the previous volume and forces itself to go through the action packed and angst ridden final episodes to bring about a fairly predictable ending.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.Packaging:
The front this time around continues to be filled with lots to look at, but the primary visual is really nice shot of a family picture for Aoi while being surrounded by black and white pictures of his youth. 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 and 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:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the revelations in the previous volume about the origins of Mito and the lineage of Aoi as well as the rivalry caused with Ranban, the remaining episodes really have little to work with beyond a number of action sequences as they try to bring everyone back together and defeat not only Ranban but the big bad plan to destroy the Earth.
It’s well done for the most part, but a lot of it makes me feel like I did with the first volume in that there’s just so much going on and everyone is so hyper it seems that it’s all fairly overwhelming. The other part that continues to hinder my enjoyment of the series is that I still haven’t really cared for any of the characters or find many of them likeable really. I don’t hate any of them, but I’m pretty indifferent about them in general.
The show moves briskly from action point to action point, from having Mito’s ship repaired so that they can take on Ranban while Aoi gets broken out by friends aboard that ship and they try to save everyone in their own way. Everyone eventually comes back together and we get a rather fun action sequence that finally lets Aoi get ou there and be a man and show his stuff, but that’s then weakened by the fact that they throw his entire sexuality into question just afterwards. It’s a plot point that’s brought into play only to make one more action sequence all the more tense and I just think it doesn’t work well at all, instead making things unnecessarily longer with the “one more big bad villain to dispose of” mentality that ruins a number of Hollywood films.
There are some good dialogue pieces throughout, such as the revelation of feelings between Mutsuki and Aoi after she gets confronted by his classmates that are captive and we also see more of the past for Ranban and Mito, as well as the reasons why Mito left things in Ranban’s hands initially. But without an emotional hook into any of the characters or the plot, it just plays out for me without any real involvement.
Space Pirate Mito isn’t a bad series, but it’s one that failed to really get me interested in it. A lot of it was too frantic for my tastes, I think the character designs are fairly ugly at times (especially the inability to keep sizes in line) and there’s just way too much yelling going on. This means I’m getting old probably. Fans of the series are likely enjoying it (though wondering why the name was slightly altered) and the disc release for the series was good overall. It’s not something I’d recommend, but I’m sure it’s got its fans.
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.