Space Travelers - Mania.com



Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • 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: 60
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Space Travelers

Space Travelers

By Chris Beveridge     October 23, 2001
Release Date: October 23, 2001


Space Travelers
© Media Blasters


What They Say
New Cosmic Century 038, humanity is suddenly attacked by an unknown alien civilization known as the Orbital Ring System. Soon, the entire Earth Civilization Sphere has been cut off from the space colonies, and is under the control of the ORS. Only Hayabusha Jetter, along with his band of misfit space pirates and smugglers, can break through ORS lines.
Aiding an underground resistance movement, the Space Travelers risk their lives to transport vital supplies to and from Earth. One day, however, a mysterious gentleman hires them to deliver an unmarked spherical container. Hayabusha accepts the mission, with no idea that this simple package may hold the key to mankind's destiny!

The Review!
Space Travelers (The Anime) is based off of a joke of sorts from a movie of the same name, where a group of bank robbers claimed they were space travelers from the future sent into the past. They used names similar to the anime which came later, and there's no real relationship between the two.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. Throughout this show, we got a pretty much standard stereo mix. Dialogue is fairly well placed along the front soundstage, mostly via the center channel. Music and effects use the left/right channels fairly well, but there's no real oomph to the track. Dialogue was clean and clear.

Video:
The show is presented in what appears to be a matted 1.85:1 transfer which is non-anamorphic. The Japanese release was presented in the same way, so there's no loss here. The show employs a lot of colors and a fair amount of CG effects, so it looks pretty decent with little in the way of artifacting outside of some dark blue deep space sequences. There's only a few minor moments of cross coloration and line shimmering is pretty minimal.

Packaging:
The front cover is your generic big cast action pose with everyone getting their bit of space and their usual signature look. It's pretty busy, with lots of guns and bright colors. The back cover provides a number of animation shots and a summary of the show. Technical specs are clearly listed, but there's some inaccuracies here. Deleted scenes are listed as a feature, but don't exist on the disc. TV spots do exist on the disc, but are not listed. The insert is the background to the front cover with chapter listings on one side and box art adverts on the other.

Menus:
The menu layout is done up as a control menu in a starship, and it works quite well. There's little depth to the menus since there's little on the disc besides the feature, and everything is quickly accessed.

Extras:
The only extra included is two TV spots, one of which is almost 90 seconds long that essentially introduces each character. Unfortunately, some bad authoring got mixed in here and if you have selected your audio tracks to Japanese prior to viewing this, you won't get any volume and you may not be able to change it on the fly.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After watching this show, I felt like I had bought a video game based off of a movie. There's something of a plot there, but it's kind of simple and not really important. The animation level is varied, with a mix between 80's animation, 90's CG and some style similar to Aeon Flux, and not in a good way. The meshing of styles just doesn't work. At times, I half wondered if I should even consider this anime.

The show takes place in some future time, when an alien race has arrived, destroyed the planetary defense fleet, installed a massive pair of rings around the planet and essentially destroyed everything down there. All that's left is some ragtag groups on the planet hidden away and those in the colonies.

Our story deals with a group of Space Travelers, a crew with four ships who make the journey between the colonies and the planet, evading the alien attacks. We're introduced to them as they undertake a new job for the Liberation Army, whose performing what they believe will be their final and most successful mission to free the Earth from these aliens. Aliens who we hardly see outside of a few shadows and their massive block starships and swallow bird ships.

If you've seen any amount of 80's sci-fi movies, you've pretty much seen this show. There's a large varied cast whose names leave minimal impact on you. You'll remember them more for the way they laugh when shooting guns at the androids that the aliens employ for combat missions. The shows animation style is also something of a hindrance, with the block ships that look more comfortable in an episode of Galaxy Rangers than here, and the Big O looking characters we have scattered in the cast. Some of the lips movements, particularly Frank, look like they came out of someone whose trying to imitate anime.

This show was a lot of flash with little substance in the end, with a fairly predictable plot and way too many characters bopping around. Thankfully, it was only just under an hour long and will cause little long term damage to me. I'd recommend checking out the live action movie first.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,TV Spots

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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