Spaceship Agga Ruter - Mania.com



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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: 18 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Anime 18
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Spaceship Agga Ruter

Spaceship Agga Ruter

By Chris Beveridge     September 29, 2003
Release Date: December 04, 2001


Spaceship Agga Ruter
© Anime 18


What They Say
Captain Taiyo and his super-seductive partner travel the galaxy, surviving on their skills in love. So they're more than ready to take on a sexy space pirate with designs on domination. Soon, this voluptuous vixen is eating out of their hands. But she's wanted in more ways than one, and when the Space Fleet shows up to collar her, Taiyo must rescue her from a stick situation.

The Review!
Spaceship Agga Ruter's main claim to fame is that it's written/directed and designed by one of the main forces behind the popular Tenchi Muyo franchise. And with the animation being done by AIC, it's no surprise that just like the Masquerade release, character designs are almost frighteningly familiar.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its original language of Japanese. A fairly recent release in Japan, the show serves up a pretty standard stereo soundtrack. Dialogue and other emotions are through the center channel while the stereo channels are used to fill up the forward soundstage with the music and background effects. Dialogue was pretty clean with no noticeable dropouts or distortions.

Video:
With the show receiving some pretty good production values and looking a lot like other AIC shows, the main bad point about this release is just how soft it looks. I can't tell if it's intentional or not, but I can't help but think it would have looked better if it had been sharper and with less grain. Colors are pretty decent and there wasn't much of any cross coloration throughout the program.

Packaging:
A fairly busy cover, we get shots of all the primary female characters in various states of undress along with a good feel for the science fiction side of things. The back cover provides some more character design images and a brief summary of the program along with all the various features and production info. The reverse side provides more black and white artwork along with the English cast listing and the chapter stops. Once again, the Japanese voice actors have requested their names be withheld.

Menus:
A rather nice menu and definitely SF oriented, you get a nice panning shot of the various spaceships of the show while an opaque overlay lists the selections on the right. Various robots from the show pop up on on occasion to wave at you. Moving about the menu is pretty simple and the layout is like most other CPM discs. If there's anything that really annoys me is that after it cycles through once on the main menu, it then jumps into the program. And with this being an Anime 18 title, you end up with the locked warning screens (AGAIN) and have to wait for that to be done before you can return the menu. Bloody annoying.

Extras:
A decent array of extras are provided here, with some usual standards. The cast pages provides a page for each of the main characters with a static image and a running piece of animation (in English only). A brief summary about the character is provided at the bottom too. The storyboard to animation sessions continue to be interesting especially to see just how detailed some shows get with their storyboards while others are practically stick figures. There are also three separate video image galleries, each running just under three minutes. The character sketch one is probably my favorite since it shows some interesting designs for the various elaborate outfits.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Agga Ruter is set up with a lot of promise and expectations due to the folks working behind it. After enjoying the Masquerade release so much, I was looking forward to seeing something on the silly side from the same people. Unfortunately, I felt too much of it just fell pretty flat and ended up nodding off during one episode. That just doesn't happen.

The show focuses around Taiyo, your pretty innocent and nice guy. Taiyo's spent most of his life aboard the Agga Ruter with his "mother" Kei. Kei found him when he was young and has raised him as her own. Her raising him has involved all sorts of communication techniques between people, which in other words is sexual techniques. This ranges from the hardcore stuff up through the simple touching of pleasure spots on places like hands. Taiyo's done well under Kei's instruction.

But the Agga Ruter now finds itself captured by the space pirate Jannis under the contract offered by someone named Shiunk. She manages to quickly and easily capture the ship since Taiyo and Kei were otherwise occupied. Kei decides that it's time for Taiyo to start communicating with others and that he can no longer call her mother. So they head off into Jannis' ship, where we find Jannis rather upset that they aren't acting like proper hostages. So she sets them to work cleaning her ship, which they're eager to do.

And they do indeed do silly things. They read her diary aloud over the PA system, as well as her poetry. They play her dating/romance sim and ruin it, and so on and so forth. Eventually, Taiyo ends up communicating with her and we find her to be something of a transforming creature that gets all furry and clawy when she reaches certain peaks. With Taiyo's skills, the three end up becoming pretty good friends and things change in regards to Shiunk.

The gang then heads off on other adventures, with one of the main ones being Kei trying to complete her mysterious primary mission. This doesn't go along too far, since the show ends rather abruptly during the fourth episode. Considering it all came out back in 1998, odds are there aren't going to be anymore episodes so we end up with yet another OVA series that doesn't complete. That's probably added to my distaste for this show. But mainly, I just found so much of the silliness to be overly forced and just not funny. Taiyo's just far too innocent/naive to be interested in and the female characters are too wildly off the wall at most times to really get into.

This show definitely has its share of fans and I had hoped to join them, but it's not to be. Those who've loved it though will likely be pleased by having all four episodes on one disc for a decent price and a decent transfer. There's nothing really bad about the release, it's just not my cup of tea.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Meet the Characters,Storyboards,Art Gallery,Character Sketch Gallery,Production Design Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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