Spirit Warrior Vol. #3: Festival of the Ogres Revival - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 55
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Spirit Warrior

Spirit Warrior Vol. #3: Festival of the Ogres Revival

By Chris Beveridge     February 08, 2004
Release Date: February 10, 2004

Spirit Warrior Vol. #3: Festival of the Ogres Revival
© Central Park Media

What They Say
On the trail of a haunted statue, apprentice mystic Kujaku clashes with a super-powered warrior that isn't human! The missing statue hoards a demonic power that could destroy the world, and the forces of evil will stop at nothing to snatch it!

The Review!
After finishing out the last story, things move forward to something new here with Kujaku and the gang.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The OVA series features a pretty standard stereo mix with only a few very minor moments of noticeable directionality across the forward soundstage, as the bulk of it is center channel based. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we had no technical issues with it at all.

Originally released to video back in 1988, Spirit Warrior manages to look decent nearly ten years later. The show is pretty dark in nature and with it being traditionally animated, there?s some noticeable grain and breakup visible during some of the backgrounds. Cross coloration and aliasing are very minimal though, providing something of a balance. Colors look good without bleeding and there?s very little noticeable in the way of jitter.

Using a really nicely detailed illustration, the front cover provides a set of images of the leads in this episode set against the flaming backdrop of a city in the distance. The coloring to it seems a bit weak since it feels almost more like a partially done sketch than a full on illustration. The back cover provides a single character shot and gives time over to the summary and the basic features, technical and extras. The reverse side of the cover provides more artwork in black and white as well as chapter listings and the English cast list. Unfortunately, there?s no Japanese listing for actors as it?s listed as unavailable.

With almost an eye-like centerpiece that has clips from the show playing with it, music keeps things humming along here. The top and bottom are lined with images of statues from this episode while the selections are lined over the eye-piece. Selections are quick and easy to access and the layout works nicely with no transitional animations.

The only included extra is a brief video gallery showcasing some shots from the show and the small amount of available artwork for this episode for things like packaging.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Spirit Warrior series has been a mixed bag so far, with some aspects that have been appealing (who can not like a plot with over-muscled Nazi?s) and some that have not. The first storyline is out of the way now and so the series looks for something new to explore. Since the family and Nazi angles have been taken, it?s time to turn to some ancient Japanese material for inspiration.

Kujaku is called into a famous temple where outside there are eight statues that are on display that have been important to customs and traditions for many centuries. Unbeknownst to most people however is that inside the temple and secured away are another eight statues. These were created at the same time but were used to seal away dark demonic powers that were loose in the world. One of them, filled with an overabundance of dark demon power, was done by a powerful monk named Seimei. He captured and sealed in an immense amount of energy into the statue that has helped keep the world safe for centuries now.

But now someone has stolen that one statue and the monks there have called on Kujaku and his powers to try and track down the thief as none of the high-tech surveillance systems caught the perpetrator. Using Kujaku?s ego to trap him into helping them out, he ends up falling for it and sets off after one of the demons that appeared, only to end up running into a giant darkly dressed man known as Onimaru. Onimaru is some sort of hired spiritual arts killer/contractor who has been hired on to track down and retrieve the missing statue for his unnamed client. Kujaku and he clash briefly, but then realize most of their objectives are the same and work together to track down the thief.

The thief is something of an odd sort of fellow. Tatsuma was born into the world with supposedly very strong spiritual powers, but due to his parents dying and the way he was brought up, he was never formally trained to master them or his ambitions. Spending his time in research, he?s discovered the power that the statues contain and is setting to unleash that dark power into the world so as to challenge and overcome it, as well as the likely side-effect of restarting the entire trade of spiritualists again. So he spends his time traveling around to places where Seimei sealed the dark powers and works towards unleashing them again.

The story for this volume isn?t bad, but with it being self-contained for the most part and having little impact on the OVA series in general, it just feels like filler. The story itself is pretty formulaic and has been played out dozens of times in a number of other series, OVAs and movies to much better results. Overall, Kujaku as a character doesn?t offer enough of a hook to provide anything new to this material.

In Summary:
This was likely pretty good material back in 1988, but mixed into today with the number of similar tales told since, it?s showing its age pretty well. The release itself is similar to the previous two, so fans of the show will like it, especially since it?s relatively value priced for the length and age of it. Even still, I can see this being repriced in another year or two down to just under ten bucks and still having a hard time finding a market.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Art Gallery

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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