Mania Grade: B-
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- Audio Rating: C
- Video Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 3 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Voyager
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Starblazers / Yamato
Starblazers Vol. #2
By Daniel Amsler
February 18, 2002
Release Date: May 15, 2001
Okay before I get into the details I just want to warn all and sundry that I was a huge StarBlazers fan during its initial run in Canada and always regretted not being able to spend the money to collect the series on tape. Having said that the first disk was nearly bad enough to persuade me to dump plans to acquire this series.... I'm glad I held on
They tried this time, the audio while still sounding like its twenty years old is cleaner sounding to my ears than the first disk was. It's no Dual in terms of audio clarity, but it's still miles ahead of the muffled mess that was disk one.
While the extras do add value to the disk, taking off an episode isn't what I call a fair trade so here's where I dock Voyager Entertainment points.
Can we say night and day folks? The first disk on my admittedly inferior setup was a testament on how NOT to authour a DVD... colour blotching, bleeding... at many points in the disk it looked like a painting left out in the sun too long. This second disk cleans up those problems and leaves us with what I think is the best result we can hope for from a twenty-year-old series. As in the first disk there is only one set of opening and closing credits, but the endings of the episodes are a bit better delineated so as to not confuse the viewer and aid in episode navigation. Zooming reveals the typical jaggies of animated
drawings so no surprises there.
I give this a higher grade than the first disc simply because it came in something other than the accursed Scanvo case (Being only able to use one hand effectively the Scanvo cases make for much swearing) otherwise it's as plain vanilla as the first case was.
Maybe I'm being too kind but after the non-effort of disc one, disc two is a wonder. The menu is a shot of the bridge of the Argo with the various choices arrayed on the giant radar screen in the foreground, navigation is a bit confusing, with the choices arrayed in a way that
left/right up/down navigation is not as intuitive as it should be. The background sound snippet from one of the episodes is a nice touch and the menus react quickly enough on my system.
The extras on the disc consist mainly of a snippet of the original Japanese Yamato footage that never made it to air in the US that dealt with the sinking of the ship. While I'm not a history buff, they do manage to get the facts right (as best I have been able to determine). The subtitling font used is legible. The other extra is a preview of disk three, but no release date is given on the disc (a smart thing, given that Voyager is a small outfit and release dates are sometimes hard to meet)
What I thought:
The episodes on the disc (6-9) deal with the Argos further travels within their solar system. Of course the Gamilons aren't about to let them get any farther into their journey if they can help it. To that end the Gamilons attempt to stop the Argo when it is forced to land on a planet to gather minerals needed to repair their engines (and here is where one of the more blatant censoring jobs is done... robot tanks indeed hah) The disc climaxes with a massive battle that the Argo survives by using an asteroid field both as defense *&* offense!
In summation then, this disc is a much better product than the first one and shows that Voyager has put some care and effort into it's production in order to appease the fans and attract some new ones to the cause! "We're off to outer space... we're leaving mother earth... to save the human race.... Our StarBlazers!"
27" RCA ColorTrak TV (Circa 1988 approx), Apex 660 DVD player, Altec Lansing Home Theatre Speakers ADA-104