Mania Grade: F
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: C
- Packaging Rating: B
- Menus Rating: C
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Manga Entertainment
- MSRP: 24.95
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Vampire Wars
By Matt McClellan
January 11, 2003
Release Date: July 30, 2002
Both the English and Japanese stereo tracks sound fine. There's nothing real dynamic about them, but what can you expect from an early 90's OAV? There's no hiss or distortion and, all in all, everything sounds clear enough. There's also a 5.1 mix for the English track, but I didn't get a chance to take advantage of it. I can't imagine it being a big improvement, though.
I know what you might be thinking from my grade, "Manga botched another transfer?!" But no, they didn't, really. This show just isn't going to look particularly good no matter who worked on it. The source materials for this show are kind of like Lost Universe in that they're pretty flat and lifeless. Colors are solid enough, but, by design, they lack any real depth. The picture wasn't nearly as grainy as I thought it would be, however, and print damage was surprisingly low. The overall transfer appears to be competent enough. There's no cross coloration and I didn't notice any serious macroblocking. There's some ugly aliasing during a few camera panning sequences and I did noticed some edge enhancement. In the end, the video is probably as good as it's gonna get.
The front cover has a picture of the main character, Kuki, with a gun aimed. Various other characters are doing theie own thing, all in front of what appears to be an airport. It's not a bad cover and probably makes the show look more interesting than it is. The back cover has a couple shots from the show, with a fairly coherent summary. The features are listed plainly, although the transfer is listed as "full frame version" which may make some people think there's actually a widescreen version available somewhere, which is not the case. Since I only rented this disc, I didn't get to see what the insert looked like.
Using some brief animation from the show for the main menu and static screens for the sub-menus, there's nothing to get real excited about here, design-wise. Still, the access times are good and everything works as it should.
Nothin' beyond the standard Manga stuff. How much related material would you expect for a show like this?
I repeat... ugh. The only real advantage to Vampire Wars is that it's short. But if you do pop this disc in your player, be prepared for 60 minutes of inane, silly and dumb storytelling, unlikeable and forgettable characters and vampires from space. Yeah, you heard me.
The show follows Kuki Kosaburo, a terrorist and all-around scumbag, who's apparently hiding out in Paris. Or something. Still, he's pretty good at what he does, because he ends up being recruited by another scumbag. From then on, Kuki finds, protects and falls in love with some idol singer who is being chased by Vampires and other people she'd probably rather not associate with. Yeah, I don't really get it either.
Actually, I do get it. It's not a complicated show or anything. But it's not very well written or paced, and trying to describe it is petty hard. To add insult to injury, Vampire wars doesn't even have an ending. Throw in some pretty rather below-average animation, even by early 90's OAV standard, ugly and forgettable character designs and below-average and cheesy voice acting in both languages and you get something that, in my opinion, has no redeeming factors.
If Vampire Wars isn't bottom of the barrel anime, then it must be darn close. Manga's DVD isn't great or anything, but there isn't anything outright wrong with it. I would say that fans of this show will enjoy this release, but I can't comprehend the idea of *anyone* being a fan of it. You've probably never heard of Vampire Wars until now, and you're better off for it. Just forget about this show and go watch something else, because odds are it's better than this.
Playstation 2, 19" Sanyo television