Virus Vol. #3 - 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: Manga Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 120
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Virus

Virus Vol. #3

By Andrew Tei     December 05, 2003
Release Date: June 24, 2003


Virus Vol. #3
© Manga Entertainment


What They Say
When the Virus invades S.T.A.N.D.'s central computer, Serge must overcome his own demons and activate his transcendence mode to counteract the threat. But with the activation of the same type of multi-dimensional oscillator that gave birth to Black Valentine, is Serge really stopping the Virus, or is it using him to further it's own ends?

To make matters worse, the Zainell Corporation, troubled by this public demonstration of forbidden technology, begins dismantling S.T.A.N.D. With their forces divided, and Macus opposing them, the remaining members of the team must summon all their strength to launch one final desperate assault on the orbital source of the virus!

The Review!
The adventures of S.T.A.N.D. comes to an end finally in the last volume of Virus.

Audio:

I listened to the original Japanese stereo mix for my primary listening session. The music score shines through the release. Dialogue is clear and the sound effects didn’t present any distortions.

Video:

The video on this volume appeared to be better than the previous volume. Colors are muted, but this appears to be normal. There were no signs of cross coloration or bleeding. A tiny bit of aliasing crept in.

Packaging:

The front cover features five members of S.T.A.N.D. on the cover. Volume information is on the front and spine. The back lists the episodes, and gives a one line summary of each episode. There is an insert inside listing the chapter stops and pictures of each of the three covers.

Menu:

The front menu features the opening music playing with various images from the episodes on this DVD playing in the background. Volume 3 is displayed in the upper right corner. You can either select play, scene access, set-up, or features. The scene access lets you select one of the eight chapter stops. Sadly, there is no indicator of what episode number you are watching. In the language menu, there is no indicator on what choice you’ve selected.

Extras:

The extras on the third volume include all the eye catches, which were included with the episodes. There are character profiles, which have been on every single volume. The last extra is an interview with Obari conducted by Keith Burgess. It’s a fifteen minute interview that should only be half as long since we have the question being asked in English, then translated to Japanese, Obari’s answer in Japanese, and finally the English translation. The interview is worth it now, since I finally understand why this show was a complete mess.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

This mangled show finally ends, as the creators quickly try to explain everything that is going on.

Things only seem to get more complicated as S.T.A.N.D. continues to try to recover from the Virus that infected their headquarters in the last episode. Forces in the Zainell Corporation, which runs Hong Kong pretty much, are now even prepared to shut down S.T.A.N.D. since they believe S.T.A.N.D. cannot defeat the Virus and is only eating up resources. The captain, Raven, still seems to now a lot more about the situation then he’s letting his team onto and discusses it with his assistant. Unfortunately, the Virus takes over his assistant, who is actually an android. The team escapes from headquarters with only Serge’s Variable Gear, and they must stop the android and rescue Raven.

In The Struggle Within, Zainell sends troops to take over S.T.A.N.D.’s headquarters and Zainell is prepared to abandon Neo Hong Kong. Most of the members of STAND are now in hiding, and Raven and Serge are missing. Things start to get really confusing now, as things start to get explained. Serge’s background comes to light, and how the Incubator creates the Virus. It’s all explained in rather confusing exposition sequence. Afterwards though, Serge now seems to have the will to continue the fight. The remaining members of S.T.A.N.D. are able to regroup, and escape.

Serge now has the determination to take the fight straight to the Incubator though, and even the members of S.T.A.N.D. who didn’t like Serge in the beginning have turned around and are ready to join him in a direct fight against the Incubator. There are still forces within Zainell that believe taking a fight to the Incubator is fruitless and could only result in even more destruction. The remaining members of S.T.A.N.D. though are determined.

Virus was a mess when it started and even in the end it’s still a mess. Masami Obari is trying to develop some type of man/machine/God type of philosophy, but it’s all a complete jumble. The plot development in the series just never seems to get on track, and stumbles towards the end. The few episodes that were good in the series completely focused on the development of characters rather than try to move the plot forward.

The character designs in the series never caught my eye, and seemed to be over done. Every character feature is exaggerated to a ridiculous extreme that isn’t eye pleasing. The dialogue in the series was poor, and ranged from techno babble, and Erika screaming out “Serge” every minute.

There probably is some audience for this show, but I have no idea what it is. Masami Obari fans might like the designs possibly, but I can’t imagine anyone getting into the plot or caring about any of the characters. This is a definite pass.


Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 to a Toshiba 36” Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears

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