Mania Grade: D-
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- Audio Rating: A-
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: A+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Manga Entertainment
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 96
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: X
By Philip Verdieck
March 17, 2002
Release Date: September 25, 2001
Sometimes you pick up a DVD based on the cover. Sometimes you do it based on what you hear from others. After doing the former with this title, I'll be more inclined to stick with the latter.
I was severely disappointed by the time I got through 55 minutes. I was thinking, crap, I have another 45 minutes to go. I did start to like it more towards the end, but overall I think it stinks.
Now the video is first rate. The animation is good, the colors good, the fight scenes good, the dub okay, and the backgrounds good as well. The score you can take or leave. The stupid audio defaults to 2.0 instead of 5.1, but you should be used to that by now. Some of the dialog is quite good, and there is some adequate character development. What I really diskliked about this are several elements of the plot and its execution.
X stands for inexcusable: Kamui. As mentioned in other reviews, you have this epic battle for the destiny of the Earth between the Dragons of the Heavens (good) and the Dragons of the Earth (bad). In comes our hero, who spends most of the feature acting like a petulant idiot. Despite the evidence of the bads guys raining death and destruction upon his allies and the city as a whole, he refrains from doing just about anything useful until the last 15 minutes. He knows they want to destroy the city, yet somehow that is not at odds with his stated goal of protecting his childhood friends Kotori and Fuuma. Moron.
X stands for extremely bad tactics: The Dragons of the Heavens. Kamui's allies know the Apocalyptic battle is upon them. Its mortal combat for the fate of civilization. So what do they do if one of their number gets injured or stricken? They immediately either attempt to assist and leave themselves totally open, or if their friend has fallen, they stop fighting and stand next to their friend until someone stabs them in the back. What were they doing to develop their skills, clubbing baby seals?
X stands for extra dumb: Kamui's friend Kotori. At the beginning she is captured. This involves her slowly being sucked into the ground. So what does she do? She says "oh" a few times in her softest voice, with various stupid expressions on her face instead of calling for help. This is during a battle where bad people are about. Thats Darwinism for you!
X stands for extra lame: There are plot devices, and then there are poorly executed plots. The plot devices in this film are on the D- grade of a horror flick where whenever someone is about to get killed, they just stand about instead of running. Yes, there are coming of age/rite of passage elements in much theatre and anime. However, in most cases the hero realizes this at a point where he can be of value to the cause. In this case, Kamui barely emerges from his crack stupor at the last second. Doh!
This is a DVD for laying down and avoiding. I will not show to friends. I will steer them away if they ask to borrow it. I am really pissed when I think of the much better anime I could have spent my money on. Probably by just throwing a dart blindy at the entire rack in the store.
Summary: Rent it first or borrow it.
Anyone want a copy, viewed once, cheap?
Sony DVP-NS700P, Yamaha RX-V995, LXI 27"