Zone of the Enders Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: ADV Films UK
  • MSRP: �19.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Zone of Enders

Zone of the Enders Vol. #2

By Paul Jacques     July 23, 2003
Release Date: June 16, 2003


Zone of the Enders Vol. #2
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
Space cargo ship pilot James Links and his family are on the run, unjustly accused of interplanetary terrorism. Mars offers hope for clearing the family name, but can the Links' get safely out of Earth's orbit with governments, agencies and spies throwing everything they've got at the Ender?

The Links family dodges Earth's World Defense Surveillance on one side and mysterious Martian agents on the other, only to find themselves caught in the middle-among the smugglers, thugs, and gangsters who navigate the space between them all. Fortunately, they have an ally in Orbital Frame Dolores. She's got even more secrets and power to reveal in the second volume of Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i!



The Review!
I'm happy to say that volume 2 is just as good as 1. The action is good, but more importantly the characters develop a little more as they begin to interact.

Audio:
Audio in both Japanese and English is clear and punchy. Which is good because the intro song "Zone of the Enders" still plays like an 80's Bon Jovi rock anthem (brrrr). On the flip side I am warming to the closing song "Ring on the World".


Video:
The video is clean and no problems were seen in the presentation, with good strong colors. If you can get over the simple look of series (characters look a little Marvel~esque), then it has no problems from a visual point of view.


Packaging:
Front covers has Pete (the cat), plus a fantasy scene with Dolores and James in fairy tale garb.

The insert has Dolores, Bashiriko and Romero looming large on the front. The usual listings are on the back, with a drawing of a suited Leon whose looking ready for business.


Menu:
Menu is good, with the options presented down the left side, with "Language" and "Extras" across the bottom. The background has our friend Romero pointing a very large gun in our face (gulp).

All title hotspots worked, and worked quickly, with no dead-end links. The opening song is played over the top in continuous loops (OK, that drives me nuts).


Extras:
Whoa, lots of extras in this one. The sketches, artwork and the (short) interviews are decent, so be sure and look into them. What impressed me a lot was the detail in "Deimos Station" on how the moons, planets and stations all work, although it got a little technical at times. Still, it proves they thought through the science they wanted to use.

The Dolores Diary is a collection of the preview links from each episode.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Well, well, well, the first volume left us on a real cliffhanger, with Dolores very broken in the cargo hold, James looking for his children, Leon capture by the nefarious agent, and Noel (plus cat) in custody of Baan.

The first two episode does a pretty good job of running you through the emotion mill as we see how Dolores fixes herself, rescues the Links family and makes a getaway. Unfortunately it's not a clean getaway and the family are force to seek shelter on the infamous colony called Zarugasu. Whilst there, they discover they can get to Mars faster using the colonies catapult, but only if they can cut a deal with the local Mafia.

Episode 8 starts with Dolores in the midst of a huge space battle, and ends with a dramatic race to get to the catapult before it launches. In this episode we get another opportunity to see Dolores's other aspect, the Isis battle configuration, in action.

Next episode is a light hearted, with Dolores reading a book (Cinderella) for the first time, and James continuing to follow his book on how to be a good parent (with the usual results). Trouble hits the Ender and they have to make an unscheduled stop over at the abandoned station Kudoshu.

The final episode has Ender crew making repairs at Kudoshu, and a plot secret or two is revealed during their stop-over when they look into the stations computer files.

This series is nice to watch with big robot action, some character depth, a linear story that is nicely paced and all without the need to visit CalTech Advanced Particle Physics Department to have the plot explained.

In summary- Excellent VFM. Roll on volume 3.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language ,English Subtitles ,Interviews with Tetsuya Watanabe (Director) and Shin Yoshida (Series Composition) ,Dolores' Diary Part 1,Deimos Station ,Textless opening closing ,Production sketches,Conceptual artwork

Review Equipment
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 21" Sony Trinitron monitor, ATI 9700pro & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones.


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