Zone of the Enders Vol. #4 - 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: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Zone of Enders

Zone of the Enders Vol. #4

By Paul Jacques     October 24, 2003
Release Date: October 20, 2003


Zone of the Enders Vol. #4
© ADV Films UK


What They Say
A new assault has been launched! Just who are the sharp young pilots of these hot new LEVs? And who is their superior, Naphth Pleminger, Metatron arms dealer extraordinaire? The family business isn't what it used to be, that's for sure! All in all, there's more happening on Mars than could have ever been imagined on Earth. Can James Links maintain his sanity long enough to stay in the battle and figure it all out? Instead of coming together, the family seems to be coming apart at the seams. Perhaps his long-lost wife can help. Is that really Rachel Links?


The Review!
Wherever the Links family go, trouble is never far behind.

Audio:
No fault found with either Japanese or English tracks- it's all good Dolby stereo. Have I ever mention that I don't like the opening track? I did huh, okay, well you'll be interested to know I still don't like it.

Video:
Ah, once again the presentation is flawless, bright and pleasing to the eye. We still have the TV aspect ratio (you'd think no one had ever heard of wide screen).

Packaging:
The front cover (blue) has Naphth looking surly, whilst in the background we see Rebecca's Selkis. On the rear cover we have four stills from the episodes. The single page insert shows a badly wounded Nikoli and Noel. The disk itself is printed in blue with a graphic of the Silkis.

Menu:
Simple opening menu with Episode Selection, Language and Extras. All links worked.

Extras:
Good extras; the interviews are enlightening and worth sitting through; the production and concept sketches are good to watch. Not so crazy about the Karaoke open\ close themes, but if you like that sort of thing, knock yourself out.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The first episode sees the Leon & Noel & Sindy making there away across the Mars desert to a large Dome community. Meanwhile James and Dolores try and explain to a confused Rebecca that they are not enemies, but friends, only she doesn't seem to understand what they say. It's not long before Axel and Rully turn up and engage Dolores in battle. The outcome of the battle is a forgone conclusion, but it does allow Rebecca an opportunity to return to her employers.

The next episode sees Rebecca, Axel and Rully get a carpeting form Naphth Pleminger over their inability to capture Dolores. Then things get real interesting when Colonel Norman arrives in another Orbital Frame called Anubis " Norman's father created the first orbital frames " to run some simulated battles against the Neith class frame. The simulation is interrupted when Earth military forces make an unexpected appearance in the battle zone. This unplanned manifestation causes Norman and Rebecca to break off their simulated battle and head for cover from the prying eyes of Earth's military. It come as no surprise as to who is leading the military incursion, and he makes himself at home behind Naphth Pleminger desk (much to Naphth's chagrin). Meanwhile Rebecca tracks down Rachel Links, but because she is confused about her emotions and what she has been told, she lies to Rachel and tells Rachel that she has killed her family.

Episode 17 has the Links family broken down in the middle of nowhere, and Dolores in shutdown mode (do orbital frames dream of electric sheep?). So in order to repair the truck James volunteers to walk to next town for spares. When he arrives at the town James bumps into none other than Isaac Barrett (who wrote the book James has been following). It turns out that Isaac isn't so good at following his own advice, as he is having trouble communicating with his own son! Meanwhile Noel's friend Nikoli appears to have a dangerous secret as well as a personal interest in the Links family.

The final episode sees Nikoli finally reveal his true intentions, after he kidnaps Noel, so that he can challenge James to a duel to the death. The outcome of the duel allows the Links family to discover the whereabouts of their mother.

In summary- The series continues to roll out the plot at an even pace, and this volume starts to pull some of the sub plot elements together for resolution and explanation.

Features
Japanese Language 2.0,English Language 2.0,English Subtitles,Interviews with Madoka Hirayama (Main Character Designer) Kumi Horii (Character Designs) and Tsutomu Suzuki and Tsutomu Miyazawa (Mecha Designers),Karaoke versions of opening and closing animation,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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