One girl. One tank. No problem. That's the tag for
the first volume of The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye and
that's a pretty good description of the show. It's a series that
has a fair amount of action but one that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Surprisingly entertaining, the show centers around Honoka, girl-for-hire
in a post apocalyptic world. She's an excellent swordsman and can
handle herself in a fight, but in case she can't she has a sentient tank
horrible war engulfed the Earth. It devastated the ecology and killed
80% of the population. Now the planet is watched over by The Third,
human-like aliens who get their names from the third eye on their forehead.
They carefully regulate how much technology humans are allowed to use and
use mechanized robots, the Inspection Force, to enforce the rules.
Honoka is a 17-year-old girl who's trying to keep body and soul together
in this desolate future. She's a sword dancer, a highly trained fighter
who can do amazing things with a blade, and hires herself out to anyone
who has the cash. She'll do anything from delivering goods to cleaning
out a nest of giant spiders. She lives in the giant tank that she
owns which is controlled by an artificial intelligence named Bogie.
night while traveling across the desert wastelands, Honoka encounters a
young man who is being attacked by giant ants. She quickly dispatches
the monsters and takes the hapless gentleman, named Iks, to the nearest
city. Once there however, the Inspection Force shows up and demands
that Iks go with them. He doesn't want to, and with the help from
some bar patrons who have no love for the Third's enforcers, manages to
escape. Iks then pays Honoka to let him accompany her. She's
not too hot on the idea, but she needs the money and he certainly has a
This is a fun and enjoyable show. Everything just comes together
really well, and the show has the right mixture of humor, action, mystery,
and character development. Just who Iks is and why the Third are
interested in him is curious, but the more engaging mystery is just who
Honoka is and how she got her unique abilities.
characters are appealing too. The interaction between Honoka and
the over protective Bogie is often funny and Iks wide-eyed wonder at just
about everything is cute. I also enjoy who protective the AI Bogie
is over the tank that he inhabits. He'll only let one mechanic, Zankan,
do any major work, and makes sure that Zankan inspects any minor work that
is done too. For a huge giant tank, he sure is a bit of a wimp.
The animation is one of this series strong points. Most of the
show uses traditional animation, but some aspects are CGI. The computer
generated images mesh well with the rest of the show and the interface
is nearly seamless. The creators spent a lot of time adding detail
to the images and filling the backgrounds too. The desert scenes
may look sparse, but the sand-filled wind that blows across the dunes gives
the show an expensive feel.
This disc offers the viewer the option of the original Japanese track
in stereo or an English dub in both stereo and 5.1. I alternated
between the 5.1 and stereo Japanese track and enjoyed them both.
The English cast does a good job bringing their characters to life and
they didn't resort to phony accents or overacting. The female characters
don't talk in irritating squeaky high-pitched voices either. The
real advantage of the English dub is the 5.1 track. Though the rears
and subwoofer mainly come alive during the action scenes, it's worth listening
to the dub for that. I especially enjoyed Bogart firing his cannon.
The video looked very good on this disc. The widescreen anamorphic
image was crisp with sharp lines and fine detail. The colors are
solid and bright and the palate is fairly wide. On the digital side
things also look very good. There is only the most minor aliasing
present in a couple of parts. Cross colorization, blocking, and posterization
aren't present. This is a very good looking disc.
TRSI included some nice extras on this disc. There's a gallery
of character art along with text biographies of the main characters.
Viewers have the option to view the biographies with a commentary track
by the actress who plays Honoka on the Japanese track. This was cute
and also funny when she was talking about the tank's shape. She had
to censor herself before she said what she thought it looked like.
In addition there are interviews with the Japanese actors who play Honoka
and Iks, each of which lasts over 20 minutes, two music videos, and a trailer.
That would normally be enough, but they also included a 12 page booklet
with the disc, a reversible cover, and the best anime DVD survey's I've
ever seen. I'm really impressed that TRSI is taking the time to find
out why otaku purchase the anime DVDs that they do. The questions
include things like what audio track do you listen to, if you prefer single
volumes or series sets, and what factors do you weigh before buying a disc.
Instead of guessing if pack in bonus items helps to sell DVDs, they're
taking the time to find out. Bravo.
This is one of those shows that are hard not to like. It has a
sentient giant tank, a girl who can kick ass, a post apocalyptic setting,
and mysterious seemingly all-powerful aliens. Oh yeah, and there's
a mecha suit that the heroine wears too. The program has a good sense
of humor, plenty of action, and just enough mystery to make viewers pine
for the next volume. Make sure you check this one out. Highly