SoulTaker: Flickering Faith (Volume 2)
Flickering Faith is the second volume of the SoulTaker series to arrive on DVD from Pioneer. The series consists of thirteen episodes, with Pioneer releasing them spread across four DVDs. The disc collects episodes four through six:
Episode 4: The Slithering Darkness
Episode 5: Beyond the Human Realm
Episode 6: The Malevolent Stratosphere Castle
With Kyosuke's pledge to find and protect his twin sister Runa and her flickers, he becomes the number one enemy of the Kirihara Group. While his allies, Shiro and Komugi, seek out and try to destroy a machine that locates flickers built by the Kirihara Group, Kyosuke confronts the director of the Hospital mutants, Richard Vincent. Kyosuke and Vincent share a secret past, one revealed in battle between the SoulTaker and the SoulCrusher.
While viewing Volume 1 of SoulTaker, I was both intrigued and captivated. The animation is very stylized and, in places, almost surreal. The first three episodes were layered with mysteries, and while at times confusing, it made the series quite engrossing. However, with Volume 2, the roundabout storytelling methods and bizarre imagery really start to work against the series. The storyline revealed thus far is actually much more simple than the first volume leads you to believe, and the obscure methods the series takes to reveal it can become tedious at times. Still, I'm interested to see how the series continues, if only to discover the truth behind Runa.
SoulTaker is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The transfer is stunning, with vibrant colors, rich blacks, and no color bleeding or smearing. The series continues to be some of the best looking anime I've seen.
SoulTaker is presented in Dolby 2.0 Surround in English or Japanese. Optional subtitles are available in English. The tracks have quite a bit of directionality throughout the episodes and sound fantastic with no issues. The music for the series is terrific and effectively sets the mood.
Extras include the non-credit opening and ending, an art gallery of eighteen character sketches, an art gallery of fifteen photos of the SoulTaker action figure from McFarlane Toys, SoulTaker trailers, and previews for Armitage: Dual Matrix, Vandread, Gate Keepers, and Hellsing. Volume 2 also comes packaged with a very slick holofoil cover and a limited glow-in-the-dark static cling sticker of the SoulTaker.
Pioneer continues to provide an excellent presentation for the series, as well as some neat extras. Those interested in SoulTaker after viewing Volume 1 should definitely give Volume 2 a try, if only to see how the series continues to unfold, even though the episodes in Volume 2 are a bit disappointing. Rent it.