AnimEigo was one of the first companies to offer anime on video tape to US consumers. Over the years, they have developed a reputation of being fan friendly, and putting out a high quality product. Fifteen years ago, they released their first show on video tape, and now that show, Metal Skin Panic Madox-01 gets the DVD treatment.
The Madox-01 is a prototype of the first battle armor. It was jointly developed by the US army and the Japanese defense forces. While the Madox was being transported, the truck carrying it gets into an accident and the Madox falls into the back of a truck. A young truck driver, Kouji, finds the suit and while examining it, accidentally puts it on. Unable to get out of the armored suit, Kouji decides to keep a rendezvous with his girl friend. But the Army wants the Madox back, and they send out a newly designed tank to get it. The tank commander will go to any lengths to regain the armor, even if it means killing Kouji.
This is an older show and the animation style is a little dated, but it is still a fun program. The animation is detailed and there is a lot of action. There isn't much more than fight scenes in this show though. There isn't any character development, and there's not much in the way of plot. What little plot there is only serves to give a reason for the action. The show is short, clocking in at 40 minutes (though the case lists the time as 50 minutes,) and there just wasn't enough there to allow you to connect with the characters. If you like a lot of mecha action without much plot, this is the DVD for you.
This DVD has both the original Japanese audio track and an English dub. Both are presented in a two channel mix. There are also optional English subtitles. I preferred the Japanese track, though the English dub was not irritating like many early dubs were. The voice actors did a good job. There was a low hum in both audio tracks that is only slightly noticeable during the quiet moments.
Video: This DVD is presented in full screen. This is an older show, but the colors look fine. The lines are tight, and the contrast is very good. This is a nice looking presentation of an older show.
AnimEigo put a good set of extras on this disc.
Audio Commentary: There's a commentary track by several people involved with the dub, including voice actors and the recording engineer. They chat about recording the show all those years ago, and make a few comments about the video too. Nothing new is revealed, but it sounded like everyone involved has a good time reminiscing about this show. I found this very interesting.
Special Bonus Documentary: Live action piece that shows tanks and attack helicopters on maneuvers and running through drills. The narration is in Japanese with optional subtitles and mentions where the various vehicles can be seen in the movie.
Interview with Robert J. Woodhead: The head of AnimEigo Gives his personal history and talks about the early days of AnimEigo. He talks about Anime in the US up until the founding AnimEigo.
Interview with Eric Tomosunas: The director of the English dub answers some questions about the movie and his production facility.
There is also a selection of trailers for other AnimEigo titles.
This was a fun show, if a little thin on content. It is basically an excuse for a mecha to fight tanks and helicopters. This was the first time I've seen this program, and while I enjoyed watching it, I don't know how often I'll be pulling this DVD out again. Rent it.