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Get Backers Vol. 5 - Virtual Apocalypse
The fifth volume of The Get Backers brings the Limitless Fortress story arc to a conclusion. Ban, Ginji, and their associates are in deep trouble as they try to navigate the halls of the fortress and find the mysterious and powerful Makubex. Will even the Get Backers power be enough to defeat this boy genius?
The Get Backers are hired by a mysterious group of people to retrieve "IL," an unknown object that is being held in a lawless area know as the Limitless Fortress. The Fortress is a group of abandoned skyscrapers in the middle of the city. This is the place that Ginji used to rule as the Lightning Emperor. By returning, Ginji is putting his life at risk. When he left he let down a lot of people, people who would just as soon see him dead now. To increase their chances of success, the Get Backers are forced to team up with some friends and old enemies: Dr. Jackal, Shido, Kazuki and Himiko.
When they enter, they discover that the Limitless Fortress is now controlled by a young genius, Makubex. He is a brilliant computer whiz who, but also a ruthless man that rules the Limitless Fortress through intimidation and fear. He also doesn't want to see the Get Backer succeed on their mission and uses all of the considerable force at his command to make sure they don't.
The volume starts off with a rematch between Ban and Fodou. Ban's right arm is badly hurt from their first meeting, and Fodou has a robotic arm that has a few tricks hidden in it. But even wounded, Ban is a formidable opponent.
Ginji has his share of trouble too. He ends up facing some demons from his past, demons than have been haunting him for years. While being psychically attacked, Ginji loses his temper, and turns back into the Lightning Emperor. When he is in this state, he's more powerful than we've ever seen him before, with an almost limitless power. Unfortunately, when this happens Ginji also goes out of control lashing out at everything and anything. A very powerful and very unstable person.
The highlight of this volume is the climax of the story line, of course. Ginji, Ban and the other recovery specialists make it through Makubex's traps and trials and finally arrive at his headquarters. Makubex has calculated the outcome of every event so far though, and has predicted this too. When they attack is it all part of his plan too?
This was a very good volume, where a lot is explained. We learn about Ginji's background, and how he became the leader of the Volts, as well as why he left the Fortress. Makubex's secrets are also revealed, as well as those of the Limitless Fortress.
These episodes wrap up this long story line and they do it quite well. There are twists and turns and the story has a few surprises in store. A very satisfying conclusion where all the loose ends are wrapped up, but there is still enough room for a sequel, if not a whole serial based on the Limitless Fortress.
This DVD presents episodes 20-25 on a single DVD that comes in an Amaray case with an insert listing the titles of the episodes and the extras.
This DVD offers the choice of the original Japanese in stereo, or a 5.1 English dub. I viewed the show with both soundtracks, and they were both very good. Both were clear and had good range. The 5.1 dub was more dynamic than the Japanese track, with a little more strength to the bass. The English voice actors did a good job, putting feeling into the characters without making them sound goofy like some dubs. The rear speakers are used to good effect.
The anamorphic widescreen image looked pretty good. The colors were bright and the image was sharp. There were some digital defects with aliasing in the background being the most noticeable. Fine lines tend to shimmer when the camera pans over them, and there was some cross colorization in the few black and white scenes. These weren't distracting and this is still a good looking DVD.
This DVD includes clean opening and closing animations, and there is a commentary for episode 24 with Sarah Alys Lindholm (translator) and ADV director Lowell Bartholomee. This was one of the better anime commentary tracks that I've heard. Ms. Lindholm talks about some of the problems she has translating anime, and even explains one of the odder references in this episode. A good commentary and though it is not scene specific, fans who enjoy dubs should make sure to listen to this.
The Limitless Fortress was a good story. There is a lot of background about Ginji and the Volts that is revealed and some of the revelations in this volume were surprising. Though it may have been just a tad too long in places, it managed to keep my interest. Recommended.