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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » S-Cry-Ed: Final Fight V6
S-Cry-Ed: Final Fight V6
Bandai // Unrated // May 25, 2004
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Don Houston | posted August 2, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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Movie: Though I had pushed the series off to a back burner, my patience paid off and some older volumes of previously reviewed series came forth, including the last three volumes of S-CRY-ED, a series that I had mixed thoughts about a long time ago (S-CRY-ED volume 3 was the last one I saw before these arrived a week ago).The series deals with a group of young people who gain superpowers due to a naturally occurring earthquake that happened 22 years ago on an island off the coast of Japan. About 5% of everyone born there can use their power to either summon a weapon or enhance themselves in some way. As with all things, some of these people abuse their power and the rest of the world imposes order upon them in the fashion of an organization known as HOLD with a special division of enhanced humans known as HOLY. Here's what the first box said about the whole thing: "22 years ago, a cataclysmic earthquake destroyed the capital of Japan and threw the country into chaos. The damaged region was abandoned and labeled the "Muraji Special Economic District," more commonly known as the Lost Ground. After the earthquake, the Lost Ground became home to a rising number of Alter Users, those with the psychic ability to change matter and create Alters with unique powers. To control this lawless land, the special police force HOLD was created. Within it is an anti-Alter unit, HOLY, which was formed to combat the renegade Native Alters in the Lost Ground." The series got better with time, largely due to the pacing and way the story changed gears midway through, to go from a very narrow fighting show to one of liberation from governmental overlords. In Volume 4, the show continued in a brave new direction where the lead characters were made to realize that someone was manipulating them from afar in order to achieve some nefarious goal that couldn't be for the benefit of those stuck in the Lost Ground. In Volume 5, With S-CRY-ED 6: Final Fight, the series threw caution to the wind as all the remaining heroes left standing fight the last battle they're able to, even as depleted as they were, in hopes of altering (pun intended) the outcome of Muto's master plan.

The episodes this time were 23) Scheris Adjani, 24) Fist, 25) Native, and 26) Dream. From Kazume and Ryuho setting aside their mutual animosity for one another, to the ultimate battle between the forces of good and evil, this was where the pedal hit the metal and loyalties were tested. Folks died, others lived, and the mainland military forces planned an all out assault regardless of who won the fight. If that wasn't enough to finish off our two protagonists, they had a standing deal to finish their original fight to see who was stronger, a fight that typically ended in the past with dire consequences for all those involved. The secondary players all had important roles in attempting to defeat Mujo as he sucked the alter powers out of the guys, seeming to be unstoppable after having taken dozens of powers from their original owners and the near limitless conduit provided by Kanami.

I liked the show more towards the end than I did up front but getting to see the last three volumes in a single sitting was enough for me to realize that with some judicious editing, this could've been a really tight half season show. I thought the ending was a bit open for my tastes and a follow up series might've helped answer some of the questions left hanging but in general terms, the show finally grew on me enough to strongly suggest getting the boxed set over the far more expensive individual volumes. As far as this volume itself goes though, I suggest it as Recommended but only if you have seen the previous five volumes as the continuity demands nothing less.

Picture: S-CRY-ED 6: Final Fight: was presented in the same 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was made in for airing on television in Japan several years ago. The colors looked good, the lines were clean, and my initial concerns about the limited amount of character movement (it's a cheaper method of animating so it's gotten a lot of play in recent years) remained true to form. In all though, it was decent looking and told the story well enough so expecting something to look like a high budget movie might've been a bit unfair. I saw no compression artifacts or video noise during two viewings of the DVD which was in keeping with past experience of the show.

Sound: The audio was presented in the usual 2.0 Dolby Digital with the usual choice of the original Japanese track or the English dub so many fans have come to appreciate (I've received several emails to that effect). The separation between the channels wasn't anything special and the lack of a 5.1 Surround track prevented my home theatre from getting a workout but during the fighting scenes, you could easily tell it was in stereo with a decent balance on both language tracks. I also liked the score a lot as it had a lot going for it but I didn't think either language track was significantly better than the other.

Extras: The extras for the series are actually pretty plentiful, if short in length. They started out with the usual clean openings (all four of them), went on with the usual duo of character montages, this time centering on Video-Scheris and Mujo, then there was the interesting Sound Comic #39: The Past and Sound Comic #40: Fixed Age, 19 Years Old which uses the Manga version to full effect using Japanese voices and panels from the comic, a design gallery, some trailers and DVD credits. I really enjoyed the Illustration Gallery/Sound Drama #2, which was apparently taken from Newtype Magazine's February 2002 volume, several commercials for the series, the usual paper insert, plastic collector's card, and Bandai guide to anime from early 2004 too.

Final Thoughts: S-CRY-ED 6: Final Fight ended a series that I had long wondered about. It started off as though it were a generic fighting show, evolved midway through to provide some food for thought, and then ended on a high note as the forces for good, hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, gave everything they had to protect their adopted homeland. The growth of the characters was substantial but within reasonable limits, the manner by which the alter powers could become stronger under the right circumstances a fairly novel idea, and the production values seemed to fit well with the material. It was definitely a bumpy ride but one I may have to check out with all six volumes at once in order to see if perhaps my earlier memories of the series was just a bit too harsh.

If you enjoy anime, take a look at some of the recommendations by DVDTalk's twisted cast of reviewers in their Best Of Anime 2003 and Best Of Anime 2004 article or regular column Anime Talk

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