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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » S Cry Ed Vol 1 Special Edition
S Cry Ed Vol 1 Special Edition
Bandai // Unrated // September 27, 2005
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted November 15, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
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A U D I O
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R E P L A Y
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The Show:

Anime producers are continuing to re-release their back catalog in new and cheaper additions.  I know a lot of people have stopped buying the original releases, preferring to wait a year and get the whole series for half price or less.  It's going to be interesting to see what effect this trend has in the long run.  Another series that is coming out again at a lower price point is s-CRY-ed.  Don Houston reviewed the original individual releases (six volumes at $30 a head) starting with Volume 1, and the show was also released as a complete set with a funky box and some cool bonus items (MSRP $150, 5/6 of the original price.)  Now Bandai is releasing the series again under their Anime Legends series.  This time they are packaging two of the discs together and selling them for $40, or about 1/3 off what the original release would set you back.  This is a fun fighting series, and if you haven't bought one of the previous incarnations, this is the version to get based on price.

In the future, a great earthquake destroyed most of Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan.  It caused huge mountains to rise and turned the area into an island.  The story takes place 22 years later, when much of the prefecture still hasn't been rebuilt.  Due to economic constraints, only one city has been restored, and a wall was built to keep the city safe and apart from the rest of the lawless island which is known as the Lost Ground.

Ever since the great upheaval, 1% of the children born in the Lost Ground have special powers.  Called 'alter users', these people have the ability to rearrange matter and create an 'alter', an object that has offensive capabilities.

Many of these alter users turned to crime, so a special private police force was created: HOLD.  A division within HOLD, called HOLY, is made up solely of other alter users.  They try to find 'native alter users', basically any alter user whose not a member of HOLY, and convince them to join.  If they don't they are sentenced to life in prison doing hard labor.

With so much power at HOLD's disposal, they can do pretty much whatever they want to on the Lost Ground, and they do.  If they want to clear a section of the waste land to expand the only city, they round up some people living in the area and use them as slave labor, and torture isn't foreign to them either.

In the ravaged Lost Ground lives Kazuma and his girl friend.  Kazuma is a native alter user with a good heart who's just trying to make ends meet.  He uses his powers for good and if he gets a little money for doing so, that's just great.

While defending some friends from a gang who is trying to run them off their land, Kazuma runs into HOLY.  Trying to gain time for his friends to escape, Kazuma takes on one of HOLY's best, an alter user named  Ryuho.  Kazuma good but Ryuho's better and the battle is quickly over.  Kazuma's captured and taken to HOLD headquarters.  There he's tortured as they try to break him, but Kazuma's a tough nut to crack.  When he manages to become the first person to break out of HOLD headquarters, he becomes hunted by the entire HOLY army.

This is a fighting anime, and as such it's pretty good.  The characters are well developed and the story has an intricate background that adds a lot to the show.  The fight scenes are exciting and usually over quickly, which is a good thing.  Most fighting shows have 15 minutes of fighting and 5 minutes of plot in every episode, and it's nice to see one where the ratio is switched around.

The DVD:


This two DVD set presents the first 10 episodes of the show and comes in a single width double keepcase.   There is no insert.

Audio:

This disc comes with both the original Japanese audio track and an English dub, both in stereo.  I alternated tracks while watching the show, and enjoyed the Japanese track a bit more.  There wasn't anything wrong with the dub, I just thought the Japanese actors brought the characters to life a little bit better.  There weren't any audio defects worth noting.

Video:

The full frame video was solid.  The image looked nice and the colors were strong and the lines were tight.  There was a little banding some of the backgrounds, and there was a little aliasing, but these weren't a big problem.

Extras:

The first DVD includes five textless openings, a textless ending, and a design gallery.  There was also a set of liner notes which really helped explain the background to the story. It explains how the Lost Ground came to be, its relationship with Japan, and the formation of HOLD and HOLY.  These things are hinted at in this set of discs, but it was nice to have it explained in a straight forward manner.

Disc two includes another set of informative liner notes along with textless openings to all the episodes, a pair of promos for the show, and another design gallery.  There is also Sound comic #9, a 5½-minute segment where a manga strip is brought to life by zooming in and panning across the comic panels while actors read the dialog.  It was okay, but I would have rather just have read the original manga.  Add to that a couple of short video character proflies (one for Kazuma and one for HOLY) and this volume has a good set of extras.

Final Thoughts:

This was a pretty good fighting anime.  The battles are fast and furious but even more there is a good amount of plot (when compared to most fighting shows.)  The show spends some time on character development too.  Kazuma and Ryuho are interesting characters who seem to be two sides of the same coin, though they don't realize it yet.  This two disc set is recommended.

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