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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » E's Otherwise, Vol. 5 - The Sacrament of Calvaria
E's Otherwise, Vol. 5 - The Sacrament of Calvaria
ADV Films // Unrated // January 24, 2006
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted February 8, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

The fifth volume of E's Otherwise is better than the previous volume, but it's still only a mediocre series.  In this set of shows Kai, Yuuki and Oska search for the rebel underground base all while being tracked by Ashurum psychics.  Unfortunately this plot, like the others before it, meanders around aimlessly and doesn't really kick start the show, something that it badly needs.
 
Series recap:

In the future, the whole world is controlled by 12 large corporations.  Even governments are under the thumb of these powerful conglomerates.  One of them, Ashurum, has been collecting people with psychic ability, called E's, to form a fighting group.  Their latest acquisition is Kai, a quiet young man who is a pacifist at heart.  Ashurum has created this group in order to protect other psychics, who are feared and hunted throughout the world.  Or so they claim.  While that's a good story to tell the young E's, Ashurum is only using the psychics for their own ends.

In the first volume, Kai and the other E's are ordered to attack the city of Gald in order to route out some rebels.  During the attack Kai gets knocked out and separated from the rest of the group.  He's found, wounded, by Yuuki, a sort-of private eye who takes on jobs other people turn down, and his young friend Oska.  They nurse him back to health and Kai decides to stay with them.  He's never been in the outside world and it's new and exciting.  So Kai and Yuuki team up and start taking on some real tough assignments.  But Ashurum hasn't forgotten about Kai, and they want him back at any cost.

Added to this is the problem with Oska.  This cheerful and innocent girl is discovered to be a psychic too though her powers aren't well defined.  Ashrum and the resistance both want to use her powers to further their own ends, and Yuuki isn't sure which way he should turn.

Volume Five:

In the last volume the rebellion has identified Oska as a psychic, and sent their agents to get her, arriving just in time to save her from Ashrum's people.  Now Yuuki and Oska have decided to travel with Maria to the rebels hidden underground base in order to talk with their leader.  Unfortunately they are being tailed by Sherry and Kyou two psychics who want Oska for their own.

Yuuki, with Maria's help, decides that the rebellion might be the safest place for his ward after all and is willing to at least talk with them.  The take a boat to the rebel hide out, but Sherry and Kyou are on the same tug, just waiting for their chance to strike.

Meanwhile Kai is heading for the rebel hideout too, but for reasons of his own.  When they all arrive at the hideout though, some unexpected things happen that put a spanner in everyone's plans.

Thankfully they've started to follow one plot thread in this volume, but the story still doesn't really grab the viewer.  After five volumes it's still hard to identify with any of the characters, and it seems like the people who populate this show are just doing random things for little or no reason.  Plot elements just turn up at Yuuki's door time and time again and this makes it a little hard to suspend one's disbelief.

This isn't a bad show, it's just doesn't have a lot going for it.  The psychic battles are entertaining, even if they seem to occur a schedule rather to advance the plot.  Since the various plot lines have started to coalesce, there's a little hope that this show might improve at the end.
 

The DVD:
 
This disc contains four episodes, down from five on the first two discs, in a white keepcase.  There isn't an insert.
 
Audio:

Like most anime that ADV puts out nowadays, this disc offers the choice of a stereo Japanese track with optional English subtitles or an English dub in 5.1. I alternated between tracks as I watched the show, and I had a slight preference for the original language track, but thought the English dub was fine. The English track was a more full, but the Japanese track wasn't flat at all.  Both tracks sounded fine, with no distortion or other defects.

Video:

The full frame video quality for this DVD was good.  There is some aliasing in the background and some of the fine lines shimmer, but this is a minor issue.  The colors are bright and the lines are tight.  A very nice DVD.
 
Extras:

Extras on this disc include a non-credit opening and closing, an art gallery of production sketches, and some text actor profiles for the English dub cast.

Final Thoughts:
 
While the main story does start to advance in this volume, it's a case of too little too late.  It's hard to care about any of the characters or what happens to them, and the mysteries just are more confusing than enticing.  If you've followed the series this far, the show does pick up a bit with this volume, but not enough to make is a superior series.  This is a good rental.

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