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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Coyote Ragtime Show: Complete Box Set
Coyote Ragtime Show: Complete Box Set
FUNimation // Unrated // November 18, 2008
List Price: $49.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted December 3, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Series:
 
While I love the long, sprawling epic anime series like Dragonball Z and Naruto, there's something to be said for the short and sweet shows too.  The 12-episode programs that have a simple story to tell, tell it, and then end.  There aren't a lot of filler episodes in those shows and the action is pretty constant.  That's why I enjoyed Coyote Ragtime so much.  There's not a lot of wasted action.  While it borrows from a lot of other shows, the program has a style all its own and some fun characters that make it worth watching.

Angelica has been trailing the famous space pirate, or Coyote as they are known in this series, known only as "Mister" for years.  There are no pictures of Mister, and the only clues she's been able to follow is the devastation he leaves in his wake.  With the trail getting cold Angelica heads to a prison on a remote planet on a hunch and it turns out to be a good one.  Mister is indeed locked up in the prison under an alias, but with only a day left to go on his sentence he breaks out.

He does this because of something the government is doing.  There are rebels on the planet Graceland and rather than deal with them the Federation has announced that it will just destroy the planet in five days time.  The problem is that there is something really important on Graceland and Mister has to get it.

Years earlier the King of the Coyotes, Bruce, managed to pull off the biggest heist ever.  It was a crime so big that if word ever got out the financial markets would collapse, so the whole thing was hushed up.  Bruce got the loot and hid it on Graceland before he died and locked the secret of the treasure inside of a pendant that his daughter, Franca, wears.

Mister has raised Franca ever since her father died, but now with time running out Mister has to gather his old crew together, figure out the secret of the treasure, retrieve it and leave before the planet blows up.

That in and of itself wouldn't be too much of a challenge except that Mister isn't the only one who knows about the treasure.  There's also Madame Marciano, the head of a crime gang who sends her twelve nearly indestructible female (of course) androids after Mister and his crew.  He's also being followed by Angelica, who's not about to give up after all these years.

This is a fun show with a lot of action and some interesting characters.  It reminds me of a cross between Ocean's 11 and Cowboy Bebop.  It's a caper show that is a little outrageous in the scope of things, but succeeds based on the strength of the characters more than the believability of the story.  There's also a major battle or chase scene every so often that injects a nice does of excitement and makes it easy to overlook any shortcomings.

The program can be goofy in places, I could easily grow to hate the 12 Sisters but they're just so over-the-top that they're enjoyable, but the show manages to make the silly parts work, largely because it doesn't take itself seriously.

The productions values are also fairly high.  The animation is good with only a few corners being cut here and there and the character designs are well thought out and executed well.  (The only exception being the 12 Sisters.  Each has a different costume and uses a different weapon and they're supposed to be cute (for the young members) or sexy.  They looked okay, but I think it would have been easier to forgive their inclusion in the show if they were just dressed in cool uniforms.)

When all is said and done this short show was a treat.  Filled with action, some good humor, and just a touch of drama Coyote Ragtime is a success.

The DVD:


All 12 episodes from this series come on two DVDs in thinpak cases.  The two cases are housed in an attractive thin board slipcase.

Audio:

The show offers the choice of either the original Japanese track of an English dub, both in 5.1!  I was really excited to see the Japanese multichannel audio option as many anime shows make viewers choose between an immersive DD 5.1 English track or the original language track in stereo.  It's a treat to get both.  As usual I alternated tracks for the first few episodes and they both sounded very similar.  The rears and subwoofer really kick in when the action starts and do a good job of putting the viewer in the center of the action.  The English voice cast did a god job and brought the characters to life without resorting to too many silly accents.  Overall both tracks are very good.

Video:

The 1.78:1 anamorphic image also looked great.  The colors were bright and solid, the black levels were nice and inky, and the lines were tight.  Typical compression problems like aliasing and blocking aren't present, which is nice to see, and there wasn't any significant flaw to mar the presentation.  A great looking show.

Extras:

These discs port over the extras from the original releases, but there wasn't much to begin with.  Viewers get a series of production art galleries as well as a clean opening and closing.  That's about it.

Final Thoughts:

When I first popped this show in I wasn't sure what to expect and after the first episode I thought it was going to be a 'babes with guns' show.  I'm glad I was wrong because the series is much more fun than that.  Though it does borrow from other anime, the series has a unique feel and manages to make every show exciting.  I'm sure if it was a full 26 episodes the program would have soon fallen under its own weight, but at only 12 installments it's a great series.  Highly Recommended.
 

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