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Tekkaman - Blade II

Urban Vision // PG-13 // October 30, 2001
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Earl Cressey | posted November 5, 2001 | E-mail the Author
Review:
Tekkaman-Blade II: Complete Collection

Movie:
Tekkaman-Blade II was originally released overseas in 1994 and is the sequel to the original series, which was titled Teknoman in the US. Urban Vision's DVD presents the entire six episode series on one disc, which is a full three hours. The series is broken down into three stages, two episodes per stage. The titles are:

Stage 1: The New Generation
Episode 1: Virgin Flush
Episode 2: Virgin Slush

Stage 2: The Alien Encounter
Episode 3: Virgin Dream
Episode 4: Dead Boy

Stage 3: Final Encounter
Episode 5: Dirty Nights
Episode 6: Dangerous Boys

With the tekka-system technology that the humans have stolen from their alien enemies, the Radams, a select few humans, known as primary bodies, can transform into Tekkamen. These Tekkamen, for the most part, belong to the Space Knights, a police force of sorts that protects the Earth. The Space Knights are made up of three primary Tekkamen: Natasha, David, and the newest recruit, Yumi. Yumi struggles to fit in with the other Tekkamen, while secretly longing to meet the famous and rumored-dead Tekkaman Blade. Learning to work together, the three Tekkamen successfully defend the Earth from the Radam on several occasions, only then to meet their greatest challenge: a rival Tekkaman from Earth determined to see the Space Knights defeated.

Having never seen any of the Tekkaman episodes before, the series was initially very confusing, as I had no idea what happened in the original series. However, by the end of the first episode, I was hooked. The storyline is nothing too unique in the world of anime - a group of troubled teens charged with protecting the Earth with powerful battle suits – but the series is still quite entertaining due to the characters, which are fairly well developed and often have intertwining back stories. If I had one complaint with the series, it would be that it does switch rather suddenly from the Tekkamen defending Earth from the Radams (in the first three episodes) to the Tekkamen fighting the rogue Tekkaman (in the last three episodes).

Picture:
Tekkaman-Blade II is presented in 1.33:1 full frame. The prints used for this collection look terrific with no noticeable defects. There is some edge enhancement though, but for the most part, it is kept to a minimum. Colors are vibrant, but on occasion, suffer from bleeding.

Sound:
Tekkaman-Blade II is presented in both Japanese Dolby Stereo 2.0 and English Dolby Digital 5.1. The 5.1 track is rather weak in the rear surrounds and directionality is mainly limited to voices. The main distinction between the 2.0 and 5.1 tracks is that in the 5.1 track, voices off screen are separated into the surrounds, rather than coming from the center channel. However, this often creates dialogue that sounds forced. Dialogue in both tracks is clean, easy to understand, and free of distortion. Optional English subtitles are available.

Extras:
Extras include: a scrolling fan art gallery, which runs about one and a half minutes, twelve trailers for other Urban Vision releases, including Wicked City, Wild 7, Dragon Slayer, Gatchaman, and BioHunter, and weblinks.

Included as a bonus inside the case is a rather large Tekkaman-Blade II sticker that resembles the cover art.

Summary:
Though the package is light on extras, just having the entire collection of Tekkaman-Blade II on one DVD at a reasonable price should excite fans of Tekkaman/Teknoman. Newcomers might want to consider a rental before purchasing, however, as the series can get slightly confusing in places. Recommended.

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