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Orphen - The Soul Stealers (Vol. 5)

ADV Films // Unrated // May 28, 2002
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Loren Halek | posted September 3, 2002 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

I have never seen Orphen before this, although I had played the Playstation 2 game based upon the series. I picked this out of the pile thinking it was the beginning of the Orphen saga, but instead this is disc 5 of the series. I was summarily dropped in what I figured was the apex of the series (episode 15-19), and thank goodness there was a summary in one of the episodes or I would have absolutely no clue what was going on.

There seems to be a couple stories going on in these episodes. One of them is about Orphen and his quest to reach someone named Row, an elder sorcerer who Orphen evidently needs the aid of. This arc is presented with Orphen going through different towns. Orphen also learns of magic that causes magicians worldwide to temporarily lose their powers. I guess this will come into effect later in the series itself as it is an obvious hint.

Another arc is centered on Childman and his past with Orphen, Azalie and even Row. These flashbacks allow us to understand how hard it is for Childman to make the choices he is in regards to Orphen and the Tower of Fangs. The flashbacks also clue us into how the characters are reacting in the present day and give credence to their choices.

The five episodes went by very fast and everything just pretty much confused me. From what I have seen, I would certainly think about going back and seeing the rest of the series so I can understand where everything is coming from. This looks like a decent TV show and I would like to see if the earlier episodes are as fast paced as these are.

The DVD

Video: This is a television presentation, so it is displayed in Full-Frame. The quality is pretty good for a television show. Nothing super special.

Sound: Presented in Japanese and English Dolby 2.0. I listened primarily to the English track. It probably is not the best dub job ever done, but it is decent. The Japanese track is easily the better of the two, although I only listened to it in certain spots. The front sound field is used the most in this disc, with little to no rear sound.

Menus: Some animation in the backgrounds. The menu is easy to traverse.

Extras: TV commerical, production images, textless opening and closing. Nothing spectacular, but there usually never is on anime TV releases. Plus I would figure putting 5 episodes on the disc took up a good amount of space.

Final Thoughts: I liked what I saw here, but I just did not understand it. I would certainly like to go back and understand this series more though, it looks like it is in the good category for anime TV fare. Orphen is certainly recommended for those that have bought the series up to this point. I also have a feeling I may get a lot of e-mail explaining to me all that is going on. For the 5 episodes I have seen, this looks like a very good series. Recommended.
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