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Zone of the Enders (ZOE) - Dolores, i - Last Things Last (Vol. 6)

ADV Films // Unrated // August 26, 2003
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Don Houston | posted October 5, 2003 | E-mail the Author
Movie: I like science fiction anime as much as anyone and don't always catch a series when it first comes to dvd. By the time I check out a release, it may be well into the series, which usually causes problems for my reviews since I don't always have a grip on what's taking place. One such series was the Zone Of The Enders, which was set in the future where Earth has colonized Mars and set to exploring the galaxy. In the final volume of the series, Zone Of The Enders 6: Last Things Last!, the show wraps up the various storylines and ties it all together for the fans.

The series is set in the future when space travel is fairly cheap and Mars (as well as other places) has been colonized. A group of separatists are trying to break free of the ruling authority, which appears to be Earth based. Technology is such that large Mech-robots are commonplace and they are the main military weapons of the time. A small family, led by their dad, James Links, has somehow been implicated in a crime and everyone is after them. The crime appears to involve stealing an advanced Mech, Dolores, which seems to have somehow achieved sentience (she can think like a human). Because of her unique nature, she was enthusiastically sought after by both sides of the coming battle between Earth and Mars. Either side that possesses here unique talents will have an edge against the other and they all know it.

Episode 23: Goodbye Mars:
James is recruited as the only means to stop Radium Lavans and his evil plans to destroy Earth. Dolores is in a coma and James links into her in an effort to revive her. The timetable of the battle is moved up but limitations in spacecraft capable of transporting Links and Dolores force a dangerous gambit with the catapult. We learn more about Dolores and her original memories as they relate to Radium.

Episode 24: Vanishing Point:
Radium targets the Earth elevator and only James can stop him with Dolores' help. Both sides pull out all stops to achieve their objectives and neither side is without casualties.

Episode 25: Sorrowing Angel:
As the story heats up, the ultimate confrontation between Links and Radium gets closer and closer with each step. More of Radium's background is unveiled as he makes his final gambit to finish off the crew.

Episode 26: Farewell To Arms:
This was the final showdown between the powers that be. To say more would require major spoilers.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed this dvd a whole lot. I really need to watch the first several volumes and then the rest of the show in one sitting to get the full effect of it all but I think the combination of extras and episodes made this worth a rating of Highly Recommended. It was quirky in a few earlier episodes but this set was very well made with a lot more going on than I could catch in a single viewing. The style of anime and the story, as well as the voice acting, made it very watchable with loads of replay value.

Picture: The picture was presented in it's original 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. It looked very crisp and clear with no visible compression artifacts or other problems. A few moments were a bit off but those were few and far between.

Sound: The sound was presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo with either English or the original Japanese with English subtitles. The voices were clear in both and I found each to be well made. I couldn't decide which sounded better this time and that means the nod goes to the dub track since it's much more difficult to make.

Extras: The extras included a long interview/discussion with several of the original voice actors of the show, a feature called "Document 2172.09.28" that was a timeline of the events that took place as well as provided a lot of background information for the show, a karaoke version of the opening and closing sequence, production sketches and artwork as well as trailers. One funny extra was a feature called "Omake", which was a silly short using Dolores and James poking fun at each other. There were also some collector cards and a paper insert for the show.

Final Thoughts: If you'd like to watch a science fiction anime series with something for almost everyone, this may well suit you. I had my doubts when first watching it but have been won over by the last half of the episodes. I think there was some stand alone value to this last dvd but you'll get more out of it by watching the series in order. High-level technical values, solid extras, and a decent story, all made this a good one to check out.

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Highly Recommended

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