What They Say
The battle lines have been drawn, placing old friends Kira and Athrun on opposing sides in the war. The resulting battle will mark a turning point in their lives as Athrun and the Zaft forces launches a major offensive designed to end the war once and for all!
The original Japanese stereo track was used for my primary viewing session. The numerous action sequences make adequate use of the front soundstage. Music, dialogue, and sound effects were well balanced and did not overshadow one another. There were no problems with distortion or dropouts. While it is a decent stereo mix, it does feel a bit flat at times.
A spot check of the English stereo track revealed a slightly fuller sound in the action sequences. It is still a standard stereo track that utilizes the front soundstage adequately, but the English track felt as if it had more depth to it. Fans of either language track will be satisfied with their audio experience.
The first Gundam Seed “movie” receives a beautiful transfer. Whether it is the black depths of space or a bright desert landscape on Earth, the colors are vibrant making for a rich picture. Every element and technique blends well for the most part, but some of the CG during the battle sequences can be slightly distracting. The transfer is free from any noticeable cross coloration, aliasing, or other digital artifacts.
The front cover features a collage of Cagalli, Arthrun, and Arthrun’s Gundam. The logo is near the bottom of the cover with the title for the movie in a banner across the very bottom. Both the front and back cover have an attractive metallic sheen, but the cover image is not quite as eye-catching as the cover for the first movie.
The back cover features the requisite synopsis, images, and disc specifications in a clean, readable format. There was no insert inside the case. One complaint with the packaging is the lack of an indicator of what this title is. It does not list itself as a movie or list itself as to where it falls in the context of the entire series.
The main menu features a picture of a Gundam in action with the menu items placed to the right of the screen. The background plays a series of clips with a piece of music looping. There are transition delays between menus allowing the viewer to get setup and into the content quickly and easily. One nice feature of the audio setup menu was the green, throbbing dot that was placed next to your selection.
No extras were provided for this release.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Much like the first Gundam Seed movie, the second movie is visually stunning but fails to a solid story that would draw new viewers into the television series. Boasting new footage, it seems the purpose of this film is simply to squeeze out a bit more cash from the die-hard Gundam fans.
The movie starts out with a brief narrative that reveals Kira and crew are still headed to Alaska. It then quickly jumps to a brief aerial battle that leaves a young girl and Arthrun stranded on an island. After a brief debate about which side of the war is causing more destruction, the movie jumps ahead again to Arthrun flashing back to departing the island and learning the girl’s name is Cagalli.
The film continues to make large leaps over the plot; Kira kills a friend of Arthrun. Arthrun kills one of Kira’s friends. Both ZAFT and the Earth forces kill a lot of each other. The result of all the battles sees Kira and Arthrun abandoning both sides of the conflict and attempting to end the conflict in a different manner using highly advanced Gundams.
The battle sequences are definitely more entertaining than the first movie, and the story does manage to give a glimpse of what might make the television series intriguing. However, these brief glimpses are swallowed up in a story that moves much too fast in order to cover a lot of ground. The result for this viewer was a ninety-minute plus battle that kept my eye more on the clock than on the screen.
Much like the first film, it is difficult to recommend this title to anyone beyond the die-hard Gundam collectors. The battle sequences are more entertaining in this release, but the story has to jump forward so frequently that the larger picture is lost. It does not provide enough material to draw new viewers into the television series, and it is doubtful that viewers of the series are going to find anything beyond the new footage as a reason to pick this title up.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Content Grade: C+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B+
Extras Grade: N/A
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Release Date: September 13th, 2005
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Mitsubishi 27″ TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and optical audio cable