What They Say
The Archangel and its allies are now humanity’s last hope to prevent Durandal from carrying out his plans. Once again, a fierce battle begins around the Requiem cannon and its relay stations, and the Gundam pilots meet in a final confrontation over the lunar surface. Shinn against Athrun, Kira against Rey, Archangel against Minerva… in the end, there can be only one victor. Witness the final moments of the Second Bloody Valentine war, featuring new footage and an alternate ending!
The Japanese soundtrack was used for my primary viewing session. It is a solid stereo track free from distortion, drop-outs, or other noise. While not the most powerful or dynamic audio track, it provides some decent directional effects during the battles and balance all elements appropriately.
Originally released in 2005, the video is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio and looks gorgeous. Whether it is the dark reaches of space or the bright colors of the Gundams and their weapon fire, the colors are sharp, vivid, and bring out some great details at times. Some of the scenes, mostly the shots of the Minerva and Archangel, do stand out as obvious CGI, but these are few and do not detract much from the overall viewing experience.
Arthrun, Kira, and Shinn along with their Gundams grace the front cover. The back cover contains the requisite synopsis, images, and disc details.
The main menu simply contains the menu items on the right, video clips playing on the left, and music looping in the background. Transition delays are negligible making for a quick setup.
The main extras are textless versions of the opening and ending themes along with the original Japanese versions. Rounding out the extras are three “Program Slates”, a few seconds of music and a still shot.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Seed Destiny TV series may have ended the battle, but the staff felt that it did not provide enough closure for the story and characters. So, we have the Final Plus (F+… hmm…) OVA; the final battle plays out nearly identical to the TV series. The action is extended and given extra shininess, and some additional exposition is added while the battle rages. The additions enhance the battle, but the bulk of it is just re-watching episode fifty.
Closing out the OVA is the alternate ending, or more appropriately titled as an epilogue. We see the seeds of peace sown once again, and the various characters assume their roles in making them grow. Shinn is given one last chance to make the audience love him before the final credits roll.
There is not much new content here, but this OVA should be seen as the director’s cut of the final TV episode. This is how they wanted the series to end if they just had more time, money, whatever during the TV broadcast. It makes a fine companion piece for the series, but the minimal amount of new content makes it a tough sell for anyone other than Gundam completists.
Final Plus can be considered the director’s cut of the final TV episode, but there is not much new content to be found. However, the epilogue it adds provides more closure to the war. We see where the world and its characters are headed after the carnage. This OVA definitely polishes up the visuals of the battle, and the brief epilogue makes it worth a rental, especially if you made it through the entire TV series. Unless you are a die-hard Gundam completist, there isn’t much reason to permanently add it to your collection.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing, Program Slates
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B+
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Release Date: April 15th, 2008
Running Time: 47 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