What They Say:
Who knew treasure hunting could make life so miserable? After constant battles with the Humans, our rowdy band of heroes is in quite a mess. With their Jinns badly damaged, they’re off to Atlas City to find Don the Repairer who’s rumored to have the ability to fix anything – for a price of course.
But with very little pocket money and their Jinns out of action, they could be in for some serious trouble! V-Darn’s been waiting for them in Atlas City and he’s determined to finally have his revenge on our little band of treasure hunters! With Mei-Mer on the verge of death, Wan is determined to grant her last request, even when it could cost him his own life. More laughter, tears, and off-the-wall surprises in this second great volume of K.O. Beast!
The audio presentation for this series brings us the original Japanese language track as well as the English language adaptation, both of which are encoded in stereo at 192kbps. Considering its overall age and original sound design, there’s not a lot to write home about here but it all does the job pretty well. The show features a decent stereo mix with a good sense of directionality for some of the vocal moments, but otherwise a solid center channel mix with good use by the music of the stereo channels. Dialogue is nice and clear and we noted no dropouts or distortions.
Originally released in 1993, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. This release contains the second OVA series with the first two episodes. Animated by Project B4 and Gainax, the transfer here manages to bring most of that to life in a pretty good way, though there’s some very minor source material issue in the form of a few nicks and scratches. Barring that rather small issue, something I almost expect to see on anything from that time period and earlier, this transfer looks great. Nice vibrant colors, some minimal cross coloration along hairlines in places and minimal aliasing during some panning sequences.
Designed much like the first volume in layout in coloring, this release is nicely eye-catching with the three principal characters getting nice pose shots underneath the logo. Lots of eye-catching color here and good classic character designs. The front cover and the spine both contain the volume number, which gets big kudos from us. The back cover provides several character shots and some shots from the show itself surrounding the solid show summary. Production credits are minimal but the special features are nicely favored and clearly listed. The insert has another shot of the front cover while the reverse side has boxart adverts.
The menu is a nice energetic piece with lots going on while the opening theme plays along. Each of the selections has an animation piece playing below it, but this doesn’t slow down the load or access times at all since they aren’t transitional. The layout is pretty nicely done and things move nice and fast. The only slowdown comes in moving around in the trailers, as each trailer you move over causes a new logo to be loaded.
Much like the past volumes, there are some good extras included here. There is one section devoted just to the shows creator and what he’s done over the years, which was surprising since I didn’t recognize the name immediately. There’s also the continuation of the character biographies, providing their Japanese names and little tidbits about them. The translator notes are here again, though almost painfully short. Add in a new section of dub outtakes and a brief art gallery and top it off with the original OVA opening for the sixth and seventh episodes and you come away with some good material here to check out after the show is over.
With the final two episodes of the second OVA series, much of what has come before in the back story finally gets revealed and some of the little bits that have been scattered throughout get explained away. Toss in a revelation or two and lots of action and the two OVA episodes here really fly by.
The bulk of the two episodes comes in the form of chase scenes. Initially, we have everyone chasing after the leads and their Jinn as they head further north. V-Darn and V-Sion are in close pursuit at the same time. All of this to reach S.P. Icegal and to figure out what’s up with Yuni. Eventually, everyone ends up at a glacier in the middle of the ocean up north, but not just any glacier. Deep inside is the treasure that’s been searched for over the past 10,000 years. Naturally, this is all lost on a number of our characters as they continue to just ram through walls in their dogged pursuit of Yuni and her captor.
The interior to the glacier is huge, spanning quite a number of caverns and apparently a lot of depth as well. The chases continue until, eventually, you have Icegal, Yuni and our leads all together deep inside the machinery. The vastly complicated gear located under here actually turns out to be the remnants of Gaia, the super-computer network system that vied for control over the world millennia ago. With Yuni used as a key of sorts, the explanations start to flow and we see the vast and varied history of 10,000 years ago and what led to the slicing open of the Earth. So much for creative license in the opening credits.
Things settle down for a bit as all of this unfolds and Wan and the others try to absorb such a rich and interesting history. Before they realize it, Uranus has infiltrated the system and has started to take over the network for humanity’s sake, to give him the ability to control the world and build a paradise for them. With Yuni attempting to fight him and the other Beasts with her, it shifts into the usual chase/fight scenes until it comes to a nice and surprisingly satisfying conclusion.
KO Beast is a series that has some really strong nostalgia for me but also manages to be fresh at the same time. Having only seen the first OVA series before, the second one was completely new at the time and gave me something to look forward to in addition to being able to rejoice in seeing a classic finally get the proper treatment. KO Beast is just a pure fun show that I had a great time slipping into again. With its comical mix of English and historical pieces tied to the furry side of the future and the technological side of humanity, they hit all the right notes and kept me happy throughout.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Character bios, Translator Notes, Video Gallery, Original Openings
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
Release Date: October 28th, 2003
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.