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ADV Films presents
Gasaraki #7: In The Spider's Web (1998)

"Everyone dies because of me. Why is everyone full of hatred?"
- Miharu (Mami Kingetsu)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer  
Published: November 26, 2001

Stars: Nobuyuki Hiyama, Mami Kingetsu, Seiko Fujiki, Chris Palton, Monica Rial, Laura Chapman
Other Stars: Yugi Takada, Sho Hayami, Isshin Chiba, Andy McAvin, Jason Douglas, Brett Weaver
Director: Ryosuki Takahashi

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+ for animated violence)
Run Time: 01h:13m:41s
Release Date: November 27, 2001
UPC: 702727005824
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A+ AA-A B-

DVD Review

If you have been following the series up until now, the seventh installment of Gasaraki does not disappoint, as the pace, which has been somewhat slow up until now, gets kicked up a notch as the repercussions from the last disc begin to take effect on the world. There is far more action on this disc, and the webs of deceit that have been laid are beginning to show their origins, as allegiances are again transforming in what looks to be a major final story arc. Once again I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. This series is definitely an attention grabber, greatly enhanced by the excellent score and sound design. You may also want to refer to the character sheet included in the first disc to refresh your memory as to who everyone is.

As Nishida predicted, the U.S. grain embargo is causing panic in Japan, with rioters taking to the streets. As he sets up in a vast information center, the events of the following two days will see the revalation of his plan for Japan's future. After his meetings with Nishida, Colonel Hayakawa reassigns his TA team to the command of Lieutenant Colonel Hirokawa, though his decision isn't binding for the team members. Their unanimous support comes at just the right time, as the Prime Minister and his staff are surrounded at the Diet headquarters by protesters, and the TA team is deployed to disperse the angry mobs, however only two of the TA units are ready for service. As the forward team faces the moral challenge of firing plastic armaments at their countrymen, Kaboru Kaburagi and Rin Ataka, the two remaining team members, get a call from Yushhiro, who wants to enlist their help in rescuing Miharu from Symbol, who have been traced to Yokota U.S. Air Force compound. We also have the reappearance of the Phantom, who we haven't seen for some time. As the action unfolds, tensions within the ranks will be tested, as will the relationship between Japan and the United States. Can anything be done to stop an all out war, and can those in command of the TA squadron keep their team together in the face of the coming adversity?

While viewing this disc, you may want to keep the remote handy if you expect to keep up with all the subtitles that can be found in many segments of this disc. TV reports are annotated in the background, while primary dialogue continues overtop. This leads to several sections where we have five or six lines of subtitles on screen at any given time, following three conversation threads. While the background may not be entirely necessary, it does add to the understanding of what is happening in the outside world, as those at the center of activity plot the next moves in this ultimate chess game.

Considering the creative talent behind Gasaraki were also involved in Bubblegum Crisis, Patlabor 2 and Mobile Suit Gundam, it would not be unrealistic to expect another show heavily based on mecha, and in some cases, for Gasaraki that would be correct, with the Tactical Armor playing a vital role. However, where this show excels is in the mood and atmosphere created, and the complexity of the plots which proceed on many levels through an expanded cast. The first half of the series set up a lot in the areas of Shintoism and the backstory of the kai, which for the past two discs has been left somewhat left behind. With only three episodes left, it is hard to imagine how they can wrap all this up, but if the quality of the writing up until now is any indication, that final disc is going to be a mind blower.

Rating for Style: A+
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Animation quality continues to be strong, and the bold color palette is solidly rendered. There are still a number of "jaggies" present, which is about the only major flaw in the presentation. No print defects or rainbows are present. Overall this looks great.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Sound design is this series' strongpoint, and is so here again with excellent effects and a great score, which is perfectly rendered. Surround use is appropriate, and the front soundstage is expansive as needed. Dialogue is clear and well defined, center focused for the most part. The entire atmosphere is enveloping—this is one great sounding anime.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Reboot, Dirty Pair Flash, Sorcerer Hunters, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Burn Up Excess
Packaging: Scanavo
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Behind The Scenes
  2. Production Sheets
  3. Interview
  4. Glossary
Extras Review: Extras mirror previous discs, with different content.

Included this time is an interview excerpt with Mechanical Designer Shinji Aramaki, the rest of which can be found at ADV's website.

Three more screens of production sheets cover more elements from the show. U.S. hardware is the main focus this time.

Don't know what a Ringgit, Comint or Atomi are? Glossary definitions will get you up to speed.

The behind-the-scenes segment this time is with voice actor, Chris Patton, who does the English version of Yushhiro. We see him dubbing—and flubbing—his part in the studio for 02m:05s.

The menus continue the same animation theme, background music and transitions, though as it was with Disc Six, response on my Toshiba is sluggish, with delays around 10 for most commands.

Trailers include:Reboot, Dirty Pair Flash, Sorcerer Hunters, Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Burn Up Excess.

The inset booklet this time features the layout of the TA 17 cockpit.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

It just keeps getting better and better. Gasaraki continues to intrigue, as the series gets another disc closer to its conclusion. The moody atmosphere, complex plot and multiple storylines keep the anticipation high for an astounding conclusion. The action increases here, as the threads that were laid earlier begin to gel. Hurry up with that last disc already, this is getting intense!


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