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ADV Films presents

Getter Robo: Armageddon #2: Transfiguration (1998)

"Don't you understand? This is a fight to save the world."- Hayato (Shozo Iizuka)

Stars: Nerumi Hikada, Yasunori Matsumoto, Tomokazu Seki, Muguhito
Other Stars: Shozo Iizuka, Naoya Yuchida, Shinpachi Tsuji, Yotsuaki Suzuki
Director: Yutaka Sato

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (15+ for graphic violence, nudity)
Run Time: 01h:12m:44s
Release Date: 2001-09-11
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A B+A-A- C+


DVD Review

Notorious for the level of violence and nudity contained in his work, manga artist Go Nagai (creator of Cutey Honey and Devilman) is credited with creating the first giant robot TV series in 1972 with Mazinger-Z. After forming Dynamic Productions with Ken Ishikawa illustrating the manga, they released Getter Robo, the prototype for the transforming robot genre, which originally aired in spring 1974. Getter Robo G (released in the US as Starvengers) followed in 1975. This version, Shin Getter Robo (aka Getter Robo: Armageddon aka Change! Getter Robo), is a 13-part OVA created in the 1990s, based on characters from Getter Robo, Getter Robo Go, and Getter Robo GO!, and brought together to form one story. ADV brings us disc two of the four that they will be releasing.

No time like the present to drop right back in on the action, picking up where the last episode left off. Despite getting a nasty looking stab in the gut from an alien tentacle, Benkei joins up with Go and Kei in the Getter Robot. Set to a soundtrack reminiscent of The Love Boat, they set to work impaling, severing, slicing, and electrifying their incessant alien foe. As the Super Robot Army gets neatly beaten back by the metamorphing alien monsters, Shin Getter Robo undergoes its transformations under command of Go, and a temporary respite is won. Back inside the tower, the newly reemerged team meet up with the topside survivors, led by Hayato, who have gathered to destroy the core in side the Shin Getter Dragon. As Kei and Gei confront a group of topsiders not so thrilled to find Japanese crawling about, Gei gets into some serious head butting with one of them, as between the blows, they learn of the days after the bombs dropped and the Invaders made their last play for control of the surface. Now, backed by a battalion of Metal Beasts, the creator of the Getter awaits the awakening of the Getter Dragon, but the armies that fight against him look for nothing but its destruction. As the Getter team launches each assault, they each take turns in the lead, running down the trio of Getter configurations we've seen so far.

The look of the animation is great, with nice backgrounds contrasting with the vibrant machinery dominating the screen. Camera angles are dramatic, and almost always place you in the center of the action. Each episode opens with a flashback to the previous one, so catching up is pretty easy.

This is not a show that lays back and waits for something to happen, you are in the thick of things from the opening frame. Bits are flying, blood is flowing and machines morph and disfigure at random on the battlefield, as missiles streak from everywhere in a constant barrage of gunfire and explosions. Fortunately, once you get the hang of how this show works, the sheer mayhem that ensues becomes less disorienting, though there still are a lot of hanging sentences waiting for the next episode to finally fit that last piece in. We are now getting a few of the puzzle pieces from the first disc organized, even if they are somewhat sporadic and incomplete, at least it feels like we are getting somewhere.

Compared to other recent anime I've been watching this one is pretty high octaneóI don't know if I could handle more than the three episodes in a row provided here. This certainly is not kiddy anime, as the level of violence, amount of explicit dismembering and so forth is pretty high, and we even get some nudity thrown in during the last episode for good measure (this is a Go Nagai series after all!). While I was apprehensive at first due to the scattered approach it led off with, I'm definitely in the swing of things now and having a good ride. If you want adrenaline pumping robot action that never ceases, you'll find it here.

Change Getter!

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Blacks again seem to occasionally be just a tad too bright, but otherwise this is a great looking transfer. Minor compression issues in some of the solid color areas, a bit of aliasing and rainbows in a few places. Colors are bold and bright. This is pretty impressive.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio is pretty center focused, with only minimal widening of the soundstage. Not quite as aggressive as I would expect for a series of this type, but the audio is clean and distortion free. I'm still waiting for them to actually finish a sentence...

Audio Transfer Grade: A- 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Soul Taker, Sorcerer on the Rocks, Daikengo, Farscape, Spriggan, Samurai X: The Motion Picture
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean opening and closing animation
  2. Image gallery
  3. Behind the scenes
Extras Review: Once again we get the show's clean opening with its original Japanese logo, and clean closing credits. Six screens of concept art cover character and mecha design.

The behind-the-scenes section has been beefed up this time, with four of the English voice actors; John Paul Shepard (Dr. Saotome), Catherine Catmull (Kei), Cassie Fitzgerald (Genki) and Adam Dudley (Dr. Cohen) presented as a combination of interview footage (shot on a handycam) and a bit of their in-studio performance footage on the dubbing stage as well. There is also a hidden feature with dubbing director Charles Campbell.

The menus again feature animated segues between their various levels, most with background music. I did experience some funkiness with the cursor disappearing in the extras, and getting the subtitles running from within the show.

While we usually get at least one new trailer, this time we get three I haven't seen yet: Soul Taker, the Sorcerer Hunters tie in Chivas 1-2-3 (which will be released as Sorcerer on the Rocks) and Daikengo. Trailers for Farscape, Samurai X: The Motion Picture, and Spriggan complete the set. More ADV goodies to look forward to.

Extras Grade: C+

Final Comments

Well, I think I can safely say that this disc did push me over to the fan side of things. Prepare for an onslaught of warring robots being splayed on the battlefield, with lots of blood and body parts airborne for your viewing pleasure. We are getting hints of a bigger backstory which keeps the intrigue level elevated. This is not for the faint of heart. I like it.

Jeff Ulmer 2001-08-09