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Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars Vol. 1 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

June 29, 2008 by  



“A highly anticipated animated TV series based on the popular ‘Super Robot Taisen Original Generation’ video games finally has its release in the US. And the first volume features mecha battles galore! A cool opening start for the series!”

DVD INFORMATION:

DVD TITLE: Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars Vol. 1

DURATION: 48 minutes

DVD INFORMATION: COLOR/ MPEG-2 / DVD-5 / NTSC / Japanese Audio (Dolby Digital Stereo) / English Subtitles / 16:9 LB

CATALOG #: BUDH0129

COMPANY: Bandai Visual / Honneamise

RATING: 13 and up

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

STAFF INFORMATION:

ORIGINAL STORY: SR Production Team

DIRECTOR: Kakudo Hiroyuki

SUPERVISOR & SERIES PLANNER: Terada Takanobu

CHARACTER CONCEPTION: Kohno Sachiko

CHARACTER DESIGN: Ikeda Yuji

MAIN MECHANICAL DESIGNERS: Katoki Hajime, Miyatake Kazutaka, Okawara Kunio, Saito Kazue

ART DIRECTOR: Kato Kenji

PRODUCED By: SWROG PROJECT

CAST INFORMATION:

Ryusei Miki Shin-Ichiro, Ingram: Furusawa Toru, Yukiko: Sakuma Rei, Kusuha: Takahashi Mikamo, Tenzan: Kawazu Yasuhiko, Laker: Kiyokawa Motomu, Kenzo: MUGIHITO, Kai: Saizan Tadahisa, Hance: Masutani Yutaka, Shu: Koyasu Takehito, Bian: Iizuka Shoz

The popular Super Robot Wars OG takes to an all-new battlefield!

An encroaching alien menace… And the steel ghost that answers the call of a slumbering power…

It is the era of the so-called New Calendar. A foreign body called Meteorite 3 crash-lands on Aidoneus Island bringing with it the materials and science of what mankind dubs Extra Over Technology. The arrival of this technology is proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life and data recovered from Meteor-3 indicates it is using a form of articulated mobile weaponry. The fate of the earth sphere will be irrevocably altered.

As mentioned on previous review for “Super Robot Wars: Original Generation” the OAV series, I have always been a fan of the video game series, especially the Original Generation Game Boy Advance games that came out in the US.

Of course, the video game series has been out for way over a decade but has never been localized because the games featured on mecha from a variety of different manga and anime licenses.

But fortunately with “Super Robot Wars Original Generation”, it would be the first “Super Robots” related game to not feature licensed characters or mecha and thus, it made things easier for a US release via video games and now with the anime series courtesy of Bandai Visual/Honneamise.

With “Super Robot OG: Divine Wars”, the main story takes place seven years since Meteorite-3 slammed the Earth and the storyline focuses on a teenager named Date Ryusei.

In episode 1 titled “Stage 01: The Steel Ghost”, Ryusei is a big fan of robots and with his mother sick in the hospital, he’s going through growing pains and leaning towards not going to college, so he can work and help pay off his mother’s medical bills.

Accompanying Ryusei is his high-school classmate Mizuha Kusuha. A calm, quiet girl who has her sights set on become a nurse.

Ryusei is focused on pretty much winning the robot fighting video game competitions called “Burning PT” which he has made it to the finals.

Unknown to Ryusei, he is being closely monitored by Ingram Plissken (the commander of SRX Team and the major figure in the SRX Project) and Kobayashi Aya (leader of the team). Both are wondering if Ryusei will display certain fighting talents during his video game match.

Unfortunately, he loses the match and Mizuha tries to console him afterwards. That was until a mysterious object crashes into the stadium and a swarm of bug-shaped robots start attacking.

Mizuha is injured by falling debris and with a big slab of debris. Ryusei needs to get help and out of nowhere, a mass-produced mecha machine known as Gespenst MK-II Type TT happens to show up.

Concerned for his friend, Ryusei jumps into the Gespenst and realizes that the controls are similar to his video game controls. Ryusei then gets into battle to protect his friend from the bug robots known as the Megiloat (alien robots belonging to an extraterrestrial intelligence known as the Aerogaters).

For the second episode “Stage 02: Awakening Power”, the battle between Ryusei and the swarm of bug robots continue and during the battle, Ryusei unleashes an attack that destroys them. For someone who is an amateur, what kind of talents does Ryusei possess?

Ingram Plissken and the SRX Team arrest Ryusei (for stealing their mecha) and offers him a choice. Join the military as a pilot or go to prison (or worse).

The first two episodes of volume 1 primarily focuses on Ryusei Date, if anything, “Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars” featured straightforward mecha battles and actually an entertaining storyline that kept me interested.

For those familiar with the OAV series, there are many other pilots that are part of the series, so I’m curious to see how the storyline unfolds in introducing these characters and of the varying teams, how many people will be focused on in terms of the storyline, let alone the storylines that focus on the various industries who are competing to build mecha’s to protect humankind.

VIDEO:

As for the video, since it’s a newer anime series that aired back in the end of 2006 and early 2007, as expected, the anime is clear and colorful. Also, because it is a Bandai Visual release known for their audio and video quality, the anime is presented in 16:9 LB anamorphic with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

AUDIO:

Bandai Visual is known for their quality A/V and audio is encoded at 488kbps. There is no Digital 5.1 audio selection, just Dolby Digital Stereo. And primary audio is in Japanese. There is no English dub tracks, for those interested in that.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Surprisingly, there are no special features. I would expected maybe a textless opening or ending, especially for the JAM PROJECT fans out there who enjoy the opening theme. But unfortunately, there are no special features at all.

As for the DVD-insert booklet, there is an 8-page prologue and character guide for the first volume.

If anything, I’m actually very stoked to have a “Super Robots Wars” animated series released in the US. It took forever for the video game series to come out in the US, so I’m enjoying the fact that Bandai Visual/Honneamise has released it in the US.

The negating factors for a lot of people may be that it doesn’t have English dubbing and the fact that the first volume has two episodes (out of nine volumes). Personally, I’ve been watching anime for so long that I could easily remember when I purchased anime LD’s and would get only one episode and paid a premium price for it. But I can understand some people who were hoping for an English dub or more episodes per volume.

All in all, I’m excited about how this series will play out from beginning to the end. For “Super Robot Wars” fans, an animation based on the video game series is a long time coming.

So far, volume one has been entertaining and wished there were special features (like the OAV series) and more episodes but nevertheless, enjoyed it.

I look forward to watching the second volume!

+ “SUPER ROBOT WARS” in an animated television series… A long time coming!

+ Mecha battle fest! Cool animated battles and cool ideas of weapon utilization.

+ Well done voice acting with many of the original voice talent from the video games involved.

– For those who need and prefer an English dub, this DVD is ONLY Japanese with English subtitles.

– Only two episodes on the first volume

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