Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars Vol. 8 (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)
July 30, 2008 by Dennis Amith
“As we reach the final two volumes, there are new revelations and the Earth Defense Force and the United Colony Corps goes to war against the aliens and a key betrayal comes unexpected in this latest action-packed volume of ‘Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars'”.
DVD TITLE: Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars Vol. 8
DURATION: 72 minutes
DVD INFORMATION: COLOR/ MPEG-2 / DVD-5 / NTSC / Japanese Audio (Dolby Digital Stereo) / English Subtitles / 16:9 LB
CATALOG #: BUDH0136
COMPANY: Bandai Visual / Honneamise
RATING: 13 and up
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
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
At last, the battle moves to its final stage… The astonishing truth is revealed in this volume!
The muzzle that has been leveled is one of betrayal, and the swords that must protect the Earth will be drawn for their final mission!
In volume 7, the Alien Aerogater’s made their move by invading Earth and abducting Earth Federation Army soldiers and pilots.
Volume 8 continues the storyline about the war between the Earth Federation Army/United Colony Corps and the Alien Aerogaters who have now started to decimate major cities but this volume will be known for its major betrayal by one of the main characters of this series.
In episode 21 titled “Stage 21: Misgivings”, the Aerogater attack has thrown the Earth’s Sphere into chaos. An introduction to a new character named Brigadier General Normany Srey of the Earth Federation Army who drafts Operation SRW for an assault on the massive Aerogater base, the “White Star”.
Also, Ingram has begun Kusuha’s training as a pilot on the Grungust Type-2 while other pilots question Ingram using an unskilled pilot to take control of a Super Robot.
In episode 22 titled “Stage 22: The Muzzle of Betrayal”, the Aerogaters begin decimating the Northern area of China. The Hagwane heads to the area and the Personnel Troopers face their deadliest enemies yet.
Because of the dire situation, Ingram Plissken orders the SRX Team to transform and become as one. An order that the Ryusei and team have never done before. And a major character becomes a traitor.
In episode 23 titled “Stage 23: The Day of Parting”, the team has been betrayed and the group is at a loss not knowing why it has happened, especially what may have happened to their teammate Kusuha who has disappeared in battle.
The ramifications of the betrayal has led to the SRX team to be jailed and the higher ups want their mechas to be dismantled.
Meanwhile, the Earth Federation Army and the United Colony Corps rendezvous at the L5 Point and launch Operation SRW and come head-to-head with a former teammate.
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.
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.
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 character guide and glossary. Also, included is a “Special Message” (continuing from the last four volume booklets) segment which features more voice talent giving their thoughts about their character and a message for the fans.
The eighth volume of “Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars” is another exciting volume in the series and as usual with the series, there was a lot of action and mecha battles galore!
But there are some problems when you think about the concept of time and part of the problem is when you have so many characters, where a mecha series such as “Gundam” has over 40-50 episodes, they are able to flesh out the story with more character development and even budding relationships. Also, there is a sense of time of how many days or weeks things have passed.
With this volume, Kusuha is now a pilot of the Grungust Type-2 and willing to go to battle. But how long has she actually been training. A day, days, weeks? Ryune Zoldark is concerned with the incarceration of the SRX team but since she was just let on aboard the Hagwane, without that much character development for her, would Ryune really be that concerned? So, perhaps she has been friends with Ryusei and Rai for days or weeks?
But another problem which I mentioned in previous review and again becomes a major pet peeve is the sense of death. With the battle of the Aerogaters, the Earth Federation Army and the civilians become casualties. Soldiers who pilot an airplane or drive a tank are the ones that are typically killed in battle.
But not one major character has been killed. They have been injured but well enough for battle in a few days with no lasting ramifications from injuries.
We have seen death for United Colony Corps and Divine Crusaders characters but even in this volume where Aya is shot point blank, she survives and is hospitalized and is ready to go battle by the end of the volume.
No one dies, no one gets majorly injured and with every death that we have seen on the “good” side of a mecha series, the death makes an impact.
And so you wonder what if “Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars” has had the chance to get a 40-50 episode treatment. Character development and even budding relationships can be furthered explored but at least there would be a sense of timing.
But with that being said, the end of the “Super Robot Wars OG: Divine Wars” is the next volume and volume 8 which features a major character betrayal was exciting and to see the turn against the fellow teammates was quite riveting.
Overall, this is a 26-episode series and Kakudo Hiroyuki and staff has done what they can to fit everything they can in a short time. It’s a bit sad to know that there is one more volume left in the series but so far, I have been entertained. The series although not perfect, is still riveting, action-packed and explosive.
I look forward to the final volume!
+ “SUPER ROBOT WARS” in an animated television series based on a long running video game… A long time coming!
+ Finally, the battle between the Earth Defense Army and the United Colony Corps versus the alien Aerogaters.
+ Well done voice acting with many of the original voice talent from the video games involved.
+ A very good volume that focuses on the character development of several key characters.
– For those who need and prefer an English dub, this DVD is ONLY Japanese with English subtitles.
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