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REVIEW: Gurren Lagann Sub.DVD 1


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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 6178

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:33 am Reply with quote
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One has to think that ADV, a company much more inventive when it comes to hype, would've come up with a more compelling presentation than this.


The ADV coverart was revealed before they lost the license. The artwork was the same and the logo was, if not identical, close to it. It was no more impressive than what Bandai used.
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DFBTG



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:59 am Reply with quote
What a coincidence, there's a rightstuf ad currently at the top of the page with TTGL plastered all over it. Anyhow, quite the lengthy review, and even though I loved the series (despite getting into it way late because ANN Spring of '07 preview made me think it was utterly retarded...no logic behind that as far as memory goes though), it wasn't without it's flaws and I agree with those pointed out in here. But honestly, I sorta think volume two's cover art should have been volume one's. Though I suppose having Simoun on the first would make more sense...
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Hagaren_Otaku726



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:09 am Reply with quote
Ah, I'm really not sure if I should opt for these releases, or wait for the version with the dub as well...

Actually, the series looked really fun and over the top to me anyway (They were really hyping it up at Anime Expo, what with Shokotan coming, and everything else Bandai always does), but what really hooked me onto this show was Kamina's belief in Simoun, and his "Believe in me, who believes in you!!" Anime hyper
I really like the characters that either dote on others, or are very supportive.

It's reminiscent of in Eureka Seven's manga adaption, where Eureka decides that she'll believe in Renton, Renton will believe in Nirvash, and Nirvash will believe in Eureka, or something to that effect (Maybe the other way around)
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Arx7arbalest



Joined: 04 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:58 am Reply with quote
To be completely honest, although I love this series, I was dissapointed with the DVDs. Although I do get a great value at 9 episodes for $20, there are just so many problems with it. The fact that they put two lines of text at a time for the subtitles only blocks more of the picture etc.

The biggest gripe I have with this release is that its not a direct translation, but the exact same script they're using for the dub. I can understand changing the script for the dub, but at least keep the old script for the subtitled version.

I probably wouldn't have realized it if it wasn't for the fact that they showcased a lot of the dub script at AX idol this year. The dub script and the subtitles were too similar. If Bandai is to release a subtitle only version, I would hope that they keep the subtitles at a more direct translation.

Unfortunately, despite all my whining, I am still going to buy volume 2. Does that make me a (excuse my language) whore?

Hagaren_Otaku726 wrote:
"Believe in me, who believes in you!!" Anime hyper


Yeah... in the DVD release, they edited the script so that it doesn't fit like that. The line they changed it to makes it sound less comedic and more cliche. I think it went on line "Don't believe in yourself. Believe in me, the Kamina that believes in you."
It just adds to my many gripes with this release. Sad
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Roy9076



Joined: 06 Jan 2006
Posts: 286
Location: California

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:29 am Reply with quote
I finally watched all of this DVD and content and I am afraid that Bandai is going to get some cheap cash on it by slapping a dub. I would talk about my concern about the dub, but the review explains it well for me. TTGL is a damn show is great if you like mecha and over the top action. I really enjoyed and personally, worth the money to have it played on my upscale DVD player with surround sound. Besides that, I do agree on the review and ended up watching a certain segments twice because the art really gets sloppy. I can tell when Yoko's bust size goes from OL' DAMN! to WHERE'S THE BUST?! Great review!
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Seif



Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:14 am Reply with quote
You really think that Episode 9 looks the worse then 4? Episode 4 was an absolute assault on the eye. It was so bad that it lead to the episode's director being canned.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:42 am Reply with quote
*EDIT* Removed
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TTGL often gives the impression that there is a bit more to it all than all its surface bluster. That , unfortunately, does not prevent the early part of the series from indulging in tired retread scenes like the “must find a way to peek over the wall at the naked ladies in the hot springs” sequence in episode 6, or occasionally descending into other equally dead story gimmicks,
Yeah, that is indeed tired, although I give TTGL some credit for spoiler[not having the guys break down the dividing wall, and in fact not having any naked women present on the other side.] One of my problems with this series is that it wants to be taken seriously on some level (if the fans' cries of "This is the most awesome and epic anime EVAR" are to be believed), but it also wants to be pure Gainax silliness in the Daicon/Gunbuster mold. To me, that resulted in moments where things not only didn't flow logically from point A to point B, they went from Point A to Point K and skipped everything in between. For instance, spoiler[how did those random surface-dwellers seize Gunmen, when the great Kamina had to use every ounce of his fighting spirit and skills to do so?] And then there's no concept of "relative strength," like where spoiler[one of the smaller Gunmen manages to upend the Great Ganzan.] But if I throw all expectations of logic and internal consistency out the window, TTGL is perfectly fine. In fact, I have seen the greatness that others saw within the first 14 episodes. If nothing else, it is extremely exciting, "fun," and chock full of "act first and ask questions later" philosophy. (The last of which leads characters into mind-numbingly obvious traps on several occasions.) And for episode 8...not even spoilers could hold back the manly tears.

I'm waiting on the dual-language release, not only because that's my collector's instinct, but because I've heard chatter on AoD about issues with this sub-only release, like missing song translations and spelling/grammar errors.
Quote:
Pickier viewers may take some issue with how the subtitle text handles things, especially the Spiral King's name.
For a show with a fervent online fanbase like this one, I think it would've behooved Bandai/BZ to check how the more popular fansubs handled certain memorable lines. I can see the criticism now: "What? They changed 'Who the hell do you think we are?' to 'Who do you think we are?'? Omg censorship!" Obviously names and such should use official rather than fan-guessed spellings, but drawing a little inspiration wouldn't hurt. It would be precedented, as some of the lines in the Haruhi dub were more than a little inspired by a.f.k.'s subs.
Quote:
Bandai's decision to release the subtitled-only episodes exactly one-third at a time may also be called into question here, as the end of episode 8 seems like a much more natural disk break point than the end of episode 9.
I don't think it's a bad choice; introducing new characters and a new arc at the end of a volume can heighten anticipation for the next. It probably won't matter though, because a sizable percentage of the consumer base for this release will likely come from the "I want it ASAP and I don't want to wait or pay for an English dub" crowd who've already seen the series.

As for the dub speculation, I was also looking forward to ADV's work on the series, especially after seeing the cast list. I do know that scripting work was going on as early as November 2007, but who knows if any lines were ever laid down. The new cast looks just fine, but I do hope that the Bang Zoom that shows up is the freewheeling, over-the-top Bang Zoom of s-CRY-ed and Tenjho Tenge, rather than the technically-good but overly-faithful Bang Zoom of Stellvia and Risky/Safety.
Quote:
Lively but also pedestrian J-rock numbers open and close each episode.
I wasn't too impressed with the OP/ED either. The OP, at least the opening notes of it, could have easily been a Naruto OP, similar to this one.
Seif wrote:
You really think that Episode 9 looks worse than 4? Episode 4 was an absolute assault on the eye. It was so bad that it lead to the episode's director being canned.
Maybe they fixed ep4 for the DVD version?

Last edited by Zalis116 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DFBTG



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:06 am Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
DFBTG wrote:
What a coincidence, there's a rightstuf ad currently at the top of the page with TTGL plastered all over it.
Boy, this "ANN is on the take" business never gets old, does it?


Hope I didn't cut anything I didn't want to. Anyway, I didn't say that to be some sarcastic prick implying anything.
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 1607
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:33 am Reply with quote
*Whew* I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought Yoko had considerable depth beyond her cleavage. That's what made her my favorite character from TTGL, although Kamina is definitely memorable as well. Simon fortunately isn't too bad either, once he spoiler[snaps out of his depression post-Kamina's death.]

As for episode 6; yeah it's a tired gimmick, but I forgive it because of all the bunny-girl cameos, and because it's Gurren-Lagann.

Zalis116 wrote:
And for episode 8...not even spoilers could hold back the manly tears.


I empathize. I was in exactly the same situation when I watched the show.

Key wrote:
Bandai's decision to release the subtitled-only episodes exactly one-third at a time may also be called into question here, as the end of episode 8 seems like a much more natural disk break point than the end of episode 9.


Yeah, there is definitely some truth to this. But then as Zalis said, introducing the new arc will help build anticipation for volume 2, so I think breaking at either episode works.

Quote:
As for the dub speculation, I was also looking forward to ADV's work on the series, especially after seeing the cast list.


I was also looking forward to ADV's dub; the cast was crammed with all of the biggest names in Texas, it seemed. Having said that, if Bang Zoom does pull a similar job to what they did in a show like Tenjo Tenge, I'm sure Bandai's dub will be fine.

As Key said, though, the Japanese cast pulls in some great work for TTGL; particularly Katsuyuki Konishi and Marina Inoue, I think.

I tend to disagree with the comments on the music, though; the OP is catchy as hell, and I think many of the pieces scattered throughout the show are effectively rousing -- I'm not a fan of the EP, though. Having said that, I suppose the music is TTGL's weakness when you compare it to the other aspects of the production. The art an animation foremost, of course -- with the exception of episode 4, that is...

Seif wrote:
You really think that Episode 9 looks worse than 4? Episode 4 was an absolute assault on the eye. It was so bad that it lead to the episode's director being canned.


I second this sentiment. The poor Black siblings didn't exactly get the best introcution they could've had Laughing

Anyway, a great review, and quite thorough I think. I guess that could just be chalked up to me being glad to hear what I wanted to hear, but hey Razz

DFBTG wrote:
But honestly, I sorta think volume two's cover art should have been volume one's. Though I suppose having Simoun on the first would make more sense...


I can sort of see what you mean, but Simon definitely makes more sense on the cover of volume 1. However, I do agree that more exciting cover art could have been chosen -- not that the existing is particulary bad.


Last edited by Big Hed on Sat Jul 12, 2008 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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teh*darkness



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
Posts: 901

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:38 am Reply with quote
Seif wrote:
You really think that Episode 9 looks the worse then 4? Episode 4 was an absolute assault on the eye. It was so bad that it lead to the episode's director being canned.


I agree with this. In my extremely humble opinion, the shift in art style in episode 09 seemed to fit perfectly with the mood of the entire cast, post-episode 08. Whereas episode 04 was simply an eyesore following the first three episodes, thankfully not to be seen again for the duration of the show.
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Panon



Joined: 07 Sep 2004
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:01 am Reply with quote
Arx7arbalest wrote:
The biggest gripe I have with this release is that its not a direct translation, but the exact same script they're using for the dub. I can understand changing the script for the dub, but at least keep the old script for the subtitled version.


In other words, you're complaining that it doesn't match the fan translations, which were very often poor to say the least.

I mean, did you ever think that the example of the dub you heard and the subtitle track being similar because the dub is, you know, a pretty faithful one?
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angel_lover



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:32 am Reply with quote
Just finished watching it, and I have to agree about episode 9. Did Yoko lose her implants in the big fight, maybe? I can agree to an extent that the change of artistic style matches the change in tone of the episode, but to alter her character design this much is ridiculous. She's like a different person now wearing Yoko's clothes.

As for Bandai's anodyne cover artwork, just select the ANN Gurren Lagann skin to find out how it should have been done.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1860

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:33 am Reply with quote
Very nice review but I disagree with some points

Quote:
Bandai's decision to release the subtitled-only episodes exactly one-third at a time may also be called into question here, as the end of episode 8 seems like a much more natural disk break point than the end of episode 9.


Not really the series is 27 episodes and there are 3 sets. I think they just simply divided the episodes and didn't really pay attention to where the plot ended on the disk. Smile

And the cover art is pretty much the same as the Japanese one which I am really happy they kept.

Also I love the music. It was actually my favorite OST from last year.
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Brack



Joined: 15 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:01 am Reply with quote
Seif wrote:
You really think that Episode 9 looks the worse then 4? Episode 4 was an absolute assault on the eye. It was so bad that it lead to the episode's director being canned.


Er, no. It was only a guest director spot in the first place. That is Osamu Kobayashi's natural style (as seen in End of The World, Table and Fishman, episode 7 of Kemonozume, as opposed to his subdued style on Beck and Paradise Kiss), and they knew what they were getting. They probably didn't know the reaction they'd get.

What it did lead to, was them getting cold feet on doing more guest episodes where directors would be allowed such free reign to bring their own visual imprint to an episode.

Ultimately, Gurren Lagann was neither a big enough nor niche enough show to get away with this approach. While both big shows like One Piece and animation nerd satellite broadcast shows like Kaiba can get away with being this free and easy with the notion of "staying on model", they misjudged their own audience and got the negative reaction it did.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:25 am Reply with quote
For those of you who are commenting about how bad ep 4 was, I must ask: are you basing that on having seen the fansubs, or having seen the DVD? I'd heard so much about the infamous episode 4 that I expected something awful, but the flaws in the DVD version were relatively minor. Episode 9 was much worse on the DVD.
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