Jason checks out Hideki Ohwada's politically-charged mahjong manga, The Legend of Koizumi.
DVD - Bulletproof!
Welcome to the grimy streets of run-down Chicago, patroled by law officers, criminals, and two gun-toting ladies with enough firepower to take out a small third-world country! Rally Vincent, owner of a weapons-repair store, and her partner Minnie May Hopkins, a master in the use of grenades and detonations, rock downtown Chicago in this highly-explosive OVA series.
Gunsmith Cats jumps straight into action with the first OVA, as Rally and May do a little bounty-hunting to capture Johnathan Washington, wanted for drug charges. They quickly take him into custody, and we assume that's the end of him. It isn't until a little later that it's revealed his real crime is gun smuggling, not drug charges, and that Rally and May caught him only a short time before a major transaction was to take place.
Suffice to say, the Government isn't pleased with Rally and May. The ATF, or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, and Firearms, sends in an agent to "convince" these two ladies to post bail for John so he can complete his smuggling deal. This, in turn, would allow the ATF to make an even bigger raid. By using their "influence", Rally and May agree to assist in this plan...
All three Gunsmith Cats OAVs are included on this disc. Japanese and English audio are provided, as well as English subtitles. Both the Japanese and English audio are 2-Channel Dolby Stereo only, but both are clean transfers, without any fluctuation or mistiming. The sound effects and jazzy-background music are incredible. As we learn from the "Making Of" special, great care was taken to ensure every sound effect was realistically produced.
The video quality of this show is definately well above average, as virtually no DVD-compression artifacts can be seen throughout the show. Although a few scratches and muddied colors are present, the very limited number of errors isn't too bad, considering the age of this title. Again, great attention for details make Gunsmith Cats a visually impressive show; Rally's GT-500 includes features such as visible stitching on the steering wheel. Elsewhere grafitti and old, plastered posters circle buildings in the slums of Chicago. The animation staff spent a great deal of time ensuring a quality product, and it shines through in this digital transfer.
From the slang and dialogue used, to the sound effects themselves, Gunsmith Cats looks and sounds like a gritty, grey suburb of modern Chicago. The English script flows with dialogue suitable for a run-down section of Chicago, and no sentence escapes an appropriate adaption that befits it to a rough neighborhood.
As for extras, ADV has included a 40-minute feature entitled, "The Making of Gunsmith Cats Special". This special explains the motivations for Kenichi Sonoda's manga, as well as the strong desire to accurately portray the guns, cars, and cityscape used in Gunsmith Cats. The special includes interviews with staff and voice actors from the Japanese production, home video footage of a Japanese Staff visit to Chicago, and even character design sketches and production notes. All-in-all, this insightful extra is a great addition to the DVD.
Overall, this is a great disc, not simply for the nearly-constant gunfights and action, but also for the impressive quality of the disc itself. The English voice acting is pretty solid, and adds to the sense of realism. The artwork uses the grey-brown look of a run-down metropolis often, but provides hints of color in trees, graffiti, and character appearances. If you're looking for an exciting, fast-paced action title, this is it!
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