Reviewby Mark Sombillo, Sep 9th 2008
Having woken from a coma and his memories returning, Otoha now embarks on a path of discovery as he realises what he has lost and where his life has gone. In this second half to the story, Genma finds himself in a position to take over the city as Rumine, the city's guardian, is kidnapped. Otoha must strive to fight on his own and find the power within. A couple of observers, a different Karas from another city come to help when the city is engulfed in chaos, but in the end, will hope become a curse rather than salvation?
This much anticipated conclusion to the OVA had a lot of pressure to deliver from where the first half left off. Brandishing awe inspiring CG and traditional cel animation integration, the first volume incorporated breath-taking cinematography mixed with Guyver-like action extravaganza leaving viewers drooling for more! So when the sword was once again sheathed at the end of this second volume, I ended up releasing a deep sigh. A satisfied sigh that was slightly marred with a tinge of disappointment.
The disappointment comes from expecting too much. It is true that in a round-about way the niggling questions left hanging from the first volume were more or less addressed. The action didn't let up either, nor the pristine quality that it was presented in. Furthermore, the character development went into full swing and allowed you to plunge into Otoha's past and motivations as well as the reasons as to why he was chosen to be Karas. However, at the end of it all, I think I can be forgiven for feeling like I might have been watching a different anime to the one the first volume originally presented.
Perhaps the most differing feature of this volume that displaced me was how much slower it went. The action kept going, but the momentum of the story telling weakened as time was devoted to telling who the characters were. With the already tight running time owing to the fact that this was an OVA, ultimately the climax arrived with a loud bang but maybe only enough to pop a balloon.
It also seemed like all the tricks in the bag were used up way before the ending which meant that though the animation and action was as good as the first volume, there wasn't much else that gave me goose bumps for originality. That I believe is what I expected too much of. The first volume offered viewers a thrill ride because you didn't know what new feast for the eyes was waiting for you just around the corner, but sadly I can't say that we get the same treatment here.
The voice cast of this show is quite superb, both in the English and Japanese dubbing. The characters were played very much in tune with their nature furthering the engrossing narrative. The choir and orchestral soundtrack certainly packed a punch where it counted, however, there's actually a fair bit more subdued music here that encouraged reflection and retrospect, pulling you down to the character's point of view.
If nothing else, those who have enjoyed the first half of the story should definitely not forego this. It was a tantalising cliff hanger that is hankering for some closure, and at least in that regard, this delivered. Whether or not you would tip the delivery man for a good performance though is a bit harder to admit.
Overall (dub) : B+
Overall (sub) : B
Story : B
Animation : A
Art : A
Music : A
+ Fantastic animation and action choreography.
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