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Scryed is actually a fun and interesting little anime.
THE LOST GROUND
Review by Matthew Anderson
26 Episode TV Series
Company: Bandai Entertainment
Running Time: 125 minutes (5 episodes)
Rated: PG (Violence and mild language)
In Kanagawa Prefecture, an earthquake causes massive upheavals, resulting in a raised area called the lost ground.
22 years later, the children who were born in the lost ground have grown up. Some of them have developed the abilities to re-form matter into a being called an "Alter".
Kazuma is an Alter User. Using his powers for "fun and profit", he takes on dangerous jobs so that he and his girlfriend Kanami can survive.
On his last job, he attracts the attention of HOLY, a quasi-official organization that polices and contains Alter Users. Now, Kazuma is on the run, relentlessly hounded by Alter User Ryuho, the best that HOLY has to offer.
At the same time, Mimori Kiryu has arrived at HOLY to investigate why Alter Users exist. As she investigates, she discovers that HOLY uses brutality to maintain order. She also learns that something happened to Ryuho many years ago, and that his hatred has clouded his judgment. Can Mimori figure out the secret of the lost ground and help Kazuma before HOLY manages to capture all the citizens of the Lost Ground?
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: Great video quality. There are no pixels, color bleeds or rainbows to be found. There is a little edge enhancement, but it's not that noticeable.
AUDIO: The Japanese and English 2.0 audio is the same. Both are fairly well mixed, with some interesting surround sound elements. While not very aggressive, it will not disappoint those who like their sound crisp and clean.
In episode 5, there was absolutely no sound during the prologue on the English audio track. Same thing with the closing credits. Since this is an advanced preview disc, I will assume that they will correct the problem.
EDITS: None. Everything is exactly the way you would see it in Japan. Bandai has the right idea.
EXTRAS: There are the 5 separate clean open and the one clean close. There is a brief history of the lost ground, HOLY, and Alter Users and a design gallery.
STORY: The screenplay by Yosuke Kuroda reminds me a lot of the early days of the "X-Factor" comic. It's pretty much a bad boy vs. bad cops with a mysterious "secret" that I am sure won't be revealed in the finial episode. The writing is nothing groundbreaking, but it is solid, and there is enough comedy and action to keep things from getting too boring.
ACTING: I am quite pleased with the voice acting on both the English and the Japanese cast. Steve Jay Blum's voice is a little to old for the teenage Kazuma, but other than that, he does a great job. I like the rest of the cast except for Lara Jill Miller's rather coquettish sounding voice for Scheris Adjani. Frankly, she sounds like a ditzy broad.
Soichiro Hosshi is perfect at Kazuma, and I prefer Masayo Kurata's stronger voice for the strong Scheris Adjani. Like the English cast, they all do a superb job.
My personal favorites are Crispin Freeman and Korio Tsuki's portrayal of Straight Cougar. Both of them are able to switch from serious to rapturous speed freak in just a few words. Truly the stand outs on this series.
FAN SERVICE: Nothing I would get into a tizzy over. Sure there is Scheris Adjani in her skirt that is so short, you know that she wears black panties. Other than that, for get about it.
For a brief time, it seems that Japan was embracing the "X-Men" craze with shows like "Project Arms" and Scryed. Then, just when the craze was starting to pick up, it ended, giving us a pair of different amines'.
Scryed feels very much like the early days of the "X-Factor" comic book. When "X-Factor" started, the original 5 X-Men joined together, appearing as a Mutant Hunting Squad. In reality, their mission was to rescue and retrain mutants in the use of their powers. While viewed with fear by other mutants, in reality, they were just trying to do the right thing. In Scryed, we have HOLY, who appears to the Alter Users as a Alter Hunting Squad. In reality, they are trying to help Alter Users become useful members of society. Unfortunately, the way they go about it is rather brutal. I am sure Charles Xavier would not approve.
The focus of this disc is mostly on Kazuma, who I presume is the star of the series. Ryuho also gets some time, and we learn more about his past than we do of Kazuma's. Actually, all of the characters receive some screen time, more so than most "ensemble" casts.
This volume also starts one of the biggest hate/hate relationships since Amuro Ray and Char Anzable of Gundam fame. Never have I seen two people instantly hate each other as much as Kazuma and Ryuho does.
Unfortunately, we are saddled with a few obnoxious young women. Frankly, I could do with out Kanami. If her character dies, I think it would be a blessing. Then Kazuma can do the whole angry, heartbroken routine. The other girls are pretty much useless. Mimori is one of the worst scientists I have ever met. She spends more time pinning for Ryuho instead of working on finding out the truth. What exactly is Scheris's power? All see seems to be is a HOLY cheerleader.
There are some light moments in between the rather serious situations. Straight Cougar provides most of the comic relief, with this diatribes on how speed can shorten the world, and that he keeps mispronouncing Mimori's name. Kazuma also has some light moments. He really is a fool, and I don't think he truly understands his situation.
The animation is nothing really impressive, although the CG blends well with the cell animation. Like many CG colored anime, the actual pigments are pretty subdued. The character designs are somewhat interesting, but Kazuma eyes look funny.
For some reason they call this a Platinum Edition, but for the life of me, I don't know why. There is nothing impressive about the audio or video, and the extras are pretty standard. You can't even reverse the cover.
Scryed is actually a fun and interesting little anime. While not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination, it is a solid and entertaining series. I am curious to see how things progress.
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