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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 Alter Hunt
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. 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.
Things are getting worse for Alters. The Japanese government has ordered that all Alters be captured. Following their commands, Commander Zigmar sends HOLY out into the Lost Ground. Kazuma and his fellow Alter Users attempt to fight back, but HOLY proves too powerful. To fight their awesome power, Kazuma must trek to the Alter Forest, and discover the source of all Alter power.
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.
EDITS: None. Everything is exactly the way you would see it in Japan. Bandai has the right idea.
EXTRAS: There are tons in this volume. There are the 5 separate clean open and the one clean close. We have character music videos, a voice comic, a brief history of the lost ground, HOLY, and Alter Users and an extensive design gallery. There is also this cool plastic trading card, with Kazuma and the sweet (annoying) Kanami.
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.
Soichiro Hosshi is perfect at Kazuma, and I prefer Masayo Kurata's stronger voice for Scheris Adjani. Like the English cast, they all do a superb job.
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. We have a cool parody of Sunrises own "Brave King" giant robot anime that is kind of funny.
Scryed feels very much like an "X-Men" comic book. We have our young Alter User Kazuma, fighting against a government agency determined to capture his kind. There is HOLY, who have now moved from being a police force to a Alter Hunting Squad. Abandoning the plan to help Alter Users become useful members of society, they now attack everyone and move them to "camps".
This volume has some interesting stories. In episode 8 (Mad Sprict), we have an Alter User who can implant images into a persons mind, totally convincing them that they are someone else. He even can control their direction, further adding to their confusion. I also like episode 10 (Super Pinch), and the their whack out take on "Giant Robot" anime.
We start to unravel the mystery of how Alter Users gained their powers and meet the true object of Ryuho's anger, the Alter User that killed his mother. He is a mysterous fellow who says nothing but can "upgrade" Alter Users. He also can kick your ass, as Kazuma learns rather quickly.
This volume also raises the stakes in regards to Mimori's character. Her desire to help childhood friend Ryuho takes her into dangerous territory. Even the oblivious Straight Cougar knows that he and HOLD are nothing but pawns in this game, but Mimori continues to press. Her naive views of the world are out of place with the back room politics of HOLD, and it looks like she may get killed before she finds out the truth.
Unfortunately, we are still saddled the obnoxious Kanami. If I hear her say "I had a dream. In my dream....blah blah blah" one more time, I will use my alter power and shut her the hell up. She has absolutely no purpose. Why isn't she dead, or carted off to the Alter Camps? I hope that something nasty happens to her! Fortunately, Scheris has faded into the background for this volume. She is still nothing more than a HOLY cheerleader, so she needs to stay exactly where she is at.
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 cross eyes and the big Afro on Unkei is a little hard to swallow.
This volume is worthy of the Platinum Edition name. The extras are plentiful, entertaining and informative. The Kazuma character video even gives you a glimpse into the future of this young firebrand.
Scryed continues to be an entertaining anime series. While it does have some dark parts, it's refreshing to watch an anime that doesn't pile on the angst. Now, we just have to kill off some annoying characters, and the show will be perfect!
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