Blast From The Past … Genesis of a Calibrator … Part 4

ARMITAGE III #2: Flesh & Stone:                 Pioneer

A141

7.0

1.33

DPL

LDCA

Category: Science Fiction / OAV / Adult

The next episode in the Anime series and probably running over 30 minutes (I’m hoping) once again.  Now if only they would release two episodes on one disc.  The CAV formatting really is not that important as far as I am concerned if the episodes all run over 30 minutes (not the case).  The character designs seem fascinating and have caught my attention.  Uh oh.  The disc has arrived in early July 1995 and it is only 30 minutes … to my extreme disappointment.  The Anime is taking the format of Moldiver in terms of release timing.  Adding insult to injury, the disc is defective as the usual CAV rolling contamination line shows up at the beginning of the program just following the opening credits.  The disc will be returned to Digidisk Entertainment once a replacement arrives.  The story has already identified all nine of the “Third” type robots so the remaining story would seem to be tracing the backstory.  Where did these robots come from and why were they built?  The interest level is building.  It is refreshing to see that this episode picks up only days after the end of the first show.  The visit by Ross Silibus to the Conception Company is interesting to say the least, given the images presented.  (Where do these English type names come from … they are English in spelling, but match nothing in contemporary culture.  The spelling really makes little sense … guess Jeff was right.  The names are chosen for their lyrical value and not so much on actual meaning.)  The manufacture of “Second” type robots is permitted, but not “Thirds” and one wonders.  The main difference between the two is that “Seconds” are not capable of independent thought and are completely subservient.  Where is this headed and why are the ramifications so pleasing?  The subtitled / Japanese language version of the film runs much differently than the English version indicating that considerable embellishment has been done to the dialogue.  Story components have been added that don’t even show up in the original version.  As it is, the English version stands by itself just fine.  The original Pioneer effort with Tenchi Muyo was not as skillfully dubbed, but the product has improved substantially since then.  There is an embarrassing section of the cartoon where many English words are presented and the spelling is atrocious.  How do you spell search?  Why S-E-R-C-H, of course.  Taking kind of a long time for the replacement of this disc.  Oh well, nothing I can do except wait longer.  It has been almost two months now for the repressing.  The disc should become available when the third one shows up.  Finally repressed and available at the end of October.  The new copy is free of significant defects.

ARMITAGE III #3: Heart Core:                      Pioneer

A142

7.0

1.33

DPL

LDCA

Category: Science Fiction / OAV / Adult

The next episode in the Anime series and another 30 minute episode.  The story should be picking up by this time.  I only wish that they would squeeze more material into each disc presentation.  The Japanese voice actress sings the end song in English, but the pronunciation is poorly done.  I am really ticked off now since the disc is in stores in late September 1995 and mine is no where to be seen.  It hasn’t even been ordered … ugh!  This one will take even longer to get now that it is available.  When is the next repressing scheduled?  Long time to wait.  The cover is getting more bold as Armitage now shows up fully unclothed.  If I want to save the money, I must be prepared to wait for the product.  It’s not as if the OAV is going anywhere at the rental store.  Episode four to follow and the collection continues.  This one is coming from Ken Cranes since Digidisk Entertainment could not get this title due to distributor problems.  Luckily I can fall back on this American connection to get cheaper disks when regular channels fail.  It will be coming with the next two ST-TNG disks #36 and #37 to save on postage.  Let’s hope they do not mess up and I end up getting three packages sent and the price skyrockets.  Just arrived in a three pack so I did manage to save some money.  The story is progressing at a nice pace, but there seems to be more preproduction drawings of certain characters than actually make it to the screen.  There are too many drawings of some things that only show up for 5 seconds or less in the program.  This one actually ends on a cliffhanger note.  Once again, the Japanese subtitled version provides additional insight into the overall story.

ARMITAGE III #4: Bit Of Love:                      Pioneer

A143

7.0

1.33

DPL

LDCA

Category: Science Fiction / Action / OAV / Adult

The next episode in the Anime series and another 30 minute episode.  I’m thinking that the series will probably go six episodes like Moldiver.  Not so fast, this episode is going to be 50 minutes long and it may be the concluding chapter to this particular OAV.  The tape version has been announced for April (actually the end of February) and it looks like the Laserdisc version will show up at that time as well.  Looks as if the disc will be one sided again at 30 minutes instead of the longer running time.  This almost certainly means that a part five is in the works.  This series is being released in both Japan and North America simultaneously or pretty close and it may explain the delays between the release of each episode.  A nice trend if it turns out to be true.  The Japanese packing also indicate identical production and release dates.  Coming from Ken Crane’s in a bundle of discs.  The series has ended at four parts with a somewhat unexpected result.  Overall, I think the build up of the story line has ended with a disappointing ending.  Where did this ending come from anyway?  The previous episodes did not allude to this conclusion.  Video and audio are first rate as usual with one minor defect during the section where Ross and Naomi look at the Conception plant for the first time.  (Boy, is Japanese spelling of English words bad.)  A keeper.  Interesting to note is that this series turned out to be much more popular in North America than in Japan.  Sensibilities are different on each side of the ocean.  It might explain why AD. Police has more of a following on this side of the Pacific ocean.  To fully understand the story (?), it must be viewed from three different perspectives.  The first is the English version, the second is the closed captioned Japanese language version and the last is the insert which summarizes the story.  I still don’t understand where this unification with Earth Gov. came from.  They never really mentioned that Earth was very feminist in its views although the previous inserts did say that the Seconds would not be tolerated on the home world.  They tied up everything neatly, but it was done too quickly.  The battle at the end was gratuitous and confusing because it had no point … or did it?  As well, what was the connection with the Seconds and their little revolt?  I enjoyed the episode, but I am somewhat disappointed that the series is over.  The powers that be seem to feel that this cartoon merits a theatrical release, while I’m not too sure about it.  If you watch the program, you will observe that there are actually two separate endings to the feature.  The typical Japanese sad/depressing ending occurs with the fade to black during the desert battle.  The happier ending then picks up several months later as the two apparently survived the battle.  A question to note, if the Mars Government was on the verge of solving its low population problem with the advent of the Third type robot, why would it suddenly drop that goal and pursue a closer relationship with Earth?  The Earth Government is the true enemy behind the scenes as it is responsible for the puppet bombings as well as the assassination of the Thirds.  For the Mars Government to form a closer relationship with Earth instead of seeking the independence route, the Earth Government would have had to be the responsible party.  Given the same animation, Jeff and I figure that we could have come up with a better script to make the program more sensible.  There is a new version of this feature called Armitage III: Polymatrix (Cybermatrix here in North America) which is a theatrical version of this series with the two lead voices recast by Keifer Sutherland and Elizabeth Berkley.  There are also 120 additional cuts which equate to five minutes of additional footage and a different ending.  On the down side, 35 minutes has been excises from the four episodes to make the presentation 90 minutes.  The Sci-Fi channel premiered this feature in the Summer of 1997.  As expected, the adult language was removed as well as any nudity.  Elizabeth Berkley is somewhat disappointing as the voice of Armitage as she sounds almost like the original voice actress.  Only Keifer Sutherland has a voice that is distinctly different than the first actor.  The film rearranges many scenes throughout the four episodes and chooses the final scene from Electro Blood to end the feature on.  On a general level, most of the music has stayed intact, but all of the politically incorrect aspects of the original series have been removed.  The subplot involving the Vice President at Conseption is completely excised.  The fourth episode loses the opening on the motorcycle as well as the aftermath of the battle with Rene.  The ending with the car and the Bradbury identification is also dropped in favour of an extended sequence showing our heroes walking out of the desert following the battle.  It is made clear that they not only survived the battle, but that they were victorious.  Ross then gives a short speech before Armitage wakes up in his arms and announces that she is pregnant.  The Mars Earth Treaty still comes as a surprise.

Michael Chen

Michael Chen is the only THX Video Systems Instructor in Canada, and beyond these borders, is one of just two THX Video Instructors in the entire world.  He has actively consulted with Spectracal and ChromaPure and has created numerous education videos on the calibration process with still more to come.  His Video Calibration Training Series has quickly become the most comprehensive and simple to understand learning tool on the market today.  He has also taught classes for both the ISF and Spectracal as well and is now spearheading his all new TLVEXP calibration training program. Let Michael teach you Video Calibration and add that additional income stream to your installation and integration business

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