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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Bioboosted Armor Collection


Starring (voice): Katsuyuki Konishi, Kenji Nojima and Kousuke Takaguchi
RRP: £59.99
Certificate: 15
Available 21 September 2009

During a trip to the woods Sho and his school friend Tetsuro encounter a strange device, which once activated covers Sho in the bio armour of a Guyver. Only three of these devices exist and their owners, the mysterious Chronos organisation, will do anything to get them back. Although the suit gives Sho great power his possession of it brings himself and his family into danger...

Guyver: The Boosted Armour Collection brings together all twenty-six episodes of the anime series, directed by Katsuhito Akiyama and adapted from the original manga written by Yoshiki Takaya. The collection and its extras are spread across seven DVD’s.

The series had the potential to be really good, the idea that a race had bred humans to be warriors in a war across the stars has real promise, so it is a shame that the anime so quickly settles down into the usual monster of the week format. The background to the story is that the Creators created the Zoanoids, a sort of bioengineered monster weapon, but before they could be used the Creators abandoned the project leaving the remaining Zoanoids to interbreed with humanity. It is from these original Zoanoids that humanity got its stories of evil monsters. Flash forward to the present and an experimental Zoaniod escapes with the Guyver unit which are lost when he is killed, this is the point at which Sho and Tetsuro find and activate the Guyver, which covers Sho in a powerful suit of hi-tech armour.

As the series progresses we witness Sho’s continued fight with Chronos, a fight which is trust upon him. For the first half of the series Sho fights mostly to protect his family and friends, though this does not stop Chronos destroying his school or turning his father into an experimental Zoanoid, which Sho is forced to eliminate.

The discs come with the original Japanese audio track and a fairly decent English dub, the only criticism here is that too much of the audio has a slight echo treatment making the characters sound as if they are trying to deliver their lines in an aircraft hangar. Lastly, I don’t know which young lady they got to voice over the ‘coming next’ segment at the end of each show but I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who sounded more disinterested in what they are reading.

If you are a fan of the anime and manga then the set hold some pretty decent extras. Each disc comes, for most of the episodes, with a comparison between the manga and the anime. With a running time of between half a minutes and three to five minutes each, these show the lengths that the anime artists have tried to stay with the look and feel of the original, only changing concepts which work better on the printed page.

Disc one also has the clean opening and closing sequence (as do all the discs) as well as a commentary by Guyver fans Rod Peters and Jack Glauser on episode one which is more quirky than informative. On top of the usual extras disc two, three and five also contain some production sketches. Disc four has another commentary, this time by Lowell Bartholomee (the voice of Tetsuro) and Charles Campbell, the ADR director. Disc six has more production sketches as well as a commentary by Chris Patton (Sho) and Charles Campbell. The last DVD, not to be outdone, has a commentary by Lowell Bartholomee, Chris Patton and Charles Campbell.

The story starts well but too little is used of either the background concept or the chance to develop the characters. However if you are already a fan of the series then this is a pretty decent package, though a documentary wouldn’t have gone amiss given the price of the set.


Charles Packer

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