DVD
Gestalt

Starring (voice): Sandy Fox, Jerry Gelb, Melora Harte and Lex Lang
MVW
RRP: 19.99
MVD2143
Certificate: 12
Available 04 December 2006


In a time when the world was still young a battle between the eight gods and Gestalt finds Gestalt banished to the earth. Father Olivier, aware of the legend, commits to travelling to the island where it is presumed that Gestalt still resides. Not surprisingly his holy order does not take kindly to having its priests just wandering off, and sets Suzu, a dark elf, on his trail to get him back. Luckily, for Olivier, the slave girl he inherits turns out to be a powerful sorceress...

Gestalt is an anime (sort of) series directed by Osamu Yamazaki, based on the comic series by Yun Kouga, who produced the better known Earthian. The show is a comedy/fantasy which uses many elements of slapstick, especially visual gags. In fact it has one of the best visual jokes I've seen in an anime.

Gestalt is an odd hodgepodge of styles and themes. At times it hints at fan service elements, at others a parody of RPG games. The nubile Ohri, who becomes Olivier's accidental slave girl, being unable to speak, converses with the priest though text boxes much loved of computer games. Though this shouldn't come as a great surprise as one of the show's producers was Enix, purveyors of the excellent Final Fantasy series, and any players of the series will recognise not only the pop-up boxes but also many elements of the fight scenes.

The show unfortunately has a single and important problem. Although the DVD has pasted together the first two episodes of the show into a feature, that's it, there were no more made. This means that not only does it stop just as you're getting into it, but also the story reaches no conclusion.

So, what we have here is the beginning of the story which covers the meeting of Olivier and Ohri and the Holy Order hiring Suzu to track him down before he reaches the island of G. They do at least reach a Kingdom where Olivier decides to fight against what he sees as injustice, which obviously becomes just an excuse for comedy and fighting.

In terms of animation the show is surprisingly satisfying, a bit old school but good none the less. Character design is also good with some nice use of bold primary colours which helps set the light hearted tone of the show.

On such a short run you would not expect that many extras could have been generated and you would be right. What you get is an art gallery, a screenshot gallery a bunch of trailers and the DVD credits. Audio is stereo English and Japanese with subtitles.

If you want to know how the story ends you'll have to track down a copy of the original manga.

I guess my biggest worry with this disc is its price. For only two episodes, and few extras, nearly twenty quid does not look like good value for money. What there is of it is entertaining, but I leave it up to you to decide if you're willing to pay the price.

Charles Packer

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£14.99 (Amazon.co.uk)
   
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£14.99 (Play.com)
   
£11.99 (HMV.co.uk)
   
£14.99 (Blahdvd.com)
   
£13.97 (Thehut.com)

All prices correct at time of going to press.