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DVD Review

Volume 2


Starring (voice): Mamiko Noto, Akemi Kanda, Masaya Matsukaze, Mie Sonozaki, Akemi Kanda and Rikiya Koyama
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 07 April 2008

Twisted reflections of Masane's alter ego, the Cloneblades stand at the very pinnacle of bioengineering and shattered corporate alliances. A breed of frightful warriors, confrontation is inevitable when so many share the same desire: the Witchblade. As the past creeps into the present to haunt them all, relationships between unsteady foes lie revealed; old scars explained but never forgotten...

Adapted from the hit Top Cow comic book series, that inspired the live-action TV show starring Yancy Butler, the animated Witchblade series relocates the action from present day New York to a near-future Tokyo, where a new bearer has been chosen to wield the awesome power of the Witchblade.

An ancient, supernatural, sentient weapon of unparalleled destructive force that also holds a seemingly limitless potential for protecting its bearer, the Witchblade has been coveted and sought throughout history by countless men eager to control it. But for reasons unknown, this fearsome artefact can only be bestowed upon a woman, chosen by the blade itself and one whose fate will forever be scarred by the burden of its power.

Volume 2 of Witchblade contains episodes 5-8:

Search: Following her confrontation with a group of women who also seemed to be in possession of a Witchblade, Masane is informed that these are members of another organisation that are using the inferior Cloneblade technology. Masane's neighbour, reporter Tozawa, suspects that Masane knows something about the strange creature he saw. However, when Masane is challenged to a fight by Shiori, one of the Cloneblades, Tozawa is convinced that Masane and the Witchblade are one and the same.

Change: As she is about to be defeated by Shioro, Masane is rescued by Douji Group Industries operatives, who turn up in an armoured van. Shiroi gives chase but is eventually injured and ends up in a hospital. Here the nurse is convinced that the Cloneblade is altering the structure of Shiroi's body, but it seems that Shiroi is way beyond help.

Past: Shiori breaks out of hospital and heads off to track down the Witchblade so that she can finish what she started. Masane discovers that her boss, Reiji Takayama (Bureau Chief of Douji Group Industries), and Reina Soho (a Forensics Medicine Specialist in the National Scientific Welfare Foundation), once worked together. Reina is also a Cloneblade, so Masane is understandably concerned. And when Shiori finally tracks down Masane, aboard a boat, a showdown to the death begins.

Reciprocity: We discover that Masane has no idea who Rihoko's father is, as she lost her memory during the great earthquake when Rihoko was very young. The other residents start calling Masane "Melanie" - a nickname started by Tozawa after he commented that Masane had large breasts, like melons, and was very "melony". Masane and Tozawa are forced to spend some time alone together in which Masane begins to change into the Witchblade. With her secret revealed, she asks Tozawa not to go to the press for a year - until she's had time to sort her life out and tell her daughter.

Extras include How to Make a Comic Book the Top Cow Way (17 min, 11 sec featurette that takes us inside Top Cow's offices to see each part of the process that makes up a comic book); Japanese Cast Interview - Voice of Rihoko Amaha (7 min, 28 sec interview with Akemi Kanda); Japanese Cast Interview - Voice of Yusuke Tozawa (7 min, 53 sec interview with Masaya Matsukaze); Textless Songs and Trailers.

If you haven't started watching this series yet (and why not?) you really need to start collecting these discs. No self respecting fan of anime should be without this in their DVD library.


Nick Smithson

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