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ADV Films presents
Power Stone #2: Battle Training! (2001)

"You're predicting girl trouble? I already have that!"
- Falcon (Robert Tinkler)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: January 14, 2002

Stars: Robert Tinkler, William Colgate, Stephanie Morgenstern
Other Stars: Robert Smith, Damon D'Oliveira, Maurice Dean Wint
Director: Takamiro Oomori

Manufacturer: DVXX
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild animated violence)
Run Time: 01h:39m:30s
Release Date: January 15, 2002
UPC: 702727019425
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Power Stone: Volume 2 continues the story of Falcon's quest to find all thepower stones in the world; uniting them to do good and to take them out of the hands ofthose who might do evil with them. While the quest sounds grand, amazingly, not muchprogression has been made past Volume1. Rather than a globe-trotting adventure, Power Stone stayssurprisingly in the realm of comedy. While the main character, Falcon, has made somenew friends and enemies, most of his problems in finding the power stones (as well asguarding the one he has) result in something rather slapstick.

Now that there more meaty characters to deal with, Volume 2 focuses more onwhich of them are remotely honest and which ones only want to steal the one power stone Falcon has. Falcon also finally gets going on a more quest-like mission rather than justhanging around his hometown getting into fights. Once he loses his regular job as a prizefighter, he winds up having to team up with his friend, Ayami, in ways he never expected. Eventually, he leaves his normal setting and sets out on the high-seas in an attempt to getcloser to the next power stone, as well locating his father.

While I was disappointed with the first volume, once I accepted the poor direction the series had taken, it became easier to withstand. The creators want everything to be extremely silly andlighthearted and, as a result, the action quotient is quite low. In fact, PowerStone seems squarely aimed at a young audience, which I guess explains why it wasmixed in with Digimon and the like when it hit US airwaves. The fifth episodein particular (the first on this disc) feels like filler since it's mainly about Falcon getting intomore trouble with women around town while he attends a fighting match. Very little ismenacing or threatening, but Falcon and crew do run into Kraken, the "ultimate badguy" from the original Power Stone video game.

Speaking of the game, players might be glad to see more recognizable characters,including a thicker inclusion of Wang-Tang and of course, Kraken. None of the tone orthin-storyline of the games is reproduced here, though, and it's all pretty much made up asit goes. I think perhaps this may have been why Power Stone never quite caughton in the US; it lacks the kind of collecting symbolism so many children's cartoons have now. While Falcon does indeed seek the power stones, there's only 6 in thewhole world, meaning they have to be used sparingly as plot devices. In-between questingfor them, there just isn't much going on. Power Stone never becomes muchmore than a string of skits and simple events with lots of repeated themes, so it seems thatthe 'mature' fan of anime might want to look elsewhere for an adventure series.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Although the animation in Power Stone is very simplistic and not terriblyimpressive, it comes across prefectly clean and sharp in ADV's fine transfer. There isn't ahint of digital compression, and despite the plain visuals, nothing gets in their way. There's a few speckles and hints of dirt on some episodes, but it's usually brief and in thevery early moments.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Only an English dub is available (due to lack of licensing on ADV's part), and it ispresented in stereo. Just about all the music and sound effects are nicely presented, andthe dialogue is serviceable, but there's nothing spectacular here. The dub itself is awkwardat best, but since it's all we've got, we better get used to it.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Sakura Wars, Dirty Pair Flash,Dai Guard, Gasaraki, MonsterRancher, Blue Seed
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: There are standard ADV previews (including Dirty Pair Flash, Gasaraki, and a promotional trailer foranother video-game-to-anime series, Monster Rancher), but nothing else. In fact,there aren't even chapter selection menus, even though the episodes have 4 chapters each.The minimal presentation, as I understand it, has a lot to do with ADV's inability to securethe rights to do any significant features.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Power Stone feels like a Japanese anime trying to be an American, Saturdaymorning cartoon. It's a basic, goofy, comedy/fantasy without much in terms of in-depthstory or character development. As the series continues, it gets a little more comfortable,but not by much.


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