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ADV Films presents
Generator Gawl #2: Future Memory (1998)

Ryo: He's fighting for his life.
Koji: We all are.

- Tsutomo Kashiwakura, Shinchiro Miki

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: January 16, 2002

Stars: Nobutoshi Hayashi, Shinchiro Miki, Tsutomo Kashiwakura, Satsuki Yukino, Koname Yoshida, Vic Mignogna, Jay Hickman, Matt Kelly, Rozie Curtis
Other Stars: Yuriko Yamaguchi, Hideyuki Hori, Masami Toyoshima, Kaytha Coker, Jason Douglas, Rachel Buchman
Director: Seiji Mizushima

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+ for violence)
Run Time: 01h:14m:48s
Release Date: January 02, 2001
UPC: 702727014024
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B- B+A-A- C

DVD Review

After being luke warm on the first disc, the second installment of this four-disc series digs deeper into the motivations behind our characters. The story so far is fairly interesting, and the main characters, Gawl, Ryo and Koji, each have distinct personalities, with Gawl being the most childish of the bunch, providing perfect fuel to Masami's fiery persona, aided by the fact that she is both repulsed and attracted to him. Natsume is the quiet girl with a most interesting design, and her part in all of this is as yet mysterious, befriending our team, yet not quite in with the crowd yet. Our villians have also been established, as Ryuko Sato and her accomplices oversee the boys' progress, coyly waiting for their next move in a plan that has already been played out.

The first episode gives us some background on the experiments that led up to the generators, and Ryo's concerns over his role in the process and confidence in completing their task. As usual, Gawl is more involved in critiquing Masami's cooking skills, which keeps him on the hotplate. Natsume shows her concern over Ryo's withdrawal, which Koji downplays, attributing it to normal behavior. As we learn more about the results of the research the boys are here to stop, the reasons why also begin to be revealed. As the Ujo Festival gets under way, Masami has entered the cooking contest, and wants everyone to come out to support her, but is perturbed by Ryuko Sato's overly physical advances towards Gawl, which sets up a little cat-fighting scenario for the rest of the episode. Gawl is meanwhile busy playing with fish, until his opponents shows their true colors and the battle begins. Episode three finishes off where two ended, and another combatant enters the arena, but this time they are out in the open, and Masami gets an eyeful.

While the first two episodes deal mostly with the backstory and continuing to develop the character interaction between Gawl and Masami, plus set up tension between Ryuko Sato and the boys, the third installment is where most of the action takes place, centering on a huge battle in downtown against Gawl's strongest opponent yet. The story continues to unravel in a logical fashion, and puts more perspective on everyone's positions and frame of mind. The only real down side to the show are some of the character designs, which just aren't that appealing to me. The dub performance completely rewrites the script entirely, which I also wasn't too keen on. On the whole, Generator Gawl is a good series so far, though not up there with the major players in terms of grabbing your attention and making you yearn for the next episode. The plot is good, the intrigue palpable, but there are just enough minor things to make this more of an optional title than a must have.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is quite good throughout, with no rainbowing and little aliasing. Colors are solid, and black levels generally strong, however there are some areas where banding in the dark greys is evident. There is some grain present in deep blue regions, but on the whole this is pretty sharp.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Japanese and English tracks are again presented in stereo, and both are devoid of any technical deficiencies. Hiss and distortion is nonexistent. The tracks are primarily center focused, save for the action sequences that open things up a little. As with the first disc, avoid the completely rewritten English dub. Baka!

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Gasaraki,Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Sin: The Movie, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Lost Universe, ADV preview mix
Packaging: Scanavo
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Clean opening and closing credits
  2. Character art
Extras Review: Like the first disc, textless opening and end credits, and the show's trailer are included again. A five page collection of diagrams showing this disc's generators and character art for Kanae and Ryuko Sato make up the remainder of the extras. You'll want to aviod this stuff until after you've seen the show to save spoiling any surprises.

Like the rest of the series, cover artwork is pretty bland, with a closeup of Ryo's face and a generator in the background.

Front end trailers include Gasaraki,Bubblegum Crisis 2040, Sin: The Movie, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Lost Universe, and the ADV preview mix.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

A good, but not great, anime series, featuring an interesting premise, some nice action sequences, funny interrelations between characters, and a darker edge for balance. The monster designs are cool, but some of the others lack attractiveness and consistency, making it hard to really enjoy watching them. It does well for the storyline, which is intriguing, and background art is pretty good, but a couple of the personalities, especially the wussy Ryo, grate on my nerves for some reason. Worth a rental, as I'd recommend checking it out before committing to a purchase, even at only four discs. Baka.


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