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ADV Films presents
Power Stone #4: The Search Continues (1999)

"Of all the stupid things for my father to do, win a dumpling eating contest?!"
- Falcon (Robert Tinkler)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: April 08, 2002

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

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild violence, suggestive themes)
Run Time: 01h:29m:45s
Release Date: April 09, 2002
Genre: anime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ CA-B D

DVD Review

Volume 4 of Power Stone starts off on a more familiar note—with lots of humor. While the overall goofiness of the show started to tone down in the last volume, here it's been cranked up to '11.' Unfortunately, this is not really a good thing as it once again invokes the feeling that Power Stone has no serious story behind it. In a sense, I guess that's true and, to be quite honest, its wearing thin. Despite the positive things about this show, here and there, the silly schemes with which the characters try to steal power stones from each other have become old. Similarly, the villains aren't very threatening, especially the ultimate bad guy, Kraken, who was a fearsome opponent in the original video game, but is now reduced to playing straight man to an inept pirate crew.

Essentially, as the series moves on, unless you're really looking for this kind of constant, casual silliness, I think that it will wear on just about any audience member. While the setting of Moon Island appears interesting at first (most of this disc involves Moon Island), it isn't used for much. Once again, Falcon is looking for his father, but, in a gimmick that's really worn out its welcome, they just miss him, only to discover he's left his mark somewhere along the way by doing something important. The initial plot point is Falcon's attempt to stop a drought in Moon City. While there, he runs into Ryoma again who's up to her old tricks (everything she does is predicated on stealing a stone from Falcon). In order to find Power Stones (or steal them) an evil profiteer claims he has a machine that will make water from stones, but only very nice stones. Now, everyone in town is after Falcon's beautiful Power Stone.

A few days before writing this review, I actually found myself playing the original Power Stone game and it dawned on me how weak this series has become. There's so little action, excitement or even the hint of intensity. It's a total waste of the theme and story to simply have the characters bumbling about, getting into embarrassing moments, and falling all over the place. I understand the exaggerated humor the designers are aiming for, and I could appreciate it under different circumstances, but as it is, for a show that sets itself up as wild adventure and action, there's little of either going on. Volume 4 does not continue the slight upgrade in story quality that Volume 3 had going for it, and that's an unfortunate disappointment.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: The image conforms to the typically high standards of ADV by offering crystal clear animation, with all of its natural detail (source flaws and all) allowed to be completely shown off. I detected no compression issues, and the animation itself, while not fantastic, is certainly presented in a manner that offers no distractionsl.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio track (English stereo only) is nicely mixed to be loud and expansive when called for, but subtle enough to get across calmer scenes and dialogue-only scenes. It won't be a major surround experience, but it's a solid stereo track that delivers the elements that should be present in the show properly. As with previous Power Stone volumes, English is the only available language as per the licensing agreement with TBS. Too bad.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Spriggan, Monster Rancher, Robotech, < a href=“showreview.php3?ID=2809”>AD Police, Princess Nine, Excel Saga
Packaging: Scanavo
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Apart from trailers for other ADV releases (like Monster Rancher, Robotech, < a href=“showreview.php3?ID=2809”>AD Police, Princess Nine), there are no additional features. There are 4 chapter stops per episode, and decent overall, themed presentation.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Power Stone remains simply a passable, extremely mediocre show. If only the pace and excitement would pick up, I think it could be extremely strong, but the reliance on slapstick and silliness drains much of its quality away.

 


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