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ADV Films presents
Generator Gawl #1 (2000)

- Masami (Satsuki Yukino)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: November 29, 2000

Stars: Nobutoshi Hayashi, Shinchiro Miki, Tsutomo Kashiwakura, Satsuki Yukino/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: JVC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (12+)
Run Time: 01h:14m:45s
Release Date: October 10, 2000
UPC: 702727013928
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A A-A-A C-

DVD Review

Having seen the preview for this series on numerous other ADV titles, I don't know why, but I wasn't all that interested in reviewing it. I was pleasantly surprised when I finally sat down to watch it and found out the previews were somewhat misleading, in that they did not even hint at the depth of story behind the series. This disc contains the first three of twelve episodes.

After a bright flash pierces the night sky, three boys find themselves somewhat out of place in the city of Oji, which is the center for highly advanced academia. Donning outfits remeniscent of ST:TNG, Ryo (Tsutomo Kashiwakura), Koji (Shinchiro Miki) and Gawl (Nobutoshi Hayashi) make their way into the city, though they seem very unfamiliar with the customs, such as money, or the presence of women. While Koji and Ryo are busy trying to get the lay of the land and locate a scientist by hacking the phone system, Gawl wanders off in search of food. Peering through the window of a fast food restaurant, he catches the eye of Masami (Satsuki Yukino), a young girl serving customers, who confronts him and gets him arrested as a peeping tom. When Koji and Ryo show up all three are taken to police headquarters, where Koji fabricates a story that allows them to be freed, and taken to their new boarding house. However, the residence is run by none other than Masumi, who is livid that this "pervert" Gawl is going to stay with them. The boys end up going to the city's school, and while Ryo and Koji's talents are easily recognised, Masumi is suspicious of Gawl, and just what traits make him worthy of attending their advanced educational institute. Her presence requires the three boys to create diversions as Gawl has to attend to other visitors to the city, who are out to disrupt the boys' mission. However, there is also another presence interested in our trio, though their motives are unclear.

I found Generator Gawl to be quite different than the mecha series I expected. The mystery element certainly adds a lot to the story, and the conflict set up between Gawl and Matsami keeps the humor up. From what I've seen so far, I am looking forward to the next installment, as things look to be getting interesting. This isn't necessarily a disc that will have you hooked right off the bat, but I think it may be another good series as it develops, as the groundwork is certainly in place. One word of caution is that the English dub is a complete rewrite, which blows much of the mysterious tone of the show, and completely ruined it for me. Also the back cover contains a number of spoilers for future episodes.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: Video quality is very good, though there is some shimmer and interlace artifacting present, and the image tends to rack left and right slightly. Color saturation and black levels are decent. Fine grain is evident throughout, more noticibly in scenes with dark blue such as night skies. The subtitles on my machine seem to have some trouble remaining persistent, they drop out for a frame or so then come back on.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Japaneseyes

Audio Transfer Review: Both the Japanese and English tracks are presented in stereo, and both are free of any noticible abnormalities. Frequency range is acceptable, and no distortion was noted.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Animated menu
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Gasaraki, Martian Succesor Nadesico, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Blue Seed, Neon Genesis Evangelion,ADV preview mix
Packaging: other
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Creditless opening and closingTextless opening and ending
  2. Character and Generator profiles
Extras Review: Extras are a little light, though they do include textless opening and end credits, plus four screens of Generator schematics and character profiles (which also include Generator diagrams), which are line drawings with an inset of different design elements.

Front end trailers include Gasaraki, Martian Succesor Nadesico, Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040, Blue Seed, Neon Genesis Evangelion and the ADV preview mix.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

While I wouldn't rate Generator Gawl as a must own disc, the short length of the series and its quality so far would make it a recommendation for those not willing to commit to some of the longer anime shows. Action is frequent, and as long as you skip the English track, there is a good deal of mystery and potential for some decent character development further down the line.


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