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Gurren Lagann- Set 1 Limited Edition, Early Look/Review
By Marc | October 31st, 2008

This is the story of a man…

After a quicky ‘lets throw this out there’ release earlier in the year, Gurren Lagann finally gets it’s ‘real’ release.

Let’s take a look at what’s what in this box. (as always, spoiler free)

First let’s start with the box.  It’s a nice box, if it feels a bit cheap when you hold it in your hands.  The design is definately nice.  English logo on one side, Japanese on the other, with Gurren’s face on one side which opens up to put your DVDs in it.

Then we have the cases for the disks themselves.  The artwork uses the wider format version of these pictures, and the effect is nice, if a bit strange compared to most R1 DVDs.  The inforamtion on the back is good and readable, with everything listed cleanly.  The only complaint here.  The cases both disks are in are some of the cheapest low quality DVD cases I’ve seen in awile.

Menu’s will look familiar to anyone who got the quicky Gurren disks.  Relatively basic, but they do their job well, you are never confused on what to do or what your choices are.

Gurren as a show, especially in this batch of episodes is very good.  Gurren has a few distinct arcs and the first may be my favorite (or the second…still not quite sure).  Gonna avoid going in depth, cause it’s more fun to discover everything it has to offer on your own (I was lucky enough to have, out of sheer luck, avoided everything minus ‘Gurren is awesome’ from people).

Video quality is great, but not perfect.  It’s only 480i instead of 480p.  This causes a few issues that many people likely won’t notice.  A few times you definately get some breakup, like the combination sequence for Gurren Lagann.  But the video is quite good.

Audio I have some good things to say.  The Japanese 2.0 track is a slightly pumped if not special track.  Everything is nice and clear and clean.  The English track is just as good (and 5.1) and seems to be a completely different track than the American TV airring that relevels some voices, pushes down a few vocal effects (unlike when I watched on SciFi, I was able to actually understand the first Gunmen we see).

The dub I’m sure will be argued until the end of time on if it’s great, good, is ok, or plain sucks.  Personally I love it minus one specific issue.  And no, it’s not Kamina (get into Kamina in a moment).  My issue is, I don’t think keeping the See-mon, pronounciation of Simon’s name was a good choice, I think for English, Sigh-men, would have just worked better, and nearly every time someone says his name in English your ears jolt a bit, because it’s obvious it just doesn’t sound right to the English ear.  Now onto Kamina.  Alot of people had issues with how Kyle Hebert did the role (screams of ‘WE WANT GARRRR’ still echo in my ear), but for the English language, I think the more louder and manlier Kamina of the Japanese version (which works great in that version, and sounds great) wouldn’t have worked in English.  If you can’t take Kamina’s speeches and all that as ‘wow’, the character doesn’t work, and I think in English, it would have come off as far too comical.  If you don’t like it, the Japanese version is on the disks, but you’ll miss a great dub track.  As for which is better…

Extra’s are a bit light between volumes 1 and 2.  Two Gainax videos, one with Yoko’s actress, another with Staff interviews, A preview of the tv version of episode 6, clean opening and ending for part 1, the TV version of episode 6 (with both English and Japanese audio), and a few trailers.  It isn’t a bad selection of extras by any means, but I was hoping we’d see more.

The Limited Edition also comes with Simon’s drill.  While neat in theory, a cheap little plastic drill toy seems less awesome when you finally get it in your hands.  It lights up when you flick a switch, but I wouldn’t recommend ANYONE buying for the drill.

Pictures of the drill added by request (one above, 2 more in the gallery down below).  Frankly the horribleness of the cell phone camera makes the drill look better…

Gurren lives up to expectations and is worth the cash.  Depending on how you wanna get Volumes 1 and 2 you have a few choices.  You can buy them seperately, packaged together, or with the drill and Gurren box for a premium price.

Show: A (Great Fun, with good characters, some great fighting, and good fanservice)
Packaging: B- (The box is nice if a bit cheap feeling, nice art on the volumes, but the cases they use are dirt poor)
Video Quality: A- (Great video quality with a few flaws)
Audio Quality: A (Great 2.0 track for the Japanese, and a great 5.1 track for the English)
English Dub: A (A good quality dub that some people may or may not like based on a few different potential issues, worth a look even for the biggest dub haters though)
Extras: B- (Decent extras, nothing that special, but they are a decent selection)
The Drill: C- (It’s a cheap little plastic drill, not much more to say)

Overall (not an average): A (A good show is a good show, while I’ll say don’t get the LE just for the drill, the box is neat, and for most anime fans, oen fo the 3 release styles should be gotten).

Gallery under ads. All caps are lossless PNGs taken in VLC, feel free to request more. (Caps are sized 853×480 so as to display properly on computer monitors, as encoded the disks are 720×480, but having the caps be 853×480 emulates how they are meant to be seen using the widescreen ‘flag’ put on the DVD).

[edit- pictures of the drill toy added by request]

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