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19 home / october 2002 / reviews Turn Page BackwardBack to HomeTurn Page Forward

Zoids Vol.3: The Coliseum Battle
English Dubbed DVD
88 minutes
Viz Video
The story advances a bit further in this, the third volume of the popular Cartoon Network series.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
Zoids Vol.3: The Coliseum Battle
By Patrick King

In the future, there are few things as exhilarating as getting behind the pilot's seat of one of the biomechanical semi-sentient beings known as "Zoids." Designed cleverly around a revived toy line from the 80's, the second coming of the world of Zoids is entertaining, but not the deepest show around.

In the third volume, we're still following the exploits of the Blitz team and it's unlikely leading warrior, Bit. However, the episodic nature of the show is somewhat broken as more characters are introduced, including Harry Champ's sister and the Lightning Team's lovely ladies. The Backdraft group moves slightly more to the forefront of the plot, and by the disc's end, all signs point to an increasingly larger role for the mysterious faction.

The visuals in Zoids are undeniably noteworthy. The Zoids are animated via cel-shading, a technique that shades the surfaces of a computer-generated polygonal figure with single colors and outlines its components with black lines to give the impression of a 3D cartoon. This technique has been used by Disney, Sega, and Nintendo will employ it most controversially in the GameCube incarnation of Zelda. Everything is sharp and clean thanks to the use of computers for cleanup work. The animation is not the smoothest around, but it's not offensive by any means, either. This show defines the phrase "eye-candy" with ease. The characters are rather comic bookish. That is, practically everyone is handsome, beautiful, or cute. Bad guys look like bad guys, and the same goes for the good guys. Character designs are pretty and distinct, but so clean there's no attempt at realism. This is not a bad thing, necessarily, but a stylistic choice. Backgrounds tend to be on the simple side, consisting mostly of desert scenes, but they're vibrant regardless of their plainness.

Music and sound effects are used well and high-quality, but nothing that will amaze viewers. The voice acting is above average and contains the typical loss of emotion attributed to word-fitting software. That is, one can tell that phrases have been sped up, cut short, or slowed down so that those of us in the picky Western audience won't freak out when the lips don't match the vocals. I'm not sure the compromise is worth it... One drastic hit to the score of this release is the lack of a Japanese voice track on the DVD. The DVDs are cheaper than average, but if I weren't reviewing this, I wouldn't purchase them without the original version included. It's a very annoying oversight, for I'd really like to see the show in it's unaltered form. I suppose there are always fansubs...

As before, I'd suggest getting this disc if you're a fan of the televised show. Even if you don't watch it on television, it's fun and viewable by all ages, and it's low price is great for people who love dubs and anime and don't want to spend too much. Just remember that sometimes you get what you pay for.

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