Arms Girl: Complete Collection/No
Game No Life Zero: The Movie
(both 2017/Sentai Blu-rays)/Watership
Down: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(1978/Vocalion Records Hybrid Super Audio CD/SACD/SA-CD w/CD layer)
B+/A/X Sound: B+/B+/B & B- Extras: C/B/C- Main
Import Super Audio CD is now only available from our friends at
Vocalion Records and can be ordered from the link below.
up are three titles from the more serious side of animation, but for
a change, one is not from Japan....
was just a regular high school girl until one day she receives a
package in the mail, Gourai! A Frame Arms Girl, the latest in next
generation A.I. toy in which can equip various armors and weapons for
virtual mock battles. Ao and Gourai quickly joined by 2 more Frame
Arms Girls, Stylet and Baseland, each wanting to test their combat
capabilities against Gourai. Soon other Gourai's 'sisters' show up
not only challenging her but living with them too!
Frame Arms Girl: Complete Collection (2017), Ao has been
selected to own and test out the latest generation of Frame Arm Girls
toys, a miniaturized walking, talking and battling girls. For some
reason each Frame Arm Girl wants to challenge Gourai (the first Frame
Arm Girl Ao received) and ends up living with them. Their whole
existence is to battle one another, but even more interesting how
girls live in the human world with beloved Ao. As the Frame Arms
Girls battle they also learn what it means to be human as they try do
'normal' human sized tasks.
was a cute anime series about 'toys' but they are more like the toys
become friends and live in a world where people enjoy virtual battles
with their toys/avatars. Extras include clean opening and closing
animations and trailers.
/ Stylet and Baseland - Here comes Gourai, Stylet and Baseland!
a Sty-ko Who can't Fly be Call "Sty-ko"? / We're Going to
Clean - Gourai helps Stylet get over her 'trauma'. The girls are
given the task fixing a cleaning robot vacuum.
Go to School/Here comes the Materia Sisters - Baseland sneaks
with Ao to school and the girls follow. Two more Frame Arm Girls
join them ...but they are a bit sadistic.
Has Arrived! / Redecorating is Fun - A ninja Frame Arm Girl joins
the group. Each the girls get their own personalized room.
Architect is Activated / The Errand Race - The girls face off
with the virtual A.I. the Architect. The girls are sent on an errand
and end up in a race.
Festival of Feelings / Let's Go to School 2 - Ao and the girls
watch fireworks together. The Frame Arm Girls have a haunted night at
Hresvelgr / First Tale of the F.R. Girls - Gourai is defeated by
Hresvelgr. Ao learns how the Frame Arm Girls are created.
Pep Rally / Autumn Beckons... - The girls cheer for Gourai as she
trains to become stronger. Ao and Gourai spend some private time
together playing house.
I'll Catch a Cold / Together Again Tomorrow - Ao catches a cold
and the girls get to nurse her. Ao and the girls have a dream of all
being human sized.
Pot Day / Battle! Battle! Battle!!! - Ao and the girls have
hotpot together. Hresvelgr returns and warns if Gourai loses their
next battle all the Frame Arm Girls will be recalled and they will
separated from Ao.
Lies Behind that Emotion / A Public Bath! A Battle?! - Ao wonders
what sort of relationship should a master have with their Frame Arm
Girls. The girls head off to a bath house. Hresvelgr returns with
an upgrade and power up.
Battle / That Which I Give You - Gourai and Hresvelgr battle once
more, Gourai combines all the girls powers and defeats her. It's
Christmas and Ao and the girls spend the holidays together and
treasure their times together.
years before Sora and Shiro came to Disboard, the land was covered
with war, chaos and ash between the War of the Gods. No one knows
who, how or why it started, the only thing people cared about is how
to survive, humans hid underground on the verge of extinction. A
young man Riku one day meets a discarded Ex Machina, Schwi a robot
who desired a heart. As she learns what having a heart means, Riku
discover the truth of the world ...and perhaps through Schwi discover
a way to end the War of the Gods in No
Game No Life Zero: The Movie
is an ordinary human, the humans are a dying race far bellow the
Gods, the Elves, Dwarfs, Warbeasts, Ex Machina and many more....
Born into a world where humans are forced to hide underground and
sacrificing friends and family over the years, having no reason why
they exist or why they are dying. Riku encounters a stray Ex Machina
Schwi and discovers through her that the Gods were races created by
Old Deus (the old gods) and they were fighting in whichever race was
the last race standing would be come the True Gods. After learning
the truth, Riku and the humans decide to end the war, not by force,
but secretly manipulating information between the Gods, and in doing
so forcing a stalemate where humans will be the ones who end the war.
movie is a prequel to the anime series No Game No Life, in
which tells the origins to the world of Disboard, a world where
everything is decided by games. It's story has a far more darker and
grim origins. The movie goes all out and creates a world of beauty
and destruction mixed with fantasy, love, romance, drama and tragedy.
Extras include Japanese promos, behind the scenes and trailers, plus
you can read more about the original series at this link...
but not least, we have the music for one of the most underrated and
respected mature animated features ever: Angela Morley's Watership
Down: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(1978). Though it has been issued on vinyl, CDs and the like before,
this new edition from the great Vocalion Records label is a new
Hybrid Super Audio CD with regular Compact Disc layer that makes it
cross-compatible with all CD-capable players.
perfectly by Michael J. Dutton from the original magnetic soundtrack
master, this is the best way to now hear the music on its own. A few
years ago, no less that Criterion issued the film on Blu-ray in an
amazing HD master with PCM 2.0 Stereo from the original magnetic
movie soundmaster and it received raves universally. As good as you
can hear the music there, as one would expect from Criterion, the
ultra high definition sound of the DSD tracks (oversampled 2.8
Millions times as is standard for the format) actually does Criterion
one better, though DSD is never used on video releases in fairness to
that legendary video label. The tracks are as follows, with notes
Prologue (Williamson orch Ashmore) MH
2. Main Title (Williamson
3. Venturing Forth (Morley)
4. Into the Mist
5. Crossing the River and Onward (Morley)
7. Through the Woods (Morley)
8. The Rat Fight
9. Violet's Gone (Morley)
10. Climbing the Down
11. Bright Eyes (Batt) AG
12. Interlude (Morley)
Bigwig's Capture (Morley)
14. Kehaar's Theme (Morley)
Escape from Efrafa (Morley)
16. Hazel's Plan (Morley)
Final Struggle and Triumph (Morley)
18. The End Titles
MH Michael Hordern (narrator);
Art Garfunkel (vocal)
the brief voice-over narration by Michael Hordern shows sonic limits,
but the music mean to enhance the dark tale of rabbits escaping an
oppressed world is handled very intelligently, skillfully and
honestly as the first adaptation of the Richard Adams book more than
endures in the face of a later hit TV version and a new series coming
soon from Netflix. We'll save reviewing the film for whenever we
catch up to the Criterion edition or inevitable 4K release, but
soundtracks do not get enough respect and treatment in the
higher-definition audiophile realm (Dances With Wolves, My
Fair Lady and the 1967 Casino Royale being other rare
exceptions, not to mention all the great, lossless isolated music
tracks on almost every limited edition Twilight Time Blu-ray), but it
is a real treat when it happens as it does here.
noted, this is one of those still all-too-rare animated works outside
of Japan that is serious and not a comedy, this one from England as
was the 1954 version of Orwell's Animal Farm (waiting on the
Blu-ray for that one) and the new series is bound to create curiosity
interest for everything Watership Down. That's a very good
thing. Even the massive success of the CGI animated era has not
changed those fundamental differences, which is all the more reason
why when a film and music soundtrack are done so remarkably well as
they are done here makes it all the more reason to take note and be
glad new generations are discovering such vital work.
only makes it better when it sounds this vivid and palatable.
only extra are new liner notes by Robert Walton in the disc's
paper-fold, which also has a few other tech notes and illustrations,
but that's all good too.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image on both Sentai releases,
especially Zero, are the top of the line from the label and is
as good as they could ever look here, once again making us wonder
when the label will start issuing 4K discs.
for sound, Frame
is offered in Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless
sound with some Pro Logic-like surrounds sounding great, as does the
Japanese DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on Zero,
also offering a lesser English DTS-MA 5.1 option. 5.1 anything
is rare from Sentai, so it is always refreshing when they offer such
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) 2.0 Stereo lossless tracks on the
Watership Down soundtrack may be 40 years older, but the
natural flow of sound can compete with the Blu-rays here and many
other recent releases that may seem more digital then they should.
This is excellent transferred from the original magnetic music
soundtrack master and will surprise fans and audiophiles alike who
already know and love the music. The PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo CD sound
is fine for that format, but cannot compete with the amazing DSD
format tracks, with this disc giving those without an SA-CD player
(or player capacity) another reason to get a player.
can order the Watership
Super Audio CD soundtrack at this link...
there, be sure to check out the rest of Vocalion's stunning music
catalog that also includes audiophile vinyl.
Ricky Chiang and Nicholas Sheffo (SA-CD)