Media

Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part III

ARTICLE INDEX

"SOS! Tokyo Metro Explorers: The Next" (Blu-ray)

movie-tokyo-metro-bd.jpgSynopsis

In the summer of 2006, 5th grader Ryuhei Ozaki discovers a journal, "Tokyo Exploring Records," which was written by his father Shohei when he was young. Ryuhei forms his own exploration team with his online friends, Shun and Yoshio. One day during summer vacation, the three boys along with Ryuhei's brother, who happens to sneak along, go down a manhole into the sewers looking for a hidden treasure indicated on their father's map. Not imagining anyone would be down there, they make surprise encounters with many odd, yet friendly grown-ups living underground, including a man called Matakichi. Just as they begin to enjoy the adventure, the underground turns into a combat zone involving an old, self-proclaimed Japanese soldier and even Yoshio’s cousin Momoyo. Will the kids be able to discover the "Treasure of Japan" hidden underground?

 

Specifications

  • Bandai Visual
    2006, Color, Unrated, 40 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • Japanese Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Japanese PCM 2.0
  • Directed by Shinji Takagi
  • Starring Voices of Various People
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

I’m not familiar with this production much and I have the feeling it is part of series that I haven’t seen before. Some of the older characters seem like they have something going on that you should be aware of, but if you only see this you’re left a bit in the dark. The story reminds me a bit of something out of a Hardy Boys type story like I read when I was young. It is simple in nature and fitting for an episode of an adventure series for kids. The only problem is you don’t have much background on who the characters are unless there are more episodes that I’m not aware of. Overall I still found the show interesting, but I felt a bit lost at times.

Technical

So far I’ve been quite impressed with Bandai’s HD offerings and this is no exception. The anime style looks great in HD and you really get a sense of just how detailed the hand drawn environments are. The 3-D character design integrates well with the environment but can look a bit simple in comparison at times. Colors are clean and quite good looking, without the need for oversaturation or vibrant hues. I did see some slight line twitter on occasion with some of the CG details, but nothing too distracting. The animation was devoid of banding, which is always a plus. Overall these Bandai presentations have given me really high hopes for more feature length CG offerings in HD.

The soundtrack is presented in Dolby TrueHD. Fans may be pleased to find the HD Dolby trailer for TrueHD included on the disc as well. For what is essentially a short cartoon, the sound design is quite impressive. There is a nice sense of atmosphere when the kids go underground with exceptional use of the surround channels to create an echoing effect. The little bit of action that takes place sounds pretty good with some decent range in the low end and nice envelopment. Dialogue is still a bit on the higher level compared to the main track, an issue I seem to notice with most anime offerings. Considering what this production is though, this is a nice soundtrack
So far I’ve been quite impressed with Bandai’s HD offerings and this is no exception. The anime style looks great in HD and you really get a sense of just how detailed the hand drawn environments are. The 3-D character design integrates well with the environment but can look a bit simple in comparison at times. Colors are clean and quite good looking, without the need for oversaturation or vibrant hues. I did see some slight line twitter on occasion with some of the CG details, but nothing too distracting. The animation was devoid of banding, which is always a plus. Overall these Bandai presentations have given me really high hopes for more feature length CG offerings in HD.

The soundtrack is presented in Dolby TrueHD. Fans may be pleased to find the HD Dolby trailer for TrueHD included on the disc as well. For what is essentially a short cartoon, the sound design is quite impressive. There is a nice sense of atmosphere when the kids go underground with exceptional use of the surround channels to create an echoing effect. The little bit of action that takes place sounds pretty good with some decent range in the low end and nice envelopment. Dialogue is still a bit on the higher level compared to the main track, an issue I seem to notice with most anime offerings. Considering what this production is though, this is a nice soundtrack.

Extras

Extras include a production feature that goes over the animation style, interviews, a feature commentary and the trailer.