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Outlaw Star: DVD Collection (Vol. 2)
The pieces of the puzzle slowly begin to find their place amidst continuous money woes for Gene and his crew.
Visuals continue to remain steady for the standards of the time it was produced. Colors are slightly brighter in comparison to the first few episodes, but for the most part it's more of the same here.
The English voice actors have hit their stride quickly, already sounding confident in their roles by the time of these episodes. The few new characters introduced sound fitting for their parts, continuing the above-average performance of the dub overall. Things continue to sound fine on the Japanese side as well, allowing for excellent voice acting with either audio track.
Aisha Clan-Clan gets the front-cover to herself while Jim Hawking and Gilliam share the back. The style of the cover remains the same as the first volume, though I've only seen the second DVD case used for this one.* The insert replicates the front cover and opens to reveal more information about Grappler Ships and the XGP15A-II.
Just like Volume 1, there are nine episodes split between the two DVDs: five on the first and four on the second. The menu remains the same, though they show different footage in the "Outlaw Star" logo as you make your selections. My complaint about volume in the "Options" screen appears to have been addressed, as the music is now level with the television settings. Extras are again on the second DVD and consist of the first textless ending and some mecha sketches along with the usual Bandai previews for other shows.
(Spoilers for those who haven't seen Volume 1 [episodes 1-9].)
We pick up where the last DVD left off, as Gene decides to enter the space race in order to track down MacDougall, whom he believes knows more about Hilda, the XGP, Melfina, and the Galactic Leyline. As time passes, it's becoming clearer and clearer that money issues could hamper their whole quest, and so we get some time devoted to the crew trying to make a couple bucks doing odd jobs. While this is going on, the pirates from the beginning of the series begin to get involved again, as the leader of the group attempts to remove of Gene before he becomes a serious threat to their plans.
As with the first volume, I continue to enjoy the prologues as they go further in-depth about the universe this story takes place in. We get a better understanding of the other alien races co-existing with the humans as well as various glances at the technology they use. The comedic aspect to this action show continues, and with a few more characters introduced and re-introduced, we get some amusing interactions between them.
For those barely maintaining interest, this batch of episodes may come as a disappointment. While the plot initially takes the forefront, there are four episodes in this release that focus almost exclusively on the crew taking work to make money, and while the developing of characters appeals to some, there are many who would cringe at this "filler."
While the plot doesn't move nearly as much as the first volume, the "fun" element remains constant through the second batch of episodes. Once again, the last episode ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, making the final volume almost a sure purchase. Those who enjoyed the first set of episodes have no reason to stop now.
Grade: 6 of 10 (3 Stars)
* For more information regarding the DVD cases used in the packaging of this series, read the "Additional Notes" section of the Outlaw Star: DVD Collection (Volume 1) review.
Added: June 27th 2003
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