Funimation // 2009 // 300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power (Retired) // March 3rd, 2012
They fight to survive the world outside.
The adventures of Layfon and the 17th Military Arts kids continues. Cards on the table time: Layfon's past is revealed, his new friends and old acquaintances question all they know, or think they know. There's something called Heaven's Blade, and something called the Psyharden Katana, and a bunch of big mutants that threaten to destroy everything. Will our heroes prevail?
Chrome Shelled Regios: Part Two gives us the last 12 episodes on two discs in great, affordable, classy packaging that is typical of Funimation, swell guys that they are. Unfortunately, I just can't recommend this thing to anyone of sound mind. Logic takes a flying leap into the great abyss, characters become unbelievably ridiculous, and the mysterious truths revealed are anything but. Layfon just doesn't anchor the series particularly well at all, and all of the "bizarro-world" college antics of the first half of the series are still included here, right alongside a narrative that just goes batshit loco (or as I like to say, "It goes full Neon Genesis Evangelion"). The final act becomes a mishmash of people, places and events, and nothing ever really congeals into a digestible whole. Forgettable characters, ludicrous goings-on, and...a Psyharden Katana. Yeah.
The first half had a few cool fight scenes, sure, in that they were well directed, and served by competent animation. Sadly, the further afield this thing runs, the more it loses in character designs and animation. Things just get flat, bland, and lifeless, and the more "funky" backgrounds look cheesy as heck.
Funimation continues to hit with a top quality product from a technical standpoint. Just like volume one, the English voice cast works about as well as the Japanese, the visuals are sharp, clear, and free of any kind of noticeable errors, and the soundtrack fills the 5.1 stage quite well. If only this particular series wasn't such a joyless mess.
Extras are your standard opening and closing tunes without all of the ugly
production text cluttering up your purdy animation.
What little payoff I was hoping for when I finished Part One was swallowed up in the terribly mediocrity of Chrome Shelled Regios: Part Two. Characters don't really evolve, giving us nothing to anchor to as the stakes get higher. This is a miss.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Japanese)
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Textless Open/Close