Dimension W (2016) (NTSC)
|Year Of Production||2016|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Kanta Kamei|
Daisuke Ono / Christopher R Sabat
Reina Ueda / Jad Sexton
Kohsuke Toriumi / Ian Sinclair
Daiki Yamashita / Clifford Chapman
Kimiko Saito / Stephanie Young
Yoshitsugu Matsuoka / Josh Grelle
Akira Ishida / Eric Vale
Yuichi Nakamura / J. Michael Tatum
Eri Suzuki / Maxey Whitehead
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Later this century a source of unlimited electro-magnetic energy, named Dimension W, was discovered by Dr Yurizeki who then invented devices, known as ‘coils’, that harness the energy of Dimension W which is used to power most devices, such as cars, household appliances, fully functional robots and mobile phones. Dr Yurizeki also founded New Tesla Energy, a corporation that became a huge global enterprise which built 60 huge towers around the globe that stabilise the Dimension W power and deliver it to the coils. The electrical grid system covers the world and New Tesla has a monopoly on the power and the coils. Coils not manufactured by New Tesla are illegal, and these coils and those who use them are hunted by “Collectors” and the coils confiscated. After the system had been in operation for more than a decade, two years before the anime starts Dr Yurizeki’s wife and daughter were murdered and Yurizeki disappeared.
Kyoma Mabuchi (voiced by Daisuke Ono / Christopher R Sabat) is a Collector who hates coils; he refuses to have any in his house, uses skewers as weapons and still drives a petrol fuelled car. He is given his assignments by nightclub owner Mary (Kimiko Saito / Stephanie Young) and her associate Koorogi (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka / Josh Grelle) and during one assignment he comes across Mira (Reina Ueda / Jad Sexton), a very sophisticated robot in girl form (albeit with a tail). Mira was created by Dr Yurizeki after he disappeared; indeed, he is still alive and planning revenge against New Tesla. However, when he is discovered by a special New Tesla bureau headed by Albert Schuman (Akira Ishida / Eric Vale) Yurizeki produces a special double coil and disappears in an explosion. Now, with Mary’s blessing, Kyoma and Mira form an unlikely partnership to find coils, although Mira’s identity must be hidden from New Tesla. However, there are other people, such as the masked man and media identity known as Loser (Yuichi Nakamura / J. Michael Tatum) and his daughter Ellie (Eri Suzuki / Maxey Whitehead), who are also seeking particular coils in order to take revenge on New Tesla.
The special coil used by Dr Yurizeki revealed the existence of other special coils: before the towers were built Beta coils, which were individually numbered so they became known as “Numbers”, existed to channel the Dimension W power but they were inherently unstable and created dimension disturbances which were hushed up by New Tesla and the Numbers neutralised, although sometimes Albert asks Kyoma and Mira to assist. It seems that in a past war Albert and Kyoma had both been members of an elite military unit called Grendel and, indeed, they were the only two survivors of the unit following a hushed up incident at the Tesla research centre on Easter Island. Kyoma has no memories of the incident, but has nightmares about it which may explain his hatred of coils. Indeed, as the series progresses we learn that Kyoma had been married to Miyabi who had a terminal disease; to get her a new, artificial body provided by New Tesla, Kyoma had joined their special unit and been sent on an operation to Easter Island five years ago. The operation was a disaster; Easter Island was devastated, the research facility badly damaged and, as well, Miyabi died.
The Numbers coils seem to have other, untapped powers. The key to the mystery lies on Easter Island; the Wind of Africa and COO of Tower 60, the handsome Prince Salva (Kohsuke Toriumi / Ian Sinclair) and his younger brother Prince Lwai (Daiki Yamashita / Clifford Chapman) persuade the New Tesla management committee to invite Collectors from around the globe, including Kyoma and Mira, to gather on the now desolate Easter Island for a special collection; the Numbers coil that may be the first, and most potent, of all the coils. With Loser also crashing the party, on Easter Island Kyoma will face old and new adversaries, recover his memory and try to come to terms with the decisions he made in the past and the death of Miyabi.
Dimension W (Dimenshon Daburyu) is based on the manga by Yuji Iwahara that commenced publication in 2011. The concept of an unlimited power source, and its control, is interesting and the background to the anime world is quickly and simply explained at the start of a few episodes of the anime. However, that is where the simplicity ends for the themes of Dimension W, involving among other things cover-ups, memory, the soul and the mystery of life itself, are anything but. The diverse powers of the Beta coils, including alternative worlds, also allow for some poignant episodes about regret and loss while battles, as is required in anime, are loud, explosive and chaotic. Yet, the amine is also funny; Kyoma is a grumpy and dismissive character but his interaction with Mira (who as a robot of course is powered by a coil) has its funny moments. Mira herself is amusing – she may be a robot but thinks of herself as a girl. The monopoly corporation name New Tesla is, of course, a nod to Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), scientist and inventor of the alternating current electrical supply; Tesla and some of his inventions feature in Christopher Nolan’s film The Prestige.
Dimension W is a compact series that does not stray far from the main plotline. At least until the final episodes on Easter Island there are not a lot of characters and they are easily distinguished while the logic of the world-building is reasonably straightforward although, towards the end, it does tend to get somewhat out of control.
Dimension W aired on Japanese TV between January and March 2016 in 12 episodes. This DVD release, Dimension W: Complete Series contains all these episodes on two discs. An unaired OVA exists and is included on the Region A US Blu-ray, but not these DVDs.
Dimension W is presented in the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1, in the NTSC format and 16x9 enhanced.
The lines are firm and detail strong throughout. Colours varied; softer pastel during outdoor scenes with trees and the sun, the soft grey of the fog, vibrant yellows, reds and blues during other sequences. Blacks are solid and shadow detail fine.
The English subtitles are a white font. They are not the most crisp you will see and seem to be affected by mosquito noise but are easy to read and are removable for speakers of Japanese.
The layer changes are not noticeable.
Like many Funimation releases, the DVD contains an English dub in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps and the original Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 Kbps. I listened to some of the episodes alternatively as the audio and subtitles can be changed on the go with the remote.
The original Japanese audio is surround encoded. The surrounds and rears were very active and featured music, crowd voices, fireworks, rain and thunder and the thud of impacts and explosions. The subwoofer did add boom to the impacts. The English dub was good; it had more separation in the effects but I felt the voice acting lacked the intensity of the Japanese.
The music by Go Shiina and Yoshiaki Fujisawa is interesting, varied and effective. The opening and closing songs are catchy; the opening song Genesis by Stereo Drive Foundation is good and the closing song Contrast by Fo’x Tails even better!!
This is anime so lip synchronisation is approximate in either audio track.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras of any kind.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region A US Blu-ray / DVD combo of Dimension W includes 2 commentaries and the unaired OVA on the Blu-rays. The Madman site does not list an Australian Blu-ray release. From what I can tell, the DVD’s here and in the US are probably the same. So for DVD I guess this is a draw.
Dimension W has an interesting, and well established, premise. It is complex, gradually revealing the layers of its mystery, and involves ideas about memory, the soul and the mystery of life itself. The anime is a bit outside the usual high school antics and with interesting characters, especially Kyoma, humour and a compact plotline it is easy to get pulled into its world.
The video and audio are fine. No extras.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|