Naruto-Volume 4: The Broken Seal (2002)

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Released 7-Feb-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Music Video-Opening and Closing Credits Themes
Gallery-Stills
Biographies-Character
Trailer-Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Godannar, Trinity Blood
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 95:17 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (71:24) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Hayato Date
Jeff Nimoy
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Steven Jay Blum
Masashi Kishimoto
Yuka Miyata
Kou Hei Mushi
Satoru Nishizono
Katsuyuki Sumizawa
Yasuyuki Suzuki
Junki Takegami
Akatsuki Yamatoya
Michiko Yokote
Toshiro Masuda
Jeremy Sweet
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Toshiro Masuda
Jeremy Sweet


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The saga of Naruto continues as Naruto and his squad battle the deadly Zabuza and Haku on a remote bridge. Check out our review of Naruto: Uncut, Volume 1, here, for a bit more back-story.

    The four episodes on this disc all centre around an epic battle over the life of a bridge builder who is building a bridge from his island to the mainland. The rogue shinobi assassin Zabuza and his deadly sidekick Haku have been hired by a local shipping magnate to prevent the bridge from being completed. Naruto and his squad have been hired to protect the bridge builder.

    Despite a lengthy recap of the story so far, that takes up nearly half of the first episode on this disc, viewers will be a little lost unless they have seen episodes on the previous volume of this series as the story continues halfway through an epic battle.

    The episodes themselves are of the usual high standard of Naruto, although the first two are a little drawn out - particularly by the unnecessarily lengthy re-cap in the first episode. The later two episodes are probably the best of the series so far

Ep 14: The Number One Hyperactive Knucklehead Ninja Joins the Fight!

    Following a lengthy recap of the story so far, Naruto joins his squadmates on the bridge where they have been fighting Zabuza and Haku for some time. After boldly announcing his arrival, he attempts to save Sasuke from the crystal ice mirrors in which he has been trapped by Haku.

Ep 15: Zero Visibility: The Sharingan Shatters

    Whilst Naruto and Sasuke are battling Haku in his chamber of magical ice mirrors, Sakura and Kakashi are surrounded by a magical mist by Zabuza as he attempts to assassinate the bridge builder.

Ep 16: The Broken Seal

    After Sasuke is defeated whilst defending Naruto, Naruto's rage unleashes the power of the nine-tailed fox whose spirit in trapped within him.

Ep 17: White Past: Hidden Ambition

    Naruto's nine-tailed fox form quickly defeats Haku, who goes on to explain his life story as he begs Naruto to end his life following the defeat. Meanwhile, Kakashi literally unleashes the hounds onto Zabuza.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The video is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

    The image is crisp throughout. There is no noticeable grain or low level noise at any point. The colours are bold and well rendered throughout.

    There are no noticeable MPEG compression artefacts or film artefacts, which is likely helped by the fact that the animation style of the show is fairly low-motion. The image is interlaced, but only to a small degree and it is not noticeable during playback.

    The English subtitles are yellow with a black border and provide a direct translation from the original Japanese dialogue. They are both easy to read and timed well to the Japanese audio. There is a few discrepancies in tone between the Japanese translated subtitles and the English dialogue in these episodes, but none compromise the story.

    This is a RSDL disc. The layer change occurs between the third and fourth episodes, at 71:24.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    English and Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) audio tracks are available.

    The both the Japanese and English dialogue appear in good sync for a cartoon. Both tracks are perfectly clear and easy to understand.

    There is modest usage of the surround channels throughout the episodes, mainly by the music. The subwoofer picks up a small amount of bottom end, particularly around the combat scenes. The audio is good for a 2.0 soundtrack, but certainly does not compete with most 5.1 tracks.

    Music is used in quite a bold fashion in the show, particularly traditional Japanese pipes and chants. Though this is very fitting in the show, it is not likely something you would want to listen to out of context (save for the catchy credits themes, which are presented music-video style in the special features).

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are a handful of extras, but most of the extras are available on previous discs in the series.

Main Menu Audio and Animation

    A series of fairly nicely animated menus featuring music from the show.

Clean opening and Closing Credits

    The opening and closing credits sequences can be viewed without any of the actual credits, rather like a music video. These same features are found on the volume 2 disc in the series.

Trailers

    Trailers for other Madman anime titles are presented, along with the grating piracy trailer that many have grown to despise (luckily, that trailer doesn't precede the feature). The trailers provided are for: Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Volume 1, Godannar, Volume 1 and Trinity Blood, Volume 1.

Character Profiles

    Basic character profiles for Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, Kakashi and Zabuza. The profiles are more or less what you'd expect to read on the back of a trading card. This same feature is found on the volume three disc of the series.

Stills Gallery

    20 full resolution stills from the various episodes that are navigated using the direction buttons on the remote.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Naruto is available in two formats in Region 1, though neither are quite the same as the Region 4 release.

    The "cut" episodes (up to the 28th episode, at the time of writing) are individually available on bare bones discs in Region 1, four episodes per disc and no special features. These are undeniably the least preferable way to buy Naruto.

    There is also two "uncut" packages available in Region 1 that feature both the cut and uncut versions of each episode. Each package contains 13 episodes (1-13 and 14-26) spread over 3 discs. This edition is presented in a reasonably stylish embossed shiny foil package and booklet featuring storyboards from the episodes. Content-wise this edition is quite comparable to the Region 4 version (and is priced around the same mark as 3 discs of the Region 4 release), only with nicer packaging and addition of the "cut" episodes for the curious. The Madman trailers are not present on the Region 1 release. These Region 1 "uncut" boxes are the version of choice for anyone happy to import, although the biggest difference is cosmetic.

Summary

    Naruto is a great show and the episodes on this disc are excellent, although the first two are a little padded out. This is a great replacement for Dragon Ball Z and will particularly appeal to upper primary boys.

    The technical presentation is very good, although the lack of new extras is a little disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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