Amon Saga (1986)

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Released 18-Mar-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Character
Trailer-Akira; Perfect Blue; Ghost In The Shell
Trailer-Blood: The Last Vampire; Street Fighter Alpha
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 74:35 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Shunji Oga
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Kenyu Horiuchi
Yoshino Takamori
Mugihito Tenchi
Koji Mori
Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Ichiro Nagai
Tamio Ooki
Shunsuke Shima
Banjo Ginga
Koji Toya
Naoki Tatsuta
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music Shigeaki Saeguse


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Amon Saga is a Japanese animated fantasy adventure about a warrior who is seeking revenge for the death of his mother.

    When he was a young child, Amon's mother was killed in front of him and he makes it his life's work to find the person responsible and seek revenge. Having grown into a deadly and agile warrior, Amon tracks down the man responsible, the Emperor Valhiss. To get close to the Emperor, Amon moves to his city, located on the back of a massive turtle, and joins his imperial army. While in the city planning his revenge, he meets Princess Lichia who has been kidnapped by the Emperor. The princess is being held hostage until her father provides a map to the Valley of Gold. Amon decides to help rescue the Princess while still fulfilling his initial plans.

    This familiar storyline holds no real surprises for viewers but should be enjoyed by fans of the fantasy genre.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The transfer is consistently soft throughout but luckily this does not pose a significant problem for the viewer due to the style of animation employed. The shadow detail displayed during the transfer is always quite poor with little detail visible in the numerous dark sections of the transfer. It is not clear if this problem is due to the transfer or is inherent in the source material.

    The colour palette displayed during the transfer is typical of animation of this age and always appears to be slightly muted.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer. No instances of aliasing were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    A number of film artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 1:50, 4:30, 10:11, 14:32, 15:04 and 15:26. All of these artefacts are quite minor but due to their frequency they are slightly annoying to the viewer.

    A small amount of telecine wobble may be seen at 2:57 and 21:50 but due to its short duration this is only minimally distracting.

    During the majority of the transfer, an unusual artefact may be seen on the outlines used in the animation resulting in an uneven jagged edge. Some examples of this artefact may be seen at 0:58, 2:27, 3:56, 7:07, 19:28 and 20:22. This artefact may be due to a sampling error created during the NTSC to PAL conversion or may be present in the original NTSC transfer. Due to the frequency of this artefact, it is quite distracting.

    A single set of yellow English subtitles is provided on this disc and they are clear and easy to read at all times. A single line at 23:24 does not have a subtitle translation provided.

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

Audio

    Three audio tracks are provided on this disc. English and Japanese Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 tracks are included in addition to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 448 kbps track. I listened to all tracks in full and personally preferred the Japanese audio mix.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times.

    As this is an animated feature, there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for each soundtrack. At no stage during the transfer were any audio dropouts detected.

    The original music by Shigeaki Saeguse is very effective and works well with the action on screen. This music score is used during both the Japanese and English soundtracks.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were used throughout the English 5.1 mix for both effects and the musical score and this creates an effective enveloping soundstage when compared to the 2.0 mix.

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

Extras

Menu

    The minimally animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1

Character Profiles

    Single page profiles are included for the following characters: Amon, Darai Sem, Princess Lichia, Ekuna, Emperor Valhiss, Ho, Alcan, Mabo and Denon.

Trailer: Akira (1:15)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Perfect Blue (1:38)

    This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Ghost In The Shell (1:34)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: Blood The Last Vampire (1:40)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Street Fighter Alpha The Movie (1:06)

    This trailer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The versions appear to be very similar and as the R1 edition reportedly has a similar quality video transfer I would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    Amon Saga is a slightly disappointing animated fantasy adventure that holds no real surprises for viewers.

    The video transfer is very disappointing and shows a significant number of artefacts throughout.

    The inclusion of both the original Japanese and English dub tracks should satisfy all fans.

    The very minimal extras provide no additional information for viewers and are of little use.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Saturday, April 27, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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