Armitage-Dual Matrix: Special Edition (2001)

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Released 11-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Assembling Armitage
Gallery-Character Design
Gallery-Mechanism Design
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Boogiepop Phantom; Cowboy Bebop
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 89:32
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Katsuhito Akiyama
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Yuzuki. Ryka
Hikaru Hanada
Yuka Imai
Kazuhiro Yamaji
Jji Nakata
Mitsuki Saiga
Takumi Yamazaki
Case Click
RPI $34.95 Music Julian Mack


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 No

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

Plot Synopsis

Armitage Dual Matrix is a Japanese animated science fiction feature about a plot to develop a new generation of robots that are able to produce offspring.

Naomi Armitage and Ross Sylibus are living happily with their young daughter, Yoko, on Mars. When the military are sent in to destroy all inhabitants of an undercover research facility on Earth, Armitage decides that she must investigate. After travelling alone to Earth, Armitage confronts Colonel Strings, the man in charge of the operation at the research facility. She learns that the operation at the lab was to cover up illegal research into developing a new generation of robots that, like Armitage, would posses the ability to produce offspring. In order to complete their research, they must capture Armitage and discover her unique secret. While Armitage investigates, Ross and Yoko travel to Earth for a critical vote on the future of robot rights.

Armitage Dual Matrix is the sequel to the popular 1994 feature Armitage Poly-Matrix. If you have not seen the prequel, some of the characters' motivations and history may be slightly confusing. Luckily, a short collection of character profiles are included on the inside of the disc cover that provides some background for each of the main characters without including any significant spoilers.

This feature contains a number of computer generated models that are integrated with the more traditional animation style. Unfortunately, in a number of cases these computer models draw attention to themselves and they do not easily blend in with the other animation. Despite this relatively small problem, the animation displayed is of extremely high quality with highly detailed backgrounds and characters. While the storyline is quite simplistic, the high production values in all other areas makes this an enjoyable feature for fans of science fiction anime.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

The transfer is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

The transfer is extremely sharp throughout, but during the opening scenes in Armitage's apartment the image is intentionally softer. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer. There are a large number of darkly lit scenes during the transfer and these always display excellent levels of shadow detail with all information from the original animation clearly visible.

As expected from animation of this age, the palette displayed by the transfer contains a wide range of colours including many subtle shades and these are cleanly and accurately portrayed.

Unfortunately, the transfer displays a significant number of MPEG artefacts throughout. Some examples of these macro-blocking artefacts may be seen at 1:36, 1:47, 2:14, 6:54, 16:54, 27:24, 47:27 and 79:29. An obvious occurrence of Gibbs artefacts may also be seen at 18:44. Many of these artefacts are extremely obvious and are quite distracting to the viewer.

No instances of aliasing were detected during the transfer.

No film artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer.

A single set of yellow English subtitles is included on the disc and they are always clear and easy to read.

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

Audio

Both English and Japanese Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 audio tracks are included with the transfer. I listened to both tracks in full and found them both to be of very high quality.

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. No dropouts were detected at any stage during the transfer.

The score by Julian Mack always suits the on-screen action and is used effectively throughout the transfer.

The surround and subwoofer channels are used extremely effectively throughout the transfer and they create an enveloping soundstage. These channels are used for both directional effects and the score.

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

Extras

Menu

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

Featurette: Assembling Armitage (16:43)

This is an interesting collection of interviews with director Katsuhito Akiyama, musician Julian Mack and Juliette Lewis who is the English voice of Armitage. In this featurette, Katsuhito discusses the importance of storyboards and editing when creating an animated feature and the use of 3D models in the production. Julian discusses how he created two different styled soundtracks and the use of a 5.1 audio mix. Juliette discusses why she chose the role and what she likes about her character. This featurette is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Removable English subtitles are provided for the Japanese interview segments featuring Katsuhito Akiyama.

Character Design Gallery

This is a collection of thirty completed character designs for different characters from the film.

Mechanism Design Gallery

This is a collection of twenty-four different designs for different vehicles, weapons and devices from the feature.

Theatrical Trailer (1:51)

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

Trailer: Boogiepop Phantom (0:34)

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

Trailer: Cowboy Bebop (1:29)

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 Standard Edition of this disc misses out on;

The Region 1 Special Edition of this disc misses out on;

The Region 1 Limited Edition of this disc misses out on;

If you are interested in the limited edition lunch box and figurine then the version of choice is obviously the R1 Limited Edition release. If these items are not of significant interest then the R1 Special Edition would be the version of choice. When compared to the R1 Standard Edition, the R4 version would be the version of choice.

Summary

Armitage Dual Matrix is an entertaining animated feature that should appeal to fans of science fiction anime.

The video transfer is generally of very high quality but it is let down by a number of significant and distracting MPEG artefacts.

Both the Japanese and English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks are of very high quality and they always suit the on-screen action.

The collection of extras provided include some interesting background for the feature but could have been supplemented by the music player and character guide found on the R1 Special Edition.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Wednesday, August 07, 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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