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DVD Title
 Gunhed
International Title
 Gunhed
Movie Length: 100 minutes Original Length: 100 minutes
Company: Toho Release: 2007
Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1 Anamorphic: Yes
Region: 2 Discs: 2
   
Language/Sound:
Japanese (2.0 Stereo)
Subtitles:
None
Extras
· Menus (Japanese)
· Chapters (20)
· Trailers: Gunhed (2 Theatrical, 3 Teasers)
· Cast Profiles (Japanese)
· Making of Gunhed (28 Minutes)
· Image Gallery
· CD Soundtrack
Captures
Review
Anthony Romero

Three years after ADV released their version of Gunhed on region 1 DVD, Toho finally debuts their own region 2 offering. As expected, this release completely outdoes the 2004 DVD, for those who don't need English aids for viewing the film; in fact, this is generally an outstanding release all around, with fantastic video quality that is supported by a nice audio track and a good array of extras. Strangely enough, this disc also shares credit with "Dream Planet Japan", Koichi Kawakita's upstart production aid house, although their exact role isn't clear, but one can assume they had something to do with the "Making of" feature.


 Video:

This region 2 DVD sports an excellent video transfer from pretty much every aspect. The film itself is a pretty dark picture, with often a dreary color-scape of grays and greens, but the colors here are still very vibrant and distinct when they are allowed to be. The source used for the transfer is also in fantastic shape, showing very little grain and no overt signs of print damage. To further credit this disc, digital inconsistencies are all but nonexistent while the film also looks very sharp and rich with detail.

Gunhed is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs. As a closing bit of praise, it's also great to see a transfer which doesn't fall back on window boxing the image. To be fair, window boxing does allow the disc to support a wide range of setups that might erroneously crop the image, which is why the technique is so widespread. However, it also needlessly compresses the image for those with newer setups as the disc has to waste space on compressing the added black border. Something which this transfer clearly doesn't suffer from and looks fantastic as a result.


 Audio:

Toho's Gunhed DVD includes one audio track, which is a two channel stereo presentation in the film's original Japanese format. In terms of quality, there are no complaints to be had as distortions are unnoticeable while the track has good speaker distinction for a stereo presentation. The only disappointing aspect of the audio here is the lack of options, such as the company's usual surround track mix or some form of subtitles.


 Extras:

A solid extra presentation here. The star attraction on the DVD is a half hour "Making of" feature, that brings in director Masato Harada for a lengthy interview about the film, while other staff members like Kawakita also weigh in on more details. The feature hosts a lot of behind the scenes footage, along with rare production photos taken by the staff and concept art created for the film. The closer looks at how certain special effects shots were achieved is particularly nice, and the feature is overall highly recommended to anyone with an interest in the movie.

Next up is a collection of five trailers, which had the luxury of being given an excellent transfer process on par with the video quality of the main feature. The early teaser trailers in particular should be of interest to a lot viewers. Finally, the DVD rounds out the extras with a 17 image long gallery that covers various posters and other memorabilia related to the production. For whatever reason, this disc lacks a audio commentary track though, which is usually a standard feature on Toho's releases.

Thankfully, the supplemental content is support here by an additional disc, which is a CD Soundtrack for the film.


 Overview:

Bottom line, region 2 DVDs from Japan are never cheap, but the Gunhed set is a solid offering with superb transfer quality while the inclusion of a previously very rare CD soundtrack certainly makes this a more enticing package then most.