DVD Title
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades
International Title
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades
DVD Length Original Length
89 Minutes 89 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
AnimEigo 2003
Language Subtitles
Japanese English
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
2.35:1 (Anamorphic) 2.0 Mono
Extras
.
Menus (English)
.
Chapters (10)
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Trailers: Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance, Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril, Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell, Zatoichi At Large
.
Program Notes (English)
.
Complete film and DVD Credits (English)
Captures
Review

By all standards, Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades is a adequate release. It has become fairly obvious at this point that AnimEigo won't match the quality seen in some of their early DVDs, such as Zatoichi the Outlaw, but their discs still get the job done. Baby Cart to Hades is no exception here, as it has acceptable video and audio presentations, while displaying the company's trademark bare bones selection of extras.


 Video:

At one time I would have praised AnimEigo for their attention to detail in this area, but sadly this title is the start of a downward trend in this regard. The video presentation on this disc has numerous small inconsistencies, which hardly distract from the viewing experience but as a whole they are noticeable. The colors, for example, could have been very vibrant on this release if the entire print itself wasn't discolored. The entire movie has a slightly noticeable brown tint to it, which pretty much negates what the DVD format has to offer in terms of color contrast. The brightness level here presents another problem, as it's set too low and drowns out the detail in some of the night scenes. Some aspects of the disc are done very well though, such as digital inconsistencies, as there are no signs of artifacting while edge enhancement is handled well with the movie looking sharp. In regards to the print used for the transfer, it appears to be in good shape, although it does have its minor problems. There is a minimal amount of grain present, which is made less noticeable by the low brightness level, while scratches do appear on occasion, although never to the degree where it hinders from watching the film.

Baby Cart to Hades is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

AnimEigo's release is a faithful recreation of the film's original audio track, although not flawless. The audio present here is a 2.0 mono presentation, so no speaker distinction as expected. The track itself isn't perfect, the most noticeable inconsistency is that it gets slightly scratchy sounding when the volume reaches a certain level, which is really only noticeable during the main title theme. Otherwise, it gets the job done well.

The audio here is accompanied by, removable, English subtitles. The subtitles are color coded, like all of AnimEigo's releases, to show when more than one character is talking. There is also a second set of subtitles that can be turned on to provide definitions for certain words associated with the era in which the Lone Wolf and Cub films take place.


 Extras: Star Rating

Anyone familiar with AnimEigo's many DVDs will likely be unsurprised to see that this disc only features a couple of trailers and some linear notes. I should state that I do enjoy watching the trailers to these films immensely; however, these trailers are so whored out across AnimEigo's DVDs that it's hard to get excited if one owns a previous disc from them. Particularly disappointing here is that, of the trailers present (Zatoichi At Large, Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance, Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Peril, Lone Wolf and Cub: White Heaven in Hell), the film's own theatrical trailer is absent. The trailers found here aren't particularly presented well either, sporting noticeable print damage and often with the brightness level adjusted too low. It's far from bad enough to make them unenjoyable to watch, but nothing praise worthy about them either.

As for the linear notes found, they are pretty basic this time around. There is a brief explanation on the manga that this series was based on, while the other pages go over aspects of Japanese custom, such as black-painted teeth. The linear notes appear here both in print format and on the DVD itself, although it should be noted that the "forward arrow" to look at more pages doesn't work when one attempts to access it with a mouse while playing on a DVD-Rom drive. So one will be stuck on the first page unless they want to get out a traditional DVD player or just use the print version.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, if one enjoys the Lone Wolf and Cub series they shouldn't hesitate to pick up this DVD. Baby Cart to Hades isn't a bad release by any means, certainly better than the company's Zatoichi At Large, but it doesn't have many positive aspects to gush over either. The rather hefty price tag, as with all AnimEigo releases, will likely keep those who don't have a huge interest in the series away, though.

This disc is also featured in the box set: Lone Wolf and Cub: DVD Collector's Edition Box.

- Anthony Romero  
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