R4 DVD Reviews
Friday, 25 November 2005 00:00
Everyone's favourite Super Heavweight God returns for a second season as Gravion Zwei swings into action, although this time they appear to have left the plot behind in favour of a fanservice extravaganza. Oh, and the odd visit from a Zeravire. What's not to like?
1 - The Super Heavyweight God Descends Again
EFA have finally managed to reproduce the Gravion - although they're calling them Gran Troopers - and are putting them into mass-production to reduce their reliance on Sandman's good graces in defending against the Zeravire. The Gran Troopers are commanded by Faye Xin Lu, a cute (naturally) but hard-assed soldier who's determined to prove her worth. Back at Sandman's castle, they're busy repairing Gravion after its last battle - which would probably be quicker if the Gran Knights weren't busy being maids for the day after Eiji gets carried away gambling against the regular maids. But chores are interrupted by the arrival of a new Zeravire, naturally, and with EFA's Gran Troopers still lacking a gravity unit it's up to Gravion to save the day once again - except the Gran Knights can't merge into Gravion without Sandman's authority, and he's out of town...
2 - The Beautiful Reunion
Eiji's friends have been checking Earthgertz's webpage for any sort of details on what he's been up to. Unfortunately it's all still "under construction" - except for one page with a map of the castle, so off they go looking for a way in. When they trigger the castle's intruder detection system, Sandman himself heads outside to pick them up & arrange for a guided tour. All of which is a great excuse for some plotless fanservice scenes, until two of the girls find themselves trapped aboard a runaway G-Driller..
3 - Scalding Battle! Gravion Hot Springs!
It's the annual Earthgertz hot-springs vacation - except for Raven and Cookie, who have been left behind at the castle while Raven keeps an eye on a Zeravire that's been found burrying under the Earth's crust. Much to Raven's annoyance. The Gravion mob aren't the only ones on vacation - EFA's Gran Troopers are also on their annual trip, conveniently at the same resort, and the rivalry between the two groups leads to a certain amount of tension, especially when the Zeravire Raven's been tracking emerges from its subterranean hiding place near the hotsprings resort...
4 - From Underneath the Waves
An unknown object splashes down into the ocean near and EFA underwater base, and contact is soon lost with it. Unable to determine what's happened themselves, EFA approach Sandman for help, and so Leele and G-Shadow are sent to investigate. No soon does she reach the base than contact with G-Shadow is lost as well. Gran Kaiser & G-Driller are the only other craft available - Thoria's maintenance on the other craft is taking a while - and are sent on a rescue mission. When they arrive at the base, they find that a Zeravire is involved, but their resuce attempt only leaves the three Gravion craft stranded inside the base...
Okay, I lied. This volume isn't entirely without plot. On the one hand there's the arrival of the Gran Troopers, even if they do seem to be conveniently forgotten about by the start of episode four. One thing that's established is that Touga and Faye have some sort of connection, but it's not really explored other that to show the Touga doesn't remember her. Meanwhile, there's the discovery of a portait of Sandman that was painted in the 18th century, when he went by the name of Count Saint-Germain, and was rumoured to be an alchemist and time traveller. Interesting? That depends on what they do with it, but the potential is there.
That accounts for about 5 minutes of the volume's 100 minute running time. The rest is fanservice and more fanservice, of both the giant robo and half-naked women varieties. That will either turn you off completely, or have you rushing to get the disc into the DVD player, depending on your point of view. I fall into the latter category - there's nothing quite like Gravion for raising an idiotic smile when you're in really bad form, meaning for me the verdict is "More, please!".
It's worth pointing out that the R4 Australian release is only available as a complete collection - if you want to buy this series as individual discs, you'll need to buy the R1 release.