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Bounty dog DVD
Bounty dog DVD
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An ultimate catastrophe that only one man can prevent
In the future mankind has colonized the bleak expanses of the moon. Shining cities stand proudly where once was only desolation and emptiness. But there are forces that do not want mankind to succeed, forces that have nothing but hatred for the men and women who have transformed the face of the moon.
Strange waves of power emanate from deep below the moons surface where an ancient alien power known only as "The Sleeper" waits for the day it will arise to spread destruction.
only one man can stop it. One man whose fate and destiny have brought him to the moon. He is a member of the bounty Dog Investigation Unit, a high-tech cybernetic mercenary team. In a desperate race against time, he must defeat "The Sleeper" before it awakens to destroy all traces of mankind on the moon... and on Earth!
Action and suspense collide in this adventurous outer-space anime thriller featuring excellent mecha and character designs.
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"I can't bring myself to hate it, but it is deeply flawed." par V. Krätke (Netherlands) le 1 déc. 2004
Bounty Dog is one OAV everyone apparently loves to hate. Look on-line and the scarce info you will find on this title will consist of mostly bitingly negative reviews. And they're absolutely justified. Bounty Dog has several glaring flaws that will put off most viewers.
The biggest problem is the flimsy story and the confused style in which Bounty Dog tells said flimsy story. It's basically a very cliché destined hero vs. evil forces scenario with some sci-fi trimmings and the odd sentimental element. Yoshiyuki, our protagonist, is part of some sort of spy-ish team who've headed for the moon to investigate a suspicious Evil Company. In the far-flung future world of Bounty Dog, the moon has become habitable, and apparently attracts lots of tourists. For Yoshiyuki, going to the moon is something special. His beloved Yayoi, who died sometime in the past told him with her last words that they would someday meet again on the moon. And indeed, he encounters a young girl called Inez on the moon, who bears a striking resemblence with Yayoi. Inez does lots of mysterious stuff, a bunch of shady Evil Company spooks do some more fishy stuff, Yoshiyuki gets into a funky futuristic bike and shoots lots of things. It is eventually revealed that there's an alien entity sleeping beneath the moon's surface who is very, very nasty and whom only Yoshiyuki can and must kill. Because, like, it's his destiny and it all ties into Yayoi's death.
Originality does not ride high, nor does tension and excitement. It's hard to feel very engrossed in the supposedly titanic struggle that Bounty Dog tries to paint. The forces of darkness' preferred mode of attack is to send out evil Inez-clones who try to stab people with knives. These clones frequently end up stabbing the wrong targets or inadvertently killing each other with said knives. Somehow, it's hard to believe that all of humanity could be threatened by a handful of girls with knives. When the great evil is eventually vanquished simply by punching through a layer of corrosive ooze and pulling out some strings, it feels very anticlimatic. If that is all it takes to topple Darkness, anyone could've done it (the show tries to make a big deal of Yoshiyuki's artificial arm, which is supposedly the only thing that can harm Darkness, but there must be thousands of possible ways to pull strings out of corrosive ooze). Anticlimatic action aside, the plot constantly throws elements around that add nothing to the mix, or are never explored any further. Another frustrating aspect of Bounty Dog is the willfully muddled nature of the story. Nothing is explained to the viewer up-front. For instance, it takes until about halfway into the show before we're told that Yoshiyuki is part of an 'investigation unit', and why they're on the moon in the first place. Before that moment, nothing involving the other Bounty Dog members, or the moderate spy stuff they do makes any damned sense. Generating a sense of mystery is all fine and dandy, but Bounty Dog goes into overkill. If you're going to be that insanely cryptic, at least have something interesting to say in the end. Bounty Dog even seems confused about its own style - the gung-ho action portions and violent scenes do not mix well with the romantic and sentimental elements.
Finally, there's Bounty Dog's odd visual style. Since it all takes place on the moon, everything is saturated in yellow hues. The bulk of Bounty Dog's 60-minute running time is bathed in shades of yellow ranging from mustard to daffodill (in fact, every scene is dominated by one single colour - there are a few completely blue or red scenes in there, but the majority is yellow). Many find this effect very off-putting. I personally quite like Bounty Dog's look. The yellow tones, coupled with Hirotoshi Sano's gorgeous character designs makes for a nice, dreamy and otherworldly atmosphere. I enjoy popping Bounty Dog into my player to kill an hour from time to time with its pleasantly dreamlike visuals, but nothing more than that. I suspect I'm in the minority with my high levels of yellow-tolerance, though. And objectively speaking, the animation is not so stunning that Bounty Dog deserves a look for its looks alone. Close-ups and stills bring out Sano's fine, wispy art really well, but the actual animation is nothing truly special. Even if you have as big a fondness for Sano's art as I do, it's impossible to overlook the problems with Bounty Dog's plot. Bounty Dog warrants a rental at best if you think you'll like the art style, but it's not essential viewing by any means.
Manga Video probably knew this was never gonna be a classic, since their DVD release is an absolutely bare-bones job. No extras whatsoever are included on the DVD, and only an English dub track is provided (which, as far as dubs go isn't among the very worst but does have problems). The packaging is pretty and comes with an even prettier insert and a pretty main menu, but that's about the only standout aspect of this DVD release. Bounty Dog will probably remain an unloved obscurity for ever. And even though I personally happen to quite like its look and feel, with its obious flaws eternal obscurity is just right for this title.