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Loki Ragnarok

DVD Review: Loki Ragnarok V.1
Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok V.1 – Gods and Detectives
Release Date: October 18, 2005
Released By: ADV Films
DVD SRP: $29.98 – 100 Minutes
Video: Full Screen (Standard) – 1:33:1
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) & English Subtitles

Caged inside a little boy’s body and banished to Earth by the almighty Odin, the still-proud-and-powerful Loki now runs the Enjaku Detective Agency. Joined by his trusted assistant Yamino and a beautiful (but accident prone) high school girl named Mayura, Loki earns a living probing the darkest corners of the paranormal, the occult, and the otherwise peculiar. And yet the one metaphysical mystery that involves him directly remains unsolved: what has he done to be exiled to Earth? How can he return to Asgard? Why do the other Norse Gods want him dead?

Join in the adventures as our mystery trio take on hair-raising haunting, possessed dolls, vengeful birds of prey, and penny-pinching deities in the first phenomenal volume of Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok!

DVD Features:
• Interview with Japanese Voice Actors
• Character Art Gallery
• Reverse Cover Art
• ADV Trailers

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INTRODUCTION
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TV Tokyo’s Loki Ragnarok has debuted on DVD in America with volume one “Gods and Detectives.” Based upon the Manga by Sakura Kinoshita, and directed by Hiroshi Watanabe (Slayers) and featuring music by Kei Haneoka this is a detective series worth investigating.

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STORY – Rating: 8 (out of 10)
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When I first heard about Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok I didn’t know what to expect. The story revolves around Loki Ragnarok, who wouldn’t have become a detective if it hadn’t have been for banishment by the almighty Odin. At the beginning of the first episode we are introduced to a high school girl named Mayura. She seems a bit slow, and is a little clumsy. She goes into a haunted house and picks up a moving, talking doll, thinking it will make her famous. Like any normal high schooler would do [I}that, and you can quote me on that. The doll is possessed with the loneliness of losing her owner, of decades before, in a tragic fire. She does not know that her owner has died in the fire and thinks that she has been abandoned. This causes her to be filled with rage which she unleashes on Mayura. Luckily Loki was there to save the day, along with his trusted sidekick Yamino. Although Mayura is a little light in the head, Loki and Yamino still find reason to like her as she shows great enthusiasm for their detective agency and decides to join. In the course of the four episodes presented on this volume we are introduced to new allies and enemies as they go on one entertaining spook fest after another. This series may not be on the same quality level as an instant anime classic at this point, but so far things look promising. It is with this in mind that I recommend the show to all anime fans looking for one of the next big things.

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ANIMATION – Rating: 9 (out of 10)
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Stylistically the animation in this series is not on par with the masterwork of Hayao Miyazaki. It doesn’t even compare to the animation of Director Hiroshi Watanabe’s own Slayers. It does however manage to capture the spooky atmosphere of the episodes and the characters, who are not only bizarre but eccentric and entertaining to watch. The images are ripe with detail that demonstrate the wonderful palate of colors that create the visually stunning world of the series.

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AUDIO – Rating: 9 (out of 10)
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Fans of 5.1 surround sound are going to be pleased to know that this release has an English audio track that happens to meet these specifications. Unfortunately supporters of the Japanese dub will not get any special treatment as it only is a 2.0 audio track. Still both language tracks manage to sound good, albeit on different levels. The voice actors were well cast in their roles, in particular the VA for Loki seemed to fit the character better than any other VA I have heard in recent memory.

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EXTRAS – Rating: 8 (out of 10)
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ADV Films always does a good job releasing volumes with an impressive number of bonus materials. The video interview with the Japanese voice actors was insightful into the making of the show and it was nice to meet the people behind the animation. It was basically as nice an extra as you can expect on a single volume release. The character art gallery and ADV previews were nice inclusions, although typical ones. The reverse cover art looked good, although I wouldn’t use it myself as it has no title on the spine.

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OVERALL
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Anime fans looking for something good to come along should get behind this show. Watanabe’s Direction is key to the quirky characters and situations which are interesting and delightful oddities. With four complete episodes and a nice collection of bonus materials, this is a volume worth picking up. I highly recommend this show.