DVD Review: Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse – Part 2
16/10/2015 Leave a comment
The infestation of the beta continues in the second half of Muv-Luv but can the series save itself from disaster? find out in our DVD Review of Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse – Part 2
Even in the face of annihilation by the invading BETA forces, the persistent hostilities between the surviving nations continue to undermine mankind’s chances for survival. Desperate to gain the Type 99, the Soviet Command puts not only their own pilots but the rest of the human race on the firing line as they sabotage the Kamchatka base self-destruct codes in an attempt to salvage the railgun for their own purposes.
Caught in the crossfire, Yuuya, Yui, and the other TSF pilots must fight their way to safety through a nightmarish series of traps and counter-traps before the base is bombed or the BETA take them all. Only a series of heroic sacrifices can save them, and that’s just the beginning of the danger. The mysterious arrival of an unidentified TSF and an escalating competition to dominate the new world’s power and military structures ignite a new chain of events that further threaten to undercut humanity’s chances.
For better or for worse the second instalment of Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse manages to attract your attention; but unfortunately in all of the wrong ways. What was initially sold as a fight-for-human-survival soon turns out into a bloody violent harem filled with fan-service, plot-twists and more dreary dialogue that you could ever wrap your head around. Prepare to suit-up, strap-in and witness the most bizarre anime viewing experience since the end of evangelion.
Picking-up right where the first half of Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse ended we see Yuuya Bridges and Yui Takamura attempting to survive the onslaught of the beta invading the base; meanwhile other members of the JSF Test Pilot crew are trying to uncover the truth behind this mysterious attack. For the most part it’s an onslaught of bloody violence, mech fights and constant struggle for survival; everything we came to expect from the series during its inital opening episodes in the first part of the series; however once again this ‘survival’ fades out when the members of the JSF test pilot crew manage to survive and find themselves joining forces with other nations to create the best mecha unit.
In a sense this is where the show starts to fall to pieces; as for the next bunch of episodes we see emotional awkward moments between Yuuya, Yui, Cryska, Inia and Cui including an entirely naked bath scene. Its not the ‘im falling in love with a team member’ or ‘i am trying to understand my feelings’ scenario that’s disappointing; its just the timing and how it is played out. For instance one moment we see the characters fending for survival and then it time jumps, so to speak, to another area whereby each of the girls in the show have some form of crush on Yuuya Bridges. Cui for instance, after losing to him in a test battle, states that she will be his bride and that they are a couple; when they aren’t. It’s distracting, disappointing and – in more ways than one – completely disconnects you from the show at hand; which at this point is where the show picks-up again and not in the way you’d imagine.
With relationships between Yuuya and the female cast at a stalemate the remaining episodes in the show tend to focus on more ‘sinister’ and ‘evil’ motives; as a group known as the RLF enters the fray and attempts to take control of the whole facility. Basically we’ve gone from fighting alien invaders, to a harem, to then fighting each other until we come full circle at fight another beta invasion. Plenty of violence is ensured but it all feels wasted when there’s no real meaning behind it all; other than the fact the RLF want revenge for what the government did to them in refugee camps; but at this point why would we even care when it’s the story of the test pilots and their beta struggles that have had the attention.
It’s not all disappointing mind you; the fight scenes between mecha and beta are – at least – entertaining and evidences of Yuuya’s past actions, and why he became a test pilot, are revealed; but as a whole its a more disappointing and lack luster collection of episodes than that of the first half.
As with most titles released by MVM Entertainment the only bonus features are a selection of trailers for other anime shows and the opening and closing animations in text less form.
The trailers included are No Game No Life, which is expected for release on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK by MVM Entertainment, Brynhildr in the Darkness and final Black Bullet, which is getting released by into the UK by Manga/Animtasu Entertainment. All three trailers tend to use various footage from the show with music slapped on top; but its better than nothing.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:29:11 (Disc 1), 2:28:52 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse – Part 2 is another relatively deceptive half of the series whereby just when you’ve come to grasp what it offers the storyline changes and offers something different. An un-romantic harem bathed in blood and plot-twists is what’s on offer here and while some part of the story is pretty good, such as the conspiracy that enabled the beta to invade the base and the RLF taking action, the overall presentation and progression is just pretty woeful.
This presentation also extends itself onto the DVD whereby the visual quality is ‘just’ on par with what you would expect from a DVD release by MVM Entertainment but even upscaled on a Blu-ray Player (or PS3) the disc quality isn’t much of an improved; unlike the HD native variation of the show. The Dubbing work by Sentai Filmworks isn’t anything special either; as while the English dub voice work is the same from the previous set their representation of the character is nothing to brag about and feels like all their other Sentai Filmwork produced shows. Just like the show itself it is tolerable.
As with most Sentai Filmwork shows the best way to watch Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse is in its original Japanese format with English Subtitles; but you will need to pay attention as the acronyms and their meanings (such as JSF, X-JSF, RLF etc) are thrown around quite abit – especially in the later stages, and it can potentially become confusing as to whats transpiring if you haven’t being paying attention. In regards to the subtitles however then they operate as normal with no problems or issues – the same can be said for the audio tracks and disc menu; it all works as you expected.
Overall in my eyes Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse – Part 2 is another series released into the UK by a distributor; there’s nothing special about it and it does what it says on the box – provides you with twelve episodes of anime entertaining in sub and dub format; it’s just a shame that the show itself isn’t anything that great – other than a few ‘entertaining’ moments at the start and later stages of the show. Fans of Earth Defence Force (EDF) however may want to take an interest; as the mecha and alien fights are pretty much what you would expect from the game.
Muv Luv Alternate: Total Eclipse – Part 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 19th October 2015.