Released by: Madman Entertainment.
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (anamorphic)
With the surface world little help Ichise and Doc are both left with the difficult question of what to do next. They both know it is only a matter of time before Kano and the texhnolyzed army of Shapes come to storm the surface, despite the unconcern exhibited by the surface dwellers about this prospect. Worse yet Doc has discovered everything she has been striving for has been found irrelevant by the very people it was intended to help, in fact Lukuss' entire existance has become more a matter of formality than utility. Ichise sees something else - a chance to help Ran and bring her to a place where her abilities won't torment her with visions of violence. Consequently he resolves to return to Lukuss and bring her back to the surface world.
But Lukuss has been busy while Ichise and Doc were away. The forces tussling far below the Earth's surface have their own ideas on who should be making the journey to the surface and to what end...
So at last this curious series comes to its close. For anyone paying attention around episode 13 the actual end itself isn't a surprise - the series told you quite explicitly what the general outlines were of where it was going. But as always the devil is in the details and quite a bit turns out in ways you just don't expect. Ichise completes his journey shifting from a lone wolf to someone who now actually cares enough about someone else to risk everything to help them. But with the city in complete turmoil his goal is going to be difficult to achieve.
On the technical side we have the usual anamorphic video presentation
as well as clear audio. Sadly the video is marred at Title 03 Chapter 08
0:39:02 by an encoding fault that affects various players thusly :-
The glitch itself persists for around half a second and can be very visible as the Hollywood+ card image shows. I've provided the images as lossless PNG files in the full size versions of them to forestall any arguments that JPEG encoding errors are accentuating the fault.
After three weeks of querying Madman have admitted this is an encoding error in the master, thus is present in all their current copies of the disc. However they consider this to be only a minor error insufficient to warrant replacement of the disc. While some newer players do handle the error better - resulting in a noticeable but minor glitch it is a random crapshoot as to whether your player will.
I am somewhat disappointed by Madman's response here, this isn't a small visual error - how it slipped through quality control in the first place when it should be the kind of fault automated MPEG stream checking software catches is an interesting question. While Madman do indicate that they will fix this in any future pressings of new discs they don't have any plans to do further pressings. Given Texhnolyze's offbeat nature and the likely low sales the economic sense of Madman's response is apparent. But the true test of a company's commitment to quality in my mind is how they handle matters on the lower volume more specialist series like Texhnolyze.
In this test Madman have come up short and it is my recommendation that any collector of the series buy the R1 release of this volume which does not suffer from this issue. Certainly that is what I have done after returning the R4 copy as a defective product. I have to say the lenticular cover is pretty spiffy, featuring a psuedo 3D image of Ran identical to the cover displayed above. It works very well giving a solid 3D effect when viewed.
Finally I have my speculations and observations for this episode online.