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DVD Review: Ga-Rei-Zero Collection

A prequel to the popular manga by Hajime Segawa!

Ga-Rei-Zero CollectionThis anime series comes with an extra tag line of will you kill someone you love, because of love? And that is an interesting question to ask, even after seeing the first couple of episodes. Love can mean anything here, friendship, the love of being in a relationship, or the love of a brother or sister. The first disc is more about Toru, Kagura and Yomi, as their love for each other is what can be either their salvation or their undoing.

Ghost Hunt could be the nearest series to this one with its team of paranormal investigators going deeper into the dangerous world of spirits, ghosts and demons. This series though has a few surprises with the story and animation as the team assigned to tackle spirits, known as phantoms here consist of Toru, Natsuki, Masaki, Kudo, Mami and Yomi. If viewers are to fully enjoy it they will have to learn to expect the unexpected as the phantoms aren’t to be taken lightly, not when they can become invisible, hacking and slicing into the team with a ferocity that wouldn’t be out of place in Resident Evil.

Ga-Rei-Zero Collection pic 3

When the local army forces can’t control a difficult paranormal situation where they come in contact with a phantom or phantoms, the SDCD or the Supernatural Disaster Countermeasure Division intervene and sort out the threat. It helps that the members can see as well as sense the phantoms, and are experts in exorcism. The phantoms are referred to as categories, A, B, C, or D in destructive or malevolence levels, and in this show viewers will get to see the full gamut of phantoms mentioned. From a huge fiery salamander, to a series of what are called latchers – spirit entities who latch themselves onto dead human’s heads to bring them back to life in order to control them and kill other living humans.

The main focus of the series is Toru Kanze and Natsuki Kagura who are two of the SDCD members. Toru has a troubled past and viewers find that out by watching a series of flashbacks that show what haunts him, trouble followed by phantom butterflies. These images are graphic and he finds it hard to shake the feelings he gets when he remembers what happened before, even now. Kagura and Yomi have a different story, they act like sisters, though when Yomi is out on an assignment, she is taken over by a phantom – and develops an intention to kill all the members of her former team. Kagura is shocked when she is confronted by Yomi who intends to kill her too. A nice touch comes from a flashback couple of episodes where Kagura looks back on when she first met Yomi. The tale is heartwarming, theatrical and funny in some scenes.

Ga-Rei-Zero

As Yomi is intended to be Toru’s future wife, he isn’t so happy about the marriage his father has pre-arranged for him. He isn’t in love with her but he is expected to not have any other girlfriends while this arrangement stands, and his fellow members of the SDCD can’t understand why he isn’t even close to her. He has his own reasons, and viewers will get the impression he isn’t ready for having a girlfriend, let alone a wife as he is so young – even if he is intelligent and has responsibilities. Now that Yomi has been taken over, she is seen as a category A threat and has to be killed by the team. Kagura finds she can’t bring herself to fight her, though if she wants to stay alive, she will have to.

The team use several means to search out the phantoms, and pipe foxes are entities that some will recognize. The first time many viewers will have seen a pipe fox is in Clamp’s xxxHolic as it belonged to exotic shop owner Yuko. In Ga-Rei-Zero, there are a lot more pipe foxes, a whole family of them in fact who sport several red eyes and act as lookouts for the SDCD. Each one of them has their own weapons, and their own looks. Kagura has a sword called Michael, wears a sailor girl uniform and munches Pocky in between kills. Yomi has her own sword, and also has a spirit who helps her find and kill the phantoms which resembles a huge lion with many eyes and sharp teeth.

The feeling you get through the start of this series is that someone is out to get the team, as the phantoms are becoming more and more powerful. They view that there has to be a person or persons behind the scenes who bears a grudge against them, and wants to see the SDCD disbanded. As the story is centred around the |SDCD for the most part, there are enough characters to go around, and learn of through the whole series.

Ga-Rei-Zero Collection

Details:

Release date: 22 April 2013

Label: MVM Entertainment Ltd

Certificate: 15

Running time: 300 mins

Genre: Anime

Director: Ei Aoki

Author Profile: 

Sandie has a keen interest in Anime, Manga and all things Japanese. Her interests other than reviewing are Japanese Language, dress and culture, liking Harajuku Girls, Gothic Lolita, folding some neat Origami, drawing her own Manga characters, writing her own Manga stories and everything in between.

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