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Starzinger: The Movie Collection

Score: 70%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Shout! Factory
Region: 1
Media: DVD/2
Running Time: 326 Mins.
Genre: Anime/Sci-Fi
Audio: English 2.0

Starzinger: The Movie Collection brings together the three films that make up the Starzinger saga, a space opera adaptation of the classic Chinese legend Journey to the West. If the art style of Starzinger is familiar, but you canít quite nail down the look, then you might be interested to know that Leiji Matsumoto, the artist behind Space Battleship Yamato, also known as Star Blazers in America, was behind this 1970ís anime.

The first movie, Starzinger, starts off with the galaxy under siege by evil mutants. These mutants were created because a force that infuses everything, Galaxy Energy, is failing. This energy emanates from a world at the center of the galaxy called the Great Planet and it seems that the queen who controls the energy is failing.

Princess Aurora is tasked by her guardian, Dr. Kitty, to travel to the Great Planet and replace the queen. It seems Aurora, the last of the moon people, has the rare gift for controlling Galaxy Energy and she is the only one who can restore balance to everything.

Before Aurora can really get started on her journey, she must gather three guardians. She first picks up a renowned but hot-headed cyborg named Jan Kugo. The pair soon meet their next guardian, a cyborg in green armor named Don Hakka. Their last companion is Sir Jogo, a third cyborg. Together, the four start to head to the Great Planet and it seems every evil mutant between Earth and the galaxyís center is bent on keeping them from getting there.

Starzinger II is the partyís final push to their destination, but there is one major threat in their way, Queen Lacet and her army led by a female cyborg named Beramis. The confrontation with the army takes up a majority of this film, and things get more complicated when Aurora decides to surrender herself in order to save her friends. What she doesnít realize is that Lacet wants Aurora in order to drain the princess of her Galaxy Energy and control all of the worlds herself.

Even when the group finally defeats Queen Lacet, their way to the Great Planet isnít clear. A strange energy being patrols the area around the planet and there will be some serious sacrifices made in order to finally reach their goal.

Starzinger III starts off right after Princess Aurora enters the Great Planetís palace and restores balance to the galaxy, but it seems something is wrong. Jan Kugo, Don Hakka and Sir Jogo are summoned back. It turns out Aurora herself isnít in danger, but they were brought back to receive a message from Dr. Kitty back on Earth. It seems a new princess has crashed on Earth, and she is seeking help. Now that Aurora has established her presence on the Great Planet, she can leave it, which is convenient since the cyborgs need her to explore an area of the galaxy that is still out of balance.

The enemies in this new area are so bad that Jan Kugo ends up getting an upgrade that allows him to grow and shrink, a power he will have to use several times. Aurora also get a new ability as she can now concentrate the Galaxy Energy into a beam. Meanwhile, the two remaining cyborgs take a somewhat backstage, semi-comedic relief role.

Starzinger: The Movie Collection will appeal to those that enjoy the older anime styles like Voltron or Robotech, but anyone expecting a more modern style might find the visual style of Starzinger hard to overcome. The collection has a lot of content since each movie clocks in at around two hours, but it doesnít have any special features. What you see is what you get.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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