Freedom 6—Bandai Visual (HD DVD)

Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4.25/5
Extras: 3/5

Takeru vows to return to the moon. Will he meet with destiny-or disaster? Find out in the final episode of the FREEDOM saga. Mankind's fate now lies in a lunar colony no one believed existed. But will the man on moon take kindly to the people on earth?

This is advertised as the last of the series but the ending leaves the series open ended if that is indeed the case. This episode had a bit more excitement than the last few and is a back and forth over the events of the last two years as Takeru and Biz seek to rebuild a rocket to journey back to the moon.

All of this series has looked great on HD DVD and this is no exception. It looks like this will be the last HD DVD I review and it is a nice one to go out on. Detail is excellent and the mix of cell and CG animation is excellent. Colors have lots of pop and the depth of image is excellent. I did see some minor banding in the last few minutes of the film, but it was pretty subtle. I’ve heard rumors that this whole series may be released on the Blu-ray format sometime next year so we’ll keep our eyes out for that.

The Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 mix is a bit more dynamic than the last few episodes and has a surprising level of low bass. The soundstage has an open quality but I’m still a bit distracted by the over dramatic dubbing in Japanese. The voice work’s tone seems a bit silly and over the top at times. Overall though, this is a great soundtrack for a project of this size.

Extras include a look at this episode as well as a picture-in-picture feature that shows you the animation sans the CG work to get an idea of how seamlessly they integrated the styles. The title also have interconnectivity for more downloadable features.

This was a good series overall but I’m a bit disappointed with the climax. There is still a lot to be resolved but it doesn’t seem like we’ll see it. Bandai did a great job with this series though and continues to deliver solid A/V presentations. Guess we’ll see how it fares on Blu-ray down the line.