Exactly what Black Heaven should be!
Otto Cargill | Bakersfield, California USA | 01/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A good anime series should have likeable characters, strong plot, good music and should leave you begging for more until the series end. Legend of Black Heaven Volume 2 Space Truckin does this like any rock and roller would, loud and aggressively.While the first volume did a good job introducing the various characters, Oji, his wife and son, Ms. Yuki the space agent vixen, her three bubbly associates and the rest of the gang, Volume Two is where the series really really grabs the viewer. Space Truckin' is exactly what Legend of Black Heaven needed to keep the viewers interest.Oji has been continuing his guitar playing for the space fleet however when the new song he devises fails to activate the super weapon, the fact that he has been used by the fleet to destroy the enemy is revealed to him and he quits. Now Ms. Yuki and her agents must race to convince Oji that he must take the guitar and the cause back up in order to preserve their race and prevent the war from spreading to Earth.Space Truckin' made me really feel for Oji. While Volume one made me like him and want him to help protect the fleet and fix things up with his family, it wasn't until he realizes that he is fighting that the sympathy was truly there. The viewer is swept up in his feelings and we root for his return to the guitar when he puts it down for what he claims is forever.The art seems to have improved over Volume One, with the strange panning effects being not as noticable. However the space battles seem tacked on quality wise. I like that Pioneer is trying to expand it's art into the computer generated realm but compared to the rest of the art, anything happening in space does not feel right and does not seem to fit.The voice acting is better than normally expected and each character takes on a believable dub that is fairly close to the original voices though the dubbing does take liberties with the original script. The story is still presented strongly but watching the dub with subtitles on can make for interesting times where what the character is verbally saying and what they were originally saying can differ a good deal.The music continues to be one of the best parts of this series. Though Cautionary Warning is used extensively, when Oji debuts his new song the quality of the music increases tenfold. Legend of Black Heaven easily demonstrates how powerful a soundtrack can be when used properly.If you have not yet picked up the first volume, buy it and this one if only to get to the second volume, it'll be worth the investment."
"...the greatest sound you'll ever hear!!"
C. W. Fitch | Wichita Falls, TX | 05/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The second volume of this incredibly bizarre but surprisingly cool series is an emotional one, to say the least. Lead character Oji Tanaka finally finds out the truth about the "weird nightclub" he's been visiting most every night to play his guitar. Not only that, but he also finds out that the music he's been playing isn't needed for the music itself; only for the sound it makes. Sound confusing? If so, then you should've watched Volume 1. Anyway, this volume of "Black Heaven" is an improvement over the first; the story starts getting pretty interesting by the end of the last episode, and I thought the animation was a little better as well, though it's still just below average. The computer-coloring helps it out, but not much. But, as before, the appeal's not in the animation, but in the story itself. If you've seen volume 1, you know what I mean. This is a great series with an absolutely awesome hard-rock soundtrack, and I'm rubbing my hands together awaiting the next installment. Watching this series got me started listening to the music of both Michael Schenker (who happens to be Oji's "idol") and John Sykes, who performs the opening theme. (Isn't it great when anime opens up doors to new musical worlds?) All you anime fans out there, keep your eyes on this one. It comes with a high recommendation for just about anyone who's into the big-eyed cartoons."