Captain N Series DVD Boxset

posted by Jabo Blog
Captain N was a show many children watched in the late 1980's, when Nintendo ruled the world. It will come as no shock that being part of that generation means I have a special place for this particular series. Many fans have eagerly awaited the release on February 27th, 2007.

Our friends at Shout! Factory managed to acquire the rights to this series after a long battle over licensing the series from Nintendo. Rumor had it Nintendo didn't want much to do with this long forgotten television series. Licensing is a common problem with series from the 80's and 90's unfortunately.

But does this show hold up today?

I thought this show had particularly good cast of characters, and it was a good break from the Mario mania that was getting overplayed at the time. The writing for this show was average - most of the shows clearly were intended to tell a story in a short amount of time and very little was done to develop the individual characters beyond each episode. So from an entertainment aspect the writing was very good as each episode was new and 'exciting' but this kind of formula generally does not hold up well over time as you need to develop characters and legitimate plot in order to really get a greater appeal and longevity. I think these are some of the reasons the show was short lived at only being two seasons each of which are in this box set.

In shorter words, I think the entertainment value for a Nintendo fan is definitely still there. If you like the cast of characters you will heavily enjoy the adventures they go through, and I've always found the portrayal of Simon Belmont to be very entertaining.

What exactly am I getting into with this box set?

When you get this box set you are buying the complete series, two seasons spanned out over four discs, which makes it about 7 episodes give or take on each disc. Since there are many aspects to a DVD in terms of entertainment and collectible value let's break down and go over a few key ones in a little more detail.

Boxart - The box is black on the front with a nicely detailed picture of Kevin, the main character. On the back appears to be again updated artwork of the larger set of characters with a nicely written introduction on the series. Overall I thought the box was very well put together, nothing over the top, but very good.

Menus - I thought the artwork used in the menus were rather average, I'm not sure if there was sufficient funding to get new artwork done for this release. The layout is a background image with foreground text -- bonus points are awarded for using a retro 80's font for the text as well as a mosaic menu transition, which is again retro.

Audio - I wasn't expecting a lot here beyond an English track in Dolby Stereo, and it met my expectations. I'm actually glad they didn't do anything silly like try to give a remixed track so for that alone bonus points are awarded for not reinventing the wheel.

Video - The video as you can guess is 4:3 full frame, quality however is one area I felt let down. Restoring frames from film is a dirty job and often very costly. In the DVD video you can often lots of the original film grain, as a result there is compression artifacts on top of this in certain situations. I would say the transfer to DVD was successful, there aren't any interlacing issues for example, but I really do not see much evidence of significant time spent in restoration.

Extras - I wasn't actually expecting any extras for this release, they are more or less character bios and videoland tours with a voice narrator. I realize the expectation level has to be realistic considering how old this series was, but the extras didn't really interest me much but its better than having nothing else for nostalgia.

Final Thoughts

Overall I consider this above average considering the audience for this release will be limited. They did a good job providing a solid menu and decent encoding to DVD, but there is nothing beyond that.

You may never see a series like this again where Simon Belmont, Kid Icarus, Megaman, Eggplant Wizard coming together on a cartoon series. One of the best aspects of this show is the characters and the adventures they have in placed themed after various Nintendo games. I'll never quite understand why they added Gameboy in the second season, he didn't really add much to the series and he couldn't talk for crying out loud!

Anyway if you are a Nintendo fan like me, this is worth getting a hold of either for rental or purchase depending on your level of commitment to enjoying this brand.
Comments 3

squall_leonhart 1189833027000 #1

I LOVED THIS SHOW!, what with the different characters. and everything!!!

it rocked.... alas they don't show the treasures like this on cartoon shows anymore, they prefer to show poorly drawn american anime

Lol_man 1327251698000 #2

I have never knew nintendo ruled the world once? What year again was it when they did?So i thought they didnt....
REPLY updated 1707274633000

Iconoclast 1327355745000 #3

lol man...

haha, damn, I think that's squall but I'm not certain

Um, I didn't know there was such thing as American anime, but with stuff like DBZ, lmao, the frekkin' manga was animated better than that shit.