Anime DVD Review: Rave Master Volume 1 – The Quest Begins

Rave Master Volume 1 – The Quest Begins is a single disc DVD release that contains the first four episodes of the anime series, Rave Master. When it comes to the episodes on the disc, there are no chapter marks included. If you try to skip ahead, you’ll be taken straight to the beginning of the next episode of the disc.  However, I do have to give Tokyopop some credit for including the episode previews at the end of each episode. But the company definitely put this disc together as a “bare bones” set, and seemed to only put a very minimal effort into the content of the disc.

Rave Master Volume 1 – The Quest Begins
English Publisher: Tokyopop
Format: DVD
Release Date: October 21, 2003

At the beginning of the first episode, we learn that 50 years before the story starts, the world was being corrupted by Dark Bring, evil stones that bestowed incredible powers to those who own them. The Dark Bring were used by the Raregroove Kingdom. The Symphonia Kingdom fought against them with their Holy Bring, which later became known as RAVE. Shiba, the first RAVE master, had attempted to destroy Sinclaire, the “mother” of the Dark Bring with his sword, the Ten Commandments. The aftermath of this attack caused an explosion that has become known as “Overdrive”; this explosion destroyed 1/10th of the known world.

Plue, a special guardian “dog” shielded Shiba from the blast, and Shiba was able to hold on to the RAVE required to power his sword; however, Plue and the remaining pieces of RAVE scattered around the world. Plue is a RAVE bearer, and has the ability to sense other RAVE stones. Plue’s nose also has the ability to destroy Dark Bring, and Plue can utilize the RAVE of Combat which powers himself and the RAVE master up.

50 years later, a 16-year-old named Haru Glory is fishing at GarageIsland, and accidentally fishes up Plue. Shiba arrives on the island and desires to reclaim Plue. A mysterious organization known as Demon Card, which possesses Dark Bring and aim to rule the world, arrive on the island. Haru battles with a member of Demon Card, and Shiba discovers that Haru is the second RAVE master. Shiba ends up entrusting his RAVE, Plue, and the Ten Commandments with Haru. Haru leaves home to try to bring peace back to the world.

While Haru is on his travels, Plue gets away from him. A girl named Elie, who appears to be 16, has no memories; she finds Plue, and tries to protect him from members of Dragon Card who want to put Plue into the dog races. Elie tries to fight them off with her Tonfa guns, but a member of Demon Card makes off with Plue. Elie goes to the races and bets on Plue, and she meets Haru when he comes to rescue Plue. After Elie sees Haru defeating an enemy, she decides to travel with him; Haru offers to help her recover her memories if she helps him destroy the Shadow Stones.

The episodes in this set also introduce Hedara Musica, the leader of a band of thieves named Silver-Rhythm. He has a silver skull around his neck that allows him to manipulate silver to a weapon of his choice.

Demon Card is the main nemesis of Rave Master. This organization was founded by Gale Raregroove and Gale Glory. The organization is known as Demon Card because Glory spelled the sign wrong; he had meant to write “Demon Guard.” After the membership grew too large for the two founders to support, Raregroove started accepting such unsavory jobs as assassinations. Glory didn’t agree with these jobs, so he left Demon Card.

Glory heard they were using Dark Bring, and informed the empire about this, and shared where the organization was located. Even though the first incarnation of Demon Card was wiped out by the empire, Raregroove survived to start a second incarnation of the organization.

When I’m watching this series, I can see that there is some potential in what would have been the original Japanese version. Unfortunately, when the series was brought over and dubbed into English, the writer decided to try to throw in a lot of corny jokes; a lot of the times, the jokes came across as either being forced or feeling rather inappropriate for the scenes they were being used for.

There were also obvious edits made to the dialogue to cover up various situations that would be deemed “inappropriate” for the young viewers this dub was being produced for when Rave Master aired on Cartoon Network. Unfortunately, I have not seen any evidence that the original Japanese version of Rave Master is available for sale anywhere in the United States.

The DVDs that Tokyopop released for Rave Master are now out of print, although used copies can still be found and purchased. In March of 2010, Tokyopop had made the entire series available “on demand” as DVD-Rs through CreateSpace; however, it appears this only lasted for a short time, because six months later, the CreateSpace listing was gone.

So, Rave Master fans who want to legally own any episodes of the series on DVD have to track down the three DVDs released by Tokyopop that contain the first 12 episodes.  While I wouldn’t normally recommend such a “bare bones” and incomplete release to my readers, this is a case where I have to, since this is the only way that any episodes of Rave Master can be obtained legally.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of Rave Master Volume 1 – The Quest Begins that I was given as a gift.

Additional posts about Rave Master:

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