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Speed Racer Volume 4

Speed Racer Volume 4 contains episodes 37 through 44 of the Speed Racer anime series. While there may only be eight episodes included on the disc, there were no special features included on this release.

The version of the set that I purchased was a limited edition version that was packaged with a toy car replica of the Mach 5. However, the little Mach 5 doesn't make up for the fact that the disc itself was lacking bonus features.

Unlike the previous three Speed Racer episode DVDs, this volume actually includes chapter marks that are usable by the viewer. It was nice to be able to skip over the opening and ending credits for a change when I was watching the disc so I could write about it for this review.

One of the biggest drawbacks, however, is that trailers were actually tacked on at the beginning of the disc. While this in and of itself wasn't a bad thing, the trailers were designed so the viewer couldn't simply skip over them. Even if you use the fast forward button on your remote, the disc would stop fast forwarding when it hit the next trailer. Also, the amount of trailers tacked on to the beginning of the disc was excessive.

I can also say that the main menu for this release was also an improvement over the first three volumes. When the main menu starts up, there is some animation that happens before the menu pops up. On the first three discs, it would just open up to the menu right away. Having the animation before the main menu appears was a nice change of pace, and it made the menu a little more interesting.

Another thing of interest about this disc is the fact that there was only one two-part episode included on it. The first two discs were made up completely of multiple-part episodes, while the third disc had four multiple-part episodes and five stand-alone episodes. So, having this eight episode disc only contain one multiple-part episode made this volume a different viewing experience from the previous three.

I would definitely recommend this DVD to a fan of the Speed Racer anime series, even though it lacks any special features. Obviously, for those fans who want to own every episode on DVD, this release is a "must have."

Since you don't necessarily need to watch the episodes in chronological order for the series to make sense, a casual fan could choose to purchase this disc and skip the others. However, I would recommend purchasing all of the Speed Racer DVDs in order to have the complete series on DVD.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that my husband and I purchased.

The Terrifying Gambler
The Secret Invaders (Part 1)
The Secret Invaders (Part 2)
The Man Behind the Mask
The Car Destroyer
The Desperate Racer
The Dangerous Witness
Race the Laser Tank

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