Eden's Bowy Complete Collection (of 1) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, February 11, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, January 06, 2009
A series that had a lot of promise with fantasy elements and journeyman wondering ending up being a very confusing expedition with a very unsatisfactory ending.
What They Say
Yorn gazes up at two massive cities floating in the sky and dreams of discovering their mysteries. Without warning, those mysteries come looking for him! Edenic assassins murder his father and Yorn is next on the hit list. Only a nameless old man and a mysterious young girl can help Yorn on his quest to find his long lost mother... and the truth. Known as the God Hunter, Yorn leads a race against the dark designs of the technological overlords!
I choose to listen to the Japanese 2.0 Stereo for this review. Briefly switching to the English 5.1 Dolby Surround the different was very obvious – which is unfortunately because the Japanese audio is much more natural yet transits very poorly to the screen. In a number of cases, it even dies down to a point where I had to make sure my sound system was working. The English audio is much better, however it does seem to be a case of missing opportunity.
The video is of a very high quality. Originally released in 1999, this boxset released in 2009 gives a very good transaction of video compatibility. It combines hand drawn animation with computer-generated animation (used mainly for the openings, endings and eye catches) which has no distortion between either style in the transition of the video NTSC format. These are shown very fluidly throughout each episode whenever the eyecatches come up, making this a very good visual show.
The packaging is very good, but it also underlines the main problem of the series. It showcases on the front a nice image of…someone…who I cannot recall is any of the main characters in the series. It’s of a long purple haired girl carrying a dog in a state of near undress on a red and white spiralling background. It’s a very colourful and attractive, if simply packaging, with the back above the description some shots of the show, and below some more shots with a nice image of Yorn in front of Seeda. Simple and attractive.
The menu is extraordinary simple, as there isn’t even a title on any of the discs bar the first and simply has the episode numbers on a map like background each disc in black text. Simple, clear and not interesting, but does the job. However, there is no scene selection set up, making this a bare bones menu system.
Nothing is supplied in this collection as extras.
Eden’s Bowy is a series that certainly had a lot of promise being an older generation of series with the art with fantasy elements that definitely had my interest. However, a lot of problems occurred throughout which denied it to be what could have been a really good series.
We are introduced to Yorn, a good old farmer’s kid, living in a world where Edens have been created against the fury of God whose distrust of humans has taken a worse turn. The ‘Edens’ are two cybernetic floating continents, where everyone wishes to go there to live in comfort and luxury. They are Yulgaha, the more high-tech based relying on computers, and Yanuess, using more robotic technology. During one of his wistful moments wishing to get there, Yorn spots a pretty young girl who makes eye-contact with him, which makes an impression on him and can’t get her out of his head. Suddenly, during night-time, two assassins from Yulgaha, a girl named Hairra with claws and a man named Witto, stealthily in the background, kill Yorn’s father and are prepared to kill Yorn for no apparent reason. Suddenly, this same girl reveals herself to them and is able to bless Yorn’s sword to become what is known as a God Hunter, revealing Yorn’s has the powers to slay the gods if he chooses to do so.
The main plot focuses on the girls appearance, her name being Elisiss and her transformed figure Seeda – from cute young girl to very attractive young woman – with the powers of a goddess – and an unnamed older man (his name is only ever revealed in the epilogue as Ulgardyne) who pretty much acts like Yorn’s bodyguard as he’s still not skilled enough with a sword to be aware and face the dangers that he could face. Both continents are after him, Yulgaha is led by a girl named Fenice, who has been told basically that they want the God Hunter killed (though she seems quite hesitant) by three fanatical priests and her unseen father, and on Yanuess’ side, we have Nyako, a catgirl type character who leads her incompetent robot guards Goldoh and Vilog (who provide most of the comic relief for the series) who want to capture the God Hunter to claim his power to help show themselves as the dominant Eden. The other side plots however involve the realisation that his mother who he had thought was dead all this years, was actually alive and known as the Goddess of Foresight (rescued by the same man now protecting Yorn) and the introduction of a rival God Hunter, Spike Randit, whose instinct is to kill all God Hunters no matter how he feels, and is seen as a token rival/opposite of Yorn, who is able to hold his instinct because of his feelings for Elisiss.
The story progresses extremely slowly, and there’s a lot of repetition (the words God Hunter, the scorpion/frog story, the flashbacks of the true relationship between Fenice and Hairra). It is very slow moving, and Yorn is not an exciting lead as despite his energy he sadly does very little as the old man does most of the work, basically not letting him use his power as he becomes very destructive when he loses control of himself. The romance aspect of Yorn/Elisiss is also very toned down, mainly due to the fact as she’s a goddess, the introduction of her sister Enefea (who is cursed as a leopard by her father/God) and the comic element of her being much older when she transforms to Seeda. It in turn, suffers more from the introduction of so many characters makes it hard to lose track as very few are interesting enough to keep the show falling into that trap, with the surprising exception of Goldoh, Vilog and Nyako – technically the shows villains, but as they provide a lot of the comic moments, they at least are interesting in that way.
It also suffers for having one of the most unsatisfying endings ever – when Yorn and the big bad are revealed, the battle happens…and how the battle ends, both in how the big bad is defeated, and the conclusion…it’s a more ‘that’s it?’ feeling than you’re satisfied. Indeed, the resolution between Yorn/Elisiss is handled in such a bad way that it really dampened the show for me. Some characters got more interesting as the show ending (Witto surprisingly was quite a good character once what happens to Hairra reveals itself) and there are some good action moments (such as when Fenice and her friend Sakura become quite badass) but sadly, these are too few and far between.
There are some positives though – whilst the episodes can drag on, and some of the flashbacks are long winded, it does have some good comic moments involving the robot duo, and the war between both the Edens and also between Spike/Yorn do bring some classic moments. Also, whilst long-winded, everything does tie in together by the end so that some things at the start you may have forgotten about (such as Fenice’s father) are revealed nearer the end and is linked someway with one other member of the cast, which is actually quite done quite well. Unfortunately, because it takes so long to get there, it does make the show seem weaker as a lot of stretching out scenes and dialogue really hamper what could have been a classic adventure anime.
Eden’s Bowy will go down as a classic case of a great opportunity wasted. Very few interesting characters combined with a winding plot, confusing sub plots and stretching it out way too long means that the show becomes quite uninteresting. There are a number of redeeming points which can catch the average adventure or comedy fan and colour them interested, but overall, it’s something that you will find hard to get through unless you have a high love for the genre or a lot of patience.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles
Toshiba 37C3030 - 37" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV – Tangent Ht-50 Home Theatre System Multi-Regional DVD Players/Speakers – Tangent Subwoofer 50-150 Hz, Impedenced 8 OHM.
Mania Grade: C
Audio Rating: B-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
Running time: 650
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Eden's Bowy