Eden's Bowy Vol. #5 (of 6) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Saturday, November 15, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2003



What They Say
Our heroes got a hint of Yulgaha's power in the battle for Rubeez, but nothing could have prepared them for the attack on Chanaccare! With terrifying swiftness, bombers unleash destruction on the city below, and Yorn and his friends-not to mention most of his enemies-must run for cover or face certain annihilation. But dodging the bombs won't guarantee their safety. Hairra is to be melted down for scrap. Elisis and the old warrior are kidnapped. And Yorn's about to be soul-sucked and transformed into the ultimate weapon.

War engulfs the world! When the bombs fall, will Parella sacrifice her memories-or her life? Can Fenice save Hairra from destruction? Can God Hunters fly on wooden wings? And will Konyako obey her Aunt and use her prime time TV spot to whip Yanuess into a blood-frenzy or will she choose a different path?



The Review!
With the series racing towards its conclusion, a fair amount of revelations and changes occur as events take on a life of their own.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. Done up in a simple but effective stereo mix, Eden’s Bowy provides a nice bit of range across the forward soundstage with a few good moments of directionality, but otherwise a solid stereo mix. Dialogue was nice and clear throughout and we had no issues with dropouts or distortions.

Video:
Originally broadcast back in 1999, Eden’s Bowy is a nice looking production that avoids much in the way of detail and goes for a simple look. The transfer looks good, though somewhat soft in a number of areas, causing some of it to look grainy. There’s some CG throughout it, and these areas tend to stand out not only because they’re CG, but because there’s a bit of cross coloration showing up in a lot of it. Aliasing is fairly minimal, but does show up in a few areas.

Packaging:
The front cover this round is given over to the two with catgirl features, namely Nyako and Konyako. Both look good here with some nice colors that really make Konyako’s schoolgirl outfit come alive. With the logo going sideways down the right side, the cover wraps all the way all the way around with a faded background image of a map of the world. The back cover has a good summary of the shows premise and a decent listing of the discs technical specs, which are done sideways as well. The insert has a foldout mini poster of Yorn as a little boy with his mother while the reverse side has some information on various characters in the show.

Menu:
The menu changes a bit here to something simple, using the same music but not having the static image that’s used from the mini poster of Yorn and his mother. The episodes are all listed for quick access while everything else is nicely tucked away and easy to get to. Access times are nice and fast and the menus load quickly with no transitional animations.

Extras:
The only extra included on this release is the original Japanese opening. The only thing that makes me wonder if it really is though is the amount of English on it since it essentially looks like the opening we get with most episodes.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After some decent standalone episodes and the beginning of the storyline again with the last volume, we got a bit more interested in the show since it started to feel like it was working right. With the fifth volume, there’s an episode where some plot material is wrapped up (though more for setup for later events) and then three episodes where events start to unravel for most everyone.

The standalone episode brings Fenice (or it could be Fennis depending on whether you go by the subtitles or the credits) back to Yulgaha where she’s demanded that her subordinate Haira be freed based on their previous deal. For a variety of reasons, the council has no intention of doing so and Haira’s body is already been scheduled for termination in three days time. With a mix of memories from the past and events that Fenice starts in the present, we see just how far she’ll go for those she considers a friend. It even causes her to go against her friend and Haira’s brother, Witto over it, though there are some amusing surprises regarding the entire ordeal as it all comes to a close. Fenice gets some good time to be emotional and be the cause of events here, fleshing her out a touch more to the point where I’ll probably remember her name from now on.

Once the show moves past that, everything refocuses on the quick capture of Yorn and his friends by the Yanueas. Captured surprisingly easy all told, the group is separated up once they’re taken up to the floating city. The Old Man is prepped for his energy to be taken while Elisiss is kept in some kind of secure children’s room where she sits and contemplates. Her sister, in panther form, is kept in an even more secure area that inhibits her use of her powers. Yorn has the most to worry about though.

One of the main reasons the Yanueas wanted him was so that they could extract the powerful energy that’s emanating from him as a God Hunter so that they could put it all into a massive bomb to take down their enemy once and for all. Of course, taking all that energy from him will result in his death as well, but that’s just a side effect to the procedure in their minds. Yorn rails against this but there’s little his words can say. During the time prior to when they’ll take his energy, he ends up spending time with Konyako talking about how he’s still unsure of what’s really going on. This sets up a series of events where Konyako finally starts to question what her aunt is doing.

While Nyako and her advisors begin whipping Yanueas into a frenzy demanding for war against a people who don’t want war, Spike ends up rescuing Yorn from their clutches and hides him away in an abandoned factory area. The two spend nearly an entire episode in debate and talks with each other over their proper place in the scheme of things and why it’s their nature to kill gods. The two of them are definitely opposites, but you can also see elements of each of them in the other, which certainly must bother them both to no end.

With the clichéd line of violence and war being required to achieve peace, both sides of this growing conflict become irreversibly involved in events that brings the war to the homes of everyone in both cities. With that becoming increasingly violent, the final episodes of the series look to be beset with some of the worst fighting of the series so far.

In Summary:
The storyline manages to pick up again decently after the enjoyable standalone episodes of the previous volume. But there are things that are just boring me to tears. If I have to hear about the frog and the scorpion again I’m going to stomp on them both. Much of what’s being bandied about as policy and such is just cliché ridden and a bit tiresome but amusing at the same time. The show has left me much as I felt after the first three, so it’s at least conistent.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Original Japanese Opening

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: C+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Eden's Bowy