Eden's Bowy Complete Collection Collection (Thinpak) - Mania.com



Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C+

0 Comments | Add

 

Rate & Share:

 

Related Links:

 

Info:

  • Audio Rating: D/B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: TV PG
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 39.98
  • Running time: 650
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Eden's Bowy

Eden's Bowy Complete Collection Collection (Thinpak)

By Mike Dungan     November 28, 2006
Release Date: November 08, 2005


Eden's Bowy Complete Collection Collection (Thinpak)
© ADV Films


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 in this action packed fantasy adventure!

The Review!
A young boy discovers he has the power to slay gods, which doesn't sit well with the gods.

Audio:
For review purposes, I listened to this series in its English dubbed format. The first disc suffers from a strange mixing problem in that all the English dialogue is hollow and tinny. No matter where the dialogue is being spoken, whether it's in a large hall, an open plain or a city street, it sounds exactly like what it is: someone in a very small sound booth speaking into a microphone. It was so bad, the first time I watched it, I actually stopped the DVD and checked my speakers to see if they were blown. Only by switching to the Japanese track was I assured it wasn't a problem with my sound setup. Fortunately, whatever the reason was for the lack of mixing, it's resolved on the other 4 discs, with good natural sound in all scenes.

Video:
The character designs are fairly simple but still look good. The colors are a bit soft and occasionally grainy, but there's very little cross-coloration or aliasing. The little bit of CG animation used does tend to standout, it's smoothness in contrast with the simple animation.

Packaging:
The box is a sturdy chipboard box, in keeping with the rest of ADV's thinpak series. The characters are set against a light-blue and aquamarine swash of background colors. One side of the box is Yorn, Elissis and Seeda, the other side is Spike and Denilmo. All of the technical specifications are listed on the bottom of the box. The five thinpak covers use a beige cartographic background motif with characters against them. Like the box cover images, they are very bright with a thick black line around them. While they all look good, my favorite cover is the second one with Fenice and Sakura in Chinese-style clothing. The back covers use super-deformed images of the characters and circular screencaps with the episode numbers and titles between them. The DVD artwork is simple, using the cartography background silk-screened onto the disc with the show's title and volume number on it.

Menu:
The menus use the beige cartography background with episode numbers and episode titles on the right side of the screen. There is no transition animation and everything loads quickly.

Extras:
As with the rest of ADV's thinpak collections, there are no extras. Previews for other ADV series are on the first disc only.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Yorn is a young boy living a simple life with his father on a farm in a slightly medieval looking world. Roaming the world above them are two giant floating cities, known collectively as Eden. Yorn dreams of moving to one of the Edens, where the living is supposed to be easy. But in the meantime, he's happy to work the farm with his dad. One night, two people come to the farm and attempt to kill him, claiming he is a God Hunter. His father sacrifices himself to save his son, but it's only temporary. A girl arrives and takes Yorn's sword, drives it through her hand, and it transforms into a powerful. The girl herself is also able to transform into a tall, beautiful woman, but Yorn doesn't see it. She drives back the attackers, and when Yorn isn't looking, transforms back into the young girl. The girl doesn't speak, but Yorn has recently seen her around, lurking in the background around town. Another person arrives, an old man who was a friend of Yorn's father. He tells Yorn that his mother is still alive and but in hiding. He regrets arriving too late to save his old friend, but if Yorn will trust him, he'll take him to his mother. The three set off together.

The two assassins are from the larger of the two floating cities, Yulgaha. Yulgaha looks a lot like America of the 1950s, with similar music and cars and architecture. However, the city uses magic to keep itself airborne, and magic is a popular avenue of study. The two assassins are a mechanical puppet named Hairra and her handler, Witto. They are commanded by a young woman named Fenice. Fenice works for her father, Agumaika, and Agumaika reports to a panel of six magicians. Finally, they serve Rumesavia, the reclusive leader of Yulgaha. The other floating city of Yanuess, though smaller, is no less powerful than Yulgaha. It's a city of mechanical wonders. Nearly everyone is mechanically augmented in some way. It's led by Nyako Mikenika, a smart and very competent catgirl. She's dispatched two warriors to find the God Hunter and capture him, so they can use his power to defeat Yulgaha. The two Yanuess soldiers are Vilogg and Goldo. While they are very strong fighters, they are completely hopeless at directions. They are constantly lost, and their inability to get the point of a story means they can never get themselves unlost, either. They're clearly the comedy relief of this series, but surprisingly, they actually succeed at being funny. Their conversations are hilarious, and the English actors who play them, Robert Kraft and Ron Berry, are highlights of the dub.

Back on the surface, Yorn, the girl and the Old Man (who is only known as Old Man) continue to the town of Rubeet, where Yorn's mother is hiding. The old man saved her from Yulgaha and hid her there until he could bring Yorn back to her. She is the Princess of Foresight, and her precognitive abilities are essential to Yulgaha's plans. She was taken from Yorn when he was still a very young child and imprisoned in a tower on Yulgaha. Yorn was taken down to the surface where he was adopted by his father and raised on the farm away from prying eyes. Meanwhile, the girl continues to transform into the adult Seedas and helps out the two travelers when they need her the most. It's clear that neither Yorn nor the Old Man are the sharpest tools in the shed, since they never figure out that the girl and the woman are the same person. The girl finally begins to talk and they learn her name is Elissis. She talks after an encounter with a white leopard in a forest. The leopard has been raiding a nearby village and Yorn and the Old Man attempt to kill it for them. But Elissis defends it, calling the cat her sister. During that hunt, Yorn also meets Spike, a young man who claims he is another God Hunter.

On Yulgaha, we learn more about the assassin Hairra and her handler Witto. Hairra is a puppet, a mechanical device that moves according to the whims of its master. But Hairra wasn't always a puppet. She was once Witto's sister. Fenice, who now commands them, was once Hairra's best friend and Witto's girlfriend. However, the relationship between Hairra and Witto went beyond what was appropriate for a brother and sister. Witto's single-minded determination to create puppets while ignoring safety precautions led to an estrangement between Fenice and the siblings. Witto's experiment took a tragic turn when one of the puppets killed her and Witto was arrested. However, Witto wasn't going to let his sister go that easily, and tried to recreate her as a puppet. Fenice's father Agumaika, seeing the potential for the government of having a puppet army, freed him from prosecution if he agreed to build Hairra for the government's use. When Fenice graduated from college, Witto and Hairra were put under her command.

When Yorn, Elissis and the Old Man finally made it to Rubeet, the town was empty and Yorn's mother was gone. The Yulgaha army arrived and tried to take them under arrest. After a stand off, the Old Man finally learned that the Princess of Foresight had left already in an attempt to evade the army. Meanwhile, Agumaika sent Fenice and her assistant Sakura down to Rubeet to succeed in capturing the Princess and killing the God Hunter if the army failed. With the army in town, Fenice and Sakura undercover, and the six magicians of Yulgaha attempting to use Spike, the other God Hunter against Yorn, it turns into a giant battle that ravages the city. Even Elissis' sister, the white leopard, joins the battle. Elissis is forced to transform into Seeda in front of Yorn to save his life. By doing so, she reveals she is a god, the enemy of the God Hunter. She saves Yorn's life, but his trust in her is shattered. Unfortunately, they are not able to save the Princess, who is recaptured and returned to Yulgaha.

While Fenice and Sakura were on the surface, Fenice's father, Agumaika, stages a rebellion and attempts to take over the Yulgaha government. The coup is quickly crushed and he is taken prisoner. When Fenice and Sakura return, Sakura is promoted to her father's old position. However, since the Hairra puppet was a covert operation of her father's planning, the puppet is ordered decommissioned and destroyed. Fenice tries, and fails to stop it, but disobeying orders, and being the daughter of the chief conspirator, she is continually forgiven and even promoted.

The Yanuess scouts, Vilogg and Goldo continue their pursuit of the God Hunter, but considering their sense of direction, they're not doing very well. They arrive at Chanakkare, which they mistake for Rubeet. Nyako, the leader of Yanuess, comes down to the surface to take command herself, but is caught up in their bumbling herself. While in Chanakkare, a highly industrialized city that is loyal to Yanuess, she learns that their pollution filtration system is malfunctioning. If the pollutants build up enough, they could trigger the missile defense system and it could launch an unprovoked attack on Yulgaha. The plane bringing the replacement parts crashed in a forest, and the attempt by Vilogg and Goldo to retrieve it has its usual results. However, in the city, a woman named Parella uses her own mecha to go into the forest and retrieve the missing parts. Nyako knows Parella, a brilliant engineer who dropped out of society to live on the surface. Meanwhile, Yanuess is left in the capable hands of Nyako's niece, Konyako Persia, a junior high school aged catgirl who is tops in her class, leader of the student council, and now acting commander in chief. And let's not forget her volunteer work. She has more intelligence and common sense than the entire Yanuess ruling council.

With the Princess of Foresight back on Yulgaha, Yorn and the Old Man sneak onto the floating city to save her. They run into Elissis, and both act awkward around each other. But Yorn decides to trust her again, since he understands that she's never done anything to hurt him. When he and the Old Man are about to rescue his mother, Spike again shows up, having been brought to Yulgaha by the priests. When the two God Hunters fight, their swords resonate with a power so great, it causes an earthquake and a large section of the city falls to the ground, taking Yorn, Spike, the Old Man and Elissis with it. On the ground, Vilogg and Goldo see this and rush to the scene, where they are able to capture Yorn and bring him to Nyako in Chanakkare. Nyako's plan is the take the life-force from Yorn, turn it into a missile and use it against Yulgaha. Yorn will die in the process, but it's all for the greater good of Yanuess. Parella, however, holding a grudge against both Yanuess and Yulgaha, frees him with one of her mecha. He's reunited with the Old Man and Elissis, but the joy is short lived when Rumesavia, the ruler of Yulgaha, decides to kill Yorn once and for all by bombing the city of Chanakkare. The city is leveled and a lot of good people die. The bombing of Chanakkare leads to war between the two Edens. While all this is going on, Spike arrives and has one more battle with Yorn to determine who is the real God Hunter, since there is only supposed to be one. He seems to have a real problem with Yorn and Elissis being together. After the battle, he reveals his story to the leopard. He met a young woman named Denilmo when he was younger. She simply met him at a market, went home with him, and stayed. They were happy together. Then he found out she was a god. She was only supposed to keep an eye on him from heaven, but fell in love with him instead. So she left heaven to be with him, despite the fact that he's a God Hunter. His only reason for being is to kill gods. He never counted on falling in love with a god. He rejects his instincts to kill her, and they leave on a journey together. However, the instinct to kill her is too much and their love ends tragically. He knows a God Hunter can't love a god, and that's why he's trying to kill Yorn. He's trying to be the greatest God Hunter ever so the death of Denilmo won't be in vain. The leopard, feeling nothing but pity for Spike, leaves him with a warning to never hurt Elissis.

Both sides in the war still desire the power of Yorn, and in a three-way cliffside battle, Yorn and the Old Man are captured by Yanuess while Elissis and the leopard are captured by Yulgaha. We finally learn that Elissis is the daughter of Rumesavia, a god who has come to Earth to rule the humans with an iron fist. She has been watching over the God Hunter, but like Denilmo before her, she fell in love with her charge and left heaven to be with him. Rumesavia adores Elissis and is trying to kill Yorn, not only for his own protection, but to protect Elissis as well. The leopard was Elissis's older sister, who argued against her father going down to Earth to rule the humans, so he turned her into a leopard and exiled her on Earth. On Yanuess, Yorn is about to have his life-force sucked out of him to be turned into a bomb. On Yulgaha, which uses the life-force of humans to power it, the Old Man is about to have his life-force sucked out of him. Both are saved at the last minute by some surprising rescuers: Yorn is saved by Spike, and the Old Man is saved by Witto.

Yulgaha launches a surprise attack on Yanuess. The city, now in flames and out of control, crashes into the side of Yulgaha. Yorn uses that chance to enter Yulgaha and save both Elissis and his mother. He is pursued by Vilogg, Goldo and Nyako. However, Nyako is separated from Vilogg and Goldo, so the two of them team up with the Old Man to save the Princess of Disaster. Yulgaha spins out of control after Yanuess crashes into it, and it begins to fall to the ground. Fenice and Witto fly it down to the ground in a controlled crash landing. Rumesavia finally reveals himself, and Yorn must confront him. Does he kill the father of the girl he loves, or does he allow a power-mad god to enslave humanity?

In Summary:
The odd audio issues with the English dialogue on the first disc are apparently carried over from the singles release. Unfortunately, the studio that created the dub, Monster Island Studios of Austin, Texas, is no longer in business, so it appears ADV wasn't able to remix those episodes. The dub is fair if not outstanding. Yorn is voiced by John Minnich, never my favorite Monster Island actor. However, I did enjoy the work of Steve Sanders as the Old Man. Unfortunately, he was replaced by Shackleford Jansen in episode 18, and he wasn't able to capture Sander's gruff charm. The true highlight of the dub was the interaction between Robert Kraft and Ron Berry as Vilogg and Goldo, the incompetent Yanuess agents. Perhaps because their characters wore masks which freed them from having to match mouth flaps, but the two of them had a wonderful rapport with each other. They sounded like they were truly playing off each other rather than recording their lines separately.

This is one of the more opaque storylines I've seen in anime. There are so many characters, subplots and interconnected relationships going on, it was only when I watched the show a second time that the various elements finally started to make sense. However, even with the plot finally making sense, the ending was still one of the more disappointing ones I've ever watched. It completely invalidated the basic storyline in general, as well as Spike's backstory in particular. Despite, or perhaps to counter the sometimes heavy storyline, the show has quite a few moments of humor. However, they seemed to pop up at the most inappropriate times and only made me say "Huh?" Like the dub itself, this show has a couple of bright spots, but otherwise it's merely average.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
NEC CT-2510A TV, Pioneer 440 codefree DVD player

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES



Be the first to add a comment to this article!


ADD A COMMENT

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.

POPULAR TOPICS