Eureka Seven Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 4 - Australia / South America
  • Released By: Madman Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.98
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven Vol. #01

By John Eriani     August 21, 2006
Release Date: August 16, 2006


Eureka Seven Vol. #01
© Madman Entertainment


What They Say
For Renton, every day's the same. Nothing happens, nothing changes. He goes to school, he goes home. The only thing that keeps him happy is lifting on his ref board. Nothing exciting ever happens to him.

Until one day, a giant mecha called an LFO comes crashing down on him literally. And inside is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen! The thing is though, that the girl is on the run from the military with her stolen mecha, she's brought trouble with her.

Renton will have to summon up all his courage to face his childhood hero; get the girl he's hopelessly smitten with to like him; and-oh yeah-live up to the legacy of his father who saved the world. But hey, at least it's not boring anymore.

The Review!
Surfboarding mecha and the Gekkostate group are about to change young Renton's life, but is it any good?

Audio:
I watched the show in its original Japanese language. It's your basic stereo mix with some directionality and this comes through especially in combat, everything sounds fine without any distortion apparent. I checked the dub a few times and everything sounds fine, although some people will be annoyed with the pronunciation of Eureka's name.

Video:
The video is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 which by itself is a little bit of a shame but the source material is what it is. Of course this is an NTSC to PAL conversion and all the usual problems that come with this type of conversion are apparent. The main one is interlacing, because of this panning shots don't come across too well here. Otherwise the show looks great with lots of the blues from the sky and the greens from the LFO trails coming through really nicely.

Packaging:
The front cover for this release is the similar to the region 2 and region 1 with the same artwork of Renton looking back while pulling a bike with one hand and his ref board in the other. The background is a simple red and white matching Renton's outfit with a black bar across the top with the shows logo. Overall it's a nice design that has a nice uniformity to it. The back cover has a good selection of shots from the show with a nice blurb about this volume. Everything is clear and the standard technical grid is located at the bottom. We are also given a nice clean version of the cover without the god awful yellow OFLC logo. My copy came with the next issue of Anime Insider as an insert.

There is also a Volume 1 + art box available that comes with the first volume of the manga for Eureka Seven

Menu:
The main menu starts with an opening animation of the Nivarsh and Renton zipping through some clouds and then goes to the same artwork as the cover with a moving cloudscape in the background while music from the show plays in the background. I like this music as it's rather uplifting and is a nice introduction piece for the show. The rest of the menus are static images of the cloud scape and everything was quick and easy to access. It is a shame that there is no scene selection though.

Extras:
The extras on the first volume are rather interesting. We have a clean version of the opening which allows you to see more of the quick cuts of odd images that play with out text in the way. The opening song is a rather nice and poppy tune and every time I hear it grows on me more and more. The second extra is a commentary track for episode one by the two voice actresses for Renton and Eureka. The third extra is an interview with both about the show and their characters and what they think of it all. All in all a pretty nice selection of extra's for volume one.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Eureka Seven is the latest from Studio Bones, who have been responsible for Full Metal Alchemist RahXephon and Wolf's Rain. With mechanical designs by legendary Shoji Kawamori and music by Naoki Sato the show has a lot of hype behind it.

The story starts of with introducing us to Renton Thurston, a young 14 year old boy who is rather bored with his life because nothing ever happens. Of course lots of things start to happen otherwise this would be a real boring show. He lives with his grandfather, who is rather bitter about the rest of his family leaving home and the modern world in general, Renton's sister and father left a while ago and he doesn't want the same thing to happen to Renton. Things start to change when a giant mech called an LFO and known as the Nivarsh comes crashing down on Renton's house and pretty much destroys all of his possessions. Renton meets the pilot of the mech and she is called Eureka, from the outset he is attracted to her and really likes her so of course he wants to help her.

Through this we learn more about Renton's dad and Gekkostate, a group of rebel smugglers who have a sort of fan following in the world that they even have a sort of fan magazine. Eureka works with them and it's not so much a coincidence that she lands on Renton's house. Renton's father was someone who was rather famous and had something to do with saving the world and the LFO's but very little information is given at this time and most people do not talk about it anymore other then they are surprised Renton is Adroc's son. The Gekkostate have come to see Renton's grandfather to get something his son left behind a while ago. To his grandfathers dismay Renton wants to join Gekkostate because of Eureka and his idol Holland who is also the leader of Gekkostate.

When Renton joins the group he is giving all the crappy jobs but is able to help pilot the Nirvash with Eureka as it seems he can help unlock its true nature with the help of his compact drive, a small glowing device that runs LFO's except Renton's one seems to be special.

The show doesn't really move very fast in these few episodes while there are some nice action scenes it's basically setting up the show for the moment so very little information is given and it is basically about how Renton becomes a member of Gekkostate. Things start to move into more interesting territory in the last few episodes but with the show being about 50 or so episodes it may take some time to build up.

The world that Eureka Seven creates is rather interesting, there are these transparence light particles (also know as traper waves) that seem to make up the atmosphere and when harnessed can be used to travel on ref boards, also the LFO's use large ref boards to allow them to fly and while at first it may look ridiculous to have surfboarding robots fight after watching a few battles it's a rather neat gimmick that allows for lots of flashy animation and action sequences. The LFO's themselves are rather interesting as well as it seems that they may be alive in some way given the opening battle between Holland and the military. What they are at the moment still remains a mystery but I'm sure there is more to it all and the show will slowly reveal this.

The animation is fluid and in some scenes is just so exciting to watch, the music also lifts the show above mediocrity showing that care and effort were put into this show and not just some vehicle to sell toys like some other giant robot franchises. The character designs are not your typical looking characters but give the show a unique look that really appeals to me. My favourite character at the moment is Renton, normally this type of character doesn't appeal to me but the one thing I liked about Renton is that while he is the main character of the show he isn't some kind of super teen who can pilot a big mech and kick everyone's ass, he's just a normal kid for the most part and that makes a nice change from other giant robot shows.

In Summary:
So is it good? Well Eureka Seven is off to a solid start with this volume. The idea of the ref board as a flying device for the LFO at first looks a little strange but it does work for the most part. With lots of mysteries to be revealed this could be a very interesting series. The music and animation all come together really well to form a great package. I haven't been this excited about seeing the next volume of a show in a long time.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Interviews with Cast Members,Audio Commentary,Textless Opening

Review Equipment
LG 32LX2D 32" HD LCD TV, Sony DVP-NS50P Progressive scan region free DVD player, Monster component cable, Yamaha TSS-15 Home Theatre Sound System

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