Eureka Seven Vol. #03 (also w/special edition) -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 24.98/39.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven Vol. #03 (also w/special edition)

By Chris Beveridge     September 13, 2006
Release Date: August 22, 2006

Eureka Seven Vol. #03 (also w/special edition)
© Bandai Entertainment

What They Say
Since Renton's arrival, Eureka's relationship with the Nirvash has been changing. More mysteries await, however, as the Gekko has discovered a mysterious phenomenon called a Coralian. Although she's not really up to the task, Eureka goes out in the Nirvash and flies inside. Once inside, she is attacked by a new LFO.

Renton, meanwhile, has fallen unconscious, and has a dream about Eureka and the girl she's fighting. But is it really just a dream, or is he somehow connected to Eureka and the Nirvash in this state?

Meanwhile, the Gekko has come under fire by the Federation warship Izumo, and the members of Gekkostate will have their hands full escaping from both the warship and the Coralian, especially without the Nirvash to assist them.

The Review!
The first real crescendo in the series, the three episode storyline in this volume tantalizes with more background and plenty of action.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series sports a solid stereo mix that has a good deal of directionality across the forward soundstage both for dialogue and action effects. The action effects are the ones that are much more noticeable though as the LFO's and ships are flitting about the screen but some of the dialogue is very well placed as well. We spot checked some of the English track as well and that came across essentially the same. We had no problems with dropouts or distortions on either language track during regular playback.

Originally airing in 2005, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The materials for this show look to be in pristine shape as expected and it really shines through here. The series has a lot of vibrant colors to it at the start, from the massive amount of green in the backgrounds that looks fantastic to the kinds of colors you see on the LFO's such as Navish with the sharp whites and vibrant pinks. A lot of sky is used throughout the show and the blues, an area that typically shows some movement or break-up, is very solid here. The transfer is free of aliasing and cross coloration and what little issue we had with de-interlacing in the first volume has disappeared in the shift over to the Blu-ray player.

The cover art for this volume has the same artwork as the Japanese release with the fairly striking image of the Nirvash streaking through the clouds. The mixture of the good looking blue sky and white cloud pieces with the flowing green energy from the board really works well as does the overall design and detail of the Nirvash and its color palette. The back cover is designed with an attractive shot of the sea blending into the sky and it has a good summary of the premise and lists all the discs episodes, features and extras clearly. The bottom portion is filled out with the typical things such as the staff and the basic bit of technical information. No insert is included with this release.

The special edition release of this is decent but you almost feel that they could do it cheaper and better. It's got a box with it but I'm not sure if this is meant to be an art box to hold the first half of the show or not at this point since we had a box earlier and the next special edition for volume looks to have one too. The silver heavy box is similar in design to what the My-Hime box was so it's not a chipboard type but a bit softer and can be unfolded. While the spine has the series logo going down, one panel has a full color shot of Renton lifting as others look on while the other is a cute shot of Renton and Eureka side by side with the Nirvash flying in the background. The box acts as a slipcover of sorts and a section slides all the way out which holds the disc, the second volume of the manga and the black shirt which has some character artwork on it in white lines. The box and its design overall looks good but I was thwarted at times in getting the interior section out because it was in there so tightly. Even when it was just the manga inside, it continued to be tight and felt like I was bending the box in order to get the items out.

The menu layout is nicely done and straightforward with a series of clips playing behind a cut up display with a bit of music playing along to it. The bottom of the menu has the navigation strip which is kept minimal and works well. The clips that play are mostly of action sequences from the first few episodes and it works well with the opening song music that keeps it flowing nicely. Access times are nice and fast but unfortunately the disc did not read our players' language presets and played English language with sign/song subtitles.

The included extras for this volume are pretty good and very Japanese centric. We get the latest textless opening sequence which started showing up during episode fifteen as well as getting a brief trailer for the video game that's being ported over here. The next Japanese commentary track is also included, done originally for episode thirteen, and it brings in the voice actors for Renton, Eureka and Dominic. With them being the primary characters for that episode it works well for obvious reasons. For English language fans, a new voice actor interview video section is included as the Q&A continues with them.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The third installment of Eureka Seven proves to be something of a turning point for the early part of the series. To little surprise, it follows along the lines we've seen and commented on in the past for shows that come from Sunrise of this length. The four episodes on this volume bring in a number of new questions and answer some existing ones all while mixing in a good deal of action and interesting character moments. On the downside, there's something of a recap episode at the end but it's the type that's done better than most.

Events for this volume manage to start off fresh with very little carryover from the previous volume. There are a few mentions about how Eureka hasn't been quite herself since Renton arrived and seems to be getting worse as more time goes on. She's feeling off and not quite up to her usual self and it's starting to show more obviously now to others around her. This is even more apparent when Holland gets everyone worked up about the apparent appearance of something called a Coralian but Eureka is completely disinterested and leaves the briefing before it even begins. Holland has ways of manipulating her though even if he's unsure of exactly how it will work out in the long run.

The appearance of the Coralian is the defining moment of these episodes which closes out the opening arc of the series. It also firmly places Renton as a member of the crew and someone who is integral to Eureka's future. Naturally, he's still clueless about things though and nobody will tell him exactly what a Coralian is or what they're really going to do with it when they get there. What little we do get as he rides out with Eureka at the time is that it's some kind of massive cloud ball that puts out a ton of trapars. The timing of their arrival though isn't the best as the ship that Dominic is on is nearby and Anemone launches in her LFO and heads off to tackle the Nirvash.

The Coralian is relatively unexplained for much of the actual episodes in which we see it but we get tantalized but what it does, especially with certain people. Eureka, Renton and Anemone end up falling into it during the course of their battle and while inside they seem to enter in a dream state of sorts where they're connected. With the special device that Renton has and the ties that have bound him to Eureka, it seems that it's something that will allow a connection to Anemone as well as Renton finds himself racing through various locations only to end up in a dream state version of an infinite bathroom where every stall is occupied. Or a small fridge where a naked Anemone is inside and naked while calling Renton a pervert. Their connection is the strong point here and the psychobabble make sense in small doses but the larger picture feels obscured.

Where these episodes succeed even more is the way it brings Renton and Dominic together and they form an uneasy alliance in order to help the women in their lives that need it. Renton's nature lets him get the jump on Dominic in some very amusing ways while Dominic's serious nature is a good counter balance to Renton's free flowing ways. Through their short journey to get needed medicine, we get to understand more of how Dominic and Anemone's relationship works and through that an idea of what Eureka may actually be like. What surprised me is that we get even more information about Eureka in the recap episode. It starts off at first covering some of the recent Coralian affair storyline through the notes of a pair of people on different sides writing about it but then it shifts to going into more of the history of the region in the last couple of years and where Eureka came from. .

In Summary:
Eureka Seven has some great moments and continues to tantalize with its plot and the larger picture that is almost painstakingly slowly coming into view. The world that this show resides in is fairly large and complex and we're getting it in a piecemeal fashion that doesn't allow us to really grasp a lot of things early on but what we do see is very fascinating and each new revelation makes me want to see more of it. The recap episode in particular brings out a number of new pieces of information that you wouldn't expect in that kind of episode but it fleshes out a lot of things and answers some basics questions but also makes you want to see those events in actual animated form. There's still a ton of story to go in this show and the ride is still very early on but I'm still intrigued and looking forward to see more of it.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Episode 13 Commentary,Voice Actor Interviews,SE: Manga Volume,SE: T-Shirt

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Samsung BD-P1000 Blu-ray player via HDMI -> DVI with upconversion set to 1080i, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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