Eureka Seven Vol. #04 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: Beez
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 125
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven Vol. #04

By Dani Moure     January 07, 2008
Release Date: February 26, 2007


Eureka Seven Vol. #04
© Beez


What They Say


The Review!
The fourth volume of Eureka Seven goes a bit introspective, examining the relationships between the characters and Eureka’s presence itself.

Audio:
I listened to the English language track for my main review, and I noticed no dropouts, distortions or other technical problems with the track, which is a pretty standard anime stereo mix with some decent directionality. The dub continues to be quite strong with some good lead performances, and in spot-checking the Japanese track I didn’t notice any problems with it.

Video:
Presented in full screen, the video looks extremely crisp and sharp, showing off a really good transfer on the part of Beez. The colour palette the show uses is generally very bright, and that comes across with great vibrancy on screen. Alas, I only wish a show like this was in widescreen. I didn’t notice any aliasing, cross-colouration or other artefacts during regular playback.

The English subtitles are white, in a clearly readable font, and I didn’t notice any glaring errors.

Packaging:
The front cover has quite a striking layout, with an image of the Anemone in the top right portion. A small strip down the left contains the volume number with an amusing piece of text describing the episodes on the disc. The logo is below the image of Eureka, along with a few select credits from the show. Four screenshots are also in a strip right at the bottom. The back cover includes a description of the show as well as an episode listing with brief summaries of each. There’s no technical grid that usually appears on a Beez release, but technical specs are clearly listed, as are the extras. The cover, while busy, generally looks really nice and I just really like the different design and feel of it.

Menu:
The main menu starts with a fairly lengthy opening animation, before cutting to the menu proper. The opening theme plays, while an image of Talho appears to the left hand side. On the right is the show’s logo, a video segment playing clips from the show, and the selections underneath. There’s also line art in the background, moving about. Sub-menus all have different music playing over them, and have different images but fit the same theme. There’s a small transition as each menu fades to the next as well. They don’t try to be too fancy, but are really stylised and in tone with the show and again, look really good. This is just a high quality release in general.

Extras:
There are a couple of really good extras again on this volume. First is another audio commentary on episode 20 with the Japanese cast. It’s not wildly revealing or anything, but much like many English voice actor commentaries, it’s a lot of fun to listen to (and they sure have a lot of energy!).

The second main extra is an interview with the Japanese voice actors, this time around it’s Yuko Sanpei (Renton) and Kaori Nazuka (Eureka). In the half hour plus, they answer various questions about the show and their characters, and how they approach playing it. This is another excellent set of extras for the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
For the first three volumes, I’ve enjoyed Eureka Seven quite a lot, but it’s this fourth disc for me that sees the series grow up. While earlier volumes have introduced a lot of characters, ideas, and set up plenty of story for the future, it’s only tinkered thus far with examining some of the relationships in any real depth. In this volume though, the relationships and characters, and the series as a whole, matures somewhat as Eureka takes on a real depressing persona and it causes a huge strain on the relationships between everyone else as well.

Following on from the Coralian incident at the end of the last disc, the crew of the Gekkostate hide in a mine to try and repair the ship, but Eureka and Renton’s relationship becomes strained after he was able to pilot the Nirvash so well and on his own. Eureka seemingly resents this, and she also starts feeling distant from the Nirvash, as if she’s no longer its only pilot. Renton meanwhile ventures into a building where he is reminded of his encounter with Dominic and Anemone.

As Renton is unsure how to make things right with Eureka, the crew find a man who can help with the repairs, but to do it the crew needs to catch some skyfish in order to make the film required. Still down and out, the third episode on the disc has Renton and the gang hiding from the military and struggling for money and supplies. They meet a hostile old man, and Renton takes it upon himself to befriend him. But all isn’t as it appears, when it turns out the man may just betray him.

Things really start to go into meltdown in the last two episodes on the disc, as Eureka’s condition worsens and she takes the Amita drive from the Nirvash and runs off in it. Renton follows, but Holland is convinced it’s him that’s taken it until the kids put him straight. By the time Renton gets there to help, it’s too late and Eureka has been bizarrely cocooned. Holland once again lashes out at Renton, taking everything out on him, and in the final episode of the disc things reach breaking point as Holland accepts a mission to save a Vodarac priest who is being held in prison, in order to try and help Eureka. Renton thinks he’s doing it for the money though, and things soon go from bad to worse.

Despite the ups and downs of the plot, and a couple of what seem almost like filler episodes, the focus of the disc is squarely on Eureka and her degrading condition. She is continually getting worse and worse, and this is plain to see from how she withdraws from almost any socialising, preferring to spend the time alone reflecting on her deteriorating relationship with the Nirvash. Renton suffers the worst effects of her isolation in many ways, since he is so close to her and has some serious feelings for her.

But what makes the ongoing story so brilliant, and what leads me to reason that the show has matured, is how all the relationships are depicted. Everyone is strained by the situation with the Gekko and then the problem with Eureka, and for each of the crew members it means something different. For Renton, his relationship with Eureka is threatened, but he also feels Holland’s wrath as he blames Renton for a lot of what goes on, even though Renton is a child and much of it is out of his hands. Holland does show his unwavering support for Eureka though, as he goes and almost gets himself killed on the mission to get the priest to save her. But this in turn reminds Talho that the man she cares deeply for has his own concerns, and his focus is on Eureka rather than her. At the end of it, she ends up lashing out at Renton too, so he almost ends up becoming the outlet for everyone’s anger.

It’s how all the relationships are intertwined, and how each of the actions of the different crew members has some effect on the others that make this disc a joy to watch. I was actually surprised at just how much I enjoyed the five episodes because of the ongoing threads throughout, especially given I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed episodes like 17 and 18 as much had they not been vital to advancing the overall arc more.

In Summary:
With Eureka’s condition and its effects on each of the crewmembers and their various relationships being the focus of this volume’s episodes, Eureka Seven really elevates itself here. Though some of the story that was setup in previous volumes so well takes a bit of a backseat, the increased maturity in what does play out on the disc only serves to give some payoff for what has gone before. If you need a reason to watch this show, then this volume is the perfect example of why I think it’ll turn out to be one of the better shows released in the UK.

Features
Japanese Language (2.0),English Language (2.0),English Subtitles,Audio Commentary with Japanese Staff (Episode 20),Interview with Japanese Cast

Review Equipment
Philips 28" Pure Flat Widescreen TV, Philips DVP 5100 code free DVD player, JVC gold-plated RGB SCART cable, Pioneer HTP-GS1 5.1 Surround Sound System.

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