Eureka Seven Vol. #08 - Mania.com



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Info:

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

Eureka Seven Vol. #08

By Chris Beveridge     July 24, 2007
Release Date: July 17, 2007


Eureka Seven Vol. #08
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
It comes from deep within the halls of Tresoir; not the sounds of violence, nor the sounds of despair. It is the signaling of a time for change. The Nirvash reacts wildly towards its reconstruction as the Tresoir technicians work diligently to redesign the Nirvash.

However, the crew will have no choice but to scramble and finish the repairs after the Federation successfully tests a devastating new weapon near the facility. In spite of this rush, the Gekkostate is once again forced to jump into battle due to a chance encounter with the Federation Army and the Type THE END while picking up the Nirvash's new ref-board.

Whatever the outcome, these battles are not to be the last for Renton and the rest of the crew as Holland directs the Gekko towards the capital for an all out assault in order to rescue the Vodarac priest, Master Norb.

The Review!
The evolution of this series continues on with yet another wonderfully solid set of episodes that delights and amazes.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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.

Packaging:
Talho gets a cover of her own this time around and it's a bit misplaced since she doesn't look anything like this anymore. It's a great shot though with her lying down with some shadows falling underneath her. The back cover is designed with a good shot of a sea of gray clouds which 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.

Menu:
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.

Extras:
The included extras for this volume are once more good and very Japanese centric. We get a new voice actor interview session with the English voice actors and a clean version of the third opening sequence. The next Japanese commentary track is also included, done originally for episode thirty two, and it brings in the voice actors for Renton, Eureka and Anemone.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Eureka Seven kicked off its run with some rather weak episodes that set some of the basic building blocks that would later become fascinating. As the series progressed it started to utilize these things and became a series that, while not convoluted, is fairly rich in terms of characters and situations. The series hit an emotional high point in the last volume with the battles between Ray and Charles, something that puts these episodes in an awkward position. Surprisingly, it manages to outdo those episodes in a very different way.

The revelation of what Eureka really is isn't something that's easy to take though most of them are dealing with it. Renton is still having a hard time even grasping the concept but his innocence and simple belief in her keeps him from really seeing her as she is, but rather who she is to him. It's the sort of childish ability that many people lose as they get older but it fits in perfectly with the ages of these characters and the situations. Of course, there's also the simple fact that Renton obviously has the hots for her and he'll never get anywhere with someone like Talho..

The storyline that runs through these episodes at first revolves around the restoration of Nirvash while the Gekkostate is at Tresor. Through here we get some great character moments, such as finding out about one of the characters being married before and finding out what their significant other is like. Those scenes alone are priceless as the interactions are just spot on for them. The lighthearted moments are definitely necessary after the last run of episodes and it lets the characters have a little relief amongst all the hardship. Yet even during this we see several of them coping with the hardship and how they do manage to put on a happy face even at their lowest.

The down time doesn't last too long though as Dewey re-enters the picture with his plans fully in motion now. Making his actions without the complete consent of the Sages and even moving in on their territory a bit, his goals of purging the planet of the Coralian finally hits full throttle as his little coterie of powered kids begin their missile drops across a few test sites. The results are devastating across the board but they work along the premise of "cracking a few eggs" in order to achieve their goal. The brutality of the attacks – on both sides – is gut wrenching as it plays out. The initial missile drop and the subsequent effects in the city of Ferris by the antibodies are simply disturbing on a number of levels. It all has a cascading reaction among the rest of the cast as the events there are relayed in different ways around them.

Between the big moments, the little moments flesh out some of the best material to date. The realization of what's going on forces Holland to completely re-evaluate his plans and that brings him to some cold, hard decisions. These are decisions that drastically affect everyone else on board and requires some serious sit down time with Eureka and Renton in order to really be clear about the importance of it all. Seeing the situation change is very engaging as the show shifts firmly to being proactive now about the situation. Even more critical is that we get some much needed background on Holland and Eureka and see their first meeting. This brings to light much of what will play into the next arc as the Gekkostate is preparing for a mission to go into the capitol itself in order to rescue Master Norb.

In Summary:
Eureka Seven has so many surprising levels to it as it plays out that I practically feel guilty for being somewhat disinterested in some of these elements twenty or thirty episodes ago. Each new layer reveals a new connection between the characters that enhances the current relationships but also expands on what we've seen in the past, something that gives this a lot of replay value. New little nods and understandings which were glossed over or impossible to understand earlier are now key moments to understanding the present. The evolution of Eureka Seven is a reminder of just how good a BONES series can be. The remaining four volumes of this run cannot come fast enough and practically begs to be marathoned over the course of a few days. Very recommended.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Commentary for Episode 32,Voice Actor Interview,Textless Ending #3

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic DMP-BD10 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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