Eureka Seven Vol. #09 (also w/limited edition) - 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: 24.98/49.98
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven Vol. #09 (also w/limited edition)

By Chris Beveridge     October 03, 2007
Release Date: September 25, 2007


Eureka Seven Vol. #09 (also w/limited edition)
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
It has come like a terrible storm, bringing with it the rain of gunfire, and the thunder of explosions. The Gekko has arrived, and it has brought war to Capitol Hill. Determined to rescue Master Norb at all costs, the crew have staged a surprise attack directly at the Federation's heart. However, amidst the death and destruction being rained down upon the Federation forces, Eureka becomes weary of her role in the battle and withdraws with Renton in the Nirvash.

And though Master Norb will find safe haven among the crew; Renton will soon discover that his own personal battles must still be fought as Holland reveals to Renton the details of his first true love... his long lost sister. As their internal reflection continues deep within the halls of Tresoir, Dewey begins to rally the people behind his plan, one which will result in the extinction of all Coralians...

The Review!
Eureka Seven shifts beautifully between action, warmth and humor to provide a solid transitional volume.

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:
Avoiding character artwork once again, the cover for this installment is a good looking shot of the Nirvash on its board overlooking the world below. With a great looking background used for it, it comes together well to present something a bit more calm and reflective. 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.

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 it isn't meant to be an art box to hold the first half of the show but rather just the extra items inside. The dark red foil style box is similar in design to Eureka Seven special edition boxes 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 reaching out towards the Nirvash while the other is a battle sequence between Nirvash and Anemone. The box acts as a slipcover of sorts and a section slides all the way out which holds the disc, the sixth volume of the manga and the Ray-Out logo t-shirt. The box and its design overall looks good and unlike the earlier ones it wasn't anywhere near as tight, making it very easy to get everything out.

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 Japanese voice actors and a second game trailer. The next Japanese commentary track is also included, done originally for episode thirty six, and it brings in the voice actors for Renton, Eureka, Maeter and Gidget..

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Though there are still three more volumes to go, I'm already getting that sinking feeling that this will be a show I will greatly miss when it's over. Each volume just manages to nail things right in presenting action, comedy and character growth all set against an epic backdrop. Though some areas do feel forced at times, the overall flow really works well and gives me exactly what I crave.

If there is any real problem with this volume it's in the way that it kicks off with a big action piece which completes the previous arc. Going right into it two months after the previous volume can be a bit disconcerting at first but the following three episodes bring things back into place quite nicely. The raid on the capitol by the Gekkostate in order to free Norb is quite exhilarating as everyone works as a team to get in, get him and get out. It doesn't go all smoothly however as Renton and Eureka grapple with the damage and chaos that they're causing which has them questioning their methods. The most interesting material from the episode comes from the meeting between Holland and Dewey however.

Dewey has been espousing his plans for a bit in a vague way but his meeting with Holland at the capitol is something that manages to unnerve the man. The fact that they're brothers and share some less than pleasant links in the past and present makes it all the more uncomfortable. You can sense the kind of tension that exists between them, especially in how Dewey knows all the ways to tweak Holland and get under his skin. Holland has thankfully grown quite a lot since the introduction of the series and a fair bit before that so Dewey's words have only so much effect. As interesting as it is to see how Dewey goes after him, it's the way Holland handles all of it that is the most fascinating and fun to watch.

The series shifts into a quieter mode for much of the volume thereafter with only a few big moments creeping into it. There is far more time spent on introspection and interpersonal issues as the crew of the Gekkostate continue to wrestle with their change in direction. The arrival of Norb as part of the crew, at least for the short term, brings in some amusing moments as he's completely unlike what you'd expect of someone who leads a religious movement. Between eating too many beans and smoking cigarettes, he either offers some words of wisdom or pretends to sleep in the cardboard box that Holland assigns him to as his room. Norb does have some key scenes here though as he has plenty of connection to Eureka but also as someone to provide a balanced view of what Egan is bringing to the table.

Where most of the focus lays in these episodes however is in the relationship between Renton and Eureka. Big events have been going on around them since they first met and continue to do so here, mostly due to Dewey setting his plans and coup into motion. As engaging as that all is, watching the way that Eureka and Renton deal with each other is just as much fun. Both are unsure of themselves and each other in similar yet different ways which leads to plenty of natural confusion. Renton is starting to act like a guy a bit but doesn't know how to move forward. He's also not helped by the way he interprets what some of the other guys are saying.

Eureka for her part is even more confused since she's not even human but is dealing with the desire to become human as well as the conflicting things she sees from everyone around her. Renton is mainly the cause, especially when he discovers that Eureka knew his father and never really said anything about it. That leads to some simple and obvious misunderstandings across the board but it does push Eureka to learning more about what it means to be a young woman. These are all basic things and highly predictable but the characters pull it off well enough. Having Gidget and Hilda help out plays out much the same way but it all works towards fostering the family feeling that the entire crew has.

In Summary:
Eureka Seven manages to be quite the fascinating show. Though the early episodes really felt weak, its progression into something very serious and engaging has made it one of the best shows in recent years. Everything started to gel at one point, much like many other shows that run this length, and has just been kicking ass every episode since then. This set of episodes carries that on as it begins to do the last bits of preparation for the endgame arc. Everyone is falling into place, the players are making their moves and the world is about to change dramatically in some way. The Big Moments have come before, generally in terms of character development, but now they're coming in the world stage venue. Eureka Seven is quickly becoming my favorite BONES series as it weaves so many small stories together into a large connected tapestry. Very recommended.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Commentary for Episode 36,Voice Actor Interview,LE: Ray=out T-shirt,LE: Final Manga Volume

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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