Eureka Seven Vol. #11 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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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. #11

By Chris Beveridge     January 09, 2008
Release Date: January 08, 2008


Eureka Seven Vol. #11
© Bandai Entertainment


What They Say
The Sacrificial King, born to murder one's father in order to quiet the quaking planet. Dewey reveals to Anemone the truth of his childhood and the crown he bore. High above, in the stratosphere, Holland pilots an experimental LFO, the Devilfish, pushing his physical and mental limits to a point near death.

Meanwhile, Dominic travels to Warsaw in order to find a replacement pilot for the weakening Anemone. Far beyond the Great Wall, Renton, Eureka and the stow-away children explore the Promised Land. Storm clouds begin brewing and for better or worse something is changing in Eureka. As these changes begin to manifest physically a wedge is driven between the boy and the girl. The truth held within Stoner's rayout article spreads like wild fire, not only amongst the counter-culture but within the military itself. The final clash approaches, out-numbered Gekkostate fights on!

The Review!
Providing a bit of a breather and more setup for the finale, Eureka Seven slows down a bit but finishes putting the pieces in all the right places.

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:
This installment provides a very good pairing as it features Anemone and Eureka side by side with a good split of colors for the background which is drawn together through Anemone reaching across to Eureka. Their designs with simple yet bold colors continues to really be appealing in the animation itself but even in basic pieces like this. The back cover utilizes a good looking sky design with lots of fluffy white clouds floating by that makes it fairly easy to read the text. 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 Japanese voice actors which runs about nine minutes and a second game trailer. The next Japanese commentary track is also included, done originally for episode forty three, and it brings in the voice actors for Renton, Eureka and Dewey.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the last couple of volumes of Eureka Seven, even with the quieter episodes that were sprinkled about it, this set of episodes really feels like it's coming from an odd place. There are a few moments here and there that have some action to it and the tension is ratcheted up a bit, but for the most part it really turns introspective as it shifts some of the key secondary characters about in order to prepare for the final four episodes. Even stranger is that the two main leads in Eureka and Renton spend most of their time on a deserted island.

The storyline involving Renton and Eureka, along with the kids, is certainly interesting enough in how it slowly plays out. Having arrived in the "promised land" and discovering that it's actually Earth through a book they were given, it's not all it was cracked up to be. Stranded on a deserted island with little food or water and no way for the Nirvash to really get flying properly, the little family starts to break down pretty quickly. The driving motivation for it is the way Eureka is slowly but surely freaking out over something that she's hiding from everyone else. A good deal of time is focused on Maurice and the way he blames Renton for everything which in turn helps to really solidify the relationships of this particular family. The best material comes with Eureka though as her secret is revealed and the changes she's undergoing as a Coralian become clearer.

Another subplot that's given some good time during these episodes revolves around Holland and Dewey as we really start to understand their history and childhood. Dewey's revelation about being part of the clan that was involved with setting up on this planet and the journey from Earth reveals the concept of a sacrificial king. Part of their family bloodline is that offspring invariably kill the father in order to appease the land and to keep things mellow. In a strange twist, the death of their mother when Holland was born seemed to indicate that Holland was the one destined to do it. Dewey basically had all his attention taken away because of this as their father was overly affectionate with him which eventually led Dewey to believe he was truly the one to do the deed, an event which in turn ruined the family forever.

Dewey has been a most curious character in the show since he's so confident and assured of his position in the world, but these revelations point to has basic fatal character flaw. You almost feel sorry that his whole endeavor to save humanity by throttling it in the way he is comes down to little more than a cry for attention. It's certainly more than that, but the revelation given at this late stage of the game changes the perceptions of what he's been up to. It makes him no less dangerous or driven though and that makes him a lot of fun to watch, especially with the really weird and creepy hairstyle he has. The he carries himself as he does and has such control over so many people alone makes him very dangerous out there.

What is probably most enjoyable about these episodes is how the background of the series is changing as the last issue of Ray=Out has hit the stands and the interview with Dr. Bear and Norb is in there. The word is slowly spreading amongst those who lift but it's also raising awareness elsewhere. The magazine was already on the military hit list for awhile but now it's becoming serious contraband and a call to arms for many youths. But it's not restricted to just that area as we see it getting into the hands of some in the military, many of which have suffered not only in past conflicts but in the more recent attacks but the Coralians which they're now learning were caused by Dewey. This starts a chain reaction of events that will likely spill out heavily in the next volume. It happens a bit too quickly here and I wish the issue of the magazine came out earlier in the series so that the effects could ripple a bit more first instead of turning into a sudden tidal wave.

In Summary:
Though these episodes don't exactly keep up the pacing and excitement of some recent ones on previous volumes, they're all solid building blocks that really take the show to a great level. The characters continue to evolve and their backgrounds explored while set against the backdrop of something momentous. There are a lot of really great moments here, particularly when it comes to the strange story taking place on Earth. While the subplot is quiet and subdued, it has some of the more breathtaking moments of the volume. Combining this with the great material we see with Dominic and the military, we get a really solid set of episodes that is still a leap above most other series. Very highly recommended.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles,Commentary for Episode 43 with Yuko Sanpei; Kaori Nazuka and Koji Tsujitani, Voice Actor Interview, Textless Ending #4

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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