Posts Tagged ‘eureka seven’
When starting a new year, it’s important for a company to finish the first month with strong momentum. Funimation started theirs with the roll out riot, Crunchyroll got into the mix with five new simulcasts… hell, even Media Blasters managed to shake things up a little by licensing Kanokon. Finally, Sentai and Bandai are ready to crank things up to 11 by announcing their April lineups.
In press releases sent out over the last couple of days, Sentai has announced the license of the long running comedy from Sunrise Gintama along with Asatte no Houkou (Living for the Day After Tomorrow), Hidamari Sketchx365 and the rescue of Le Portrait de Petit Cossette from Geneon. Meanwhile Bandai has announced… more delays. Hm, guess which company didn’t the January momentum memo?
Hidamari Sketchx365 (4/6)
Asatte no Houkou (Living for the Day After Tomorrow) (4/13)
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette (4/20)
Gintama Set 1 (4/27)
All of the listed series will be released in one complete set except for Gintama which will thankfully be broken up since it has over 200 episodes. For the most part, this looks like a strong lineup for Sentai. Hidamari Sketchx365 will be a welcome addition for fans of the series and Asatte no Houkou has my attention. Sure it’s a 2006 series from J.C. Staff that sounds sort of like the anime version of Freaky Friday but it looks cute if nothing else.
If anything in that list creates a tangible uncertainty it would be Gintama. Fans have been enjoying the series for free on Crunchyroll for the last year. Is that going to translate into enough fans who want to buy that many box sets that won’t even have an English track? Then again, it’s not like I’m an expert who has any hard data behind me so here’s hoping this is one that pans out and finds its audience.
Enough Sentai talk though, Bandai has also made some new announcements so let’s give them the spotlight. Never one to be outdone, Bandai has also announced their April lineup which will look something like this:
Lucky Star (Anime Legends Collection) (4/6)
Kannagi Complete Collection (4/6)
Kukokami the Animation Part 1 (DVD/Blu ray) moved from 2/9 to 3/2
Hayate the Combat Butler Part 4 moved from 2/9 to 3/2
Eureka Seven – good night, sleep tight, young lovers (DVD/Blu ray) moved from 2/9 to 3/10
So to recap, Sentai has picked up four licenses (three new, one used) that contain enough variety to spark the interest of most fans while Bandai is continuing to trying to get out of a ditch by digging downwards. Seriously Bandai, just tell the fans what’s going on. Internet fans can be really forgiving if you’re just upfront and hon… *snerk* sorry, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to say that with a straight face.
Press release below cut
Bandai surprised a lot of people at their panel today making a big splash in the AX pool. At their panel today, Bandai announced that they have licensed the Eureka Seven: Pocketful of Rainbows movie (which will be retitled “Eureka Seven -good night, sleep tight, young lovers-.” No release date has been set for the film but it will be getting a Fathom Events theatrical screening at a later date. Tickets go on sale for this August 21st. Once again, I’m not a Eureka Seven fan so I need all of you to be excited for me since this is a pretty sweet announcement.
In other announcement news, Bandai Visual Japan will be teaming up with Japanese music producer Lantis. The new partnership takes effect late this month or next month and will provide fans in the US and Canada with anime music via iTunes. Now THAT is something that I can get excited about on my own!
Some initial details have gone up regarding the ‘Eureka Seven’ movie that will be released in Japan next year. The report on ANN states tha the film will be titled ‘Kōkyō Shihen Eureka Seven: Pocket ga Niji de Ippai (Symphonic Poem Eureka Seven: Pocket Full of Rainbows) and will see its release during Golden Week next spring. An official website has been launched for fans to check out as well.
Eureka Seven Vol. 1
Digging into another giant robot series, can you feel my excitement?
In this series, we follow a teenager named Renton who just has a crappy life.
In the first episode, we open in the middle of a battle in the sky right away. This isn’t a normal battle though… the fighters all appear to be robots called LFO’s surfing in the air while firing their weapons at each other. Enter 14 year old Renton, a kid who only wants to surf the waves on his board, living in a city that ‘totally sucks’. His father once saved the world and his sister ran away from home.
Everything changes though when one of the robots that surf in the sky crashes into his house piloted by a young girl named Eureka and it turns out that her LFO was the very first to ever be discovered. It seems that this girl is much more interesting than originally expected though as soon the house is attacked and Renton embarks on a new mission and purpose in life.
In the second episode, Renton is on his mission to deliver the special amita drive to Eureka. Once he installs it, a special program called Satori will install and awaken the true power of the LFO. As it turns out though, the power needed to make the machine into more than it is comes from Renton after all. Soon he leaves his life behind and joins the girl and her friends in their battle.
In the third episode on the volume, the military is dead set to destroy the Gekkostate that Renton has decided to join. They’ve locked off Eureka, Renton and their leader Holland and so the three have to do some drastic measures to get past the military and back to their base.
In the fourth episode it’s time for Renton to start proving himself to his new Gekkostate teammates. His training is hard and everyone treats him poorly. The new reality he faces is absolutely nothing like the ideals that he dreamed of at home. He decides to help out and earn everyone’s respect and trust by giving them an idea to earn money. That idea goes nowhere though and soon Gekkostate is in the middle of smuggling goods over a state military base.
The fifth episode has Renton trying more and more to impress both Eureka and her adopted children but failing miserably. Meanwhile Talho has decided to blackmail Renton into being her slave to keep his secret crush on Eureka from the rest of the crew and it’s time for the crew to do some shopping.
The Good And The Bad
When I start a new series, I always tend to just go in fairly blindly. If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know that I tend to know the bare minimum before going into a series and that’s really how I prefer it. I really enjoy just discovering things that I need to know as I go along. Unfortunately this series is one that takes that little philosophy of mine and turns it into absolute garbage because once you start this series you are thrown into an entirely new environment with absolutely no explanation and the audience is just expected to know what’s going on.
So, after I finished watching the volume I did a little research on the main US website and finally figured out what was going on… sort of at least. It seems that many years in the future, humans were forced off Earth and forced to find a new planet. This new planet had a very unique atmosphere and was filled with new particles called ‘transparent light particles’ or ‘trapar’. The people learned to cultivate the land and build huge towers to make the most of these trapars and a new government was formed.
Renton’s father was a legendary hero, the government is up to no good, the Gekkostate are a group of pirates, LFO stands for Light Finding Operation and I’m still not sure that I know what’s going on.
That’s the big issue that I took with this series right away. The information that you need is vast and deep but almost none of it is provided to you and so unless you do what I did and seek it out on website or do what others did and read the manga first than you’re more than likely going to be completely out of luck and have no clue what is really going on. This volume could’ve had such a stronger impact on me if just one episode had spent a few minutes going over what was going on, where we were who these people were and what their primary motivations were.
Moving on though, the animation style really took me awhile to get used to. The style of animation and character design really reminded me quite a bit of the series FLCL though I don’t know of anyone on the staff that worked on that series and so this is probably just a simple coincidence and nothing more.
The writing in this series is decent but I really had to admit that the pacing is slow. It’s amazing to me that such a high action series with so many fight scenes and special effects can still take forever to go anywhere. It really felt like the early episodes were dragging on and on and it was taking forever for something substantial to happen and make me really get into this series.
The fifth episode is good though because of the way it steps away from the plot and really develops the characters. I really enjoyed the light hearted atmosphere of this episode and how it finally took time to develop the crew of the Gekkostate. Talho got to show a couple of her other sides and at least two relationships started to become firmly established.
I can’t really complain too much about the pacing in this series though. With 50 episodes total, it’s not like they are really hurting on time to move things further along.
Most of the music was fairly well done. The opening theme is an interesting rock song and the closing theme used is a sweet ballad that I enjoyed. Unfortunately I can’t really comment on any of the background music as the vast majority of the time it was drowned out by all of the foreground action, voices and special effects. Perhaps I just need a better sound system though.
Dub vs. Sub
Both casts were well done and I enjoyed them. Neither one was better than the other but I did find that I was able to absorb things easier when I was reading the subtitles. Not a lot of information was revealed on this volume but what information did come was in very short spurts and instances so it was nice to read them to get that extra bit of help. Standout performances on the dub cast go to Johnny Yong Bosch as Renton, Stephanie Sheh as Eureka and Kate Higgins as Talho.
There are a few extras on the volume really worth checking out. The first one in particular would be the interview with the Japanese voice actors Yuko Sanpei (Renton) and Kaori Nazuka (Eureka) where they talk about their characters and the series itself. Also included is a commentary track with the same actors and a clean animation.
With 50 episodes to this series, it’s obvious that this is going to something that if you want it to be worth your time to pick it up, you’re going to have to be willing to stick it out and let it develop slowly. I find it very interesting that while I have gone through this review and complained about how slowly everything has been developing, other reviewers have gone on about how they love that everything is developing slowly and they can’t wait to see more. I can’t say that I’m as excited as others in the community were to see the second volume but I will say that the concept is intriguing and the premise is something that I haven’t seen in awhile.
The staff is obviously being very optimistic and has very high ideas that they are trying to get across through this series and I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that this series is going to get much better in the very near future. This volume starts slow but if my experience has taught me anything, it’s that slow starts often lead to explosive finishes. Not highly recommended but like the staff, I’m optimistic.
Final Grade: 81% – B