Anime Blu-ray Review: Eureka Seven: AO Complete Series

Eureka Seven: AO Complete Series is a four-disc Blu-ray set that includes all 24 episodes of the series, as well as one of the OVAs. This set takes the original two sets that were released for the series in 2013 and 2014 and combines them together. The set includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Eureka Seven: AO Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: June 23, 2020

The series is set in 2025, and the main character is a boy named Ao. He lives on the island of Iwato Jima in Okinawa. His friend, Naru, had an encounter with a Scub Coral 10 years earlier and has some of it within her. Scub Corals have been causing problems across the world for a while, and more people are becoming infected by them. But where a Scub Coral appears, entities known as Secrets also appear.

During the incident 10 years earlier with the Scub Coral that infected Naru, Ao’s mother Eureka vanished without a trace. Fans of the original Eureka Seven can see that this is the same Eureka from the original series, but it doesn’t become clear for quite a bit of the series about how Eureka ended up almost 10,000 years in the past.

Ao’s adventure begins when he stumbles upon three smugglers (Gazelle, Pippo, and Han Juno) trying to smuggle some items to the Japanese Armed Forces. During an incident when a Scub Coral appears, a bracelet falls out of the briefcase. Ao picks it up, and later realizes it was once owned by his long-lost mother. This bracelet allows him to pilot the Nirvash (a mecha) that had belonged to his mother.

Ao joins a group called Generation Bleu in the hopes of finding his mother and learning more about his birth. He becomes part of a team called The Piped Pipers, which includes Fleur Blanc and Elena Peoples. Fleur is the daughter of Generation Bleu’s CEO, and Elena is a mysterious girl with secrets. One of her secrets has a connection to Eureka.

After joining Generation Bleu, Ao encounters a stranger named Truth, who has a deep hatred for Eureka because of what happened 10 years earlier and is determined to acquire Nirvash for his own. When he learns Ao is Eureka’s son, his hatred passes down to Ao. Truth also manipulates Ao’s friend Naru into siding with him.

There’s also a bit of political intrigue going on in the series. Okinawa wants to assert its independence from Japan. Meanwhile, Generation Bleu, Japan, and the United States are trying to acquire the quartz from the Scub Coral, which causes a problem when it’s revealed that Generation Bleu has been hoarding quartz in its space station.

During the series, the quartz that Generation Bleu has gathered from various Scub Corals become a weapon for the Nirvash. When it’s fired, though, it has the ability to rewrite events, which causes problems for Ao.

Eureka Seven: AO relies heavily on time travel and alternate universes in order to set up the story that’s presented in the series. While there were some interesting ideas being explored by utilizing these concepts, I wasn’t entirely convinced that the execution of those ideas was as strong as it could have been. Also, it felt like there was a lot going on and a lot to try to keep track of, between the time travel, Truth and his manipulation, and the various political intrigues taking place. Not to mention the teenage drama that characters like Ao, Fleur, and Elena go through. And then there’s the three smugglers and what they go through after joining Generation Bleu. As the series progressed, it felt like there was just so much I was trying to process and keep straight as a viewer. By the end of the series, the story felt kind of dense to me.

The OVA that was included in this release is set shortly after Ao joins Generation Bleu. It’s rather light-hearted in nature, and in the long run, didn’t really add anything to the series. The best bits were the references that were made to Ranma 1/2 in one of the scenes, and the fact that when Ao is dressed up as a girl, he’s dressed up in Eureka’s signature outfit from the original Eureka Seven anime. Honestly, outside of those two things, I found the OVA to be rather forgettable.

When all is said and done, I think that Eureka Seven: AO isn’t as strong of a series as the original Eureka Seven. However, I can say I did enjoy it more than I did the Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers anime film.

The Blu-rays included in this set have the video in 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native). For the audio, it includes Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or the audio quality for the episodes included on this release.

Since this release simply combines the two sets that were originally released for Eureka Seven: AO back in 2013 and 2014, the breakout of the episodes and bonus features aren’t what you would expect from a four-disc set. The first and third discs only include one episode commentary on them. The first disc includes a commentary for Episode Five, while the third disc includes a commentary for Episode 13.

The second disc includes several bonus features. The first is “Inside The Booth: Eureka Seven AO.” This runs for about 14 minutes and includes interviews and footage featuring Brandon Potter (the English voice for Gazelle) and Zach Bolton (the ADR Director for Eureka Seven AO). They talk about working on the series, and we also get to see footage of Brandon doing some recording for the dub. This isn’t a bad feature for what it is.

There is a commentary for Episode 10 on this disc. “Original Commercials” runs for a little over three minutes, and this includes Japanese television commercials to promote Eureka Seven: AO. There are four different textless versions for the first opening song, “Escape,” as well as three different textless versions for the first ending song, “Stand By Me.” The U.S. Trailer is the English trailer to promote the first half of the original Eureka Seven: AO home video release, which came out back in 2013. Trailers include trailers for properties that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time the first half of Eureka Seven: AO was released.

The fourth disc includes a video commentary for Episode 21, as well as a regular commentary for Episode 24. “Promotional Videos” runs for about 10 minutes and includes a handful of videos that were made in Japan to promote the release of Eureka Seven: AO. The first video that was included in this feature didn’t make much sense to me, because it featured a song that I have no recollection of hearing in the series and included random images from throughout the entirety of Eureka Seven: AO. It felt like a random music video that had no context to it whatsoever. The other videos included in this feature made sense to me.

There is a textless version for the first opening song, “Escape,” as well as three textless versions for the second opening song, “Blazblue.” There is also one textless version each for the first closing song, “Stand By Me,” and the second closing song, “Iolite.” The U.S. Trailer included on this disc is the English trailer to promote the second half of the original Eureka Seven: AO home video release, which came out back in 2014. Trailers include trailers for properties that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time the second half of Eureka Seven: AO was released.

If you’re a fan of the Eureka Seven: AO anime series and haven’t added it to your home anime library yet, I would recommend this Blu-ray release for the series. With this set, you get the entirety of the series in one package, and it’s ultimately a little cheaper than buying the two original sets separately.

Additional posts about Eureka Seven:

HIDIVE to Begin Streaming the English Dub of the I’m Quitting Heroing Anime on July 12, 2022

HIDIVE has announced that it will begin streaming the English dub of the I’m Quitting Heroing anime on July 12, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

The English cast has also been announced:

  • Joe Daniel is Leo
  • Olivia Swasey is Echidna
  • Luci Christian is Shutina
  • Andrew Love is Edvard
  • Patricia Duran is Mernes
  • Christina Kelly is Lily
  • Scott Gibbs is Eibrand
  • Brandon Hearnsberger is King
  • Brittany Karbowski is Dianette

Additional voices include:

  • Brandon Hearnsberger
  • James Marler
  • John Swasey
  • Leraldo Anzaldua
  • Patrick Marrero
  • Scott Gibbs
  • Shelley Calene-Black
  • Tiffany Grant

John Swasey is directing the dub.

Source: HIDIVE

Hulu Adds 200+ Episodes of the English Dub of the Naruto Shippuden Anime to Its Service

The Fandom Post is announcing that Hulu has added 200+ episodes of the English dub of the Naruto Shippuden anime to its service.

Naruto Shippuden is described as:

Naruto Uzumaki is back. After two and a half years of training on the road with Jiraiya of the Sannin, Naruto is back in the Village Hidden in the Leaves and he’s ready to show off his new skills. He and Sakura team up to take on their old master Kakashi, who’s pretty impressed with their progress. They’ll have plenty of opportunity to put it into action when news arrives from the Sand Village that Gaara, Naruto’s former rival and now Kazekage of the Sand, has been kidnapped. And the culprits are the very same group who are after Naruto – the Akatsuki.

Source: The Fandom Post

Tubi TV Adds the Doomed Megalopolis Anime to Its Service

The Fandom Post is reporting that Tubi TV has added the Doomed Megalopolis anime to its service. The anime is available with both the English dub and the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Doomed Megalopolis is described as:

Yasuori Kato, an oni who mastered the art of onmyodo and shugendo, is determined to destroy the Imperial Capital Tokyo to appease the grudges of his ancestors. To accomplish this, he attempts to awaken a powerful angry spirit, Taira no Masakado, to use as a tool for his destruction. When his initial attempts fail, Kato seeks out Masakado’s descendant, a young woman with psychic powers, to use as a medium to communicate with the spirit. Opposing Kato’s efforts is Yasumasa Hirai, the greatest onmyoji in all of Japan as well as the Soma Family, another lineage of Masakado. The conflict that results from this encounter will shape the history of Tokyo.

Source: The Fandom Post

Otakon 2022 Announces Yuki Hayashi as Guest

Anime composer Yuki Hayashi will be a guest at Otakon 2022, according to Otakorp Inc. His works will be part of the Sun and Stars concert on July 31, 2022, with both a chamber orchestra and a rock band playing songs arranged by the composer. The Sun and Stars Otakon Anime Concert will include works from Inuyasha, Haikyu!!, My Hero Academia, and more.

Yuki Hayashi was born in Kyoto in 1980. He was a competitor in rhythmic gymnastics, where the task of selecting the music got him into the world of music. In college, he started composing music without formal training. After college, Yuki learned the basics of track making from Hideo Kobayashi and started his career by composing music for various competitive dances. From his experience as a rhythmic dancer, he derived a unique style, where the emphasis is on the unity between the music and the visual.

His main titles include My Hero Academia, Haikyu!!, One Piece Film Gold, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, Death Parade, Gundam Build Fighter series, Pokemon, Shaman King, and Run with the Wind.

Otakon will be held from July 29-31, 2022 in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Otakon 2022 Announces Kaoru Wada as Guest

Anime composer Kaoru Wada will be a guest at Otakon 2022, according to Otakorp Inc. His works will be part of the Sun and Stars concert on July 31, 2022, with both a chamber orchestra and a rock band playing songs arranged by the composer.

Kaoru Wada is active in a wide range of musical fields, including anime, film, television, theatre and events, and has been involved in the musical side of well-known anime.

After graduating from the Tokyo College of Music, Wada resided in Europe. In 1986, his “Three Fragments for Orchestra” was debuted by the North Holland Philharmonic Orchestra, and was an enormous success. The following year, the work was performed again at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as a piece on the Program of the Regular Season [Annual] Concert of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1987, Wada’s work, “Aikake [Discourse] for Flute, Harp and Percussion,” won an award in the International Contemporary Music Composer Competition in New York City. In 1988, the premier of “Folkloric Dance Suite for Orchestra” was performed in Sweden, by the Malmö Symphony Orchestra. The work was performed again thereafter in many countries, including in the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Norway, the United States, and Japan. The work was released worldwide in 1990 on the Grammaphone Bis label.

Following his return to Japan, Wada was in charge of film music and accompanying music for animation including Inuyasha, as well as for movies, television, video, CD, dramas, and the stage. In 1995, his music for the Shochiku Film, Crest of Betrayal, was awarded a Japan Academy Prize. He has also served as an arranger for several television music programs, including The Untitled Concert of TV-Asahi, and Meikyoku Album and Minna-no-Dowa of NHK. He has also been responsible for the arrangement of the works of artists such as Yoshikazu Mera, Sojiro, and Eitetsu Hayashi.

In addition, Wada has also published many works for Japanese indigenous instruments, plus works that use Japanese folklore and folksongs as motifs. He has published numerous works commissioned from Japan and abroad, including from the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gunma Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and several others. In November 2003, he conducted his first concert dedicated solely to his own works, “The World of Kaoru Wada” in Tokyo’s SUNTORY Hall, with joint sponsorship by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Otakon will be held from July 29-31, 2022 in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

HIDIVE to Simulcast the Shine Post Anime

HIDIVE has announced that it will begin simulcasting the Shine Post anime on July 12, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

Shine Post is described as:

Although the idol group TiNgS is chasing after big dreams, so far their accomplishments have only been small — and now, suddenly, they’re facing a potential break up. Hope seems lost, but when a new manager with a special skillset takes them under his wing, the members of TiNgS find themselves shooting for the stars all over again.

Source: HIDIVE

Anime Expo Announces 2023 Dates and Anime Expo Ontario Event in California in November 2022

The staff of Anime Expo announced during the closing ceremony for Anime Expo 2022 that the event will return to Los Angeles on July 1-4, 2023. The staff also revealed a new Anime Expo Ontario event to be held on November 12-13, 2022 in Ontario, California.

Anime Expo returned as a physical event this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and was held on July 1-4, 2022. Some panels were streamed online as part of an “Anime Expo Lite” online event.

Source: ANN

Kura Sushi USA and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Launch First Bikkura Pon Prize Collaboration

Kura Sushi USA, Inc., a technology-enabled Japanese restaurant concept known for its revolving sushi bars, is thrilled to be the first U.S. restaurant chain to collaborate with Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba and release the limited edition Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Bikkura Pon prize collection.

Exclusively at Kura Revolving Sushi Bar restaurants in the United States, the Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Bikkura Pon prize collection includes rubber keychains, lanyards and can badges that feature Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba main characters Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu and Inosuke, among others. Kura Revolving Sushi Bar guests will receive a single Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Bikkura Pon prize for every 15 sushi plates purchased. This prize collection is also available for individual purchase in-store and online at https://order.kurasushi.com. Prizes may differ by location and are available July 1-August 31, 2022, while supplies last.

During the campaign, Kura Sushi Rewards Members will be eligible for multiple in-store giveaways. Kura Revolving Sushi Bar will be giving away Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi merchandise to Kura Sushi Rewards Members with every $100 purchase (excluding tax and tip) made in-store. Giveaways are available while supplies last and are not guaranteed.

  • July 7-9, 2022: Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Graphic Tee
  • July 21-23, 2022: Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Phone Stand
  • August 4-6, 2022: Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Graphic Tee
  • August 11-13, 2022: Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Phone Stand
  • August 18-20, 2022: Demon Slayer x Kura Sushi Tote Bag

The Bikkura Pon Prize System is an integral part of Kura Sushi USA’s innovative and tech interactive dining experience and is comprised of a prize machine, touch panel and plate disposal slot located at every table in the restaurant that are connected via sensors. The touch panel registers the number of sushi plates dispensed into the plate disposal slot. After every five plates inserted, a short animation plays on the touch panel and after every 15 plates inserted, a prize is dispensed from the prize machine.

Anime Spotlight: Eureka Seven: AO

Eureka Seven: AO is a sequel to the Eureka Seven anime series. The anime was produced by BONES and was directed by Tomoki Kyoda. The series aired on Japanese television from April 13-November 20, 2012. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for Eureka Seven: AO.

The series is set in 2025, and the main character is a boy named Ao. He lives on the island of Iwato Jima in Okinawa, along with his grandfather. His friend, Naru, had an encounter with a Scub Coral 10 years earlier on the island and has some of it within her. Scub Corals have been causing problems across the world for a while, and more people are becoming infected by them. But where a Scub Coral appears, entities known as Secrets also appear. Secrets look kind of like the Angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

During the incident 10 years earlier with the Scub Coral that infected Naru, Ao’s mother Eureka vanished without a trace. Fans of the original Eureka Seven can see that this is the same Eureka from the original series, but it doesn’t become clear for quite a bit of the series about how Eureka ended up almost 10,000 years in the past.

Ao’s adventure begins when he stumbles upon three smugglers (Gazelle, Pippo, and Han Juno) trying to smuggle some items to the Japanese Armed Forces. During an incident when a Scub Coral appears, a bracelet falls out of the briefcase… and the smugglers don’t notice. Ao picks it up, and later realizes it was once owned by his long-lost mother. This bracelet allows him to pilot the Nirvash (a mecha) that had belonged to his mother.

Ao joins a group called Generation Bleu in the hopes of finding his mother and learning more about his birth. Through a strange set of circumstances, the three smugglers also end up joining Generation Bleu. Ao becomes part of a team called The Piped Pipers, which includes Fleur Blanc and Elena Peoples. Fleur is the daughter of Generation Bleu’s CEO, and Elena is a mysterious girl with secrets. One of her secrets has a connection to Eureka.

During the series, Ao encounters a stranger named Truth, who has a deep hatred for Eureka because of what happened 10 years earlier and is determined to acquire Nirvash for his own. When he learns Ao is Eureka’s son, his hatred passes down to Ao. Truth also manipulates Ao’s friend Naru into siding with him.

There’s also a bit of political intrigue going on in the series. Okinawa wants to assert its independence from Japan. Meanwhile, Generation Bleu, Japan, and the United States are trying to acquire the quartz from the Scub Coral, which causes a problem when it’s revealed that Generation Bleu has been hoarding quartz in its space station.

During the series, the quartz that Generation Bleu has gathered from various Scub Corals become a weapon for the Nirvash. When it’s fired, though, it has the ability to rewrite events, which causes problems for Ao. To me, at least, this quartz weapon ended up feeling like a “deus ex machina.” Each time it was used, it felt like the writers had written themselves into a corner and came up with this idea so they could change what happened in order to get the characters and story onto the path they want them to go. This especially felt true with the final time that the weapon was used.

In case it wasn’t obvious, Eureka Seven: AO relies heavily on time travel and alternate universes in order to set up the story that’s presented in the series. While there were some interesting ideas being explored by utilizing these concepts, I wasn’t entirely convinced that the execution of those ideas was as strong as it could have been. Also, it felt like there was a lot going on and a lot to try to keep track of, between the time travel, Truth and his manipulation, and the various political intrigues taking place. Not to mention the teenage drama that characters like Ao, Fleur, and Elena go through. And then there’s the three smugglers and what they go through after joining Generation Bleu. As the series progressed, it felt like there was just so much I was trying to process and keep straight as a viewer. By the end of the series, the story felt kind of dense to me.

I also question the inclusion of Noa, the Iriomote three-toed sloth that Naru asks Ao to take care of during the series. While Noa did provide the occasional comic relief, the sloth felt more like it was just “there” and didn’t truly add anything to the series. With some scenes, it almost felt as if the writers remembered that Noa was around and were trying to find ways to force the sloth into scenes. To be honest, I don’t think that Noa was truly necessary and that the story could have been told without including the sloth at all.

When it comes to the animation in Eureka Seven: AO, the animators were aiming to capture the look and feel of the original Eureka Seven. However, I didn’t think the quality of the animation was quite as strong as the original. The animation style and quality weren’t bad, but at times, it looked and felt a little inferior to the original series.

When all is said and done, I think that Eureka Seven: AO isn’t as strong of a series as the original Eureka Seven. However, I can say I did enjoy it more than I did the Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers anime film.

If you’re a fan of Eureka Seven and haven’t seen Eureka Seven: AO yet, I can only truly recommend it to fans who really want to know what happens after the end of the first series. If you’re a fan who’s satisfied with how the original series ended, then you may want to skip over Eureka Seven: AO, because you will likely come away feeling a little disappointed in this series. While it’s an enjoyable enough series to watch through once, it’s not one I’m likely to watch again in a repeat viewing.

Additional posts about Eureka Seven: