Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers (Blu-ray), Early Look/Review
By Marc | February 13th, 2010
Eureka Seven is back… in movie form. Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers (long enough title I think) is a new adventure with Renton, Eureka, and the crew of the Gekko.
I’m sure all the Eureka Seven (I certainly won’t be using the full title every time in the review…) fans already ran off to go get a copy, but unfortunately this is an early review, and it won’t be released until next month. But let’s take a look at how the Blu-ray is, and if it’s worth the cost of entry for fans.
Starting with the packaging, Eureka Seven comes in a standard Blu-ray case. This is the case that uses a duller blue color, and a gray logo stamped onto the top. Nothing special here folks. The front cover is a nice piece of art that was also used for the Japanese release. One thing I should mention, it is slightly changed from the preliminary art that was used in solicitations, and even right up there at the top of this review. They pulled out a little bit so you can see the bottom of Renton and Eureka. This also means that part of the title is no longer smack dab in the middle of Renton’s head. They also moved the logos around a bit. In the original version given out, the Bandai logo is top right, and the Blu-ray logo is bottom right. Now the Bandai logo is top left and in its traditional red color, and the Blu-ray logo is in the top right. Although did the Blu-ray logo need to be on the slipcover at all? It appears on the top of the case itself. That isn’t a negative, I’m just curious.
The back cover has a few nice screen captures on it. It also has an accurate and detailed description of the film (and actually has a few spoilers on it, so you may want to avoid reading it prior to seeing the film.) The list of extras is also accurate. The Blu-ray specification matrix also lists all the video and audio data correct, minus one small mistake. It lists the extras as 1080i and normal Dolby audio, which is accurate for all but one extra, which is actually 1080p and lossless audio. It isn’t a negative mistake, but is worth a mention. There are two other things worth mentioning. The first is in a short sentence on the back they specifically mention the movie is based on the TV series Eureka Seven. That’s obviously correct, it just seemed a little unnecessary to mention. The other thing is that in various places, details are repeated. We see that the audio is 5.1 in at least three different places on the back cover. That it has TrueHD audio and runs 117 minutes is listed in two separate places. This isn’t anything specifically negative, it just seems a bit sloppy to repeat details like that (and can someone tell Bandai having audio and English subtitles is not a ‘Feature’ for an anime release.) I like the packaging for this release, there are just a few little things that make you wonder if it was looked over properly.
The menu for the release has a nice design, but is relatively simple in how it works. First I should mention, as Blu-ray menus can’t be screen captured yet, rather than include nothing, I took a photo of it with my phone and just straightened it out a bit. I apologize for the quality, but something is better than nothing. The main menu sits near the bottom of the screen and has each section light up in a slightly bright red color when you highlight it. When you select it the options slide in from the right side of the screen right on top of the main menu. The scene select menu is the same, but uses small screenshots rather than text. The pop up menu is exactly the same as the active bar on the main menu with one change: the Play Movie option is replaced with a Main Menu option. I actually really like this menu design, and much like on Escaflowne, I think once again this is a very clean and functional menu and am curious to see what we will get next time from Bandai.
Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers is an entirely new Eureka Seven story. It starts over from the beginning, which isn’t too uncommon in anime adaptions. I won’t go over the movie to in depth, as there are plenty of things that can’t even be mentioned without major spoilers. One of the more interesting aspects here is that while anyone can go into the film with no knowledge of the characters or franchise and have a full story told to them, it is a completely different experience for someone who has seen the show. That isn’t meant in the normal ‘movie based on a TV show’ way either. Very often the film uses knowledge of the show against the viewer, specifically using your knowledge of characters to hide surprises and plot devices by having them act completely different than how you would expect them to based on the series.
At the end of the day the movie is more about Renton and Eureka than anyone else. Everything else in the movie is meant to push their story forward. While you could argue that was generally true of the series, the characters in the series often had their own stories. It isn’t a flaw of the film; with two hours instead of 20+ like the series had, you have to focus on your primary characters. It’s arguably a great strength of the film that it is very aware that it can’t give everyone a full story, and instead chooses a story that works and pushes the primary duo’s story forward. While not everyone has a big part, nearly everyone from the series appears to some degree, even if it is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in a few cases. The film overall is quite good, although I find myself wondering about certain choices that seem to have been made for no reason other than to make a change. The most obvious being, why call the creatures ‘Eizo’ instead of ‘Scub Coral’? They even use the same designs for them. It just comes across as a bit strange. But like I said, it’s a good movie.
The video on the disk is encoded at 1080p and is quite good. It’s a little hard to judge though. Even though this is a new digital production, they added digital grain that can change based on background color, and sometimes even uses filters to give the appearance of a skate video. I noticed no specific encoding errors in viewing the film or checking screencaps though. The one thing I should mention, is the use of grain and filters definitely gives the film a natural feeling that makes it a bit easier to get into the film. The one thing to mention though, and this isn’t a problem with the video itself. Keeping strictly to the design and style of the series does create an odd disconnect when you realize it’s a different take on the world and character. It sort of makes you wonder if a slight art shift would have helped in some fashion. But that isn’t a problem with the disk, just a question to be asked.
The audio on the disk is also very good. Both English and Japanese get a lossless 5.1 track. Both tracks are equal in loudness. The only flaw seems to be that sometimes the audio lacks noticeable punch. There are quite a few times where there are explosions and instead of a boom it sounds more like a thud. This may have been the intention of the sound designer, but it definitely sounds off at times. The only other thing I can say is I wish there was more songs from the series in the film so I could hear those at this level of quality. Right below is detailed info on each audio track (average bitrates).
I don’t really have to much to say about the dub. I was a big fan of the dub the series got, and everyone is back for the movie. The quality of the dub is on par with the series, and arguably a bit better as there is no waiting for anyone to find the characters voice. The only specific thing I find worth mentioning is that Crispin Freeman as Holland sounds a bit gruffer than I remember him sounding in the series. It matches this version of Holland very well.
Eureka Seven has quite a few more extras than is normal on most anime releases, but there is still something missing. First thing to mention, we get two Japanese commercials. Both are about 17 seconds long, subtitled and 1080i. We also get the Japanese theatrical trailer. This is 1080p and encoded with TrueHD just like the film itself. The big extra is a 50 minute long making of. My understanding is that this only came on the deluxe Blu-ray in Japan as the second disk. It’s a nice behind the scenes that explains some of the differences and how certain aspects of the film were done (and even includes a few good jokes from the production crew.) There was apparently an art gallery in the Japanese Blu-ray, but that wasn’t expected here. The one thing that is missing is the American behind the scenes though. While not listed on the packaging, it was a hour hour documentary shown in theaters when the movie ran for one day. One wonders why make a documentary to only show it once. Is it on the DVD and not the Blu-ray? Is it being saved for a double dip? Or is it indeed just never to be seen again? There were also apparently dub bloopers shown with the documentary. It would have been nice to get those. The extras on the disk are very good, but I can’t help feeling a bit disappointed knowing there is an extra made specifically for our market, that we aren’t getting on the Blu-ray.
Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers (still a long title…) is an interesting take on Eureka Seven. I definitely prefer the series to this new take, and I can see how many people won’t like the film’s version of several characters, but I don’t think any Eureka Seven fan should avoid the film. Worst case is, you don’t like the film, which will make you appreciate the series even more. I do need to mention one more thing…. what is with the name change? In Japan it was “Eureka Seven: Pocket Full of Rainbows.” Why the title change for the USA? The new title sorta sounds like softcore porn or a cheesy romance novel. But back on target… definitely worth a buy for Eureka Seven fans, and I think people who disliked the series, or have no knowledge of it at all may even find a nice film here.
Show: B+ (A good and interesting film take on Eureka Seven.)
Packaging: B (Normal Blu-ray packaging with nice art and a few oddities on the back.)
Video Quality: A (Great video quality. Any issues that may exist in the encode seem to be hidden by the digital grain and the various filters used throughout the film.)
Audio Quality: A- (Great audio, although there a few times it seems to be to soft.)
English Dub: A (Completely in line with the dub the series got in every way.)
Extras: B+ (A nice long documentary along with a few short promotional videos. There is an American specific documentary missing though.)
Overall (not an average): A- (It’s a good film that get’s a very nice Blu-ray. Eureka Seven fans won’t need any convincing to go get this if they have a Blu-ray player. Any flaws are minimal, and when the film is over you will likely wonder if we will see Eureka and Renton again in another film or series.)
Gallery and copyright information under ad. All caps are lossless PNGs, feel free to request more. (Caps are 1920×1080 matching the resolution they are stored on disk, and meant to be viewed at.)
This show was reviewed using an early copy purchased at an anime specialty retailer.