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“Brighter Than the Dawning Blue” (a J!-Ent Anime DVD Review)

May 25, 2010 by  



“Brighter than the Dawning Blue” is a beautiful story that shows that true love can conquer all obstacles. Gorgeous.

Image courtesy of © August/Bekkanko/Lunar Culture Committee. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Brighter Than the Dawning Blue

DURATION: 12 Episodes (300 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 WIDESCREEN, JAPANESE STEREO

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: 13+

Release Date: June 1st, 2010

Original Work by August

Directed by Masahiko Ohta

Music by Hiroyuki Sawano

Sound Direction by Toshiki Kameyama

Art Direction by Toshiharu Iijima

Original Character Designs by Bekkanko

Produced by Lunar Culture Committee

 

Featuring the following voice talent:

Susumu Chiba as Tatsuya Asagiri

Hitomi Nabatame as Feena Fam Earthlight

Mio Nonose as Mia Clementis

Hyo-sei as Natsuki Takamizawa

Mai Goto as Mai Asagiri

Daisuke Kishio as Jin Takamizawa

Nami Kurokawa as Sayaka Hozumi

Shizuka Ito as Wreathlit Noel

Shinpachi Tsuji as Takeshi Takano

Yu Asakawa as Karen Clavius

Akira Negishi as Samon Takamizawa

Takashi Kondo as Jürgen von Klügel

Masashi Kimura as Lyones theo Earthlight

It’s never easy when a stranger moves into your house, but if you have to host a foreign exchange student, Feena Fam Earthlight would be almost the perfect choice. She’s smart, kind, generous, and attractive, but she’s also the Sphere Kingdom’s Princess, and tensions between Earth and our Lunar neighbors have been tense since the big war. So you might forgive Asagiri Tatsuya for having some reservations, but since his father is the first assistant to the president, what better place to board the Princess so she can learn more about Earth culture? And, as mentioned before, Feena is VERY attractive.

Unfortunately, the course of true love doesn’t normally have to contend with either interplanetary diplomacy or Feena’s bizarre entourage of assistants… and then there’s the question of how the kids at Tatsuya’s school are going to react.

“Brighter Than the Dawning Blue”, or “Yoake Mae yori Ruriiro na” centers on the story of the love of the Princess of the Moon and her love for a commoner on Earth. The story takes place years after the Moon had been colonized by Earthlings, but sometime after the relationship between those on the Moon and those on Earth became strained and Oedipus War started. Over some times, things calmed down but still remained slightly rocky. Princess Feena wants to learn more about Earth and become more like her mother so she decides to go to Earth and homestay with the family of the secretary of the President of the United Nations. Tatsuya Asagiri is pretty much a normal high school student who is surprised one day to find the Princess staying at his house because of his cousin Sayaka(who is like his older sister)’s job. He helps her learn more about the Earth and they start falling in love with each other. However, there are many obstacles that stand in the way of their love including politics and a fiancee. Will their love be strong enough to withstand all the trials to come?

 

“Brighter Than the Dawning Blue” focuses on the following main characters:

 

Tatsuya Asagiri – Tatsuya is the main character of this story. He is a pretty normal high school student who lives with his younger sister and his cousin who is like his older sister. One day, he comes home to find the Princess of the Moon Kingdom of Sphere in his home. He immediately feels a connection with her and starts falling in love with her. He has always wanted to go to the Moon because of a girl he met when he was younger that was from the Moon. He soon finds out that she’s a lot closer than he thought. He has a weird way of showing affection and tends to tweak the nose of those he cares about.

Feena Fam Earthlight – Feena is the Princess of the Moon Kingdom of Sphere. She is beautiful and kind and wants to be more like her mother Sefiria, so she heads to Earth to learn more about it and the people there. She homestays with Sayaka’s family and meets Tatsuya and feels a connection with him. Despite being from different worlds, she falls in love with Tatsuya and wants to bring their two worlds together.

Mia Clementis – Mia is Feena’s servant from the Sphere Kingdom and is obsessed with cleaning. She is a bit clumsy and air headed at times but only wishes to do what is best for Feena.

Natsuki Takamizawa – Natsuki is one of Tatsuya’s closest friends and has known him since they were young. She may or may not have feelings for Tatsuya, but overall she is very supportive of Tatsuya and only wants him to be happy.

Mai Asagiri – Mai is Tatsuya’s younger sister. They go to the same school and she plays flute and is the part leader for the flute in the school band.

Jin Takamizawa – Jin is Natsuki’s older brother. He is good looking and a bit odd and quite frequently says the wrong things, resulting in his sister pummeling him through the window. This in turn causes his father to dock his paycheck.

Sayaka Hozumi – Sayaka is the cousin and older sister figure of Tatsuya and Mai and is also the secretary of the President of the United Nations. She takes in Princess Feena into their household so she can learn more about Earth.

Wreathlit Noel – Wreathlit is a being from the Moon. She looks like she’s a young girl but she may be older. She is always watching Feena and Tatsuya, and her body also belongs to another entity named Fiacca who is determined to prevent Tatsuya and Feena from getting together.

Takeshi Takano – Takano is a famous photographer that has connections with the Kingdom of Sphere. He is an odd old man that was the only person who was allowed to document Princess Feena’s stay on Earth. He can be a bit pervy, but overall he seems to be good at heart.

Karen Clavius – Karen is the Military Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sphere. Despite being rather strict, she only wants what is best for the Princess and will do everything to help her.

Samon Takamizawa – Samon is Natsuki and Jin’s father and the chef and owner of the restaurant Trattoria Samon. He is always docking pay from Jin’s paycheck for various reasons including continuously breaking the window after being thrown through it.

Jürgen von Klügel – Jürgen is Princess Feena’s fiancee. Despite being denied by Feena as a fiancee, he is determined to get her back no matter the cost.

Lyones theo Earthlight – Lyones is the father of Feena and the King of the Kingdom of Sphere.

“Brighter Than the Dawning Blue” features a total of 12 episodes on two DVDs. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1- The Princess Does a Homestay?! – Princess Feena Fam Earthlight from the Moon is doing a homestay at Tatsuya’s house.
  • EPISODE 2- The Princess is an A-Student! – Feena goes to school with Tatsuya.
  • EPISODE 3- The Princess and the Cooking Battle! – Feena and Natsuki have a cooking contest.
  • EPISODE 4- Fight, O Princess! – Feena defends the household from… bugs.
  • EPISODE 5- The Princess Marooned on a Desert Island! – The group goes to the beach.
  • EPISODE 6- The Princess is Forbidden to Fall in Love?! – Tatsuya and Feena start to have strong feelings for each other.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 7- The Princess’s Fiancee! – Feena’s fiancee shows up.
  • EPISODE 8- With the Princess Beneath the Bright Blue Sky – Tatsuya and Feena must duel.
  • EPISODE 9- The Shadow that Approaches the Princess – Tatsuya and Feena go on their first date but many different forces try to stop their relationship.
  • EPISODE 10- A Princess With Just One Wing – Feena heads back to the Moon after hearing that Karen was apprehended.
  • EPISODE 11- The Hand Placed Atop the Princess’s – Another battle between Earth and the Moon is about to begin.
  • EPISODE 12- The Princess and… – Tatsuya and Feena want to proove that their love will bring their worlds together, not apart.

VIDEO & AUDIO

“Brighter Than the Dawning Blue” is presented in 16:9. The art is well done and the character designs are nice to look at and my first impression is that the art reminds me that of a romance simulation game… and that is what this anime is based on.

There is only Japanese audio and only English subtitles available.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The only special features available on the discs are textless songs, Sentai Filmworks trailers, and a music video featuring clips from the show.

“Brighter Than the Dawning Blue” is a twelve episode series and is a rather quick watch. There are quite a few negatives that I personally found in this series… so I’m going to get that out of the way first.

I won’t say this series is boring, I’ll say it’s mellow. In the end, this is a love story… but there is very little conflict going on. I mean conflict isn’t something you want TOO much of… but this series almost has none. This in turn makes the story rather predictable, for me personally there were pretty much no surprises at all. For the most part, everyone likes each other.

This is a love story as I keep saying, but I had a really hard time trying to figure out the target audience for this series. I mean the main character is a guy and he is surrounded by girls… but unlike most romance games targeted for male audiences, there is pretty much no fan service (which I personally don’t mind…). There isn’t much action whatsoever… there are some politics and even a little mecha involved, but nothing impressive. So honestly, I think male audiences would find this boring. So what about female audiences? If anyone has read a shojo manga before, they know that any love story is FULL of drama (a lot of it unnecessary). I don’t like overdone drama… but a lot of girls LOVE it. Tatsuya is surrounded by girls and Feena should have at least one rival… but she doesn’t. One would think Natsumi would be a potential rival, but she ends up pushing the two together. Which is great in a way, but is unrealistic I think…

With all that being said… there were a lot of elements from various genres… but to me it was rather generic. There wasn’t anything in this series that made it stand out from other love stories. Natsuki using a huge paddle to beat up her brother whenever she got mad at him is like Akane from “Ranma 1/2” or Kaori from “City Hunter” using their megaton hammer to beat the crap out of their love interest… but in this case it was used for her brother. So a popular element in love comedies was used… but in a slightly different way.

The American release only provides Japanese audio with English subtitles, which doesn’t bug me at all but I know that that might affect people who prefer English dub. Also, throughout the series there were random mistakes with the subtitles. They were mostly minor mistakes that seemed to be made when they were not sure what was being said and took a guess, but in the end most of the translations were correct.

Now that I got out of the way, I do have some positives too.

As I said, this is a very mellow series. However there was quite a bit of comedy in this series, most of it involving Jin who’s definitely a secondary character. Despite being a secondary character though, he is much needed in this series considering without him, this series would probably be too mellow and would be just plain boring. He is probably the most memorable character for me and kept me interested in the series. The art in this series was pretty to look at. The environments were well drawn and the character designs were nice and I think both male and female audiences would enjoy it. I think all of the voice actors did a great job and none of the voices seemed out of place. Even though I pointed it out as possibly a negative thing, I think a simple love story with very little conflict will appeal to a decent sized audience as well.

Despite any criticisms I had to say about this series, this isn’t a bad series. I did enjoy watching the series, I just personally thought there was some improvements that could have been made. This is in the end a cute love story and I know many people who would enjoy watching it. This is another story of love conquering all obstacles and I hope people will check it out.






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