Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~ – A Tale of the Eight Guardians Vol. 6 (a J!-ENT anime DVD Review)
October 14, 2008 by Dennis Amith
“The sixth volume of “Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~” continues the storyline as Shimon meets a blonde friend (or foe) and also kicking off a new adventure in the search of the four Talismans.”
DVD TITLE: Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~ – A Tale of the Eight Guardians Vol. 6
DURATION: Approx. 75 minutes
DVD INFORMATION: COLOR/NTSC / Japanese Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 ch and Dolby Digital Stereo / English subtitles
CATALOG #: 61486
COMPANY: Bandai Entertainment Inc./Honneamise
RATING: Suggested 13 and Up
DIRECTOR: Tsunaki Aki
SERIES PLANNER: Okazaki Junko
CHARACTER DESIGN: Ohnuki Kenichi, Kotani Khyoko
ART DIRECTOR: Sakamoto Nobuhito
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Arakawa Kousuke
COLOR SETTING: Ario Yukiko
SOUND DIRECTOR: Honda Yasunori
MUSIC: Hirano Yoshihisa
EDITOR: Morita Seiji
Original Story by Tohko Mizuno (serialized in LaLa and Lala DX by HAKUSENSHA)
Opening Song: “Haruka Kimi no Moto e” performed by Morimura Tenma (Seki Tomokazu), Inori (Takahashi Naozumi), Nagareyama Shimon (Miyata Kouki)
Ending Song: “flowin’ -Ukigumo-” performed by Sefle (Akikawa Yuu), Ran (Kuwashima Houko)
Animation Created by YUMETA COMPANY
Motomiya Akane – Kawakami Tomoko
Minamoto-no Yorihisa – Miki Shin-Ichiro
Morimura Tenma – Seki Tomokazu
Nagareyama Shimon – Miyata Kouki
Fujiwara-no Takamichi – Nakahara Shigeru
Tachibana no Tomohmasa – Inoue Kazuhiko
Eisen – Hoshi Soichiro
Abe-no Yasuaki – Ishida Akira
Princess Fuji – Otani Ikue
Akram – Okiayu Ryotaro
Ran – Kawashima Houko
Abe-no Seimei – Matsumoto Dai
Little Tengu – Shimakta Junko
Tengu – Taniyama Kisyo
If this is destiny, give me the power to smash it…!
With all of the Eight Guardians gathered at her side, Akane now sets out to find the Four Sacret Talismans, a task that will pit them all gainst countless hardships that threaten to throw the Eight Guardians into disarray.
With volume six of “Haruka -Beyond the Stream of Time”-, this time around we get episodes focused on Shimon, another storyline about Yorihisa (which is evidently becoming a fan favarite), Takamichi and Tomomasa.
In episode 15 titled “Heart beyond Hate”, Shimon has not always been trusted by the people in this new land. Because of his blonde hair and blue eyes, something not common especially in the new world, they are known as demons.
Although he has his friends with Akane and Tenma, he has somewhat been isolated because the guardians do not want him to be seen in public because of his blonde hair and literally, he can get himself killed.
To make things even worse, one of the guardians, Inori refuses to work with Shimon because of his feelings that since Shimon is blonde, his is in fact a demon.
So, Shimon has felt left out and as everyone has pulled their weight to protect Akane, Shimon feels he is the weakest of the group.
Shimon eventually finds himself a new friend named Sefle (from the Demon clan) who doesn’t know that Shimon is one of the guardians but feels he can use Shimon to get close to Akane, the dragon priestess.
But what happens when Sefle unleashes his demon against children and has the villagers believe that Shimon is the cause of the attacks. But what happens when Inori also believes that Shimon attacked the children?
In episode 16 titled “The Day of Atonement”, we get another Yorihisa storyline as he has been dreaming about his beloved older brother (who died trying to protect Yorihisa long ago). In his dream, he is told to go East and with the possibility of it being a sign, Akane, Yorihisa and Tenma set out to find the Talisman.
But what happens when Akane is split up from the group and Yorihisa and Tenma are not just attacked by enemies but also a challenge by one of the higher level demons.
In episode 17 titled “The Oleander Lady”, as everyone grows anxious to start finding the Talisman of the West, Takamichi is getting irritated by Tomomasa who acts as if he doesn’t care about finding the Talisman but prying into his own personal life and his thoughts about women.
But what happens when both men are drawn to a strange woman?
Video is presented in anamorphic 16:9:LB and presented in 1:71:1 aspect ratio. I watched this DVD twice now on my 52″ inch television and on my 24″ iMac. And as I have mentioned before in my reviews, “HARUKA” has beautiful conceptual art when it comes to the backgrounds and just overall, how the whole land just looks lush. Colors galore! And I also enjoy the character designs. The men of course are quite Bishonen but the overall costumes to the colorful settings of the backgrounds mesh well with each other. Beautiful anime.
As most of Honneamise releases, there is no English dub track and as most Honneamise releases, the encoding of audio for their DVD’s are top notch as audio is encoded at 448 kbps and clear audio. As for voice acting, I have been so far, very pleased with the Japanese voice acting for the characters.
The “HARUKA” DVD’s do not really come with many special features. Mainly featured on each volume is bonus footage titled “The Demon’s Soliloquy” which is more or less Akram’s voice and his rendition of the teaser trailers.
And as with each volume, there is a four fold, double paged booklet which features episode synopsis, images, character profiles, staff interview with Nobuhito Sakamoto (art director) and Yoichi Kato (scriptwriter) and a section titled “Anthology of the Eight Guardians – Poems Unraveled” which features the poetry shown at the end of each episode.
I have to admit that part of the allure of “Haruka -Beyond the Streams of Time” has to be the fact that almost like a Japanese RPG, there are a group of characters always on the move and there is a storyline within each character. May it be their past or the current mission that they are on.
With the first half of the series focusing on introducing the eight guardians, now we get to see them work and interact together and even go in battles against the demon clan.
I was a bit surprised that there is another Yorihisa storyline so soon but I would imagine that he must be quite popular in Japan and thus, another storyline featuring the purple-haired swordsman was needed.
But I hope to see more storylines on the background of each of the eight guardians.
Another anticipated storyline was episode 15 and that was to finally see Shimon not be so weak and finally using his power. Granted, he’s going to be the shy member of the eight guardians but at the same time, it was finally good to see a story based on him.
With so many storylines focusing on Akane, again, it was great to see the storylines now focusing on her protectors and I hope that continues on to the next upcoming volumes of the series.
So, all in all, if you have been watching this series, volume six is another cool volume featuring episodes that are building up to possibly a major battle between the eight guardians and the demon clan.
If you invested so much time into the series, then definitely check this latest volume out!
+ Beautiful artwork and character designs and continuing Bandai Visual/Honneamise quality for audio and video encoding.
+ Really entertaining storyline so far. I really dig the character development for the series.
+ Really good voice acting from top talent from Japan and easy to ready English subtitles
– Unfortunately no English dub for those that need their anime with that option.
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