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Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~ – A Tale of the Eight Guardians Vol. 8 (a J!-ENT anime DVD Review)

October 26, 2008 by  



“The eighth volume of ‘Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~: A Tale of the Eight Guaridans’ continues the  storyline of the Eight Guardians searching for the last two Sacred Talismans, more revelations of one of the demons and much more!”

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DVD INFORMATION:

DVD TITLE: Haruka ~Beyond the Stream of Time~ – A Tale of the Eight Guardians Vol. 8

DURATION: Approx. 74 minutes

DVD INFORMATION: COLOR/NTSC / Japanese Audio (Dolby Digital 5.1 ch and Dolby Digital Stereo / English subtitles

CATALOG #: 61509

COMPANY: Bandai Entertainment Inc./Honneamise

RATING: Suggested 13 and Up

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

STAFF INFORMATION:

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

VOICE ACTORS/ACTRESSES:

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

“The meaning of those words you said when we first met… I now understand.”

Can the demons and humankind ever understand one another?  Where does the final Sacred Talisman, the Talisman of the North, lie?  The power of the Dragon God that dwells within Akane grows stronger with each passing day, while the thoughts of the Eight Guardians weave and clash…

The eighth volume of “Haruka~Beyond the Stream of Time~ A Tale of the Eight Guardians” brings us closer to the group accumulating all Sacred Talismans but also an interesting reveal on the side of the demons.

In Episode 21 titled “Demons and People”, the story focuses on Inori and dwelves deep into finding out why he has a hatred towards demons and also his relationship with his sister.   Especially how his sister has a strong connection to demon Akram’s right hand man Ickiditarl.  Inori, protective of his sister decides to take matters in his own hands to fight the demon.   Also, the curse that Akram has put over the villages have made life much worse with a major drought and no food being produced.

In episode 22 titled “When Demons Appear”, Tenma’s sister Ran wants to know what happened to them and why they are in another land.  Not having remembered that she was summoned by Akram and having worked with the demons, Guardian/android Yasuaki who has no emotions, tells Ran everything.  This sets everything in a tale spin as Ran leaves the compound and makes herself vulnerable to Akram.  Akram’s plan to take the Talismans away from the Eight Guardians begins.

In episode 23 titled “Dusk”, Akram succeeds in his mission in obtaining Ran and also stealing the Sacred Talismans.  But one is still left and that leaves Yasuaki and Eisen the only Guardians who have not obtained a talisman.  When one of the demons tells Yasuaki that there is no chance of getting the final Talisman, Yasuaki feels that because he is an android and lacks any emotion, he serves no purpose. So, Yasuaki tries to understand his worthiness to help Akane.

VIDEO:

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.

AUDIO:

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.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

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, super deformed characters images, staff interview with Ritsuko Hayasaka (scriptwriter), cast interview after the recording the series part 1 and a section titled “Anthology of the Eight Guardians – Poems Unraveled” which features the poetry shown at the end of each episode.

With volume 8, the series continues with the adventures of the group trying to get the Sacred Talismans but if anything, more background stories that explains a few things such as Inori and his sister and his hatred for demons.  Also, we learn the true nature of the demon Ickiditarl.  Also, a storyline that focuses on Tenma’s sister Ran and of course, a Yasuaki episode that deals with him being an android.

So, volume 8 does focus on character development for Inori and Yasuaki but also a volume setting things up for a major confrontation between the eight guardians versus Akram and the demons.

The series has focused so much on character development and has had its share of action scenes but it’s been a stable ride so far.  No major deaths or consequences but it seems that things are now getting revved up for possibly a major battle between the Eight Guardians and the demons.  So, definitely look forward to volume 9.

+ 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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