Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers is a feature film adaptation of the anime series Eureka Seven. It was produced by Bones following the immense success and reception of the 50 episode long series. Fans began eagerly anticipating the film version and it was a hugely exciting release within the anime fandom. Eureka Seven is retold within an alternate timeline that changes elements of the series plotline and some of the characteristics of the characters featured on the series. The film was released on April 25, 2009 in Japan.
First of all, Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers is worth noting as being a production that massively divided the fan-base. It was met with so many divisive reactions because it wasn't entirely faithful to the series structure, storyline, or characters. The film wanted to be able to stand apart as a separate experience altogether even despite the fact that it is ultimately still something retelling the same story that brought in fans in the first place and with a lot of the same art from the series. There were a lot of negative responses because fans were hoping to either experience a new story or one that kept things as they experienced them throughout the series. This film provided neither option to viewers and this was a huge factor in it receiving such divided responses.
The basic story revolves around the same characters as the series: Renton and Eureka. The story picks up with their childhood meeting and focuses on them becoming friends. Then Eureka is taken away from Renton, which causes great turmoil for both characters growing up without each other by their side.
The separation does not make them lose their connection to each other though, as each separately retains their feelings of friendship. Renton vows to see his close friend again. He joins an army group and later becomes a well known individual because of his strong skills with the Nirvash mecha robot.
Over the course of the film, some details about the origins of Eureka (and her aversion to light) are revealed and a storyline is introduced that focuses on the military Renton works with (who turn out to be rebel), leading towards the concluding confrontations and a battle towards stopping the alien invasion from succeeding and which relies on the combined team-work of both Renton and Eureka for a possible victory.
The animation is beautiful throughout. Of course, a lot of the artwork in the film is actually the same as what was seen on the series so this is another reason why many fans felt an element of disappointment. Character designs, background animation, and overall development seems so authentic and impressive because the series was first and foremost. From an art perspective, Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers excels in almost every way imaginable even if it's borrowing.
This time around the script writing duties were handed over to director Tomoki Kyoda, who served double-duty in working on the film production. He was one of the main series directors and he worked as director here again through combining elements from the show into the movie. This was interesting as he adds a flavor only someone involved with the series could have added.
The direction feels too crammed when one considers how much plot and characterization is being attempted to be placed in one film. Yet the style and craft of the filmmaking is also exceptionally high and will not feel disappointed in that regard. However, I also thought the script wasn't particularly strong. The characters aren't quite up to par with this edition. Both Renton and Eureka seem more like caricatures at times with less development - both in the relationship issues exploring friendship and most certainly as to their feelings for each other.
Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers divided fans but the film itself is actually sort of reasonably entertaining. Everything about the production managed to be overdone with too many episodes impacting what amounts to a 2 hour diversion side-trip. However, the experience of the film is still interesting and unique overall. Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers is certainly something to experience if you are a dedicated anime fan even if it doesn't deliver the filmmaking that most expected to find. It's ambitious in attempting something so unique even despite the framework this production works within.
Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers is presented on Blu-ray with a native HD 1080p transfer and a MPEG-4 AVC encoding that has an average bit-rate of 28mbps. It is a bit-for-bit identical transfer to the previously available Bandai Entertainment release from 2010. This is a reasonably good video presentation for the film.
The film image quality is mostly clean and reasonably detailed. The film's native animation is a bit soft inherently and the color style is somewhat subdued and is without good black levels. However, the overall color palette and the high-quality encoding provides fans with a good transfer that does a solid job of presenting the source material as intended.
The audio presentation for the film is available in either Dolby TrueHD 5.1 English or Japanese language. With either option available, listeners will discover a dynamic audio presentation that has strong separation between channels and reasonable depth and clarity. The lossless mix is an enjoyable one; quite strong, and certainly worth recommending. The whizz-bang of the intense audio during the action sequences is notable for making the film feel much more immersive.
The only drawback to the audio presentation is that it is in 16 bit depth. Unfortunately, I'm unable to check to see if the 2010 release was in 24 bit depth or if it was also 16 bit depth. Regardless, I consider this film to have a worthwhile soundstage despite this limitation.
This release contains some solid supplemental materials, including a 50 minute long making of featurette about the production and release of the film (which also includes footage from convention interviews about the production development), the original theatrical trailer, and television commercials promoting the film. The making of is surprisingly quite long and has numerous interviews that should help to make it worth checking out for any fans of the movie.
Funimation has also provided the U.S. trailer and trailers promoting other recent releases.
Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers is a film that completely divided fans of the series. While some viewers loved the film for it's different take on the series storyline and characters others found the film undercooked by changing basic elements of the show and by reusing too much animation. It's certainly nowhere near perfect or what fans were hoping for. However, Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers is a decent remix of sorts for a condensed retelling (a film method that is all-too common in the anime world). So having something be somewhat different in approach can be somewhat refreshing, if also not entirely ideal for the fans.
My suggestion is to rent the film if you are a fan of Eureka Seven who hasn't previously seen Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers. If you have already seen and enjoyed the film, then it might be worth picking up to go alongside your series collection. Certainly, the Blu-ray PQ is strong and the immersive audio is not a slouch so this release can come recommended but for established fans of the film only.