DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
4K UHD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time - A Tale of the Eight Guardians, Vol. 6
Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time - A Tale of the Eight Guardians, Vol. 6
Bandai Visual USA // PG-13 // September 16, 2008
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted October 27, 2008 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Series:

With the eight guardians having been gathered, the second story arc gets under way in Haruka:  Beyond the Stream of Time volume six.  Things seem to be moving at a quicker pace now, but the show still has a generic fantasy anime feel to it.  That's not a horrible thing, as fantasy anime can be quite enjoyable, but for the price that these discs are being sold at, I was hoping for something really special.  As it is, the show is an enjoyable, if fairly forgettable, look at another world where demons and gods dwell and fight.

Series Background:

While walking to school one morning, Akane is inexplicably drawn to an old boarded up well.  Almost in a trance she goes to the ancient hole, and when she gets there a giant wind gushes up from the well and a shadow-creature tries to pull her in.  Her two friends, Tenma (who has a sister, Ran, that mysteriously disappeared months ago) and Shimon, fight the creature but all three of them end up being pulled into the well and transported to a different place.  (Shades of Inu Yasha!)

Akane wakes up in the house of a princess, Fuji, and immediately bolts out of the compound. In the city she encounters the man who summoned her:  Akram.  He's a demon, though he looks human.  His race has been fighting the people who like in the Capital city for years and years.  The four Gods who lived in the mountains surrounding the city have protected it however and now the demon-people are few in number.  Akram has been able to steal the four Gods though, and now the city is vulnerable.  The only person who can possibly save it is The Priestess of the Dragon God; none other than Akane herself.

Eventually she's brought back to the castle and her two friends are found.  They've become Guardians, fighters empowered with a Dragon Jewel who battle to keep the Priestess safe.  There are eight in all, with one of Princess Fuji's guards being the third.  Over the course of the first four volumes the eight guardians are discovered and the demon Akram's plans have been foiled, if only temporarily.  Now the guardians have been given the task of finding the Four Sacred Talismans which may release the captured gods.  It takes two guardians working together to find one, and not all of the Priestess guards get along well.  They'll have to overcome their personal differences before they can learn to work as a team.

This volume:

The story starts out with Inori and Shimon looking for the Talisman of the South, but things don't go well since Inori distrusts his partner.  Shimon looks like a demon, and Inori goes off searching by himself.  Being an outcast, Shimon is surprised to discover a demon about his age who is also all alone.  The two become friends, but the demon really has no feelings for Shimon, he just wants to use him to get to the Priestess, something that actually causes Shimon to become closer to his partner.

In the next episode Yorihisa has a dream where his long dead older brother tells him to go East.  Tenma has the same dream, and so the two pair up and search for a Talisman.  Their travels take them to an abandoned house, one that has horrible memories for Yorihisa.  The swordsman must overcome his own inner demons as well as the external ones in order to learn to trust someone.

Finally Takimichi wants to go off in search of a Talisman with his assigned partner, Tomomasa.  The idle Tomomasa doesn't see what the hurry is and would rather sit around and talk about women.  This leads to a lot of tension between the pair, tension that is exploited by a demon.

While this show is still fun, it hasn't really set itself apart from all the other fantasy anime out there.  The eight guardians all have stereotyped personalities, and now that they've all been found were treated to a series of lessons on how to get along with people.  It's not actually all that bad, but I was hoping that the show would have progressed a bit more, in both plot and characterization, by this point in the series.  It's still an enjoyable anime, just not as deep and engrossing as it could be.

The DVD:


Audio:

Being a Bandai Visual show, this DVD did not have an English dub, only the original stereo mix in Japanese with optional English subs.  The show sounded fine, though for the price they could certainly spring for a dub track.  There was some separation in the audio but nothing too fancy.  A 5.1 track would have been nice for the action sequence at the end of the first episode but as it was this track was adequate.

Video:

I was disappointed in the way this series looked.  On smaller monitors it may look fine, but on my 52" display the image was very soft and colors were muted.  It looked like I was watching the show through a rather thick layer of dust on the screen.  (I wasn't, I checked.)  The 1.78:1 anamorphic image just didn't impress me at all.  I suppose this could be the look the creators were going for, but it came across looking below average.  Aside from that, digital defects were minor.  A little aliasing was all.

Extras:

There is nothing much in the bonus department.  Like the previous volumes, there are alternate voice-over tracks for the 'next episode' previews but that was it.  I'm really surprised that BV isn't putting trailers for their other shows on their releases, or textless songs.  These are pretty standard bonus items and to have a premium priced disc leave them off is pretty bad.

Final Thoughts:

Though there isn't much new in this show, the characters are enjoyable and the story is flowing nicely so far.  It's a fun anime to watch and though it's not anything special it's still worth checking out.  Fans of fantasy anime like 12 Kingdoms and Fushigi Yugi will most likely enjoy this, and for them, this disc comes Recommended.
 

Popular Reviews
1. Barry Lyndon
2. Rawhead Rex
3. My Neighbor Totoro (GKIDS Release)
4. The Ghoul
5. The Beguiled
6. Junior Bonner
7. Children Of The Corn
8. Dreamgirls: Director's Extended Edition
9. Ernie Kovacs: Take A Good Look: The Definitive Collection
10. Spirited Away


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2017 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use