Friday, April 8, 2011

Divergence Eve Anime Review

Divergence Eve
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 13 episodes
325 minutes - 3 discs
$44.98 (2006)
ISBN 702727155024
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Atsushi Takada
Studio - Radix

Synopsis: On Earth in the year 2017 a gravitational phenomena is detected within the core of Saturn's moon Titan, and thought to be a wormhole. It is theorized that faster-than-light travel can be achieved by entering a baby universe still in a state of cosmic inflation therefore bypassing the known laws of physics and traveling at infinite speed. An excavation gains access to the wormhole and research continues.

The first faster-than-light travel by humans is achieved in 2197. Eventually another planet with a wormhole core is found with a strange "apple core" shape.  Surrounded by massive rings it was apparently used by a long-dead alien race.  By 2246 a base has been built and the planet has been dubbed "Watcher's Nest".

An unscheduled arrival occurs within the Core and encounters the first Ghoul - an extra-dimensional creature attempting to form in our universe. The Core team is slaughtered by the Ghoul and autopsies performed by the research group Alchemy in 2252 reveal artificial genetic modifications.

Alchemy begins applying the genes to monkeys and in 2272 the lead scientist, Doctor Kessler, attempts the first human tests as the Ghoul intended.  The research group objects and shuts down the project, but not before at least one test subject (the most promising human/Ghoul hybrid) disappears.

An elite group of pilots called Seraphim are stationed on the Watcher's Nest and commanded by Lyar Von Ertiana. Four cadets arrive at the station to test for membership in Seraphim, but an accident occurs during their arrival. The Ghoul assaults their craft, but no one is hurt. The cadets include clutzy yet chipper Misaki Kureha, talented pilot Luxandra Frail, tough Kiri Marialate, and plucky Suzanna Bluestein.

Bizarre accidents keep happening and are centered around Misaki. Watcher's Nest is filled with a terrible secret - one that claimed the life of Misaki's father many years ago. Will the answers destroy Misaki and her fellow cadets? Not everyone gets out alive!

Pros: Fan-service aplenty, surprisingly compelling storyline, some plot twists, ending credits and theme song are great - very catchy and playful (warning - these are super-hyper and can cause brain damage after multiple viewings)

Cons: Mecha designs are terrible, CG is so-so and noticeably dated by today's standards, characters are fairly one-dimensional, Ghoul designs are awful and they just serve as simple plot device (no depth)

Mike Tells It Straight: The fan-service first attracted me to Divergence Eve (due to its extreme nature that's no surprise), but I found myself digging the storyline after the first few episodes. The characters themselves are incredibly one-dimensional (and every female character has ridiculously massive cleavage), but the science portrayed was interesting and enough questions were posed to keep me engaged. This show is definitely middle-of-the-road for quality, but garnered enough interest to spawn a sequel (see recommendations below). My biggest gripes are the horrid CG/designs for both the mecha and Ghouls. Overall you'll get a little more than you expected from this show (if all you're expecting is fan-service with zero plot).

TO BUY and Recommendations: