Friday, September 3, 2010

Some thoughts on Infinite Ryvius 無限のリヴァイアス



Released: 1999

Go to IMDb page

Information ©

"Mugen no rivaiasu"

Tetsu Shiratori, Houko Kuwashima, Sakura Tange, Kyôko Hikami, Rikako Aikawa, Michael Adamthwaite,

     So I bought the first volume LE box last year, and pretty much set it aside. I finally watched it last week, and it blows me away. I haven’t watched anything so intense for a long time. I finished this series in two sittings. The story is just so gripping that I keep on watching it and never feel tired.

The series is the debut work from Taniguchi, Goro as a director. He later did s-cry-ed, Planetes, Gun x Sword, and Code Geass. All of which are quite enjoyable to watch. But to me, this one is definitely my favorite. One note is that if you don’t like teen angst, this is not the series for you. 


The series involves around 487 teens rode on an advanced space ship Ryvius after being attacked by some mysterious organization and all their instructors were dead. There’s an ass-kicking giant robot on board ryvius which is pretty much the only weapon they have. So now these teens need to organize together, and live in a small society to survive in this government conspiracy.

The sci-fi elements in this series are quite enjoyable. The setting of sudden burst of Geduld is just nice as a background, since now the space is more like ocean. There are different levels of this “ocean” (There are even space squids later seen in the series). Normal spaceships won’t be possible to “dive” very deep into the Geduld due to high pressure and temperature. So the show is pretty much like a submarine drama, but set into space. The robots fighting sequences are more close to the nature of physics, you won’t see any fights like crazy movements/poses Gundams can do. The fighting might miss the whistles and bells of mecha anime, but under the great music and intense atmosphere the director takes, it’s absolute gripping to watch.

The music utilizes r&b and hip hop which is rare in anime. And the music is used wisely so that you don’t feel they are out of place. The opening and ending and some variations used are also memorable.

Opening Dis-


Easy Living




The character design is actually pretty acceptable despite it’s done by Hisashi Hirai, who later did the Gundam seed which is shit. I never understand this dude’s character design concept, to me he just uses exactly the same face and changes the hair, thus everyone almost looks like the same. This dude should be banned from the anime industry. By the way, the main character Kouji Aiba 相葉昴治 lookes very close to Shinji Ikari 碇 シンジ from Evangelion

Characters development and interactions in this series are the absolute fantastic aspects of the show. There are lots of lots characters, nearly all of them are memorable to some degree. Neya got to be one of my favorites although “she” is only a biological form of the Sphix, the AI of the spaceship Ryvius. Her dance in one of the episodes is just absolutely hilarious. Another notable character is Fina S. Shinozaki ファイナ・S・篠崎, who came from Uranus with a religious background has a dark secret which reveals later in the series. I somehow like these mental twisted girls… (Another notable one is Flay Allster from Gundam seed)

Seiyuu are also another strong aspect. The main character Kouji Aiba’s voice is by Tetsu Shiratori 白鳥哲, whose notable role as Lloyd in Code Geass. I don’t quite like this voice, but it’s bearable. Kouji’s brother Yuki Aiba 相葉祐希 is by Sōichirō Hoshi 保志総一朗, his notable role is Kira Yamato in Gundam Seed/seed destiny, Yuki is a super angst version of Kira. Kouji’s best friend Ikumi Oze 尾瀬イクミ is voiced by Tomokazu Seki 関智一 who has done countless roles (my favorite role of his is still Sgt. Sousuke Sagara 相良宗介 from Full Metal Panic). Kouji’s real girlfriend Aoi Housen 蓬仙あおい is voiced by Houko Kuwashima 桑島法子, my all time favorite, needless to say. Ikumi’s girlfriend Kozue Izumi 和泉こずえ is voiced by Sakura Tange 丹下桜, the notable role of her works is definitely Sakura Kinomoto 木之本桜 from Cardcapter Sakura. You get to know how Sakura gets angst in this show. Another character immediately identifiable by me is Lucson Houjou ルクスン・北条 who is voiced by Bin Shimada 島田敏. Right, he IS Ken Nakajima 中嶋剣, white hawk of Bokuto Station from You’re under arrest. (Didn’t know he is also the voice of Stig Bernard from Genesis Climber MOSPEADA(Original version to the third arc of Robotech: New generation).)

The animation is quite decent, Sunrise prodeces quite a few good animes during that period of time anyway.

The show’s only downside to me is the sudden slow-down pacing in the last 6 or so episodes prior to episode 25 which is how this incident is resolved, too much recaps are provided in these episodes. I understand the director wants to make the characters deeper by lots of flashing back and monologue, but it’s not very effective to me. This is the only negative point of the show. If this series is done in 24 episodes, cutting out some recap parts, making the plot advancing faster, it would be a masterpiece to me.

Some words about the DVD, the US R1 release is the non-remastered version. I only have the first disc (out of six total) for episodes 1-5 (I don’t plan to buy the rest since there’s a superior remastered edition with Dolby Digital 5.1 remix released in 2006). The video quality is fine with minor aliasing except a few scenes are extremely fussy/unfocused, no noticeable cross coloration, dot crawl, etc are spotted on the main feature. The audio, as per the Japanese track considered, has no obvious flaw. It’s just a standard simple 2.0 stereo mix, the R&B BGMs do have some bass though which makes the sounds fuller. The extras presented on the disc are quite nice, the most notable one is Ryvius Illusion #1, a super deformed version that summarizes the show. Gun X Sword has a similar extra called Gun X Sword San, but I think Ryvius has done a better job on it by providing something in line with the show, while Gun X Sword San is not quite related to the plot not to mention the characters are overly violent…

Adding some DVD screencaps from R1 release:


infiniteryvius01.png picture by linkai8424

Another “the Matrix” style menu. I liked this type of menus.

infiniteryvius02.png picture by linkai8424

infiniteryvius03.png picture by linkai8424

infiniteryvius04.png picture by linkai8424

Extras are quite nice.


The videos:

infiniteryvius09.png picture by linkai8424

infiniteryvius10.png picture by linkai8424

Like I said, the videos are good enough most of the time. But an HD remastering would look absolutely gorgeous, I imagine.


infiniteryvius11badframe.png picture by linkai8424

This is the example of a frame can go really wrong. Not sure why inconsistent frames would show up. And there are quite a few others throughout the show.


infiniteryvius06.png picture by linkai8424

Ryvius Illusion extras which I found quite interesting.

infiniteryvius05.png picture by linkai8424

infiniteryvius08.png picture by linkai8424

infiniteryvius07.png picture by linkai8424

Somehow the original Japanese menu is still on the disc. I might take a in-depth look at the disc some time.

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