The seminal and hugely influential anime Aura Battler Dunbine is finally getting its high-definition Western release on home video and streaming in the near future.
Thanks to those nice people at Sentai Filmworks, they are planning to bring this classic anime Westward with an all-new high definition remaster both for home video release and online streaming.
My guess is that this release is based on the excellent Blu-ray remaster released in Japan last year (shown below). If that is the case, then we might also be getting the TV series along with the OVAs, namely The Tale of Neo Byston Well.
While the series was released via the now-defunct A.D. Vision on DVD back in 2003, that only included the TV series and omitted the OVAs. So I am really hoping Sentai Filmworks bring the whole Japanese Blu-ray set Westward, not least because the Japanese boxsets are also stuffed fill with amazing extras.
From a gaming standpoint, the impact Aura Battler Dunbine has had over the year has been huge. With creators like Koji Igarashi andÂ Kimihiko Fujisaka being big fans of the anime and citing it as a major influence. The saga is also a popular part of the Super Robot Wars games and is heavily featured in the recently released Super Robot Wars X on PS4 and Vita.
Aura Battler Dunbine is a fascinating anime set within the fantasy world of Byston Well, where people can use their aura to control giant machines known as aura battlers. With otherworldlyÂ mecha design by KazutakaÂ Miyatake and Yutaka Izubuchi, it was one of the first major isekai or alternate world mecha shows and was a huge influence on later works such as Panzer World Galient and especially The Vision of Escaflowne.
When I spoke with writer and director Yoshiyuki Tomino last year, he talked a bit about his work on Aura Battle Dunbine and some of its European influences.
So in Mobile Suit Gundam I sent a message to viewers, especially younger viewers, that you should try and become a Newtype. If I continued on from trying to send that message, then what else could I do? I thought that then a new story would need to be set within an imaginary world, but not exactly fantasy, as I don’t think Aura Battler Dunbine is technically within the realm of fantasy. It is set within a world of imagination and one that consequently features mecha. It is not based on a world of a different dimension.
So the setting for Aura Battler Dunbine is within the world of imagination, one of the reasons being that I think Japanese people of my generation have an interest in European folktales and mythology. Considering that animation needs to have a global appeal, I thought that setting everything in Japan would go against that. That’s why I used the somewhat medieval European setting in Aura Battler Dunbine.
While the series was recently streamed on Daisuki, I am really happy to see that Sentai Filmworks has stepped in here. Details on release dates and pricing have yet to be announced but the good news is that Aura Battler Dunbine is going to be readily available in the West and that is just great.
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