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Aura Battler Dunbine - Tales of Byston Well (Vol. 1)

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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(Jul 15, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome to Byston Well, a world that exists in the spaces between sea and land. The only way to get there from here is through the Aura Road, which few can open. Young motocross racer Shou Zama is dragged through the Aura Road and into Byston Well, where he is to pilot a powerful robot weapon, an Aura Battler, in Drake Luft’s conquest of the planet. But when Shou realizes the danger Drake poses, can he defect to the other side in time to prevent an invasion of Earth? An epic, one-of-a-kind adventure, Aura Battler Dunbine is the stuff of which legends are made. Dive head-first into a rich, fully defined world where magic and mecha work hand-in-hand to create one of the most unique anime experiences ever envisioned.

Although it's based on the work of Yoshiyuke Tomino (the creator of Gundam), Aura Battler Dubine (1983) didn't include robots originally--the sponsoring toy companies reportedly insisted on their addition. Show Zama is transported to the alternate world of Byston Well to become an "Aura Battler," the pilot of a mecha powered by spiritual energy. He soon realizes he's just a pawn in Drake Luft's scheme to conquer the entire planet. Luft's foes include his daughter Elmelie, whom Show aids. The look and pacing of Dubine will remind viewers of Robotech and Ronin Warriors. The characters reflect the influence of American kidvid cartoons; the action halts while characters give long set speeches, which the cast delivers in stolid monotones. It's surprising that the adaptors have a character address Show with the offensive term "Jap." (Unrated: Suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, brief nudity, alcohol use, ethnic slurs) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Leraldo Anzaldua, Christine M. Auten, Greg Ayres, Rick Burford, Shelley Calene-Black
  • Directors: Iku Suzuki, Kazuhito Kikuchi, Osamu Sekita, Shûji Iuchi, Yasuhiro Imagawa
  • Writers: Hajime Yatate, Sukehiro Tomita, Yoshiyuki Tomino
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: July 15, 2003
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000093NP7
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,235 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Aura Battler Dunbine - Tales of Byston Well (Vol. 1)" on IMDb

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Yes, the material has aged, but let yourself go and enter the world of Byston Well, you won't regret it. Aura Battler Dunbine is IMHO one of the strongest works Tomino (of Mobile Suit Gundam fame) ever did. In fact, it has two strength even the original Gundam and its most glorious sequel, Z-Gundam, don't have.
First of all, the heroes come from contemporary (well, early 80's) earth (Upper Earth, as Byston Well dwellers call it), which allows Tomino to introduce such rare things in anime as ethnic tension, or robot fighting within contemporary cities (a unique case in Tomino's real robot production). But most of all, Tomino has tried to create a fantasy world, Byston Well, with its own races, and a real sense of wonder, which almost equals the best fantasy novelists. That's a unique trait, that sets this anime apart from all the other robot stuff. I could also speak about the characters relations, as complex and tragic as those of Z-Gundam, the absence of the comic antics that have ruined some other Tomino's series (like ZZ-Gundam or Heavy Metal L-Gaim), or the original mecha design which adds to the identity of Byston Well as a fantasy universe. But you already see my point: Dunbine is a real masterpiece among the real robot animes of the early 80's (and that says a lot, since the genre includes such classics as Macross, Votoms, or Z-Gundam).
One last thing: many of you will link the whole fantasy plus mecha thing to the famous Visions of Escaflowne series, so I'll tell my opinion about it. That Dunbine was used as an inspiration to create Escaflowne is a given. But I think Escaflawne failed to emulate Dunbine, because the world and the characters of Dunbine are (much) more fleshed out than those of Escaflowne.
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Format: DVD
One of the first anime series that caught my interest, even before copies had reached the states. I had found the 'This is Animation' book for Dunbine in a comics store in Nashville, and made it my first anime acquisition. With untranslated videotapes of the series, and the 'Animag' translations, I was able to scratch the surface of a very deep storyline. And, now that a subbed and dubbed version is available, I can enjoy all the intrigue, I've been missing.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I like anime.
I like fantasy.
I like giant battling robots.

I hated this show. Drunk male pixies in political intrigues between medieval looking countries who happen to field giant ugly robots piloted by kidnapped citizens from "upper Earth" countries such as Japan and the USA. One Japanese forced pilot is pulled to their fantasy world along with his Honda Motorcycle that he rides along side the horse mounted knights on parade. Dribble.

I have not seen graphics this bad since the early 70's. Characters shimmie back and forth as they change poses over a static back ground.

I can't imagine an audience for this, maybe someone who saw it as a kid and wants to relive the nostalga of his tortured youth, spent watching a black and white TV with no cable or VCR player?

Again, a couple of reviewers throw up (and I mean "throw up") 5 star reviews. What their true motivation is I will likely never know, but don't make the mistake I made, pass on this stinker of a show.
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