by Timothy Georgi

Today's science lesson: In the 24th century, the people of the Earth have discovered a way to travel great distances using transdimensional portals. Scientists over two centuries had developed a theory that using a wormhole, one could travel from one point in the galaxy to another by passing through tunnels into another dimension and then popping back into our dimension light years from where they started. This is the premise behind the high-energy, fanservice fest called Divergence Eve.

Divergence Eve hits you with a mystery right off the bat. A battle is brewing and things have taken a turn for the worst. Before the series even really gets started, we find ourselves at the end. Yes, not the norm, as the series starts off in a much different fashion than most anime series. In the first episode, we start at the end of the story and then jump back to show the viewers how the series got to the "starting" point...

Misaki Kureha is an army cadet that has been chosen from the reserves to become a member of the elite Seraphim squadron. Misaki is a kultzy, busty 18 year old that has had a difficult life up to this point. Her mother had passed on early in her life and her father had been killed while working on a deep space outpost called Watcher's Nest. Having tried and falied to find work back on Earth, Misaki ended up joining the army. Having been chosen to become one of the Seraphim pilots, she's on her way to the place where her father had died to train for her upcoming position.

Misaki is joined by three other cadets that have spent years training to become Seraphim pilots, Luxandra, Suzanna and Kiri. Little do they know what they're being sent into.

Time for us to use our science lesson. The Watcher's Nest outpost is the end of one of the tunnels that passes from Earth through one of the parallel dimensions. Because of the constant crossing of dimensions, mysterious and destructive visitors from one of the other dimensions have been trying to break into our dimension. The Watcher's Nest outpost has been created to prevent these invadors, called Ghoul, from materializing in our plane of existance.

The girls are set to travel though the portal from Earth to Watcher's Nest on an upcoming cargo ship, and upon reaching the other side of the tunnel, one of the Ghoul attempts to materialize with the ship. The Ghoul finds and singles out Misaki, causing an unexpected transformation to come over her. In her transformed state, Misaki is able to force the Ghoul to return to its own dimension. What causes this transformation? What significance is there to Misaki and the battle with the Ghoul? Little is known and leaves plenty of questions as we enter into the remaining episodes of the series.

Watching Divergence Eve, I was reminded of a bunch of different anime seires. Little bit of Evangelion with the Ghoul. Little bit of Macross with the members of the military on the outpost. Little bit of Macross Plus with the fighting action. Throw a bit of Cartoon Network's Toonami 3D graphics and you have a lot of the pieces for Divergence Eve. The animation style is very clean and more on the high quality end than some anime I've seen recently. There was also particular care give to make sure the 3D graphics worked well with the cel animation. Granted, it takes an episode or two to get used to the two styles, but it works once you get used to it.

Of course, what dark anime series wouldn't be complete without a bit of misdirection? To further throw the world off the dark and forboding nature of the series, the closing credits are showered with shoujo. A poppy, snappy and bouncy ending theme song accompany a flood of fanservice featuring Misaki in a wide variety of "fun times".

Divergence Eve will appeal to a lot of the sci-fi fans out there. If girls with guns, fighting nasty-bad monsters from another dimension, or heck, just a little fanservice is your thing, Divergence Eve will definitely hit the mark. If you're looking for an engaging story with deep characters and a good helping of action, Divergence Eve still hits the mark.

Divergence Eve Vol. 1: Welcome to Watcher's Nest
RADIX, Operation Eve
Distributed by
ADV Films
Release Info
Volume 1
Bilingual Widescreen DVD
Dolby Digital 5.1 Eng./2.0 Jap.
Run Time: 125 min

MSRP: $29.98
Street Date: Mar 1, 2005