The Mysterious Cities of Gold
Dir. Bernard Deyries
Rating: 3.2 | 0 User Reviews | Send to Friend
By Jes Sipling
Originally airing in Japan in 1982, writer Scott O’Dell’s anime series
starring Esteban, Boy from the Sun, survived little over a year before being canceled and subsequently redubbed and rehashed in America. Esteban, an orphan growing up in 16th Century Barcelona, has a strange gift for making the Sun appear, despite any current inclement weather. He also wears a peculiar medallion of gold around his neck with a missing piece that, as it turns out, a haughty, cape-donning Spanish navigator, Mendoza, happens to possess. The main plot revolves around Mendoza and several other Spanish dudes that are pretty hell-bent on finding “Cities of Gold,” in the Americas. They’re so obsessed, in fact, that they capture a young Incan girl, Zia, whom they think will lead them to the gold. Mendoza also convinces Esteban into coming on their journey to the New World by telling him he may find his father still alive. But when Esteban and Zia meet and realize they wear the same mysterious medallion, they make a pact to protect each other against the evil, money-hungry Spaniards. Whether or not the story holds together, however, really has no bearing on how annoying the quality of this DVD is to watch. The animation is choppy and discolored, the “Spaniards” all sound like they are from mid-western Texas, and while the score was probably some sweet ‘80s synth work back in the day, the transition from VHS to DVD just bent every single note out of key. There are some current rumors that a movie will be released in 2011, and, sure; everyone loves the ‘80s – but seriously? The cheesy dialogue of Esteban is a story better suited for actual five-year-olds. Not 25-year-olds with nothing more exciting to do on a Saturday but try and gain some obscure-anime cred.
Bonus materials include a series synopsis, deleted scenes, alternative endings and the original production drawings of the pilot episode.