While enduring one of my anime-deprivation periods, I saw Eureka Seven with a high rating. I said why not and proceeded to get all of its 50 episodes. I started watching it only recently, after going through Ergo Proxy. Upon opening the first episode, I went o_0 then 0_0 instantly! Eureka Seven has a great OP and accompanying music! This promised to be a great anime. I could not resist going on after seeing the first episode. I can say I went through the episodes like
a breeze, almost refusing to stop!
So, let me just say it here, loud and clear: Eureka Seven is DEFINITELY THE BEST ANIME I HAVE SEEN! It was a total addiction to me, and it still is!
Bear with me, this review will be quite lengthy! Eureka Seven (E7) really deserves it anyways!
- [ Animation = Excellent = 10 ] -
The animation of E7 is really, and I mean it, really impressive! The characters are extremely well drawn. Not your general, wide-eyed anime models but they are definitely well made. Their features are very well-detailed and their appearance is very good. Their clothes are futuristic and kinda cool in a way. E7 involves mechas, and as you could expect, they are quite stiff and roughly drawn. NO! They are the opposite! Their designs are well-polished and smoothly drawn. Here too, the features are very well-detailed. The motion of both characters and mechas are extremely smooth and not glitchy, specially considering that E7 involves something called "reffing" which resembles snowboarding. Even at the apex of fast-paceness, the motion is real smooth. The characters' movements are natural and not robotic and their poses are very human-like. Granted, the mechas look a bit like Evangelion's or perhaps even RahXephon's. But in E7, they are well coloured, and in my opinion, better designed. In a way, the way the characters were designed represent their personality. I'll leave it at that without elaboration. Go find out for yourself!
Now, the backgrounds and sceneries of E7 are again impressive. Well detailed, well drawn, good play on lighting and atmosphere gives them a truly unique feel. You won't be seeing much scenery anyway, as most of the scenes will be above clouds. But when you do see real scenery, it's nice! They vary from the lively towns, to lush and wild nature and colourful flowers, to the dark and grungy industrial zones and to the dark, moody and emotional scenes. The transition between these scenes is so smooth that you rarely notice that you have suddenly changed decors! The light works was well done and will give more life and vividity to scenes. Notice the rock textures and how light is used to bring out the relief. The people at BONES have done something very good here.
The greatest part of the animation lies in the battle and action scenes, particularly those involving the characters "reffing". The action is so smooth! There are no robotic movements, even when the action is at its climax and everything is going fast. No blurs, no glitches and no flaws! Great!! And also, there are almost no frame re-use except for flashbacks (there are not many). Take for example, in Shaman King. Yoh is always seen summonning Amidamaru and this scene is in most episodes. Here, you won't find such repeating scenes often. Even if there are some repeats, they are different in their own ways.
- [ Sound = StoryWriter wins! = 10 ] -
I don't usually pay much attention to sounds and music in animes. Story, characters and animation usually get my attention. With E7 however, things are different! The OST for Eureka Seven is much varied from hard rock to electronic music! The OP music was great and I really enjoyed the music. However, the best song according to me, remains Storywriter by Supercar! I long to hear it again and again, and it has made it to my top favourites! It makes a really great accompaniment for action scenes, trust me. Yeaaaahhhhhh! The techno beats you hear during fights or the rock you hear during major events are g.r.e.a.t!!!!
E7 makes heavy use of music since there are lots of action scenes. However, for every scene, whatever it is (emotional or fast paced), the music chosen is right! It really highlights the scenes and make them so much more interesting! Definitely a good choice of music in E7, and definitely worth a listen! Sound effects too are present and nicely integrated into the scenes. Notice the wind "whoosshhh" when the chracters are reffing, and the sound of flapping clothes. It gives added realism to the scenes. Sometimes, you can hear accompanying explosions after a major bang! It's nice to note these, just for added realism.
The voice actors did a pretty good job too! However, for some characters like Anemone or MoonDoggie, you can have some difficulty to understand them, due to their accents. Anyway, it's not a real problem if you got fansubbed episodes, or subbed DVDs.
- [ Story = Complexity and Details = 9.9 ] -
Eureka Seven starts with our main male character, Renton aged 14 in his hometown of Bellforest, enjoying his life, albeit 14 years of boredom as he mentions. One day, a huge robot (an LFO) crashes in his grand-father, Alex's workshop. Out of it emerges a beautiful young girl, our main female character, Eureka. Dumbfounded by her beauty and mysteriousness, Renton is immediately love-struck. However, the millitary was pursuing Eureka. Eureka is a member of GekkoState - a sort millitia/anti-government, non-conformist reffers group, led by Holland. Eureka must return to GekkoState at all costs. However, Holland had another mission - to get the Amita Drive from Alex, a device developed by Renton's late father and world hero, Adrock Thurston. To help in Eureka's escape, Renton grabs his reffing board and tries to deliver the Amita Drive to Eureka who is now escaping in her LFO, the Nirvash. Inspired by his all-time hero Holland, Renton would like to join GekkoState to train as a mechanic. Holland, accepts (although not very gladly), and so Renton becomes GekkoState's youngest member, and his adventures and romance now start.
Some main characters are Talho, main pilot of GekkoGo. Holland, the commander. Ken-Goh, the weapons expert. Stoner, photographer and editor of Ray=Out magazine which is very anti-government and was hence banned. Hap, second commander and Holland's friend. Misha, the on-board doctor. Jobs and Woz, the ship engineers. MoonDoggie, catapult operator and secondary pilot. Gidget, communications operator. Hilda and Matthiew, LFO pilots. And Renton and Eureka, Nirvash pilots and main characters. And also, the Nirvash LFO can also be considered a character at the end of E7.
Ok, my description is not very great but story is really one of the greatest strengths of E7. The plotline is really complex and deep. Agreed, you have one main plotline that runs through the entire series. However, what is interesting is the way that plotline is explored from various angles and according to various characters' point of view. This gives an added understanding of the plotline. You will also see many innovative things like Trappar Particles, LFO's, Reffing, Amita Drive, and Coralians! Indeed, it's a very elaborate plotline. Interestingly enough, you will sometimes find the plotline diverging to explore various side characters' stories eg. William B. Baxter's story. Don't worry, it's here for a purpose - that is of explaining the global situation from different people's perspective.
The story runs very deep, exploring such things as war and conflicts between friends, companionship, unfaltering loyalty, indomitable will to protect, duty, love, sense of justice, and the loss of close-persons. Sometimes, the emotions get real heavy and the sensitive views might be moved to tears, no joke! It can become very heavy and emotional sometimes, specially scenes involving the above-mentioned. It's a very well detailed plotline, with many interesting twists that add spice to an already very interesting story. It's a good blend of romance, action, mecha and adventure. Definitely my type!
Through the course of the story, you will have the opportunity to explore the characters' past and get to know them better. You won't find many loopholes or dark points here as everything is well explained. Expect emotional warfare, painful pasts, jealousy, self-sacrifice, the death of companions, inter-crewmate conflicts and resolutions of conflicts by various ways according to the characters, added to some good philosophies about love and the other things I mentioned! It's a nice lesson in a way.
However, expect a major change of pace after Episode 26. You will be seeing more adult-related things, like blood and death more often. Just a warning. Mind you, many weird and frankly, strange things are awaiting you from Episode 31 and onwards! You would think you are in some kind of toon movie! :D
The plotline offers no boredom since the characters constantly change and adapt, specially on the emotional level. I like the way the twists in emotions are introduced. It's subtle, but really present. E7 is really a great piece of work and you will see lots of unexpected things. Pay close attentions to the play on words. The GekkoState assault on Capital Hill really got me stuck.
One thing to hate is the presence of Maeter, Linck and Maurice! Damn! These 3 kids know how to ruin the mood and atmosphere! In my opinion, they got no place in E7! Another is the complexity of some plots! You don't understand anything at first, but it's revealed after. Although there are some minor things which are left unexplained, or are not given enough elaboration, it cannot beat the greatness of E7. (Except only one which needed more elaboration). Anyways, if you use your brains a bit, it's not hard to figure out those un-explainations! :D
Overall, E7 has a real smooth way for proceeding with the story, smooth and sweet! Just what I've been looking. No rush, no incessant/useless main character deaths, no plotholes, no fillers, just pure delight. Good job, E7! Frankly, it has the damn B.E.S.T ending I've ever seen so far, surpassing even my previous "favourite ending", Last Exile. Eureka Seven devoted almost one episode just for ending, a weird (and surreal) ending! Talk about a good finisher! :D
And now, for a bit of selfishness (shared selfishness IMHO): I WANT EUREKA SEVEN MOVIE TO EXPLAIN EVERYBORY'S ENDINGS! :D
P.s. Why 9.9 and not 10? Because some important events got left out of the explanations. You could guess what they were, but an explanantion would have been easier. That's why I substracted 0.1 marks!
- [ Characters = I like the name "MoonDoggie" :p = 10 ] -
Ok, it's not *just* because I like the name "MoonDoggie" but it's still a very hilarious name! The characters really deserve that 10. I've really seen such a diverse and complex cast of characters. So I think it's better that I introduce some of the main characters first. I can't do that for all of them since there are so many (25-like main characters! Sugoi! :S)
Anyways, let's start by our main character, Renton. He's what you will call a normal guy. No super-powers a-la-Bleach here. No, he's just normal, leading a normal life. However, he is still the son of Adrock Thurston, the guy who saved the world. Quite a name to carry around. Renton gets accepted on GekkoGo (GekkoState's ship). Now, this is not what he expected. Holland is kind of a slave-master! He kinda get beaten up, get used as a.. duh slave, and things like that. Life's not all pleasant for him, all because Holland is... jealous! LOL! No joke! Anyways, E7 beautifully illustrates his development through it's 50 eps, going from a not-worth-anything to the.. (Spoiler. Cannot tell you!). He's got much ahead of him. I really cannot say more without spoiling major things.
Eureka. Beautiful, quiet, mysterious. Love-at-first-sight for Renton, who would do anything to protect her. Her development is well-presented too. Mind you, strange things are awaiting you at the end of E7, be ready for it! This girl has many secrets and lots of potential. Although, she appears to lack emotions (which Renton teaches her), but she's an adept at LFO combat. Enough here, cuz spoilers are coming if I continue.
On with Holland. The master of reffing and Renton (and all kids') all-time god (hero/idol) and commander of GekkoState. Holland appears to be a fun character, and somewhat stern. However, Renton was badly mistaken. Holland is just the opposite of what he seems to be. He is like a father for GekkoState, protecting everybody and self-sacrificing for the sake of others. Midway through E7, he undergoes dramatic changes, all for the best.
Talho! The captain of Gekko-Go. She is the leash for Holland, restricting his impulses and setting him in the right direction. She has a secret (ok, not so secret) crush on Holland.
Hap, the everything-doer. Not much to say, but he still has quite a role in E7. Similarly, Woz (strange hat man!), Jobs (Hitman's son?), Gonzy, Gidget, MoonDoggie (Doggie Nii-san! LOL!), Stoner and the others have their respective roles to play, but they are very diverse from each other, and each's development is well planned and well presented. Their emotional developments are very well introduced, smoothly and at the correct pace, giving the viewer time to digest the changes and appreciate them.
There are characters on the other side (bad side) if you want, like Dominic, Anemone, the Sages the millitary and Dewey. But I can't explain about them without spoiling. Expect something Gundam Seed Destiny-like with Dewew. The others are not so bad, but take soooo long to realise it.
The hierarchy is: Sages -> Dewew -> Millitary -> Dominic -> Anemone. Or something like that.
As you can see, there are literally lots and lots of characters in E7, and that goes without mentioning important side characters like Diane Thurston, William B. Baxter and the others. They have important roles to play and are here to reveal parts of the E7 plot to us, in a subtle way. It allows the viewer to get a global view of E7 and from different perspectives. There is literally lots and lots to tell about E7's cast, but I leave their discovery to you. I can't spoil the fun furthur.
- [ Value and Enjoyment = YEAH!!! = 10! ] -
If you haven't guessed by now, Eureka Seven is just great and I really enjoyed my watching experience. I am now going to rewatch it, just to get a clearer view of it. In fact, Eureka Seven is one of the rare anime that I have ever rewatched. And frankly, it deserves it. I would rank the rewatch value as "Very High". At the end, you will want to rewatch it from the beginning, just to watch the characters and story's evolution again, from a new and enlightened perspective. And to gain a better understanding of E7's magnificent story of course!
I really, really enjoyed Eureka Seven and it is now my top favourite. It deserves this space. Eureka Seven is a masterpiece, take it from a fellow fan.
Now, E7 might have some plotholes and some things that weren't elaborated extensively, just as any other anime have. But the positive aspects of E7 fully compensate for these small (tiny) losses. You won't even feel them. Nothing is perfect, but I believe E7 approaches perfection up to its nose!
As summary: Rewatch Value? Very High. Enjoyed myself? I kinda went overboard! Was E7 good? Na, no good. It is simply a masterpiece!
- [ Conclusions ] -
Go watch Eureka Seven!! That's all there is to say. You won't regret it. I know some people will be dissatisfied with my review, but I am just expressing my opinions. And I consider Eureka Seven to be a true success! Go watch it and draw your own conclusions. I do not think you would regret it. And I am not joking, it really deserves these "10"'s from me!
Now, I sincerely await a movie. Not because was bad (in fact, it was great. Strange but great!). But because I really want to see more of Renton and Eureka, of Holland and Talho, of MoonDoggie and of Dominic and Anemone. I would like more about their endings, and what has become of them. The mere glances I got at the end is not enough to satisfy my hunger! I hope the creators of E7 can hear me! :D
Thank you for reading my review. I know it was long. If something needs elaboration, contact me. I will amend the review where needed. Sayonara and go enjoy Eureka Seven!
At first I was skeptical as to just how good this series would be and the 50 episode runtime was a bit daunting however I began watching anyway as it seemed the most interesting out of the series I have waiting. I can say that I definitely wasn't disappointed.
I'm sure you've read the synopsis so I won't be mentioning that here. The story moves quicker than what you would expect from such a long series and this is a good thing as it minimizes any time where it would seem to be boring. This is even more impressive when you realize that there
is next to no filler and what filler there is was entertaining and worth watching. The context of the story and the way it evolves isn't over the top or unbelievable, it unfolds at a steady pace the entire time and doesn't ever feel rushed or drawn out either. I see that a couple others have said that at times it is hard to follow but that isn't the case at all if you're paying attention and overall its an enjoyable journey with a satisfactory ending even if it left you wanting just a couple more answers.
The art is definitely above average, the animation is smooth and the colour scheme works well. It is a great support for everything else and the variation in quality across the span of the series is minimal. There were times when a certain lack of shading was noticeable but they quickly passed. Its not the best around but it is very good and considering the length makes it all the more impressive.
The sound is the only section i'll score a perfect 10, it really is outstanding. The music from the openings to the endings and everything in-between is enjoyable and not something you'll get sick of. Every track seems as if it could have been made to be used here and truly makes part of the show what it is. Sound effects and the like are perfectly acceptable, definitely above average. I haven't heard the dub so I can't comment on it but the Japanese voice acting fit well and no characters voice felt out of place. Overall a very pleasing experience.
The characters are great, you won't see any cardboard cutouts here, each character is multi-dimensional and all add to the story. Eureka at first seems distant and not quite developed but thats exactly how she's meant to be, you find yourself waiting for scenes where she and Renton interact with eachother for this is where alot of entertainment comes from. Seeing her grow as a person from that is quite something. That leads me to Renton, an average kid by all means, at times its downright annoying how naive and childish he really is but he learns from it and by the end you can truly see how he has grown. With all of this you may be asking why I rated it only an 8, thats because of the three kids, maybe I just dislike kids altogether but they cry at the drop of a hat, mess things up due to their own selfishness and are just a plain annoyance, I found myself becoming slightly irate everytime they were on screen. However i'm sure thats how people sometimes feel around real kids as well so if they were given just a little less screen time I guess I could have brushed it off. Overall the character development is really great especially concerning Eureka and Renton, further more apart from the kids I didn't find myself disliking any character which is a testament to how well made they all really are.
I watched the series in three days and it never felt like it dragged on, I was always eager to see what came in the next episode and overall I really did enjoy this series. It just has the feeling of being enjoyable, taking you on a ride and you find it hard to leave. Once again I felt the kids detracted from this but whatever shortcomings they bring are immediately made up for by the rest. Enjoyment level for this series is high.
In the end its an interesting, enjoyable and great series. Don't let the length put you off, if you watch anime then this is something you should see.
“Eureka 7” is definitely an entertaining series even if not a great one. The artistry oozing from the animation, designs, and music may help you overlook the story’s schizophrenic inanity.
The show’s supreme craftsmanship provides the spoonful sugar for its less-than-tasty story. It’s easy to watch these fifty episodes when the characters and their world are as creative and eye-popping as “Eureka 7’s.” Bolstering the shows designs and animation is one of the best soundtracks to bless a show; most impressive is the music’s ability to capture each of the story’s emotions with a perfectly mellifluous track.
“Eureka 7” suffers mainly from an identity crisis that
ends up degrading the overall story. It begins as a really fun, rebels-versus-establishment adventure set in a world where skaters and hipsters reign as the supreme good guys.
I wish they creators would have stuck with this tone; it’s original and fun and would have lent itself perfectly to a. However, the show soon veers toward a melancholy, internal drama, and, before the fifty episodes are over, “Eureka 7” takes another sharp turn toward silly romance.
Maybe I’m too harsh, though. “Eureka 7” is targeted at teens, and if you can successfully put yourself into the mind of a naïve, romantic teen (see every teen), it’s easier to forgive the show for its flourishes.
Less forgivable, however, is the fragmentation of the story and characters caused by the shifting focus from adventure to drama to romance. Running in so many directions causes “Eureka 7” to roll its ankle, and the show never achieves any emotional impact. This is particularly disappointing since many of the characters had great potential to connect with the audience. Unfortunately, with the changes, the characters lose their original luster, drastically degrade into one-dimensional stereotypes, or drop from the story entirely.
As critical as I may be, please note that I watched “Eureka 7” nearly continually at every chance I got. It is, for the most part, an enjoyable series. To best enjoy this show, appreciate the audio-visual experience and always remember the target audience is young teenagers.
Eureka seveN is about saving the world! ...Eventually!!
STORY - A strange girl and her mecha enter Renton’s life one day. He quickly develops a crush on her and decides to leaves his home and stay with her by joining Gekkostate, a group of outlaws and his childhood heroes. Shenanigans follow. There are vague and unclear plot developments that happen in the background, but the actual story will not really start to manifest for another twenty or thirty episodes, and even then, it’s difficult to figure out what exactly anyone’s try to do, much less how they intend to do it. Eureka seveN has some of
the most frustrating and ridiculous pacing I’ve ever seen. Many of the first dozen or so episodes feel like filler — some characters are developed and some histories are uncovered, but you are pretty much following the Gekkostate around as they take odd jobs to pay for food. You know they are rebels, but you don’t know why they’re rebelling or what they hope to accomplish. People attack and they fight back. They investigate things, but there is no clear sense of purpose.
As the series progresses, there are several high-tension and climatic moments, but again, thorough explanations are difficult to come by and many of the characters don’t seem to really know what’s going on either. They are just compelled to put themselves into situations without understanding why, and when each climax is over, life goes on… to even more filler-like episodes; it’s as if they’re trying to make you forget about any plot-relevant developments by inserting that pointless soccer episode. Instead of devoting time to the overall plot of the series, Eureka seveN spends a lot of time developing more general themes like religious discrimination, family relationships, responsibility, and identity. While that isn’t terrible in itself, it would have been infinitely better if plot progression (and explanation) didn’t have to be sacrificed for them (and if the characters involved were more sympathetic).
Eventually, and by eventually, I mean like, the last ten episodes, things finally start falling into place and there is a lot of late exposition. Some of the overarching ideas could have been deduced from earlier clues, but a majority of the details couldn’t have been, further making the bulk of the series feel scattered and unimportant. There is also a lot of “surprise” revelations and character “development” near the end that feel incredibly cheap and unnecessary. The final plot of the series, when all is revealed, is actually pretty interesting. A lot of the concepts presented are thoughtful and unique, if a bit far-fetched in some regards. It’s a story with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, because of the insistent, terrible pacing leading up to the late explanation, my patience was completely gone and I couldn’t force myself to care about the story so late in the game. So I sat through the last few episodes just hoping for a good fight to wrap everything up. (But I got rainbows instead.)
CHARACTER - Renton and Eureka both start off as pretty typical archetypes — the protagonist boy who wants adventure, and the mysterious girl that you know is special for one plot device reason or another. Neither of them interested me. Instead, it was the crew of the Gekko that initially attracted me and kept me going through those opening filler episodes. Since there is so little going on plot-wise for the first half of the series, most of the focus was on character interaction and relationships. Holland, the captain, quickly establishes himself as an interesting and sympathetic character; he is the one with the rough past and a goal, even if you have no idea what that goal is initially. Talho is also sympathetic, partially because it’s rare to see characters with established romantic relationships. The rest of the ship’s crew offers little beyond the basic support roles; now and again, there were be attempts to spotlight them, but it was never anything really meaningful.
Unfortunately, as the series progressed, all of the characters got more and more irritating. For someone who is supposedly fourteen, Renton’s perspective and train of thought is incredibly juvenile most of the time and the idiocy of some of his thought processes frustrated me to no end. He chooses to leave his “boring” life behind in pursuit of a girl he just met and knows nothing about and is upset when things don’t go his way. Am I supposed to sympathize with that? He is absurdly naive (can’t even realize when the entire crew is trolling him) and sometimes seems forcibly ignorant, especially when it comes to fighting and his role aboard the Gekko. Eureka is similarly clueless, though she has the excuse of not being “normal,” for whatever reason. But the most aggravating thing about the pair of them is their relationship.
To some extent, there is the illusion that their relationship actually develops and matures throughout the series, but the truth is that their relationship is completely idealistic from beginning to end. Renton’s attraction starts off as just infatuation, and yet he immediately decides that he wants to follow her and “be with her.” Eureka is more ignorant, but as soon as she starts to realize it, there are no longer any doubts. Their misunderstandings are grounded in stupidity and they don’t seem to feel much conviction in their fights, implying that they are too purely “in love” to have serious disagreements. The bumps in their road are superficial at best, including Eureka’s adopted children, who have little point or personality beyond (over-)emphasizing the familial themes present throughout the series. As the primary protagonists, Renton and Eureka’s failure to really make me care about them alongside the haphazard pacing of the story makes me wonder how I managed to finish the fifty episodes series at all, since unsympathetic characters is my #1 reason for dropping series.
Meanwhile, Holland also falls down the immaturity path where many of his actions and views are decidedly juvenile and illogical. A believably character flaw, certainly, but as the story refuses to allow him to explain his conflicts and frustrations in detail, it’s difficult to sympathize with the way he acts, and he just gets annoying after a while. Talho was the last character I had any respect for; her jealousies and frustrations were the easiest to deduce and thus the easiest to sympathize with, especially since she actually confronted them now and again. Sadly, the maturity of her character seems to take her out of the spotlight during much of the latter half of the series.
Dewey, the primary antagonist, takes his damn sweet time coming into direct relevance since he spends the entire first half of the series lurking in the shadows and vaguely putting together his grand plan. Even when those plans are put into motion though, his motivation remains unclear until the finale, so there’s no chance for understanding or sympathizing with what he’s trying to do. In the interim, Dominic never really presents himself as an enemy and never does anything particularly interesting or relevant; most of the focus is instead on his abusive relationship with Anemone, who, aside from being obviously tsundere for him the whole time, isn’t properly explained until the last five episodes or so (and even then, not very well at all). Additional characters include Charles and Raye, who are unnervingly creepy in their parental affection, and Norb, who is an expository plot device more than an actual character (though he does have an ironic personality).
ARTSTYLE & ANIMATION – Eureka seveN has some really great battle scenes, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from BONES. Everything is smoothly animated and fun to watch, so even though I has very little emotional investment in the characters and subsequently, the actual outcomes of the battles — I still liked watching them. The mecha designs are a bit reminiscent of those from Evangelion, but there’s a lot more variety between the various suits, including the way they’re piloted (especially when you consider the typeZERO VS the typeTheEND). The giant boards and surfing parallel seemed kind of ridiculous at first, but it really grew on me after a while (besides, Code Geass had rollerblading mechas, though Eureka seveN debuted first). At the very least, the concept makes flying sequences much, much more interesting, and the added danger of a pilot losing their board mid-fight is fun.
The character designs in the series are simple and attractive, and I really liked that a few of the characters made a point to change their appearances at certain points in the story, usually in correspondence with a significant change in their mindset and goals. More series should do this, if only to accentuate the fact that their characters actually mature over time.
MUSIC - There’s obviously a ton of hiphop influence in this series, so it was no surprise to see it reflected in the music as well. It’s always nice to mix up the game a little by injecting some atypical genres into the soundtrack, and Eureka seveN does a good job here. Additionally, there is a ton of really, really epic music that is occasionally paired with a scene that’s quite a bit less than epic, which makes things feel out of place. — those tracks would probably sound better independent of the series so they don’t seem so pretentious. About halfway through the show, I finally noticed Naoki Sato’s name in the opening credits and had an “ahha! that’s why the music is awesome” moment. The last time I heard Sato’s work was in the X TV series, where the music was its single greatest asset. It’s not quite as true here, but it’s close.
To be honest, I didn’t pay attention to most of the opening and ending themes in Eureka seveN. I enjoyed the rap in the second opening, “Shounen Heart,” by Home Made Kazoku, but most of the others were pretty forgettable, especially since I’m indifferent towards most of the involved artists. All the themes were also much shorter than usual — they hovered around thirty seconds in length, rather than the usual minute.
VOICE ACTING – I saw this series dubbed, which probably further contributed to my lack of sympathy towards Renton. I didn’t realize that Johnny Yong Bosch was Renton for a long time since the voice was incredibly different from his other roles. Renton sounds (and acts) incredibly young, and his voice was both over-the-top earnest, naive, and whiny. On one hand, it’s actually an incredible fit for the character; on the other hand, it was annoying as hell, especially when coupled with lots of fail dialogue. Stephanie Sheh as Eureka was also rather fitting, but much less irritating. Honestly, the dub cast did a great job: each voice was distinct and unique, and every voice fit their character very well. Crispin Freeman as Holland was pretty badass in particular.
Still, there was a quite a bit of awkward dialogue and word usage. A lot of lines were unnecessarily corny or just outright awkward (like, “Mm, smell that? That’s the smell of your Papa!” “…It smells good.”) though that can obviously be attributed to awkwardness in the original script. I found the use of “Mama” and “Papa” in place of “Mom” and “Dad” kind of strange though, and it sounded unnatural coming from a lot of the characters, especially Renton. Lastly, there are a handful of slips in the pronunciation of “Eureka” throughout the series. Most are by minor characters and not particularly notable, but it’s an indication of sloppiness all the same.
OVERALL - Given all the positive recommendations I’d gotten for this series, I’m pretty damn disappointed with how things turned out, especially since the finale revealed that the story could have been ten times more interesting if presented in a more efficient manner. The pacing, along with the quick evaporation of my sympathies towards the cast, really destroyed the little enjoyment I was getting from technical aspects of the show. I really wanted to drop the series around the halfway point, but I figured I’d already invested so much time into it, I might as well finish it (what a stupid train of logic rarely does it reward you in the end). A recap movie of this series might work a lot better since it would, theoretically, cut out a lot of the excess filler crap and force the actual plot out into the open much faster. The recently released Eureka seveN movie, Pocketful of Rainbows, isn’t a recap movie though, so I’m not going to watch it. I’ve had enough of rainbows.
Thankfully, Infinity (the first reviewer) posted a wonderfully analytic review of this anime already, so I can forebear myself to post another. Instead, I just want to reinforce his review with a few short comments on my part.
First of all, this anime is, without *any* reservation whatsoever, the best anime I have ever seen. The storyline is engrossing, the character development surpasses anything I have ever seen before (although, admittedly, I don't watch many pure dramas), the animation flows true and clear even through the most active fight scenes, and the sound is perfect.
The anime begins with this immature kid we see expressing his
'modest' dreams to be a great reffer (air surfer) like a great hero of his. Then as we follow this kid through the story, we see his development into a far more mature and responsible person. Similarly, we are introduced early on to a pretty little female character, looking for the world as the stereotypical innocent maiden. But again, as we go on, we learn that (surprise) she actually has a past, and a good story to tell about herself! Character depth is increased incredibly throughout the show!
As for animation, as I stated before, its smooth and clear. I really like how this anime refuses to do the whole 'rinse and repeat' cycle with its scenes. We rarely see repetition, unless actually needed by the story.
I'll finish this off now with a comment about the ending: It is one of the best endings I have ever seen in my life. I can say this openly; this is the *only* other anime aside from the Chrno Crusade that has ever made me cry. Trust me, I don't do that easily.
This is a wonderful show. It has singlehandedly made a spot for itself on my list. After watching this, I moved every single other anime aside from Chrno Crusade down a point because it had set a new standard for quality.
This show was like a roller coaster (if you'll pardon the awful cliche). Up and down and unpredictable if it's your first time. When I say unpredictable, I hardly mean it in a good way. I enjoyed it in the beginning to some point (when I wasn't sleeping through it) but I was also annoyed by the basically completely unlikable cast (Renton, anyone?) Renton never EVER became anything good in my mind. He was obnoxious even when he grew a pair. Eureka was just too weak in my opinion. Whenever I liked or found a character interesting, they were either killed off or they would
do something I didn't like. *sigh* I lament having watched this show in its entirety, as by the end, I hated every character and found no satisfaction in the romances or resolution. I also found the story quite whack. Anyway, I admittedly did enjoy the music. Open and End themes were good throughout and the background music was nice too. The art was good at times but often made the characters appear quite ugly. I kept watching this to the end, hoping it would get better but I feel like it got worse. I apologize if I've insulted anyone. I just did not like this anime at all, but I will not say it was a waste of time...
Besides poking fun at Christianity, one genre that seems to be a writing gold mine for anime is the coming-of-age tale. Taking a character who is in their teens, a period where they start to shape themselves to soon ingress into adulthood, and make them face reality in its different shades up until they become completely rounded figures is a setup that offers a vast range of opportunities for writers. The deal is that, the main character being a kid or a pre-teen, you can make them as immature as you can get away without making the audience hate the little twerp and slowly improve
them into a better person. Also, being animation such a versatile media, you can deliver as much of that development in one full season without having to deal with the difficulties of live-action.
So, which one is the best coming-of-age story in anime? Of course, that is not a question with definitive answer, if any question in regards to art is, but I’d like to offer my pick for the best one I watched so far: Eureka Seven.
Story and Characters
Eureka Seven (E7 for short) caps at 50 episodes, which is by no means a shy length for any series. Any anime packing that number of episodes can be an absolute chore to sit through if it doesn’t offer the content to hold the viewer and enough quality-development to justify its size. Luckily there’s no shortage of either for this series. During its running time, E7 builds its fantastic world and addresses multiple character arcs and themes, from religious conflict to environmentalism, leaving very little to be fully explained, and even in these cases it’s not anything that represents a driving force of the plot. Before we talk about that, though, let’s discuss the characters.
Renton, the main protagonist, is unusually relatable for a character of this kind of story. He is immature, sure, but also displays grounded morals and is, at least initially, driven by an adventurous spirit. Being the son of the late hero responsible for saving the world, Adroc Thuerston, he would have some pretty big shoes to fill, however, Renton doesn’t really want to deal with that kind of responsibility. Like many other teenagers, he wants simply to enjoy his younger years dedicating himself to his hobby and expanding his horizons, which primarily motivates him to join Gekkostate. That would lead him to face a reality much harsher than what he was originally prepared for and forces him to strengthen his ideals in order to push himself through the struggles he faces. So, yeah, Renton is amazing, quote me on that.
The titular Eureka is Renton’s love interest for the story and the center of many conflicts both in the overall plot, as well as the tension between Renton and Holland. While not exactly emotionless, she has difficulty properly dealing with the emotions she slowly develops, and Renton plays a big role in leading her to understand how to better interact with others. She is naturally kind-mannered and loyal, but when it comes to dealing with failure or regret, more complex feelings ion general, she has significantly harder time processing those emotions.
Holland is the leader of Gekkostate, a cool figure outside, but a very contrasting person for those who get to know him closely. Jealous, easily angered, unusually immature and quick to lash out against weaker characters who dare to upset him, most of the time Renton and frequently with violence, he is possibly the one that goes through the most sizeable development in the series, and a very positive one. That development though, takes some time to manifest, so while he acts like an absolute asshole, don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying his suffering. I sure did.
Talho is the main pilot of Gekkostate and Holland’s lover. Being the only person who Holland accepts to have challenging him, she is the main agent to his development, but before that happens she is also forced to grow and properly understand her role in the group.
Charles Beams, along with his wife, Ray, is one of the antagonists, appearing mid-run in the anime. Even though he is technically placed on the “bad guys” side, he is still a very honored, responsible and loyal figure, which is why he plays a big role in Renton’s development. He is also Eureka Seven’s embodiment of MANLINESS. Seriously, I bet the guy had chest hair when he was 8.
Dewey is Holland’s older brother and the main antagonist for the series. Initially very mysterious, his motivations seem to fluctuate as the anime goes on, up until they are properly revealed and sadly place him among the “Destroy the World” kind of villain, the least compelling kind. That was the only meaningful issue I was able to find in the series: villains of this category hardly ever work, and in cases they do work they often go for the type that is so crazy it doesn’t matter or so powerful that destroying the world isn’t a big deal for them. Dewey is mostly portrayed as a collected and calculating individual, so this motivation is all the more out-of-place. Lastly, there are Dominic and Anemone. Their role in the story is to serve as a parallel to Renton and Eureka’s relationship, but at the side of the antagonists, for the most part.
Ok, tackling the coming-of-age aspect first, Renton’s development is triggered mostly by the use of an interesting contrast: without giving too much away, halfway through the series he gets separated from the Gekkostate, who at this point were not the most responsible folks to serve as an example. While in their company, it was difficult to side against him, as there was a clear lack of proper orientation from the crew. The point where they get separated is the moment his character-arc truly starts to shine, it’s the moment when he’s able to do his biggest mistakes and witness the impact they have. As an effect of that, Renton begins to develop higher respect for other’s resolve, as well as the importance of keeping himself loyal to the responsibilities he takes. When he finally reunites with the Gekkostate, he is better prepared to face the challenges they would find up ahead. His development doesn’t stop there, however, as there’s much work to be done in his relationship with Eureka and the strengthening of his values, but that is something you should witness on your own.
In Eureka’s case, the development kicks in early on, since it’s not so much focused on maturing but in learning to deal with issues she was never forced to deal with in her blank-slate condition. Due to Renton’s influence, not only over her but also the Nirvash, she begins to be exposed to feelings she was not used to, not all of them positive. During the boy’s absence, she starts to understand that the reason why she misses him might be romantic feelings and the sudden need for his companionship also plays a huge part on forcing Holland to mature himself. All of this makes for deeply dynamic characterization, as in Eureka Seven characters don’t simply decide to change or shift on a whim depending on plot convenience (No, I’ll not make a “cough, cough” joke!), they influence each other, stumble, hurt themselves and make amendments, the way well-written interaction is supposed to do. The side-characters in the other hand have fairly straight personalities and stay pretty much the same along the series. Is that a problem? No. Keep that in mind, folks: a large cast doesn’t mean everyone should receive in-depth development, some characters are nice the way they are, just adding some flavor to the series
Now, when learning that a series tackles subjects like religious conflict or environmentalism, many people would be immediately put off, in fear that it might end up featuring very preachy writing. Eureka Seven, however, gracefully avoids this trap. The subjects in question are all swiftly introduced as the plot progresses, and now and then play their role in the story by being naturally integrated in the arc, without any moralism being spelled out by anyone in ham-fisted manner. The environmental aspect, for once, is not directly brought up, but subtly conveyed throughout the series, as it’s an integral part of the overarching plot, and the series manages to do such a thing even as these themes become ever more present in the story. By the end, it’s not hard to grasp how such elements are a natural component of the world presented in the anime.
By the Gods, that looks beautiful!
Ok, professionalism dictates I have to be more specific. Made in 2005 by Studio Bones, Eureka Seven is, to this day, one of the best looking anime ever made. Bones is a studio used to make anime where characters are realistically proportioned, but still retain anime-like features and that allows them to have distinct expressions. You will hardly find a relevant character that expresses in the same manner as the others, tying perfectly with their personalities and demeanors. With the exception of some episodes of minor importance, like the soccer episode, the figures show steady consistency in their character models, retaining natural proportion even when seen from a distance. This is often the animation issue that is most noticeable in other works, but E7 manages to avoid it and deliver stellar animation with beautifully fluid movement without losing its consistency and detail.
Character designs are striking and memorable. They follow the seinen logic of packing details that by themselves are nothing special, but when placed together form a design that is at the same time harmonic and distinct. Now, all of that aside, the real kicker that makes the series such a visual marvel is its use of colors. From the character designs, both human and mechs, to the machinery, the effects and explosions, E7 always brings the most vibrant and impactful colors. The shining green of the trapar waves, the perfectly toned shades of orange used for the sunset, the lightly flavored natural environments and even pink-colored explosions, everything immediately pops out on the screen, and coupled with the sharp use of lighting, it drives perfectly the mood of the scene, be it action or just moments of important dialogue. When you consider that alongside the number of episodes and characters, it only makes the work Bones displayed all the more impressive. There is nothing I can complain in regards to the visuals that doesn’t boil down to nitpick, as the overall package is consistently pleasing.
Eureka Seven’s soundtrack has its fair share of exciting, blood-pumping tracks to help make the action all the more energetic and even some to evoke a grandiose feeling, but what stands out the most are its emotional pieces. They come in at the exact moment to make you know that you’re about to watch a meaningful moment of character interaction or to highlight development that is about to happen. If you don’t find these tracks memorable, better look for a medic, you might have faulty memory or be lacking a heart. On the voice acting department (Japanese, off course), the most notable detail is Renton’s seyiuu, Sanpei Yuuko. Renton is another teenage-boy played by a female. Let that information sink in for a minute: does the acting, at any moment, denounce that the character is not played by a man? This is without a doubt the most convincing case of a female seyiuu playing a male role I’ve ever seen and can easily dethrone Paku Romi or Takeuchi Junko in this category. Not to say that the rest of the cast doesn’t range from solid to excellent. Fujiwara Keiji plays Holland, so if you are familiar with his work you know there’s no worry and Nazuka Kaori’s portrayal of Eureka reflects with no problem the image of a girl learning to process newly-found emotions, while maintaining a sweet vibe to her acting.
Now, there’s an aspect I’d like to comment on this section specifically. Eureka Seven has some of those moments you could call “shounen moments”, where the logic is made to obey more the emotions the characters are facing at the time and the ones the anime wants to pull out of the viewer, then the internal rules established in the story. This might be just my bias speaking, as I have a soft spot for the shounen genre myself, but I believe these instances enhance the series instead of detracting from it. Sure, they may seem corny to some, but not just of logic you build a cathartic and fulfilling story, emotion is also important and as long as it doesn’t stretch believability beyond what the audience was accustomed to give, or contradicts other rules of the setting, I say “go for it”.
If WattheWut doesn’t mind me borrowing his rating system for a while, Eureka Seven is a Must Watch. Sure, this review might not have convinced you, as I spent little time dissecting how the story unfolds, but trust me, it’s better that you experience that for yourself. Safe to say, I believe this series uses with effect its runtime, as there was a lot to be handled and the manner in which it did was very solid, paced out with no issue. You can call Eureka Seven a perfectly rounded series: it has a tightly fleshed out world with a story that fully utilizes its setting and dynamic, likeable and developed characters, fitting without a problem the universe they live in.
I’m running out of things to say, so go watch the anime.
Story: 8 - Sweeping and poignant, but fraught with several filler episodes and inconsistent pacing.
Characters: 10 - Dynamic and well-developed cast all-around. Flawed, but likable heroes as well as sympathetic and compelling antagonists.
Art: 8 - Fluid and emotive, but with a tendency to go off-model.
Sound: 9 - Fantastic use of music, memorable soundtrack, solid voice casting.
Enjoyment: 10 - A fun and emotional ride with surprising complexity and thematic resonance.
Where do I even start with this? There’s just so much going on in this thing that it’s hard to organize my thoughts. Most stories tend to stick to one or two central
themes, and explore those. E7 takes the shotgun approach, and decides it wants to talk about everything. It has multiple thematic elements, from coming of age, to anti-war messages, to quasi-environmentalism. Several prominent romance arcs. Tons of character development all around. Recurring flower motifs, allusions to American counter-culture movements, and countless nods to other sci-fi and mecha franchises(my favorite of which is the backpack in the episode titled “Runaway“ being the same colors as Evangelion Unit 01. I see what you did there, Bones). I’m kind of amazed how much they managed to pack into this show without it becoming nonsensical. And I think ultimately, it does make sense. The story is thematically and logically consistent, and with the exception of a few filler episodes, is reasonably well-executed. The entire first act doubles as foreshadowing for the third, and the third act despite being totally absurd, feels surprisingly free of plot holes and deus ex machina. Any lingering questions can be chalked up to purposefully ambiguous sci-fi nonsense, rather than inadvertently bad writing. I think what fundamentally makes E7 work as well as it does is that it feels less like a linear narrative, and more like a series of individual moments threaded to a common conclusion. Fate isn’t always determined by one catastrophic event or miracle, and life isn’t always a straight path. In that sense, E7 feels as true-to-life as an anime about sky-surfing counterculture resistance mecha pilots reasonably could be. It feels like if these were real people, and real events, things would play out exactly as the show does. In a lot of ways, even more so than RahXephon, E7 seems to be Bones' answer to Evangelion. It borrows a lot of Eva's themes, and character archetypes, but spins them in a much more optimistic way. While Evangelion uses post-modern existentialist ideas of subjective personal reality as a means to self-actualization, E7 takes the opposite approach. We're all stuck in this reality together, and even though interpersonal relationships can be painful, it's also what makes life worth living. And rather than simply internalizing your flaws, using your loved ones supplement those flaws instead. Which is an equally valid, and far more positive point of view.
On the technical side of things, Bones is a name that carries a lot of weight in the anime world, and it’s impossible not to have a few preconceived expectations going into one of their projects. Fortunately, E7 holds up pretty well. Shortcuts are taken largely where they won’t matter, and special attention is given to the frenetic action scenes and somber dramatic moments. The character designs are distinct and expressive. Many a quiet forlorn glance speaks volumes more than any line of dialogue ever could. Use of color in E7 is all very deliberate and very beautiful. From Eureka’s own soft feminine blues, to the gloomy grayed-out hues of a ruined cityscape. The world of E7 adopts a full range of sentiment and tone, feeling very organic and dynamic in the process. The cinematography is no slouch, either. Gorgeous sweeping landscapes and dramatic close-ups are used liberally and to great effect. With the exception of a few sporadic slips of model consistency, most egregious in the second act, E7 is everything to be expected of a Bones production. And that includes the anime’s absolutely fantastic soundtrack. The electronic techno/hip-hop and cheesy Jpop, usually reserved for shows trying way too hard to be hip and cool, integrates perfectly with the sci-fi counterculture aesthetic. So much so that E7 makes it point to use them in-story on several important occasions. Episode titles are even taken from various song titles. The use of music as a narrative device in E7, while not quite Cowboy Bebop and Princess Tutu levels, is rather impressive.
The series greatest strength, however, and Bones' decided strong-suit, is the characterization. There are at least six complete character arcs in this story, and several smaller arcs for key secondary characters. The characters are dynamic, with their own distinct personalities that color their actions, and inner demons that they struggle to overcome. The way they act, speak, and the decisions they make are all consistent with the people the story makes them out to be. The romantic entanglements are arguably the weakest part of the show, seeming rather forced and melodramatic in a few places, but are still handled more nuanced and naturally than most other attempts. Making the relationships overall emotionally engaging and gratifying. Renton’s frequent missteps with Eureka are especially humanizing. I think everyone can relate to that awkward moment of talking to the girl/guy you like and inadvertently saying something stupid or insensitive. Renton and Eureka have easily the most complete and dynamic character arcs in the series, as well as the most fleshed out relationship. Renton’s journey from immature classical anti-hero, somewhat annoyingly narrated by the other characters, is both satisfying and heartwarming. While Eureka’s humanization is both subtle and endearing. Making the absolute most of her Rei Ayanami archetype, which may be the best I’ve ever seen it executed in a story.
Overall, Eureka Seven is a fun, and remarkably ambitious entry into its genre. It has a lot to say, and articulates in a way that is equal parts simple and meaningful. Aside from some minor pacing issues(I feel the show could have been 39 episodes), a bit of overwrought drama, and a few logical inconsistencies(Eureka‘s entire existence doesn’t make a ton of sense in the long run), I don’t really have any major problems with this show. I don’t think it’s a flawless masterstroke, but it is definitive proof that “fun” and “thoughtful” are not mutually exclusive. And I think that it’s a testament to what shounen action/adventure anime can strive to be.
Nostalgia, I often find, is one of the greatest deciding factors of a person's enjoyment of something, and this doesn’t apply solely to anime watchers. Nowadays I will find myself more often than not going back and taking shows I used to enjoy at face value and realizing they weren't as great as I remembered. It's a truly beautiful thing, at least for me anyway, when you watch a now classic show or movie that aired during your childhood in your adulthood without that nostalgia factor blinding your judgement. I didn't seriously start getting into anime until around the time that I was almost out
of high school. I read some manga here and there and aside from the stuff that aired on Toonami (at least until they were taken off the air), the list of things I had watched up to that point was almost nil and fairly unrefined. Eureka Seven was a show that I didn't even really know existed until around 2013. When I first started to get into anime, the mecha genre was easily the one I could identify with the most. To this day it is still my favorite genre and Eureka Seven still holds up as a staple of that genre, and I say this without any nostalgia affecting my overall opinion of this show.
Eureka Seven has a pretty big advantage over other standout mecha titles. The first episode kicks it into high gear and quite literally has a cliffhanger (or in this case "cliffdiver") ending. The world itself is incredibly expansive and unique. The idea of robots and people surfing through the skies sounded like a good idea on paper, and admittedly, it was a damn good idea on screen too. It can truly feel like a breath of fresh air when comparing this show to other mecha anime's concepts. That being said, this show can feel more like a dressed up love story and I have absolutely no issue with that but at times it'll teeter between both genres and have trouble deciding what direction it wants to go in. Throughout the show, there are several prevalent themes scattered within each story arc and spanning across the entire series in general. Some of these themes include family, tolerance, and coming to terms with change. Most of the time, it handles these complex issues masterfully but other times it can be difficult to immerse yourself in the series properly for more than a handful of reasons. One major problem I had with this show was its relatively clunky world building. I don't like it when an anime tries to spoon-feed its audience. I actually enjoy anime that makes you work for your answers, but I also don't like unnecessarily convoluted anime. I feel like Eureka Seven is a show that would definitely benefit from a second viewing especially now that I can focus more on the world building aspect rather than the events of the story. It's just that sometimes I feel like it just wasn't the same show I signed up for. I fault it for its world building mainly because I thought it had one of the most interesting and unique worlds I have seen for a mecha anime to date and I truly wanted to understand it to its fullest but something about it just didn't click for me. I feel like this show has the impression that in order to be a good show it has to be confusing at times. The beauty of Eureka Seven was in its simplicity. More often than not, I would find myself asking more questions as each episode came along rather than getting previous questions answered. Another issue I had with this show was its ending. I use the term "ending" loosely mainly because I am only speaking of its very final episode. Going into the final episode I had a decent understanding of what was going on and was actually quite enjoying the final act. It was exciting, it truly felt like everything was coming full circle. For what it's worth, the ending of this show might be a bit simpler than it came across as but to me it felt very rushed, a bit hard to follow, and a little cliché. I don't know if it was the fact that its 50 episodes had simply run their course but that final episode just came off as constrained. Nonetheless, I applaud Eureka Seven for its creativity but I'm simply too caught up in the little details to give it full points for its story. My opinion may change in the future with each successive viewing.
The art and animation for Eureka Seven is an area that this show could really flaunt. I personally own hard copies of the Eureka Seven BD’s so it is safe to assume that I had the best viewing experience. Even when I was simply streaming episodes on my computer I could tell that the animation was top notch especially considering that this show has aged. The animation was consistent and there were hardly ever visual hiccups that I could pick out without actively looking for them. With an animation studio like Bones at the helm for a concept like Eureka Seven, it was really no surprise that it would have excellent animation quality and art style in general. Bones hails from Sunrise which is probably most famous for its iterations in the Gundam franchise so it really did not come as a shock when the visuals were rather stunning for mecha standards. Even for 2005 which saw more than its handful of other mecha titles, Eureka Seven is more often than not considered the stand out. As I said already, the art style is fairly unique and the designs for the mechs themselves feel fresh. The battle scenes and skirmishes in the skies felt extremely fluid and fast paced which is almost a necessity for shows of its genre. It was a concept that was destined to be made for the screen because I could see no other entertainment medium doing it justice. I don’t claim to know a lot about animation and art, in fact, they are probably two of the least important factors that I take into consideration when I plan on watching a new show. However, when it can exceed in an area like animation, because anime is a visual medium, it can truly make it easier on other aspects of the show that had clear flaws.
As I continue to watch more and more anime I am starting to find that the soundtrack is starting to become one of the aspects I look forward to most when it comes to the overall experience. I think it's less of a matter of how good of a soundtrack Eureka Seven has and more so a matter of how well it puts it to use. The openings are all excellent. Days and Shonen Heart in particular are two of my personal favorites, both of which give off an adventurous vibe and really capture the show's free spirited nature. The endings were also very good as well but admittedly, they didn't capture my attention as much as the openings did, this might be due to the fact they’re "endings". For all its somber, comedic, or bombastic battle compositions, there was one track in particular that really stuck out to me and I am pretty sure that most die-hard E7 fans know what track I speak of. Storywriter by Supercar is bar none one of the greatest tracks ever included in an anime to date. It’s less of a matter of how good the song is (although it’s a very good song in its own right) but more of a matter of how well the show uses it to capture those magical moments. Who could forget that iconic “I can fly!” scene where Renton finally gets the hang of his board and surfs up to Eureka to deliver the drive? If the beautiful animation didn't have me sold by then, Storywriter definitely did. I watched Eureka Seven dubbed the first time around and subbed later on. I really couldn't resist with big name VA’s attached to the credits like Johnny Yong Bosch and Crispin Freeman. Johnny is very versatile when it comes to his voice acting and getting to hear him voice a child character like Renton really made me appreciate his talent a lot more. Renton aside, everyone else really did a nice job of capturing the type of characters they were meant to portray, especially Holland, Crispin Freeman was made for Holland. Eureka Seven’s dub is a personal favorite of mine and I would recommend it to any dub fan.
Characters are an aspect of Eureka Seven that both hinder and bring up my overall enjoyment. The Gekkostate is just a single portion of the cast and they have more than its fair share of both underutilized and overstated crew members. The main 4 members of the crew to look out for are Renton, Eureka, Holland, and Talho. Eureka overall in my personal opinion was the weakest of these characters as she falls under a relatively overused character trope. This could be the fault of how hard to follow the show was at times but Eureka just struck me as relatively uninteresting. This isn't a good thing seeing as she is arguably the most important character in the show but I also did honestly enjoy the amount of development that she was given. Renton is your standard main child pilot character. He’s naive, he has daddy issues, and he can be pretty unlikable at times. This series really tries its hardest to push the relationship between Renton and Eureka and while they are not my favorite main couple in anime (or even in mecha anime for that matter) I found that their development was relatively well paced. While it was sometimes unbelievable and unrealistic I would find myself rooting for them most of the time. Holland was overall my favorite character of the main cast. To me he was the most interesting seeing as he was almost always the cause for internal conflict in the Gekkostate, at least until sometime in the second half of the series. He was stern, unforgiving, irrational, and violent. Despite all this, his crew members would gladly follow him even if it meant their certain deaths. His relationship with Renton and Eureka was one of the most memorable aspects of the show for me personally. Seeing him develop from an unrelenting and antagonistic leader to a caring and devoted father figure was one of the most satisfying highlights of the entire series. Both a weak point and strength of this show was that there was no shortage of side characters. A lot of them were very strong characters in my opinion (particularly Charles and Ray). A lot of characters got their love by having single episodes dedicated to them. This is a common practice nowadays with such a huge cast but some characters didn't get any attention at all and just felt like background characters at times. Other characters that did get attention were promptly shafted. This could just be me nitpicking at this point because of how large the cast was but I honestly wanted to see more of what they had to offer.
Eureka Seven was quite the experience. At times I would find myself lost in how hard to follow it could be or simply just appreciating how well thought out everything seemed to be. If I had to sum it up in one word, it just seemed like a "cool" show, and looking back, it really does hold up with such a great concept. There are definitely areas that could have been improved (mainly with a proper sequel...one that's not AO) but despite that, I do not regret watching or even buying this series for that matter.
Eureka Seven is one of the only two anime that I have purchased before actually finishing. To its merit, it's also the only show I decided to buy based off of how much I enjoyed the first episode alone. Also to its merit, it's probably the only show that got me interested in buying it based on a trailer. It's a show that I can easily recommend to fans of mecha or fans of romance looking for something a little different. This show has a special place in my heart even without holding onto something as trivial as nostalgia.
When I first started Eureka Seven I thought "Sweet he's like, surfing on AIR" but then I really got into it. I've never been a big fan of mecha, but this one wasn't just mecha, Eureka Seven had something for everyone. At first I thought Eureka was a little strange, a robot maybe, and Renton's whining got on my nerves, but I was really drawn in, because every episode made me wonder more and more what Eureka was, and what the Gekkostate's goal was. I had originally watched the first five or so episodes in Japanese, but I could actually handle the dub, which I
found surprising, normally I am totally turned off by the dub.
The mecha part was very interesting. Eureka's ability to speak with the Nirvash intrigued me, and I liked how the Nirvash developed just as much as Renton or Eureka as the story progressed, as if it was growing and maturing along with them.
Once Anemone and Dominic joined the story, I was beyond interested. I found the parts with the military very interesting. All of the characters were interesting and had very different personalities. The character development was amazing, you can actually notice Renton becoming more mature (somewhat) and Eureka slowly becoming more confident, and gaining feelings for Renton. The best part about their relationship was that Renton confessed his love, and Eureka didn't really understand or return it at first. It wasn't love she showed him, it was curiosity.
I enjoyed the story, though it was a little hard to grasp and follow, what with having one plot-filled episode one day and then filler the next.
But then again, that kept it interesting.
Never have I been so touched by an anime more then this one. The story is one of the best out there. It has plot twists and adventure, as well as sorrow and hate.
The characters develop immensely throughout the series. This isnt your average everyday anime. The characters grow up and they make mistakes and learn to deal with them. These characters are the most human I can ever imagine.
The music for this series is the best. All the background music is enjoyable and helps move the series along.
The acting is also very well on both Japanese and English sides.
This is the best anime I
I would recommend it to just about anyone. Except for younger children.
A common saying that people often hear is, "All is fair in love and war." Interpreted literally, what this phrase says is that there are no rules when it comes to the battlefield. That people will do whatever it takes to win, to obtain the ultimate prize: victory. In both circumstances, it's something that is quite difficult to achieve, but when it is, it's one of the sweetest, most exhilarating feelings in the world. To an extent, the tale of Eureka Seven is the manifestation of such an idea.
Eureka Seven begins with Renton Thurston being visited by two
people, Eureka and Holland. Along with the Nirvash, a mechanical unit piloted by Eureka, Renton joins Gekkostate, beginning an incredible journey.
When it comes to a series like this, it's interesting to see a show with so much dedication behind it. Resting at 50 episodes, it takes a considerable amount of time to get through, relative to most seasonal shows. The pacing isn't so much slow as it is awkward. It starts off rather quickly, slows down immensely, picks back up, slows down, then charges towards the end. Now, this isn't technically a negative; in fact, I found this pacing to help. By being more lethargic towards the beginning, it allowed for the demonstration, characterization, and augmentation of the crew. This applies not only for Renton and Eureka, but for the side characters as well. In this way, when the story does pick up for a time, it has to spend less on the characters in question and more so on the plot.
Going off this, the story-telling is done in a sneaky way. Most shows have you learn the world as the main character does. And this is true for Eureka Seven as well. But what separates this anime from many others is that the world and knowledge is already established. To put it as best as I can, it feels like you are learning the world not alongside Renton but as Renton. Like a kid figuring out "wonders" for the first time, the gradual way in which information is given and learned as the story progresses worked quite well. Areas are left shrouded in mystery, both in the sub-plot and the over-arcing one, allowing the audience to not only care about the characters in play but also the environment surrounding them.
Eureka Seven is an anime about "the power of love!" Love, and the need to protect those dear to you, enshrouds people with very strong emotions. And for the most part, these emotions are what drive the narrative. Between Renton and Eureka, and a few other key characters, its love that gets them through the day, love that allows them to do the impossible. But there is a bigger idea at play besides just "love cures all." It's the acceptance and understanding of someone inherently different from you. Whether by race, culture, or ethnicity, learning to respect the ideals and values of someone completely different from yourself is not only mature, but the right thing to do. And Eureka Seven explores this idea beautifully, with a variety of different cases, both jubilant and tragic.
For all the praise I give the show, it does two things sadly wrong: the details for the plot and the ending. Starting with the former, the show's way of expressing its world was done nicely. However, as it goes on, many ideas and plot points are either left unexplained or explained terribly. As the story ramps up, so does the amount of information thrown the audience's way. This, in turn, gives it more opportunities to either do it wrong, try something new, or both. As it neared its conclusion, it was usually both.
As for the ending, it's bitter-sweet. The bitterness comes not from how it all went down, but rather for how it stayed up regardless. In other words, the show leaves itself surprisingly open-ended. Not tying up loose ends in a couple of important areas, it makes the conclusion itself feel rather underwhelming, despite the incredible ride the final ten episodes or so provided. It feels rushed and somewhat sloppy, as if the final episode feels out of place in comparison to what came before it.
Eureka Seven feels like an homage to days gone by.
The art style itself feels mostly gray. Not only with the constant clouds and decor of the airship, but also in the atmosphere given off. The show does a nice job of making it feel as if the world itself has experienced some rather melancholy happenings. But it isn't afraid to bust out the colors, especially with Eureka, the rest of Gekkostate, and during the fights themselves. And of course, the "Seven Swell Effect" is always glorious to see.
At this time, it's important to give a big shout-out to Studio Bones for drawing the mechanical units in 2D. This may seem lame to say, but with studios opting to go with 3D because its either cheaper or easier, it was almost refreshing to see the robots flying around as paper and not as polygons.
The actual animation is usually pretty good. The show incorporates great facial detail and expressions when it wants to, alongside good character movements. The battles utilize both faraway shots of dodging and explosions, and closer, more detailed gun-firing, trapar-riding, and sword-wielding.
The cast of Eureka Seven is placed in a rather peculiar predicament. I'll focus on the big four: Renton, Eureka, Holland, and Talho.
Talho is the lead pilot of the Gekko. Girlfriend of Holland, her commanding attitude and cold demeanor make her somewhat of a "wild child." But deep down, she cares a lot for the crew she steers on a daily basis. And when it comes to Holland, his safety, both physically and mentally, comes first. She is also affected by jealousy of a past she wishes would be forgotten. For her, her greatest struggle is coping with her emotions.
Holland is the leader of Gekkostate. Handsome and quick to anger, he believes in the friends he has come to make over the years. His intentions seem unclear, but his determination to accomplish his goals are anything but. For some reason, he has a deep-seeded hatred for Renton. His issue is not coping, but handling the emotions he has.
As a young boy, Renton dreamed of lifting with the cool members of Gekkostate. As the main character, Renton is kind, trustworthy, and wanting to do what's right. From the very beginning until the every end, he has one simple goal: protect Eureka. It seems lofty and perhaps even nonsensical, but his drive to protect the girl he loves brings him farther than he could have ever thought possible. Renton's issue was always understanding what feelings he currently had.
The best character from the show is Eureka. Mired in mystery from the get-go, the turquoise-haired, purple-eyed, quiet-speaking girl is definitely a little strange. Besides her outward appearance, she appears to be a normal teenager. But as her origins are explained and questions are answered, it becomes apparent that her inner-self is just as different as her outer-self. Emotionally, her biggest hurdle was simply learning about what she was feeling.
Coping, handling, understanding, and learning; for these four characters, the way in which they handle their emotions is vastly different when compared to one another. And this is important, considering the main themes revolve around love. The first half of the show nicely explores Talho, Holland, Renton, and Eureka's journey towards dealing with each of their separate obstacles. Putting it another way, the first half is each of them growing up. Whether through a new perspective on life or a new outlook provided to them by a fellow crew member, the four of them experience significant change during the first leg of their adventure.
The problem, though, is that the second leg focuses entirely on the plot and ignores the characters. After they overcome their personal challenges, there is little to no development afterwards. It may be argued that the relationships between them are affected, which is certainly the case, but their individual selves are not. Coupled with the convoluted story-telling mentioned earlier, this causes the shift in focus to be more of a step down than a step up.
One final note is Dewey, the antagonist, and Anemone. Dewey is the villain, but not a conventional one. His tactics and ideas are political rather than confrontational, making him interesting to watch as he goes about his plans. Anemone is similarly interesting because she is the complete opposite to Eureka; she knows the feelings she has but refuses to acknowledge them. Both characters become supremely important in the second half of the show, but their inclusion within the show allows the audience to view the ideas at play from a different angle, providing us not only with more insight but also a new way of thinking.
The first OP takes a bit of getting used to. The drums and guitar provide a nice beat, and the vocalist in the second half comes through with good emotion. It sounds somewhat "old school," which fits nicely with the old school feel of the show itself.
The second OP is the best of the four. The trumpet, drums, vocalist, and lyrics work wonderfully. They mix together to provide an incredible beat that is easy and fun to follow. Plus, who doesn't love to sing along with "Let it bloom!"
The third OP comes in second, with its rough singing and nice tempo. The "I wanna fly away!" in conjunction with the visuals is actually pretty powerful the more it's viewed, given everything that goes on during this OP's arc. It's also quite nice to bob your head to.
The fourth OP's best quality is easily the first ten seconds with "Amazing Grace." At this point, the show is nearing its end, so emotions are high. Meaning, it works to ease us into the coming episode.
The first ED, like the OP, takes a little bit of time to get used to. The singing sounds rather choppy, but it actually has a rather mellow feeling despite the range put into it. And the final violin arrangement is beautiful yet sad.
ED two sounds somewhat all over the place, unlike its OP counterpart. However, the "Fly away!" helps to bring it back into focus. The beat is slightly too quick and jumpy to follow easily, making it not too great to listen to on its own.
The third ED is the best of the EDs, with its good tempo, nice vocalist, and lyrics. The visuals are also quite interesting in what they portray. And the "tip taps" is fun to sing along with.
The final ED isn't so much a song as it is a story itself. It's more important to read the lyrics for this one as opposed to listening to it, but the many people singing it together makes it feel that much more alive.
The rest of the soundtrack is actually very good. The piano pieces, the heart-pounding frantic-ness between Nirvash and The End, and the grand orchestral music make it a feast for the ears time and again.
Voice acting-wise, I found Yuuko Sanpei as Renton and Keiji Fujiwara as Holland to give above average performances as their respective characters. At times, you could really hear the emotions they were attempting to portray.
When it comes to anime, romance is something I place higher than anything else. So, seeing it not only as prevalent within the show but being used as a literal plot device made me exceptionally happy. All of the blushing, the smiling, the name-calling; it had it all and I would have loved to have seen even more of it.
There are humorous moments during the show, but they are mostly around during the first quarter or so. Afterwards, it sticks mainly to dramatic elements. They never feel forced, just sometimes questionable because we never really have all the answers. The show, however, almost got to me a select few times in the crying department. Not all the way, but it was getting there. So much was riding on their actions, and the feelings they had for one another at certain points bubbled over, and I almost cried alongside Eureka.
Some of the best moments come from the Nirvash kicking some KLF butt. Watching the two of them, Renton and Eureka, work in harmony to take out the bad guys time and again never got old. If anything, I wanted to see just how far their love was going to take them.
I never fully got invested, however, into the show or the characters until the final stretch. At that point, I really had to know what was coming next. Sadly, the ending just didn't cut it for me after promising so much yet providing so little.
At the end of the day, I think Eureka Seven had the potential to become a masterpiece. All of the elements were there, but the mistakes kept piling up the further it went along. Despite these missteps, I still had a wonderful time. And even after getting through it all, "All is fair in love and war" still stands truer than ever.
Story: Fine, strong first half becomes convoluted the further it goes
Animation: Great, 2D, fluid, and pretty when it needs to be
Characters: Good, nice mains and supports that could have been great
Sound: Great, good OPs, EDs, amazing soundtrack, good VA work
This anime, is beautiful. Not just in animation or sound, but also in how the story and characters are laid out. However, each gem comes with it's own dents and scratches, and this is no different. Just a heads up that although I easily would give this anime a ten because of how amazing it made me feel at the end, I'm going to try my hardest to not be incredibly biased and point out flaws just like any other review.
First, lets start off with both a positive and a negative point. I found that for a lot of the time, many, many things
were left unexplained, even though they were referenced fairly often, especially in the earlier episodes. Now, I realize that this was to emphasize how little our protagonist, Renton Thurston, knew about the world, but it still left gaping plot holes by the end of the series. Still, it isn't really something I can completely fault the show for, because by leaving many things unexplained, it showcases how naive and clueless Renton is at the start. Still, it felt like driving through a thick cloud of fog. We weren't given any sort of main goal to reach, so we were subject to following the Gekko State meander about doing something to provide for a greater cause. This more or less doesn't matter, however, because we really aren't supposed to focus at all on the story for the first half, as the characters were the spotlight.
However, the story does pick up when nearing the midway point, and it sure does pick up. We finally realize why Gekko State are rebelling against the military, and the themes that start to arise are spectacular. We see that it is easier to conquer obstacles with the help of a trusted partner rather than being a lone wolf (screw you Kirito) and the power that comes with wanted to protect and be with the one you love. There is also some fairly obvious religious symbolism, and in this regard, it is fairly easy to draw parallels with Neon Genesis Evangelion. Still, it was handled rather well. I do feel as though the story was more or less a vessel to carry the amazing characters contained in it, but as a stand alone story, it's simplicity holds up nicely.
There isn't much to say about the animation, other than it's Bones at it's finest. The art is stylistic, fluid, and fits the overall feel of the show perfectly. The animation was also just as fluid, especially when dealing with the epic LFO fight scenes. The bright colours really fit the tone of the show: very uplifting and passionate. Lastly, the character designs. A while back, I watched another great show called Planetes. I was pleased to see the person doing the character designs for that particular show doing the character designs for Eureka Seven. All of them were completely original, and fit their roles in the show perfectly. Holland and Talho had very surfer-like attire to go with their rebelling against the State, Eureka's entrancing purple eyes embrace her mysterious yet beautiful side, and even the military uniforms were stylish. For a show made in 2005, it's animation still managed to keep me glued to the screen even at this day and age.
Once again, very high production going into this soundtrack. When the show needed to be serious, the music helped to produce suspense and tension. When there was some kind of powerful as all hell romance scene, the music was the driving force to give you butterflies in your stomach and feel like everything is perfect and beautiful. Also the openings were not just pleasing to the ears and eyes, but they actually replicated the stages of Renton's emotions at the time. In the first opening, the music and animation is very cheery, which is implies of Renton's laidback, carefree attitude at the time. Later on during the 3rd opening, he is shown falling through the sky, going to catch Eureka. This shows his boundless love for Eureka, and how he has grown and matured because of that love.
Moving on, the dub was solid, with breathtaking performances by Johnny Yong Bosch and Stephanie Sheh as Renton and Eureka respectively. However, you can't just say it's a coincidence when you see Ichigo Kurosaki and Orihime Inoue in the lead roles of a budding romance. I won't spend time talking about the other cast, as they are just as good. I did have a bit of a problem with the script at times, however. Sometimes the dialogue seemed a little bland between Renton and Eureka. It just doesn't seem to fit with the actions that are taking place at any given time. Fortunately, these moments are few and far between.
And of course, I have saved the best to last. The characters are what make Eureka Seven one of my favourite anime of all time, and I'm sure many people agree with me there. Let's start off with Renton Thurston. Honestly, he isn't the most original person in the bunch. He is a whiny, annoying protagonist forced to fight in a mech because why the heck not. However, it's the journey he goes through and the development he gets that makes him such a phenomenal character. By the end, he becomes someone people can actually depend on to make the right choices, and cares more about the people he loves rather than himself.
Next, we have Eureka. I hate to keep making Evangelion References, but I will. At first, Eureka seems to be the Rei Ayanami clone: very quiet, keeps to herself, you know the drill. But once again, its the journey she goes through that turns her into someone with actual emotions. She begins to feel the strength of love and the weight of guilt, which turns her into a very "human" character by the end (which is funny for obvious reasons).
Its weird for me to say this, but I don't think there is one character I really disliked all that much. All the side characters in Gekko State had enough development and personality to make an extremely well rounded cast. Like seriously, every single character on the Gekko got at least a little bit of development by the end. However, I didn't really like how one particular old man was fleshed out at the last episode of the entire series. It was just a completely unnecessary plot twist that did nothing significant in the slightest.
Also, the characters in the military were also just as strong. It made me pleased to see that Dominic and Jurgens were more than just military dogs, and turned out to have a mind of their own. For a while, I thought Anemone was an annoying little brat who treated Dominic, the one who loved her and actually treated her with respect, like complete shit. However, after learning of her past, her motivations, and how she changed thanks to Dominic, she came to, like Eureka, be a very human character. Speaking of Dominic and Anemone, even though their relationship was just a side plot, it even held a candle to Renton's and Eureka's. It went from rock bottom to soaring heavens, and it was a delight to see the end result.
And of course, the best part. Renton and Eureka, as a couple. I couldn't help having a wide grin on my face whenever those two were on the screen. The dedication and passion the two have for each other is astonishing. It really makes me long to have that relationship with someone someday. There are so many roadbumps along the way, but it doesn't matter to them. They can do whatever the hell they want because of their trust and unrequited love for each other. They are what make this anime so spectacular, and so groundbreaking.
This anime was a complete rollercoaster. The start was a slow, gradual, and for the most part, boring. one. However, the payoff was more than I could ever want. Even though the show was slow to start, they did it for a reason. Even the flaws I point out in this show are done to emphasize some kind of key theme or symbol. It just made you feel immersed into the whole setting, like you were actually there, watching the whole thing unfold through Renton's eyes. The production quality was borderline perfection, and I just hope that I can find someone with whom I can share the same love that Renton and Eureka did. However, even though in my heart I want to give this show a perfect rating, I can't. This is a review, and my opinion shouldn't be biased to completely overlook the flaws this show had.
I would like to start off by saying Eureka Seven is hands down my all time favorite anime series. From beginning to end it managed to keep me glued to the computer screen without so much as a blink of the eye. Sure, I lost my eyesight after watching the series from beginning to end due to the lack of blinking, but all I can say is; worth it, totally worth it! This anime has everything you would want, and then some! Ranging from humor, to a love story, to action/adventure, and one of my favorite's; things that deepen the plot, leaving you with so
many thoughts and opinions after the series ends. With it's oh so lovable characters, awesome storyline, action, adventure, and love/feelings between the main characters and more, it is hard not to get emotionally attached.
One of the most notable things about this series, in my opinion at least, is the music. I have never seen an anime series use a more amazing selection of music for the openers, endings, and throughout the series in general. They truly put it together in an indescribable fashion. The music in this series really sets the mood for each scene, whether it be emotional, or action based. They have a selection for EVERYTHING, and none of them disappoint!
I often wonder how the series has affected others, as it has had a great impact on myself. I for one had to re-watch the series at least two more times after my first taste, and was still left unsatisfied. Not due to the series itself lacking anything, but the sole attachment that was created between myself and the characters of the series. Each one of them leaves you wanting more, and the emotions felt during the series (laughter, sadness, happiness, etc) do not fade after the series concludes. For this reason, it has become the most memorable and cherished anime of mine. No other anime has affected me so deeply, emotions wise, and for that, I am grateful. It sorta gives a new outlook on life, just watching Eureka and Renton, go through the good times, and the bad. This series also gave birth to one of my favorite sayings, that I like to look to in all aspects of life. "Don't beg for things, do it yourself, or else you won't get anything". There is a lot of truth to the statement, and plays a big role in the series itself.
For those who haven't seen the series, I highly recommend you take the time to watch it, it will not disappoint. When I first finished the series back in 2007, it left me with an odd void in my life, like I was missing something. That something turned out to be more Eureka Seven. I scoured the net, dying to find out whether or not they were in production for a new series, a movie, anything, and only found dead ends and rumors. Then, in April, the movie was announced, and that void I felt for so long was finally put to rest. Just knowing something more is around the corner keeps the desire to re-watch the series again and again at bay (tho I have seen it more times then I dare admit). So in the end, I wonder, how will Eureka Seven affect you? Don't pass this series up, you will regret it! I'd recommend the English version personally, as I feel the voice actors really nailed it, but the Japanese version does shed light on a few things you might not have understood in the English.
This could possibly be one of the best written anime series of all time. Dai Sato is defently one of the best screenwriters in all of Japan. Tomoki Kyoda is also a very talented director. With those two and people like Chiaki J. Konaka, and Sayo Yamamoto involved it's no wonder this anime is a success.
I started watching this anime on Adult Swim, from the day it first aired. It took a few episodes before I was hooked, but once they grabbed me, they never let go. So please give this series a shot. After it aired on Adult Swim I started buying
all the DVD's. I missed a few episodes in the middle and the ending the first time it aired, but watched that, plus the rest of it on DVD. Although this is one of my favorite anime series of all time, I'll try very hard to be fair and as un-biased as I can be
It clearly takes many things from Neon Genesis Evengelion,FLCL, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam, and RahXephon. And I noted it acually takes some things from Shadow Star Narutaru as well (like some of the darker aspects of the series, and the Coralians and anti- Coralians are clearly inspired by the dragons [creatures] in Shadow Star Narutaru, not to mention some other smaller things as well). None of this is surprising as many of the people heavily involved in Eureka Seven where involved in these series as well.
I'm not going to go deep into the synopsis of the plot. I thought it was a very well written story, and the plot was just amazing. Lot's of mystery and drama!! It's very interesting to watch the military conflicts unfold. We watch what happens (and the changes to) the government that runs the planet, and how war effects everyone. The series is also very deep, dark, and can get physiological at times (not unlike Eva). It does have it's fun and silly moments, and even an episode or two devoted to humor and jokes. This is very well thoguth out, as the drama and "darker" parts are well balanced by this. Comedy is used at the right moments not to depress the veiwer to much. Plenty of action and interesting plot developments to make sure you are never bored.
The plot is written very amazingly, and complex. It gets dark, but never too depressing. All of this is important because this is partly a plot driven anime.
All of the characters were very strong. While it's easy to see how Renton was inspired by Shinji (NGE) and Naota (FLCL) he is still very much his own character. Same gos for Eureka (who some say is inspired by Rei from NGE). Talho and Holland are completely original. Most of the characters are well likeable. I found the "bad guys" of course to be much more interesting, likeable, and just overall cool however. The Sage Council (my picture) are an amazing trio who run the country! Dominic Sorel is very cool, likeable, and interesting!! Colonel Dewey Novak is also a great character and develops a lot throughout the anime.
Every character is interesting, and helps show the viewer a little bit of the world this takes place on. They all are good characters, which is important because this anime can be very character driven at times.
The art is very nice. It gets it's job done, plus some! It really amazes you at some times, but being a 50 episode series it does change up a little over the time. No real problems with it, but not incredbly high quality animation or anything like that. The backgrounds are great looking, and the character and mecha designs are very cool.
The music was just amazing!! The best songs, from the best bands were chosen for this anime!! But not just great opening and closings either, the insert songs where very powerful! Esecially the insert song "Storywriter" by the band Supercar.
I only watched the English dub, and I can defently say this is one of Bang Zoom! 's best dubs ever!! Sure Renton (Johnny Young Bosch) could be anoying to some people, but I think he sounded really good. I didn't even know that was him, he used such a high pitch voice. Crispin Freeman will forever be Holland for me, because his voice fit so perfectly!! Peter Doyle was also spot on with Dominic. In fact every single character seemed well cast. Of course Stephanie Sheh gives the overall best performance as Eureka. She's just great at anything she does. Eureka is brought to life with her voice.
A more plot driven/character driven mecha then most people are used to, but acually makes this anime more apealing. It works for people who don't necessarily like mecha anime too much. Therefore it's not mecha-driven, but they do serve a point, and there is some mystery to them. The characters are well likeable. The plot is very well thought out, and just amazing. It gets philosophical, physiological and deep at times, but plenty of action to keep you entertained.
It has a good story to tell, and proves once again Dai Sato is the man with the golden pen. When it comes to screenwriting, he always manages to outdo himself.
Eureka Seven was the first anime that I ever binge-watched. For that reason, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Now, on to the review! (which is, for the most part, spoiler-free)
The story is quite good. The anime is 50 episodes long so there are some lulls in the action. I would describe Eureka Seven as a love story that happens to have fighting robots. The main enjoyment (at least for me) comes from seeing the relationship between Renton and Eureka grow. You spend a lot of time inside Renton's head and, by the end of the series, he is one of the
most fleshed-out characters that I have ever seen. You understand his motivations, his insecurities, and his goals. You become emotionally invested in the characters which makes it all the more heart-wrenching when some of them inevitably die.
The art is consistently good throughout, props to Bones.
The soundtrack is absolutely amazing and adds much to the atmosphere.
Favourite track: "Eureka".
Now, I think something should be said about whether to watch the dub audio or original Japanese. I have watched both, and I can say with some confidence that the dub is superior. Without getting into matters of authenticity and adaptation, I think that the voice actors (especially for Renton) give a superior emotional performance in the dub. If you're open-minded enough to give it a try then I would recommend watching it in English. Try both though, maybe you'll enjoy the sub better! Whatever floats your boat :)
I won't reveal plot details because I think it's best to take it on completely fresh. I stumbled upon the DVD at my local electronics shop and, knowing nothing about it besides the blurb on the back of the case, I picked it up. And it blew me away! Give it a shot, it won't disappoint.
Alright, I've been looking forward to typing up this review ever since around the 25th episode. For me, Eureka Seven has been bouncing between, and around an 8-9 for the rating. But it really didn't take long AT ALL to make me change that score. It was in my "Plan to Watch" list for far too long as well. And deserved to be looked into a lot sooner. So, first, what I mean by this is, if you haven't seen Eureka Seven yet, DO NOT WAIT ANY LONGER. Especially if you absolutely love incredible love stories.
I'll start with story, I gave it a 10
Well, it's kind of hard to tell you why I gave it a 10 without spoiling the story, but I'll try it out. During the entirety of Eureka Seven, the story is a HUGE emotional-roller coaster; one that I didn't want to end. They really give life to every character that is on screen often, give you the needed background information to make them feel real. I got connected to these characters and what they were fighting for. Making me sad every time I finished an episode, knowing its one episode closer to the end of the series.
There are ups and downs, people learning what they're doing wrong, everyone working together to overcome such amazing obstacles. Truly one epic tale, that makes you envious that you can't do what they do. But sometimes are glad you don't need to go through such heart-wrenching moments in life. Eureka Seven actually left me teary-eyed at some points, especially at the end of an intense episode, Eureka and Renten say "To be continued" together, but sound incredibly sad after something bad that happened. It's like getting dumped, then having everyone laugh at you. It feels terrible. But it's good because they actually make you feel for the story, and what the characters are going through. I'd give it a 100/10 if I could, but that isn't possible.
Now for Art, I gave it a 9 because:
There isn't much to say here, most Anime that Bones works on (that I've seen) looks amazing, but there were very small parts that I don't think were up to par, but it might have been because I was watching DVD quality on a 40" HDTV without being upscaled to fake-HD. But no complaints, a well deserved 9.
For Sound, I gave it a 10 because:
Not much to say here either, they nailed all the effects, all the voices (I watched it dubbed) were perfect on all the characters. They all seem to fit so perfectly. Kari Wahlgren played Anemone, and she is one of my favorite voice actors, so I was happy to hear her in this doing another amazing job. So no complaints here, top notch sound for a top notch Anime, i'd say.
I gave Character a 10 because:
Well, I kind of explained why in my reasons on Story, and sort of, in sound.
The characters are well thought out and expressed. Leaving no holes to make them feel fake, or robotic. Emotions are no where near lacking, character style is unique enough and how they all are made to interact just surpasses incredible. Basically, if you made a blind person "listen" to Eureka Seven, he/she would think it was something real happening around them, and that these people really exist. Hard to be done, but Eureka Seven excels here.
And also to mention, I'm glad to finally see a 10/10 worthy Anime that doesn't include overly-big sized chests and girls that are too spunky for life as the main character.
I'm pretty sure I've said why I gave it a 10 for Enjoyment, but I'll do a quick recap:
Amazing characters, heart-wrenching story that pulls you in and DOESN'T let you go, top notch action scenes, and incredible plot that didn't confuse me and was easily understandable but deep enough to keep you hooked and it feeling fresh.
Overall, even though I gave Art a 9, that IN NO WAY brings down the overall score. Since the story was so amazing, with the support of an amazing character cast and amazing Voice Actors; all this amazing could only add up to an outstanding Anime. So if you haven't seen it yet, I'd suggest you watch it as soon as possible. I downloaded it first, but after finally finishing it, I'm going to buy both Box sets, and buying the "Pocket Full of Rainbows" movie when it comes out. Just to own and help possible future Eureka Sevens to be released, or Anime like it.
All in all, my final words are, I'm glad I watched it, and I never plan on regretting all the emotions I felt while watching Eureka Seven. And I'm sure you'll fully understand what I mean after you watch it for yourself.
I wouldn't recommend thos for the shonen/mecha driven fans because it gets good until after 12 or 15 episodes then it just goes downhill from the there filled with fallen/raisin relationships between Renton/Eureka and Holland/Taho which it really gets irradiated when you want to see more action and less of the romance and the ending isnt so hot either so if you like shoujo and can tolerate the few action that's in there which isnt for long then this is for you if not then don't waste your time on this at all is completely dull after the action is all drawn out and all
there's left is the slow love connection between the two main characters.
So much unrealized potential. I began watching Eureka Seven on the basis of the many positive reviews here and elsewhere, but was gravely disappointed in what I experienced. There is indeed the foundation for a great work here, and there is within it some exceptional parts, but they are too few and far between to support a fifty-episode run.
My principle issue is certainly with the lead characters, nearly all of whom are more frequently frustrating to watch than endearing and spend far too much time whining and lazing about like some useless wretches. There are numerous secondary characters who are far more intriguing and
who barely get any screen time, or are elevated to a "mauve shirt" before vanishing or being killed off.
There is a good balance between mystery and explanation of the tech, which I like. Not too much is revealed but enough to give it some plausible functionality. Similarly with the historical background; much is left for you to fill in but this is more a benefit than a detriment. The score(s) have been universally praised, and with good reason, but the art is strangely inconsistent. Some of the design is clearly shared with Bounen no Xamdou (also produced by studio Bones), but it pales in comparison on all counts to it otherwise.
*Notice: This review contains some spoilers. And a lot of this contains sarcasm, depending on the portion of the review you're reading. If you�re not prepared for either, stop reading. Also, if you haven't seen the series (or most of it) you probably won't understand a lot of what I'm talking about to be completely honest. Which is why I have that summed up below, but even that has a couple of references to scenes late into the series.
The first 25-30 episodes were an absolute bore for me (think slightly more enjoyable than the 9th level of Hell), but in the latter episodes there were
some decent fight scenes which made it more enjoyable. There were also two �romance stories� in the end which I also found to be enjoyable (being a fan of romance). There were some parts where certain characters� personalities got overhauled in some respects to quickly and I felt it seemed unnatural and odd (like Renton suddenly going from �Damn! Damn! Damn!� to �I�m gonna kick some ass and chew some gum. But I�m all outta gum.� There were also some episodes that were fairly entertaining but basically worthless (soccer game, anyone?). I also felt that some of the characters in those episodes *coughRentoncough* acted worthless. �Dude, I�m sweet at soccer because I leave the ball completely open to an attacker and they can�t get it due to their lacking coordination! Oh snap! Moondoggie just did! Shi-zo!� Those kinds of moments irritated me since passing a ball is pretty basic concept, and Renton couldn�t seem to grasp the concept within a matter of seconds but understood how to jump off of a teammate and perform a coordinated kick on the goal with Eureka somehow. Makes perfect sense, I know, but I digress. Most of the later episodes helped to advance the plot and provide a little bit of character development, although some of the development seemed �off� (with respect to each character) and felt unrealistic. However, because some of the characters didn�t seem to mature realistically, it allowed for some hardcore moments. Except for Maurice holding a bolt-action rifle which was assumed to be loaded (despite making zero sense since it was stored in the back of an LFO and only takes a few seconds to load one round into it. Much less that none of the characters in the Nirvash at that time probably even knew how use it). Maurice is a wuss, by the way.
Here�s the story in a nutshell: There�s a kid named Renton who wants to be Tony Hawk except in the air. And using a mech. Then a girl crashes into part of his property and he falls in love with her. He joins a group called Gekko State and whines for lot of episodes. Then he meets a guy that likes frilly tops and a woman who cooks well. He wants to think of them as his parents and pays no attention to their being complete strangers, but has utmost trust for them from the gitgo. Then they both die. He goes back to Gekko State. He whines some more and claims that he�ll protect the girl that destroyed his property. There are some cool battles. Holland acts like a jerk and then becomes mildly hardcore later on. More sweet battles. Eureka, Renton, and some kids end up going through �the Zone� and end up a ways underground. Eureka undergoes some physical changes. A guy named Dewey comes to power, tries to wipe out all Coralians, tries to destroy the Nirvash. Then Dewey dies. Renton saves Eureka using a new version of the Nirvash (like the Nirvash 2.0). Then an old man is revealed to be a Coralian and leaves. Dominic gets it on with Anemone. The show ends.
Here's the shortened plot synopsis: A kid named Renton meets a girl named Eureka. She pilots a big mech (the first one ever). Renton falls in love with the girl. Then he joins and anti-government organization to fight "the man." He and Eureka pilot the mech (the Nirvash) together and fall in love. Stuff happens, Renton whines a lot, matures extremely quickly at some points, and almost gets killed a few times. Then the lead man of the government dies and Eureka ends up in a "state [of being]" where she needs to be saved, which only Renton can do. Renton saves her. The show ends.
The animation in Eureka 7 was decent. Nothing awful by any means, but also nothing particularly astounding. The characters all had their own definite �styles,� and had a distinctive look to them. But at the same time, their clothes were typically drawn with great detail and some of their other features (like Holland�s �beard�) were lacking, too. The environments also left some to be desired. Most of the backgrounds typically were fairly bland and didn�t have much attention to detail, but this wasn�t nearly as noticeable since the show rarely focused on the environments themselves. Where the animation did excel was with the LFOs (the mechs). They were reminiscent of Neon Genesis Evangelion (compare the Nirvash and the Type 01), although still had some of their own nifty features (hoverboards, anyone?). The animation was also very fluid and done well for the battles, and the effects for explosions among other things almost always looked good. The reason animation gets an eight from me is because although there was some to be desired, the animation involving LFOs was done well (as were battles in general).
I thought the sound was done very well. The first two openings weren�t terribly appealing, but the third one was very enjoyable and the fourth one still had some of its own merits. One of the ending themes was decent but none of them really stood out or grabbed me. The voice acting was done well for each character, and no particular one really stood out, but that can be seen as good or bad depending on your perspective. The battles or �intense� moments generally had great music accompanying. One of my personal favorites was the music that sounded like the tango played near the end of the movie �True Lies.� Then again, I�m a fan of the tango so that may be more personal preference. All in all, I thought the insert songs felt fitting for their scenes and I liked the music (Storywriter by Supercar I thought worked really well).
Each of the characters had their own personality and attributes, although I didn�t feel most of them developed too much in ways that made great sense. For instance, like I stated earlier in the review, Renton goes from �whine whine whine� to �Get to the chopper! If you want to live, come with me,� in a Schwarzenegger tone. While I definitely liked it more when some of the characters were like that (as oppose to not), it didn�t feel �fitting� for them based off of their previous actions and emotions. It was supposed to be a sign of them developing but I never got the impression that it truly �clicked� for most of them. Eureka�s personality progressed in a way that seemed natural, but at the same time according to the story she learned basically everything from people, so how she experienced or developed different emotions was never fleshed out. Then again, she�s probably just supposed to already retain the ability for different emotions like hatred, love, etc, and it�s a given. So I didn�t dwell much on that issue when I was watching the show.
It�s a fun show overall. Was it worth sitting through almost 30 episodes of boredom to see some exciting and uplifting parts later on? Maybe, but that�s questionable. It�s a decent show, and it has some ups and downs. If you really like mechs and action you may want to watch it, but I�d stick with something like Full Metal Panic for mechs myself. A lot of people enjoy Eureka 7, and while it�s not absolute top-notch or anything like that, a good portion of it is enjoyable and interesting enough for you to finish an episode and want to see what happens in the next.
Here are the basics for whether you might like the show or not. If you:
-like romance stories
-like watching stuff get blown up
-like decently cool battles
-enjoy watching characters go from being total pansies to suddenly owning everything in sight
-enjoy having a "tragic" hero who does well but has some flaw
...then you might like this show. Those are the basics.
Ratings (This is how to understand what I have it you think it doesn't match up with the numbers):
10- Astoudning, fantastic. This is the alpha-male. It wins on more levels that I can count.
9- Excellent and better than most of what you typically come across. Not the pinnacle of greatness, but still close.
8- Well done, although flaws are definitely present. It does a lot of things fairly well but you can see the errors in it. Could use some work or it's still fairly enjoyable, but not a lasting impression.
7- Decent. Doesn't execute anything to any amazing extent or anything really poorly. Very middle of the road.
6- Limited appeal. This may appeal to some but it's very on the edge between average and being poor.
5 and Below- 100% craptacular goodness. The lower the score here is, the more you realize how much you hate the material in question.