The first series (E7 henceforth) is considered to be one of the most lovable mecha/adventure/action/romances of the previous decade and is part of thousands of user top lists. I personally never liked it too much, as many episodes felt too slow, or were fillers, while many aspects of the story were confusing, unfocused, and eventually unexplained. It was otherwise much better than your average mecha or adventure, plus it had the privilege to end in a solid way with no reason to expect a sequel. But alas, AO is here…
As soon as the promotional videos and the character designs were out, me and many others had a really bad feeling about this. It screamed like the whole thing would turn into a harem with THAT sort of protagonist and THOSE types of uniforms.
I see a pussy boy and two sluts; what do you think the show will be like?
And guess what happened as soon as the first episode came out. We were of course right. Here is why.
1. It is not inspirational
Allow me to describe my first impressions of each series.
E7: The hero is the son of a famous man and has a dull normal life. He hopes to do something important one day. Suddenly a huge robot with a beautiful girl drops in his life. He immediately decides to follow that girl in a life of adventure, with hopes to be as great as his father, as well as winning her heart.
AO: The hero is the son of a despised woman and has a simple normal life with no real goals and even a secured childhood friend / platonic girlfriend. Suddenly a weird robot attacks his village and he is running away scared until he is dragged around by some snoopy friends of his to go have a closer look. All accidentally he drops inside a mecha and without having the slightest clue of what he is doing, he beats the evil robot. Then some cute girl appears and tries to befriend him, while trying to explain what happened. He gets angry and walks away since he doesn’t care to find out. Even later when he decides to join the crew, he does so with the only motivation being to find his lost mother by randomly piloting the robot everybody is after. For that reason he dumps his girlfriend and takes part in missions battling monsters he really doesn’t care about with hopes for some clues regarding the whereabouts of his mother to drop out of the sky. Hardly what I call interesting.
So basically, the first season had a very dynamic and positive beginning, while the second begins in a dark and depressing way. Although being darker usually means better, in this case they really messed it up in a bad way because it doesn’t try to make you interested in the story. He wants to find his mommy??? Seriously???
2. The new characters are completely dull
You would gradually fall in love with the E7 crew but this one in AO feels generic, distant, and moody. It just doesn’t give you any good reason to care for them.
- The lead boy, Ao, is always angry and runs away. As much as a pussy Renton, the first hero was, he had to begin from scratch and slowly build his fame and importance to the rest of the crew. Ao on the other hand begins as someone born to be special and awesome, and everybody is after his genetic powers that enable him to pilot the robot. This felt as a very cheap attempt at giving importance to a character who otherwise doesn’t want to do anything. And am I supposed to believe he is more interested in randomly piloting a robot that may or may not lead him to his mother and dumps back at the island the girl that is so crazy over him? What is this sick Oedipus complex? He also has the done-to-death protection syndrome of shounen leads and looks like a girl with green hair. I want to strangle him and those high heels we wears. Faggot!
- The other main pilots are not any better. First of all they are all airhead little girls, something that feels retarded next to E7 where you had pilots of all ages. They don’t even take their roles seriously and prefer to surf the net or do karaoke than fight the bad robots. All you basically get is a bunch of stupid lolis and a gay-looking hero; what is this again, a military organization or an ecchi harem? Not only that, but the animators don’t miss the chance to turn them all into underage whores on every step of the way, as you get a whole lot of fan service where they are naked and rubbing it on that faggot of a protagonist. You would respect and cherish the women in the original. All you do with these ones is masturbating twice an episode.
- The support characters are all shallow and uninteresting. Why are they in this show anyway? So many teams with so many agendas and none get the basic focus they deserve to become likable to us. They all feel like cardboards.
- Even the enemies are faceless robots without personality that hardly have anything to care about next to the human opponents of E7. Not only that but the coral monsters of E7 had a style and identity of their own but these ones in AO look like rip-offs from Neon Genesis. (henceforth NGE).
3. Actually, if you think about it the whole show stinks of a NGE rehash.
Angry insecure teenage boy with mommy issues, along with other sexy underage girls, protect the world from huge monsters with shady objectives by piloting huge robots. But surely, this is hardly as exciting, not only because the concept is copied a lot by later shows but also because we are not made to care about the characters. I mean I can appreciate how they didn’t go for a rehash of the first season. It is not an adventure, like E7 was, where they randomly travel the world and meet all sorts of challenges along the way. It is a lot more military-based, where they wait in their fancy headquarters for a monster to attack … and then just head there. Boring.
4. Late in the story it also becomes a Steins;Gate rip-off.
Ok, not S;G in particular but any show with time resets in general. It is a terrible trope that exists to magically undo anything the scriptwriter doesn’t want, and offer an easy way out of every problem without any responsibility or purpose to anything that is happening in the plot. In this case, the whole plot ends up being deleted entirely, so it’s like you are watching a full season worth of crap that never really happened. How rewarding…
5. There is no investment to story and characters
Remember how simple both E7 and NGE were in their early episodes? They were slowly adding more people and themes to the story, building up along the way as they flesh out new characters and developments, one thing at a time. Now what is all this mess in AO? We are thrown a hundred characters at our face, all at once, military organizations, some weird independence movement, rebel bases, yakuza, shape shifting aliens, none of which have much to do or say. Seriously, saving the whole world and altering reality on a daily basis in AO feels boring next to the random minor missions of E7. Why? Because it doesn’t focus on its characters! Stuff happen, shit blow up, tears drop and you wonder WHY IS ALL THAT IMPORTANT? When huge cataclysmic events take place, and are thrown to the side in a few minutes like they don’t matter at all, all you can do is reacting with apathy. Everything feels so cynical and rushed, without emotion or motivation, so how are you supposed to sympathize with whatever the hell is going on in here?
6. And trust me, you will have a hard time to even understand the plot.
Up to the first half you will have no idea what is going on with the politics, no idea when this takes place next to E7, and even no idea what is everybody’s motive. The scenes change almost chaotically from one place to another, you get a hundred people in a dozen places doing world-shaking, yet unimportant plot-wise things, and you almost never have a clear picture of why is everything happening. This is not new to the company who made the show by the way. In case you don’t know the studio BONES style, they always make anime with amazing production values, very good story ideas, very good early episodes … and a shitty storyboard. Seriously, they don’t have a single show that doesn’t fall apart towards the end. They all become cryptic and confusing before ending in a rushed and messy way leaving you mostly disappointed and hollow inside.
Yet AO is somewhat of an exception, since it didn’t even wait to get to the second half of the show in order to be like that; it has a very messy storyboard from the very beginning. What’s the matter you guys, up to now you were at least giving us likable characters before you screw up the story, and now you just don’t bother doing not even that? I mean, seriously, what is going on with the weird way you tell the story? You jump from one place to another, mention a hundred things without elaborating on anything, present the plot in a non-linear fashion, throw in dream sequences, and yet you don’t manage to make a single worthy scene? If you are trying to keep your stories mysterious, you are doing a shitty job.
7. The villain is OP
And seriously, after decades of experience you go and make a villain who is so overpowered he can do ANYTHING he likes? An overpowered villain is a lame villain because whatever he does leaves the heroes completely incapable to control anything in the plot. They feel like they are useless and passive, peons working for whatever plans he has in store for them instead of feeling dynamic and inspiring. Seriously, if such a powerful villain ever gets defeated it will only feel like a lame asspull since there is absolutely no way to excuse his defeat.
8. Too bent on nostalgia
What is even worse is how up to the first part of the story we had nothing to talk about it, other than how it compares to the first season. We just wondered if it’s a sequel or a prequel, or which characters are the descendants of the first crew. We had absolutely nothing to say about the new cast or story because there is NOTHING in it. And even when they later on revealed its relation, it just felt like a pile of BS as it had to do with multiple time travels and alternative realities and a bunch of other horseshit nobody cared about. WHO CARES ABOUT ALL THAT? You threw all those stuff in our face and then expect us to like them without first making us care about the characters. Did you really expect this to work?
Of course and they did. Do you know what their major lure from the very first episode was? The characters from the first show! We were literally watching this just for them to appear again and didn’t give a damn about the newer cast. Can you imagine how lame it feels to have a show that can’t stand on its own feet and needs to reuse characters from an earlier show instead of trying to establish newer ones? This is Gundam SEED Destiny all over again. The protagonists of E7 are just support cast in AO yet feel a hundred times cooler exactly because they were likable in the first place. This is so cheap! They just keep everything mysterious in a lame attempt to keep us interested in seeing all this horseshit.
9. Lame action
And goddammit, if you so much want to have robot action in this show, at least try to make it interesting instead of doing this crap. The battles are rushed and boring next to the fluent motions of E7. They just stay frozen on midair and throw lasers at each other before that hax Truth snaps his fingers and shit happens any way he likes. That’s not fun at all! And it’s always about Ao having absolutely no experience in battle yet manages to best the rest of the elite pilots. He meets and beats all the monster robots on his own and always in the same episode they appear in. And what’s with the shapes these Secrets have? They are terrible compared to the Scrubs. It is all too fast and stupid; make it exciting damn you!
10. But nooo; that was apparently too hard to do so they went for retarded fan service instead.
Why is there a pink haired loli with a rabbit helmet in this show? Is it supposed to make her cute? SHE IS A DRONE! I want to molest her; not feel sympathy for her. For the same reason, why are there only underage girl pilots in this show? THERE IS NO EXCUSE OTHER THAN OTAKU BAIT! These bitches even cosplay at one point as promotion for a manga that will be based on them. And guess what, their boobs are drawn there ten times bigger than they already are. There are telling straight at your face that this show is for deviant otakus!
11. What’s with those god-ugly mascots?
That stupid animal with the huge hands and the dumb face is not cute or funny. And neither is that AI program that is supposed to be informing them. Is that circle with a huge nose supposed to be interesting? It is so annoying! Even the characters in this show admit it is. I hate it! I hate everything in this show and it’s not just me; pretty much all the fans of the first share my feelings! And it’s all your fault BONES.
12. Fancy visuals mean jack shit
So could you at least be enjoying the show for its very good production values? Not for me, since I was never such a shallow viewer; I care a lot more about good directing and interesting characters, something this show lacks completely. Furthermore, good production values don’t mean much for most viewers anymore. They were a good eye-catcher up until five years ago when the Blu Ray was still new and the DVD quality was still at its peak. But today that doesn’t mean much after so many well made shows came out. Plus who cares who many polygons you get per second if story and characters are shit?
13. Improvements my arse
Do you know what is even lamer than all that? I am reading how the developers took pointers from lots of things the fans didn't like in the first show as advises for improving the sequel. This is why they went for faster pace, more action, and more fan service. These were literally supposed to make AO better! Better my ass; how are they improvements if they trashed the character appeal? Furthermore nobody was watching E7 just for action or fan service. But no, just like all sequels do, it tried to be flashier and ended up being hollower. Ever heard how less is more? Moral message of the day kids: Don't let the fans tell you how to write a script or you get this mess. The fans are idiots! If you listen to them you will make fanfics full of plot holes and fan catering but never a good sequel. And I know they did the same in Code Geass r2 but even there most of us admit it was just a funny no-brainer and it trashed its interesting themes. So no, bad move there.
This show is a complete failure. Stop making sequels to titles that never needed them. You only manage to ruin the good memories.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 6/10
General Artwork 2/2 (well-done)
Character Figures 0/2 (pussies and sluts)
Backgrounds 2/2 (fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (typical)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 1/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 0/2 (terrible)
Complexity 0/2 (lots of things happen, that lead to absolutely nothing)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (a bloody reset, like nothing really happened)
CHARACTER SECTION: 1/10
Presence 0/2 (annoying)
Personality 1/2 (typical)
Backdrop 0/2 (everyone has some but because of the bloody resets, they mean nothing)
Development 0/2 (messy)
Catharsis 0/2 (messy)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 1/4 (no reason to remember)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (terrible character designs, lame action)
Sound 1/2 (the music is ok)
Story 0/3 (crap all the way)
Characters 0/4 (shit all the way)
Ah, Eureka Seven AO, how I was so excited to watch you before you aired. Now here I am facepalming all over the place at how bad this show is, and how I was foolish to be excited for this.
Let me start out by saying, the original Eureka Seven is one of my all-time favorite anime series, and it's just sad for me to see what BONES did. They are merely marketing a show purely based off of nostalgia, and putting zero effort into it, less so than those incomplete adaptions used to sell more of the source material.
So first off, what is this show all about? Well originally it was about Ao, Eureka's son as you probably could have guessed from the promo image, joining a group called Pied Piper-actually, just a subsection of Generation Blue-(The E7 AO equivalent of the Gekkostate, not.), and trying to find his mom (Who he calls "Anma!"-Where did this shit come from?). From there, it's total nonsense, especially in the second half. Seriously, I doubt even BONES knows what they're writing in this show. Hell, it's even hard to review this show because it's so messy. So where did it all go wrong?
Part of the problem is how Eureka Seven had a completely closed ending, with no loose ends. So, what the heck were they supposed to do for a story, a sequel story? Set it up in our world, instead of the world of the original E7? Introduce an overpowered villain with no motives, and then come up with something along the way? Put in terminology the viewer is completely unfamiliar with, and explain it midway when all the characters knew everything from the start, and assumed the viewers were the same? Put random things in, and forget about them completely in only a few episodes, making it completely redundant? How about just put in random crap to fill up 24 episodes? Really, these are warning signs the show is going to be a total mess.
There are tons of plot holes everywhere (Especially in the final two episodes which are just one large Deus Ex Machina), and lots of things will not make sense as such. In one instance, it's stated everywhere the Secrets are not the enemy as they merely take an element called Quartz away from the Scub Corals. But then later, Generation Bleu tries to eliminate all the Secrets. Oh and let's not forget how you can travel around the world in only an hour, it doesn't matter where. Seems the earth is way smaller than it really is...
How about the characters? Did the characters turn out good? Hardly, the show makes some of the same mistakes Shakugan no Shana III (Final) made. It introduces a bunch of characters, and then doesn't bother to develop them, or show any backstory, so they're just...there. Many characters will develop in some way, but it'll either make no sense, or it'll be a total character rewrite. We'll also get some good backstory, but the show then tosses it aside and forgets about it. The backstory rarely ends up being relevant to the story.
Lastly, can we forget how they introduced certain elements you never in a million years wanted in E7? An otaku girl? Moe girls everywhere, resulting in a harem practically? Fanservice? And what purpose does this serve? Really, what does it serve for a good story? In this show, it can't co-exist with the story, and character development like does in various shows.
Really, they should have either made this not a sequel, or took a page from Gonzo from when they made Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, the sequel to Last Exile which also had a completely closed ending. That show managed to do a much better job at things, from the story, to the characters. It did not rely on purely nostalgia to tell a story, and the result wasn't all that bad.
Eureka Seven AO in the end is a prime example of doing everything wrong in a show, and what happens when a studio uses only nostalgia to tell a story. Take the E7 fanboy glasses off, and you'll immediately notice the many, many problems. One can only hope less of these kinds of shows get made in the future. Nostalgia can be great, but not when you use it to tell a story for a show.
AO will never escape comparison to the original season of Eureka 7. As I tried to stand it on its own and evaluate it, I really didn't get far, and I actually came away with a better opinion of the original (despite that show's propensity for dragging things out way longer than was enjoyable for me).
Overall, I thought that AO's "plot" was much less coherent and its characters less quirky and lovable, with the notable exception of the main character. A lot of my dislike of Eureka 7 stems from how downright obnoxious, whiny, angsty, and pathetic Renton was throughout most of the show. Ao was much less emo and annoying and I liked that he sprang into action instead of wallowing in negativity and self-doubt. However, the other characters were lackluster, *especially* the female characters.
I guess it was enjoyable enough, but ultimately it discards the heavy and thought-provoking themes of its predecessor for fanservicey character design and sparkly battles--and was it really necessary for adult-Renton's voice actor to be the same as Holland's? That really frosted my cupcakes.
That is all.
The show has some story conflictions for the original show, and doesnt seem to explain too much at the begining of the show, and some of the things going on can be confusing at times.
The Ending of the Show is why i rated this show a 3.5 it very dissappointing, becasue he goes along the entire show trying to meet with his mom again, jsut to go and erase his existance from everyones memory using the quartz gun.
As I write this, im not sure what to think of this. My initial thoughts of this show was “ Eureka 7 sequel? Its all I wanted” and that’s not at all what you will receive. It was not what I expected, and I didn’t like it…. At first
For most of the show, all I could think about was “ who are these characters and why should I care, where is Renton and eureka?” and having those thoughts constantly really distracted me from the anime itself. I ended up resenting that anime and its characters.
I dropped the show for awhile on episode 22 thinking that I would watch it later. I ended up watching it from the beginning a year later after I watched Eureka 7 for the third time. Knowing that this is not the Eureka 7 sequel that I was expecting, I started enjoying what this was a whole lot more.
For one, the animation is a great deal better than eureka 7. There are more lfo fights and action scenes and more “Itano Circus’s”. It has a great ost. And the English voice acting does not suck in the beginning.
AO is not at all the romance anime that eureka 7 was. Its something else; and people don’t see that sadly
I recommend it as a action mecha anime with a intriguing plot, its not what I expected and I like it.
I still hate Elena though…