To start off, this anime is my favorite anime ever, and probably will always be. It meant a lot to me as a teenager, and I've been going through a rough time, so I just rewatched it, and it helped me to cope. As such, I'm probably a little biased towards it. I realize this show has flaws, but I love it too much to care.
There's two different stories going on--one of racing, and one of a father and daughter trying to reconcile.
The story of the race is fun and exciting. It could very easily grow boring, but it never does. Each race is different from the last, and allowed each racer a moment in the spotlight without detracting from Eva's story.
The alien races were very creative and unique, and I loved how different each of the racing ships were. It added to the fun of the racing side of the story, and helped to keep things interesting. The variety in setting was great as well, and I never grew bored of the landscape.
However, what really draws me into this anime and makes it different from other racing shows is the story of Eva and her father. This is what the anime is truly about, and this story couldn't have been told any better. Even knowing what was coming and how it all ended, I was emotionally there with the characters, and I felt what they were feeling in the moment.
Eva's and Don Wei's characters work well together in the sense that the tension is believable and some of the greatest moments of the show is how they interact with one another. This might be a slight spoiler, but I love watching the two of them slowly working out all of their issues, and it is that, more than anything else, that continues to draw me to this anime.
I do wish there was more to this show. Not that it needs more, but I want to know more about Eva's future. Mostly, I want to know more about the romance. I know the romance was never the main focus, but it was there, and I didn't feel as if it was fully resolved. I guess it does leave room for fanfiction, but I really want to know if (what I say could be a little spoilery) Prince Aikka and Eva ever see each other again.
There are a few small flaws in the story. Though, I think most of those aren't flaws so much as I would have preferred it to be done a little differently. I can't say much without spoiling stuff, but my biggest complaint comes with a fight near the ending. The solution came out of nowhere, and it didn't fit with what I understand about the Crogs. The other flaw deals with Eva's memories, and her mother. Again, I won't get too specific, but that did bother me, the first time that is brought up.
The animation was beautiful, for the most part. The 2D and 3D animations were merged together very nicely, and I felt the style was both unique and pretty. There were a few bits, here and there, that probably could have been done a little better, but that's the same for about every show.
The music was unique as well, and I wouldn't mind getting a hold of a soundtrack, if this show has one.
I just love this anime so much. It means so much to me and has helped me cope with some rough times in my life. I feel as if I truly connect to and know Eva, and she will always be a part of me.