The year is 2025. Earth is engulfed in the crossfire between massive warring alien life forms that leave annihilation in their wake. While searching for clues about his past, Ao is caught in an attack and forced to fly a giant humanoid fighter craft to save himself and his island. Fragments of the teenager’s origin come to light when a hostile shape-shifter seeking revenge on Ao’s missing mother—who vanished two years after his birth—targets him instead. Consumed with learning how his machine of war is connected to his mother and the monster that now pursues him, the young pilot will fly full throttle into combat zones without hesitation.
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.
Spoiler Alert! 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.
OK, this sequel gets way more sh*t from fans than it actually deserves. I own the series box set and have actually watched it all the way through. I've also watched the original series x2, and the original movie once. I'm a huge fan of the original franchise AND... ...I don't hate E7AO. Not even a little. Is it as good as the original? No. But is it as bad as the other reviewers claim? No. It does shamelessly steal some visual elements from Neon Genesis Evangelion at a few points, but I can excuse that. It takes awhile for Eureka to show up in the story, and even longer for Renton, but the "family reunion" episode hit me right in the feels and was everything I could've asked for. It has a very different story mechanic, jumping alternate timelines, time travel, and parallel dimensions, so it can be a little hard to follow, but it is very clever and interesting. I wish that they would've gone somewhere with the three potential romantic interests for Ao, but the ending is wide open and that might yet be in his future. I especially appreciate the English dub, not least because Micah Solusod makes for a very believable descendant of Renton as voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch, something they both joke about in the audio commentary. It was also nice to hear Stephanie Sheh interviewed for one of the commentaries as well, and very cool to see a very pregnant Eureka at one point in the narrative. Evidently Ao was conceived in the future shown in the original Eureka Seven, but Eureka gave birth to him traveling back into Earth's past on a specific mission. If you happen to get the box set, don't miss the hilariously cute OVA where the two female pilots dress up Ao to look like his mother and tease him mercilessly. There's even a hilarious Ranma 1/2 visual gag thrown in. Don't let fanboy hate keep you away from giving Eureka Seven AO a try. It's worth it.
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