Bafflement. For close to half an hour, I have been sat here, trying to think of a word which sums up both my immediate and my considered reaction to Eureka Seven, and I think "bafflement" is as close as I'm going to get. This is a show that combines good ideas with poor pacing, great characters with unbalanced development, and moments of transcendent perfection with stretches of mundane stupidity, wrapping everything up with an ending which seems to expect the viewer to take pages of detailed notes throughout proceedings.
The pacing (or lack thereof) is probably the most glaring of Eureka Seven's faults, and one of the main reasons why my feelings for the series swung between love and hate so fast I should probably have myself checked for whiplash. At points, the show builds action and intrigue up with finesse and expertise. It generates question after intriguing question, and encourages the viewer to wonder and speculate about what will happen next. Although it sometimes provides the answers within a decent time frame, it is just as liable to go off on some story-irrelevant tangent, introducing and dismissing pointless new characters, until the viewer has completely forgotten what questions they wanted answered in the first place. At its worst, the anime presents an extended series of slow-paced, filler-style episodes, before frantically launching itself into a flurry of revelations, plot twists and vital new characters, with the urgency and desperation of a someone who just heard heard boss coming round the corner and doesn't want to be caught slacking off.
I enjoy fast-paced action fests and I enjoy slow-paced stories, but Eureka Seven combines these two so artlessly that it often ends up presenting the worst of both worlds, hurling the viewer from boredom to bewilderment in the blink of an eye. If Eureka Seven were to run a marathon, it would alternate between a record-shattering sprint and an exhausted limp, looking on in genuine surprise as other runners overtake it by moving at a consistent jog.
Perhaps the reason why this uneven approach to story telling irked me so greatly is that Eureka Seven is an anime capable of purest brilliance, proferring scenes of immaculate beauty, fantastical wonder or eye-widening perfection. However, these sublime moments are not peaks in an otherwise even landscape so much as they are truffles in mud and it often feels as though you are expected to sit through the duller moments, and put up with the ubiquitous inanity in order to be worthy of such a prize.
In truth, I had no intention to sound so negative when discussing the series' story. Eureka Seven's worst moments - plodding and frustrating though they may be - are not significantly worse than the bad moments of other decent anime, or even the good moments of some poorer shows. Just be warned, when this show is good, it is very very good; when it is bad, it is plentiful.
Eureka Seven's animation ranges from the good to the majestic. It combines a high degree of competence with an imaginative aesthetic to craft some truly captivating scenes. Be it the rainbow explosion of the Seven Swell Phenomenon or the view of a boundless sky seen through the lens of a single tear, this is a series that knows how to create images which will last in the memory. More often than not, a single visual will capture and portray a plethora of emotions and feelings which hundreds of lines of dialogue could not.
Meanwhile, the character design is a little hit and miss. Although there are many unique and memorable figures among the cast, Anemone and Eureka being particularly striking, others are generic or even wacky for the sake of wacky. One character, for example, has a head twice as big as everyone else and a torso to match, and yet is apparently a human. Odd designs such as this cross the borderline between eccentric and laughable.
Other designs follow the same pattern. While the mecha look good - if not particularly intriguing or inventive - the design of the alien creatures is so bizarre that one has difficulty suspending disbelief and viewing them as a threat. Floating squid and giant eyeballs - boasting all the bright and varied colours of a bag of cheap sweets - aren't the sort of things that will send people cowering behind their sofas, in spite of the brutal power they possess.
The eight OPs and EDs on offer are well suited to the anime and of a passable quality, providing a welcome variety of music. The background music, however, is simply brilliant and quite possibly the best I've heard up to this point. I can only assume a huge amount of effort was put into this element of the anime as the quality of the music, its timing and its usage are all superb. A well chosen piece never fails to augment the action and frequently gives the scene an edge which the characters and plot are not always able to deliver. Along with the occasionally stellar visuals, the BGM works tirelessly to make stretches of action well worth watching twice or more.
The voicing is less remarkable, but still solid. There is enough variety in the voices of the main crew to deliver the personality which the character development is all too frequently unable to build. In essence, most characters sound exactly as you expect them to, which makes the experience a good deal more immersive.
When it comes to the characters, Eureka Seven manages to both succeed and fail at the same time. There are a handful of excellent individuals, with the unpredictable Anemone and the naïve but selflessly affectionate Dominic being at the top of the list. Equally, when the anime wants you to sympathise with a character or to understand their plight, it does this admirably and to great effect.
Nevertheless, there is another side to the coin, as character development is not the show's strong suit. Although it does possess the ability to explore the motivations and personalities of its protagonists, it does so unevenly, as if it is still undecided on who is important and who is not. To begin with a few gently paced episodes look at the crew of the Gekko Go and their interactions, but this is soon deemed unnecessary and attention is focused elsewhere. While I agree that there is no need to give background on most of the minor characters, this change of heart leads to what can only feel like wasted episodes.
Furthermore, when Eureka Seven has a good thing going - such as in the case of Anemone and Dominic - it often ignores the cries of the viewer, desperate to learn more about these two and instead veers off in a different direction, introducing a whole bunch of pointless and uninspiring personalities, each with a shelf-life of less than twenty minutes. Such a poor balance of character coverage is frustrating to no end and I would consider it one of the series' principal flaws. It also leads to some confusing and disappointing moments, as the enemies' motivations are rarely given enough attention and one is forced to conclude that they are evil for the pure and pointless sake of it.
When I was younger, I enjoyed a breakfast cereal called Lucky Charms. It contained marshmallow pieces, which were delicious, colourful and cut into interesting shapes. It also contained chunks of oat, which were dull-tasting, brown-coloured and cut into boring shapes. Although I understood that I had to eat the boring brown cereal in order to enjoy the awesome marshmallow, a mischievous, rebellious part of me wondered why they couldn't make the box so it was ALL marshmallow. And this exactly is how I feel about Eureka Seven. At times it gripped me and refused to let go. At times it left my eyes and mouth wide open. At times it stared into my soul. But these moments are just twinking stars of joy in a huge mass of cold, black, empty space. Eureka Seven is greatness diluted beyond recognition.
Eureka Seven is an 50 episode action-packed sci-fi shonen anime, featuring mechas. Though after watching it, I would think that it should be defined as seinen, due to the bat-shit crazy story. And I say that in a good way. It has so many problems and there are lots I hate about it, but overall it is a great anime. I'd recommend this to anybody, but be prepared for shit to piss you off. Which IMO, I mean some of the characters. I had no trouble watching all 50 episodes and I'm someone who struggles with long anime.
The animation quality is top-notch for a 2005 anime, you can get this on blu-ray. But then it comes down to the style of the animation. And this anime manages to somehow have a unique style, with character designs I don't remember seeing in many other animes. Even if it isn't unique, its still a rare style of animation and I must commend this for its originality. Some of the character designs I didn't quite like, though they do change things up a lot in this anime. These changes are story related so I can't get angry at that. Also as a bonus there's no ecchi, though there is an episode where they merely reference porn, sex and how adolescent boys constantly have such thoughts on their mind.
Oh my the music is epic. Even after the first episode I wanted to download the soundtrack. However at the time of writing this review, I haven't done so yet. The use of music is great. Intro and outro sequence music is a bit all over the place, some are awesome and others are meh. Due to the sheer length of this anime, it has 4 intros/outros. As for the background music, they use a variety of music and the sound design is great. Epic music plays when relevant and there's even rock at some of the more action packed scenes. However there wasn't any music that made me jump out of my seat. The anime is avaiable in English and Japanese and the dub version was pretty good. The VA for Renton, Johnny Yong Bosch also did the VO for Lelouch from Code Geass and the VO for Koizumi from Haruhi Suzumiya. And the VA for Eureka, the other main character, is Stephanie Sheh who also voiced a couple of characters in Code Geass, Illyas from the Fate series and Asahina from Haruhi Suzumiya too. And Crispin Freeman, the VA for Holland also did VO for Jeremiah from Code Geass, Togusa from Ghost in the Shell and Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya. MichelleRuff even got a minor role too. So many VA did VOs for many animes and many of them were in the same anime like Code Geass and Haruhi Suzumiya. I'm a tad hesitant, but the sound of this anime deserves a perfect score.
The characters of this anime were hit and miss. Most of my complaints about this anime are here and I'd say its the worst bit of the anime. That's not to say the characters are completely bad, there are still some great characters.
Renton Thurston is a kid who loves Ref Boarding and he admires his hero Holland who is also a Ref boarder and leader of the Gekko State rebels. Renton is very stupid at times and is the cliche 'useless kid that turns out to be the chosen one.' He is infatuated with a girl named Eureka at first sight and never has the courage to confess his feelings. He often complains and his actions get him beat up at times. I personally didn't like this character and I honestly can't remember much about him.
Eureka is a mysterious green haired girl, same age as Renton (?) who pilots the Nirvaj Type 00 LFO. She has 3 (adopted) children and for the most part is rather emotionless and doesn't smile. This character actually goes through a lot in this anime and undergoes many changes. One to watch out for.
Holland, a silver haired man, is the leader of the Gekko State. He has some hidden and very story-relant history and is the subject of his crewmate Talho's affections. He appears to care a lot for Eureka, but this due to his past and not love (cos that would just be wrong). He can act like a massive douche at times, unneccessarily laying the smack-down on inept crewmates, but he means well. This character also has a progression of personality, which helps us to understand his thoughts.
The other characters are fairly interesting but there are too many to list. Some are outright annoying like the kids, they always tend mess things up, even when the going gets serious. My heart was touched by Charles and Rei who don't get enough screentime IMO. Anemone and Dominic make an interesting duo, especially with Anemone's psychological state which requires her to be drugged up. Norb seems to be a bit of a bum and the whole sister thing was done badly IMO, they should have just not had that character.
If you actually liked the characters then story is the bit you might have complaints about. I'll be honest, I wasn't liking it at the start and there were some moments I didn't quite agree with, but boy, what a story! It goes nuts to the wall and at times reminded me of Full Metal Alchemist and Neon Genesis Evangelion, though at first I felt it was a mere wannabe compared to those classics. It also has a good deal of unnecessary filler, especially early on. It most definitely has it's twists and turns and it most definitely is unpredictable, in the good sort of way. There were epic moments, sad moments that made me want to cry, happy moments, all sorts. And since this is a very seinen-like mindfuck plot it also has a point to make, i.e. a moral of the story. Social commentary/subtext time folks, and I love it! What do we learn from this anime? Well towards the middle, the main character learns that the world isn't black and white, things ain't perfect. You can't have your cake and eat it too (though that's a stupid analogy IMO), therefore you won't be able to get exactly what you want. And most of all, what should you learn from this? Get along with others, be tolerant of those who are different, be forgiving, no matter how ugly the truth maybe. There's a political magazine in this anime always trying to convey the truth and while the truth maybe painful, accept it and be grateful. Enough of the philosophies (told you this would be a crazy story), the story ends in a very satisfactory yet psychedelic way, though there are more anime in this series and I have no idea how they fit into the story since I haven't watched them.
A great anime overall, let down by some hiccups in the story and some infuriating characters. If you liked FMA or NGE, you might enjoy this a bit. Of course Eureka Seven isn't quite up to those standards, but it sure reminded me of them. The story is the reason to watch any anime and this one is pretty good. Idk why it wasn't a seinen, maybe because Renton was the main character? They could have just had Holland or Dominic as the main characters and it would be better. But this was a good watch nonetheless and for a 50 episode anime too.
Family-friendliness Rating: 2/5 Minor references to sex and porn in one episode (lower is better)
Overall Rating: 8.5 (higher is better)
This anime was 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 much for very obvious reasons. It’s made by Studio BONES, so you automatically know it’s going to have pretty colours and the storyboard will be the scribbles of a five year old. As a person of plot (the actual plot) I am not attracted to shows that simply look good and don’t have much of a story.
But I understand why most casuals liked it back in the day. It combined several genres and had top notch animation. Trying to be many things at once most of the times results to a trainwreck, yet Eureka Sever got away with it by having a bit of everything and not much of something. There is a war, there is a shonen lead, there is a romance, there is a mystery, and they all are all bouncing off each other without feeling detached from the overall feeling of the show. There was a lot of effort in having uniformity, which in turn made the world feel more alive and easier to be immersed.
The downside to all that is a very slow and mostly uneventful plot. It’s 50 episodes of mostly slice of life and one episode missions that don’t move the story any further. It’s not an action heavy series despite including invasions, massacres, inhuman experimentations, and the abuse of mystical beings. There is not much tension regarding what is going on with the coral thingies either. In fact, what everybody was thrilled about the most was waiting for the main two characters to finally kiss each other. Something that took 50 episodes because Renton was a pussy.
Speaking of Renton, he’s a cookie cutter shonen lead and the blandest of the cast, effectively becoming a proxy for the audience. His father was famous, his life is boring, he wants to travel the world and be famous like his father, a pretty chick falls from the sky and takes him on an adventure, he digs her but is also a spineless pussy so he can’t take the next step, he is treated as an underdog on board the ship, and he slowly needs to prove his worth. As you see, he’s checking every box on the list of stereotypes and is very easy to like him if you are still a shonentard. Because if you are not, you will want to punch this guy for having the guts to go on a dangerous adventure around the world, yet somehow doesn’t have the balls to court a chick.
This is somewhat mitigated by having many episodes focusing on fleshing out the secondary characters and the setting, so at least it’s not one of those shonens where the hero gets all the spotlight and everybody else becomes background decoration. And they are all an interesting bunch, excluding the trademark annoying kids on board the ship. Why do they keep having kids on military ships? They are not comic relief, they are not offering a touch of humanity, and they are irritating beyond belief.
Anyways, the biggest issue with the show is still the loose plot that even gets completely random towards the end of the series, as expected from any BONES anime. The conclusion is solid as far as the romance goes but everything else is up in the air, as the coral creatures have some sort of weird reality warping powers. They never explained it properly and the terrible sequel they made many years later further proved they never had any idea of what they were planning to do with them.
In conclusion, if you are fine with watching a slow-paced and low-tone action adventure about a shonen lead trying to kiss a girl for 50 episodes, you are going to be pleased with Eureka Seven. If on the other hand you are looking for a thrilling well-written and fast-paced slugfest, don’t even bother.
WARNING!!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!
The Story of Eureka Seven is about a typical boy and girl romance with a very unique twist to it, now I can go on to the boring details on how unique it is and how different it is to other similar anime I have to say that this is nothing compared to the other anime you may think or know you've seen!! Don't try to tell me other wise because Eureka Seven is unique in its own way!! The best thing I like about Eureka Seven was the mixture of genres (which to me is the best kind of anime). Eureka Seven is mostly action , mecha and romance but it also has very dramatic and comedic moments in it. Giving it the WHOLE package. Something I enjoyed very much :)
The main male character of Eureka Seven (Renton Thurston) was a typical fourteen year old boy who is having problems with his overall life and romance, this is something I like about Renton a lot, he WAS like an everyday fourteen year old going through the problems fourteen years could have (minus the giant robots, crazy dreams, and unusal girl). Plus Renton was sort of a cry baby in the beginning and as the story progressed he started to build as a charcter and I enjoyed watching the proccess; I was glad he wasnt anything special I was glad that he was normal.
Eureka the main female character was also a good match I felt, she wasnt a typical girl but more a very unusal girl who was able to talk to her robot The Nirvash, she wanted to become more human and I was glad she was a heartless bitch in the begnning but grew to a kind and loving person who in turn loved Renton and everyone aboard the Gekko.
Members of the Gekko all balanced each other out, making crazy and mellow characters blend in well. The series also didnt just focus on RentonxEureka love but other character's love progression too which I liked because sometimes its nice to just get away from the main characters after awhile (and the series had plenty of time due to their 50 episodes).
Other romance that I liked were HollandxTalho, AnemonexDominic, and I even enjoyed the side romance of MischaxDr.Bear :) Theres just enough romance to keep you interested in the characters but not a lot of romance to the point it gets too much (like Twilight...yuck).
There were ten songs used in Eureka Seven total. 4 Openings, 4 Endings and 2 insert songs. The first Opening song was "DAYS" by FLOW (a band I love very much), I thought it was a very good opening that brought in your attention right away - the images were just as great. Overall the first opening was my fav. ~
The first Ending song was "Himitsu Kichi" by Kozue Takada (this being the first song I've heard from her), and although the song was nice and refreshing and had a nice melody to it, the images were a little slow (but I guess thats to be expected of an ending).
The second Opening is "Shounen Heart" by HOME MADE KAZOKU (another band I'm familar with), again the images and song was great but I felt the opening scenes were focusing too much on the overal characters in general and it took the whole experience from the overall opening itself.
The second Ending is "Fly Away" by Asami Izawa (first song as well), which was more upbeat then the first ending and that was refreshing all on its own, the song made you want to nodd your head to the beat and it was funny seeing the usual characters in entire new clothing that you wouldnt think they would ever wear.
The third opening is "Taiyo no Mannaka e" by Bivaattchee (new band for me) and although I loved the song the images WERE HORRIBLE (in my opinion), the characters were all drawn really funky and I felt that someone else did it for them rather than the usual character designers. Because of the poor quality in art I found myself skipping the opening whenever it came on.
The third ending is "Tip Tap Tips" by HALCALI (first time hearing this duo), another cutsey song that I enjoyed and the images were funny all on their own, it was nice seeing what the girls of the story would have been if they were just normal everyday teens.
The fourth and final opening is "Sakura" by Nirgillis (this being only the 2nd song I've heard from her), the song was very operaish but enjoyable all the same, the images in this opening I felt were the best because they didnt focus too much on certain characters and certain scenes so it was all very fast paced but enjoyable. I thought it was the appropriate final opening.
The final ending is "Canvas" by Coolon which made me love the song very much, and even though the scenes were just still pictures (some hard to make out) I enjoyed the song too much for me to care.
There are two insert songs "Storywriter" by Supercar and "Niji" by Denki Groove (neither band I've heard before), Storywriter was heard perdiocally throughout the series while Niji was only used in the final episode making me enjoy Storywriter more than Niji.
The ending of the series was pretty good and I liked how the story progressed in order to get to that point. The only thing I didnt like about it was the fact that they didnt show how Gekko State was doing after the one year later mark, they only showed Renton's grandfather and his and Eureka's kids. And briefly Anemone and Dominic, but overall good ending.
Overall still my top 5 anime series, I loved it so much that I finally bought the damn thing so now I have the whole series :)!!! And despite some its very little flaws its still one of my favorite animes of all time and no matter what others might think i give this a 10/10!!!
Hope you enjoyed my review :P
Story - They did fantastic to sum it up in a short sentence. The only thing they could of done better on was incorperating more of the characters towards the ending of the anime.
Animation - 10/10 solid animation, expecting nonetheless from Bones.
Sound - Can't explain how epic the soundtrack was in words, it was so great, that i downloaded it short after finishing the anime. Just outstanding.
Characters - Only other thing i found some things i didn't like in it, eureka's children were seemingly annoying, couldn't get over how annoying they were. Renton was unbearable at the beginning of the anime almost, he was just as annoying as the kids.
Overall - The anime has to be on of the best anime's i have ever watched, i am really happy i put the time into watching it and is up there in the top 10 animes i have ever seen. It has many morals and themes to learn from it, a even mix of action and romance makes it perfect. Good job bones!