Reviews: Eureka Seven

You'd be surprised

Eureka Seven is a textbook case of Better Than It Sounds. Yes, the comparisons to Neon Genesis Evangelion are present and numerous, but I don't care. As far as I'm concerned, this was just BONES reconstructing it before Gainax themselves did.

So you've got your downtrodden boy who can't seem to catch a break, your emotionless girl that doesn't quite understand humanity, your Jerkass father figure who hasn't quite grown up himself, and giant robots that really aren't. Original? No. Engaging? You bet.

Eureka Seven takes itself slowly. I've oft heard it said that you don't start to understand until episode 20, but I got the gist of it sooner. The direction it ends up doesn't become apparent until around episode 30 however. In the meantime, there's always some character development, World Building, and overall atmosphere for you to enjoy along with the action, and the execution of all of them is superb. The ending left me with a few questions, but it's probably the most emotionally satisfying end I've ever seen to an anime.

That said, here's what might put you off: First and foremost, Renton's attitude goes into Wangst territory now and then. Then, there's those annoying kids and their Aesop Amnesia. More importantly, Eureka's proficiency with the Nirvash and Action Girl status seem to diminish throughout the series. Not a fan. Lastly, my biggest issue is that my favorite characters (Dom and Anenome) didn't get near as much screentime as I'd have hoped, and the latter suffered from the Worf Effect.

Other than that, the animation quality is sublime. There's more Scenery Porn here than in any other animated production I can think of, and the fight scenes are freakin' awesome. Voice acting is nothing special. Soundtrack, on the other hand, is absolutely perfect. Best I've ever heard.

On the other adaptations: The manga version is fairly similar, but much shorter and a good deal sadder. Still a good read, but don't go into it with the expectations of the anime. The OVA is similar in tone with the manga, but in different ways. It reuses a lot of footage from the anime, though all character personalities are inverted other than Dewey's. There are also a few pointless name changes. It's okay.

Bottom line: Watch it. You won't regret it.

Excellent show, guaranteed 100% daily dose of CMOH

Eureka Seven is a truly superb anime series. It's got plenty of humor, well-written and compelling characters, an interesting plot, and several truly heartwarming love stories. It relies very heavily on The Power Of Love, and often throws in a lot of Rule Of Cool, so it can come off a bit cheesy sometimes, but in the end that's all part of its appeal. The show definitely lands more toward the idealistic side of the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Versus Cynicism, so those who think that True Art Is Angsty may not like it very much, but for those of us who prefer a somewhat lighter story now and then, Eureka Seven is just what the doctor ordered. Just to be clear, though: it's not all sunshine and rainbows. It has its darker moments, and ultimately is an Earn Your Happy Ending story, though the final victory is a lot less pyrrhic than other such stories. Despite the frequent comedy, it still manages to execute a serious plot more or less seamlessly. But what makes this series truly enjoyable is the characters. Over the course of the series, you really develop a sort of bond with the characters, and the writers skillfully leverage that connection to produce some of the most powerful Crowning Moments Of Heartwarming ever experienced. If you can watch through the whole series, get to know the characters, and then go through the last three episodes without once having to struggle to refrain from cheering out loud for the characters, then I'd have to say it's a pretty sure thing that you have no soul.  * Also worth noting is the outstanding soundtrack; the music for this show is simply excellent.

The show does have its flaws. Certain plot elements, like Desperation Disease and the Ritual of Kings, never get satisfactorily explained, and certain characters  * never quite get the screen time they really deserve. It's a little slow in the beginning (it took me a good 20 episodes or so to figure out what was really going on with the plot), and it has an annoying habit of occasionally inserting completely unnecessary jokes (usually of a fairly juvenile nature) into otherwise serious scenes. Nevertheless, it's a thoroughly enjoyable show and definitely one of my personal favorites.

Above and Beyond

I'm going to break the review into 5 sections to make it easier to read:

Story/Plot The story in a nutshell: A boy meets a girl, and they save the world through The Power Of Love. I really don't want to spoil this because the plot is great. I will say that there is great integration between the romance and the action/story. The romance isn't a random sub-plot either, it's one of the core parts of the plot, and this itself makes the plot that much better. A great blend of action, story, and romance.

Suffers from Growing The Beard for about the first 20 episodes (out of 50).

Rating: 9/10

Characters/Characterization Very well done. Most, if not all of the characters are relate-able and most, if not all, go through Character Development. Unfortunately, some characters get pushed to the back burner the longer the series goes on and are Demoted To Extra.

Rating: 9/10

Art Scenery Porn and Scenery Gorn galore. Most of the art is beautiful and it seems like Everythings Better With Rainbows. Seriously, rainbow colored energy is common in this series. The colors in the series are vibrant and lively, and the Scenery Gorn sections are fittingly dull and sad. Overall, very good art. There are some bad shots, and some of the drawing can get awkward for a few scenes or seconds (especially in TheMovie, you'll know the scenes when you see them), but these mistakes are far and inbetween.

Rating: 9/10

Music As the main page says Aphex Twin-style music is prevalent throughout the series. And it totally works. Powerful ambient tracks, exciting theme songs, and great openings and endings (including an Amazing Freaking Grace one), plus "Storywriter" and "Get It By Your Hands. A great soundtrack for the whole series.

Rating: 10/10

Final Thoughts All in all, this is a great series. A wonderful, romantic, suspenseful, and action-y plot with great art, music, and characterization. The Movie is great as well, though it's set in an Alternate Universe.

Overall Rating: 9/10

This is my favorite series ever and I'd seriously recommend it to nearly anyone. It has what everyone is looking for. I have yet to read the manga, but I hear good things about it.