Reviews: Eureka Seven AO

As a fan of the original, I liked it. (SPOILERS)

As a fan of the original series, I was personally excited for AO. Despite the criticism, I feel that Eureka Seven AO is a great series that like its predecessor has various flaws.

Due to word constraints, I can't explain too much about why the plot of AO makes sense and is pretty good as that goes in character analyses and a lot of explaining so here is somewhat of a shortened version. What AO does right is that it's a story about finding purpose and the way director, Tomoki Kyoda, does it is very well done with what little time he had. AO in its own right has no villains but rather antagonist stems from the problems caused scubs trying to find a new home. Many of the character interactions is less about the stereotypical "Good vs Evil" but rather a conflict between personal motives.

Many of these motives stem from the idea of trying to find purpose or place in the world. For example, Elena wants to find her true home, Truth wants find the meaning of his existence due to being a amalgamation of a secret, scub, and a human, Blanc is trying to find ways to better the world for his daughter which is exemplified when he learns that the secrets aren't really the enemy, and for Ao, as a child of two worlds, he struggling to decide whether he should save his mother (connection to one world) or protect the world in which he lives (connection to another world), which is further exacerbated when he acquires the Quartz Gun. This method of character development and interaction really makes AO's story intriguing and brings up questions of why these events are occurring. Overall, one could say E7 was more about maturity while AO was about purpose and place in the world.

However, there are issues. One problem is Naru. Naru's character feels awkward and messy. Her progression in the story feels strange as she becomes a love interest to a messianic figure. Unfortunately, her characters goes unresolved and overall bland. In addition, there is the lack of information about the scub and their motives. We understand the motives of the secrets: to keep order in the universe. However, we know nothing about the scub which is only partially explained by Renton in the last episode. Lastly, the Quartz Gun's origins goes unexplained and becomes a big plot device like the amita drive in E7.

For music and animations, they were good like the first.


Hoo boy.

I will admit I went into AO feeling skeptical. I love the original Eureka Seven to death and my inner optimist hoped that the sequel would be as good, but my outer cynic had to be dragged along kicking and screaming. The first few episodes did little to convince me, seeming more like generic mecha action than anything else. I gave the series a bit of leeway, as E7 did not start with its best foot forward either, and hoped it would turn around halfway.

Alas, for it was not to be. (Spoilers may follow.)

The polish:

The music is as good as one would expect, the animation is generally smooth (though the last episodes seem to go a bit Off Model), and there are a few genuinely good scenes; Renton's first appearance and young!Eureka's entrance on the Gekko come to mind. Note, however, that both of those scenes rely on my fanboyism of the original series to appeal to me, which is perhaps not a point in the sequel's favour.

The turd:

None of the characters are developed as well as they should be, and some of Eureka and Renton's actions seem hard to justify given their personalities in the original series. With the exception of Ao and Fleur's respective Daddy Issues, nothing really changes about the characters from beginning to end, in stark contrast to the original.

A special note must be made for the primary villain of the series, Truth, has little or no comprehensible motivation, and what he has is not elaborated on. Almost every scene he is in drips with narm. Compared to the suave Magnificent Bastard Dewey, Truth's over-the-top narcissism does not make for a compelling antagonist.

Lastly, the plot. Oh, the plot. Numerous interesting points (the appearance of theEND and Elena's memories of the original 'verse being the most egregious) are hinted at and unceremoniously dropped. The Time Travel elements leave open more questions than they answer. The complete reversal in the nature and role of the Scub from the original series is given only the slightest justification. The last two episodes are a hasty attempt to tie it all together by pulling an inordinate amount of material from the writers' asses.

In the end, I must personally file this under Fanon Discontinuity. The ending of the original series was excellent, and that is where it sits.