I have many a faint and fond memory of Eureka Seven, but wasn’t sure how to feel about news of its sequel. It ended with a quite profound sense of finality, after all. Everything that needed to be said, was, and underscored with probably the finest insert song ever used in anime, too. I’m using a lot of absolutes in this post because that’s just how I feel about Eureka Seven. Holland, Talho, Dai Sato, Supercar and Denki Groove. It was a great series.
I was convinced by Eureka Seven AO at around the 19th minute of the first episode, when a Scub Coral appears on Iwato Island and all hell breaks loose. There’s a huge explosion that decimates the surrounding fields and the island’s residents flee for shelter.
Caught in the middle is Ao. He’s heading away from the Scub Coral when a huge cloud of dust surges over him.
A group of what looks like farmers urge him to hurry when a “G-Monster” mecha appears and fires in seemingly random directions.
In an instant, the farmers are killed, crushed by huge rocks of concrete sent flying by an incomprehensible power. Merely collateral damage.
It’s around now that I need to mention that the soundtrack composer is none other than Kōji Nakamura, the lead singer/songwriter of Supercar. The song that plays during this scene is a swelling orchestral piece that speaks of a desperate struggle against an unstoppable force and had my heart beating twice as fast.
All that’s left to do is run.
Run for your life.
As everything you knew, everything you took for granted, is razed to the ground.
The animation in this scene, particularly the shot of Ao running, is outstanding (and also very similar to a sequence in Bokurano. I wonder if it’s the same person?) People often muse about the importance of dialogue in anime, but there’s simply something so soulful about movement like this. Everything you need to feel is communicated here: desperation, horror, fear, it’s all right there, in his run.
How much of this, I wonder, was informed by 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami? This is something we often forget when we’re merely consuming Japan’s anime, but it was a country ripped apart by natural disaster just last year. Imagine seeing a flaming wall of water head towards you, sweeping away everything, and everyone, in its path, and then look at Ao’s facial expression as he runs, and the music as it climaxes. The wide open fields covered with smoke and debris.
This is anime, the anime I remember blogging about, why I’m excited enough to be an anime blogger. These are rare moments, but every now and then, I’m still swept away.