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It’s theEnd of the world! Reflecting on Eureka Seven!

It’s taken me two or three months, but today I finally finished watching Eureka Seven. Like whenever I finish reading a book or watching a long TV series, I feel like I’ve accomplished something big, but at the same time, I’ve grown attached to the Gekko-go and I’m not ready to wave good-bye. I adore Eureka Seven, but alas, I must accept this psalm of planets has come to an end — and by the way, consider that an advanced spoiler warning.

Dewey and Holland

One of the more interesting villains, Dewey was not as much driven by his often stated ambition to "take back" the Earth as he was simply unhinged and jealous of his younger brother. Dewey wanted to take back his father’s affection from the favoured brother Holland and when that became impossible, he lost meaning in his life, forever consigned to being a reject. It’s interesting that the he chose the target of his hatred to be the apparently "vicious" coralians; the “invaders” of Earth — after all, baby Holland "invaded" Dewey’s childhood. Even as he put that gun to his head, he was fighting the demons from his past.

Holland’s reaction to Dewey’s suicide revealed that no doubt, despite everything that happened, they still thought of each other as brothers. The look on Holland’s face and his subsequent mutterings suggested that he felt Dewey was not yet beyond salvation; his death was that of a lonely and deluded child, stabbing at the heart of a world that rejected him.

Eureka and Renton

The close bond shared by Eureka and Renton is carried through from the first episode to the fiftieth. It never felt forced or artificial; there was a real sense that they loved each other. By the end, their relationship had transcended physical attraction — after all, Eureka wasn’t even human. Through-out the series, she was battered, bruised, scarred and burnt — she wasn’t stunning to look at, but Renton still loved her just as much. They struggle through insecurity, embarrassment and unknown territory, yet still emerged from the series as utterly likable and heroic characters. It’s impossible not to root for them; they are the glue that holds it all together.

Allegory

In a few of my previous posts, I’ve passed comment on the allegorical content of Eureka Seven. Indeed, it’s simply a story that, while based in pure fantasy, echoes the past and present follies of mankind. For a moment, let’s look at the conflict between the humans and the coralians — this could be taken as a parallel of the Japanese struggling to accept the increasing foreign population in their country. So basically, Eureka Seven could be seen as an allegorical tale of xenophobia; about how you should try to talk with, rather than attack, the "aliens". Someone like Dewey will manipulate the media, stir up fear and incite violence, but the "enemies" are invariably the same as us; afraid to live and afraid to die.

Unite

By the end of the series, it’s implied that Renton and Eureka are to unite, to blaze a trail forwards for the future of mankind and all life in the known universe. I wonder if this was an intentionally vague way of ending the series — when they talk of becoming one, are they literally talking about physically combining as one being? Or rather, is it hint that they are to start a new family — after all, Eureka and Renton conceiving a child will lead to a true combination of both beings.

Favourite opening theme

I adored all four opening themes enough to rock out to them in my car, however, if pushed; I have to say that the punky third opening wins out for combining some wonderfully fluid and atmospheric animation with a straight forward, balls to the wall j-rock anthem. It’s just the iconic image of Renton and Eureka falling through the sky, hand in hand, dodging falling scrap metal and breaking Anemone’s lonely heart.

Soundtrack itself

I’ve talked about how great some of these characters are, and how interesting the story is, but ultimately Eureka Seven will stand the test of time because of its superlative combination of bright, colourful animation with a varied and outstanding soundtrack; it’s like the series was born as an idea when listening to particularly good song, such is the deep intermingling of musical influence with the narrative. Bands like Joy Division are regularly referenced, but, fittingly for a series that contains an impromptu rave scene, the one major point of influence is the varied genres of dance music. Two tracks in particular stand out, "Rainbow" and "GET IT BY YOUR HANDS" — both are energy generating, heart beating tunes which lace together the viewer and the burning emotion at the core of Eureka Seven’s world-effecting journey.

theEND, or bateszi=out

These are my last few sentences on Eureka Seven; I’ve had a lot of fun writing about it, but most of all, I want to recommend it. It’s not a formulaic mecha series, it’s not about battles-of-the-week; it values life, has a positive message and blossoms into a particularly gut-wrenching and epic tribute to love; not love on a superficial level, it’s hardly a "physical" series at all, rather it’s just brimming with feeling, the idea that peace is possible and that enlightenment is attainable. It borders on trippy and loses much sense of comprehensible realism, but this is pure animation, the boundless freedom and the feelings of artists conveyed through the power of a blank page and colour. I love that Renton can dive from an air-ship and surf through the clouds, just as I love that Eureka gradually sprouts wings and can fly like a butterfly.

Comments

kauldron26 says:

man, o man, im going to write my ass off…. unfortunately im going to work. for real man seriously we love the exact same things, ur really my twin. it would be awesome if u did a special on your top 10. list them and review/why u love them and everyone else should respond the same.

quick question b4 i go to work, did E7 break into your top 10??

take care.

delicatessen says:

Let’s not forget that ending, either. It’s WIN WIN WIN all over!

bateszi says:

@kauldron26: "did E7 break into your top 10?"

It certainly has the potential to do so, it’s a fantastic series with a great soundtrack and animation. Only time will tell on that front, I watched the last two episodes this morning, so the whole thing is close to my heart right now.

Ivy says:

Oh yay you’re done with Eureka 7. I agree on all points its such an epic little show (epic and little should never go in the same sentence, but This show for some reasons seems small yet is so epic, I don’t know..maybe I’m alittle silly) About the music I’m surprised you didn’t mention "A Pathetic Decision" thats such a nice track especially with the WONDERFUL Anemone Monologue in episode 48 was it? Anyways I love this show and Bones rock, thats it.

S.A. says:

Glad to see you liked it this much.

I think how you describe the series is perfectly apt, a tribute to love, love between two adolescents, adults, environment, it’s overwhelmingly positive as a whole and during it all I never felt the creators were forcing their messages, as a whole it felt amazingly genuine and heartfelt. Also you mentioned the song "Rainbow" which played during the final episode. That song imo perfectly symbolizes the series as well. Just fantastic.

Also, while the general positive tone of the series is quite unlike the usual negative tone of mecha anime of the 80s, I overall felt the show was a great throwback to the overall feel and structures of mecha anime of the 80s, something which I really loved and know the staff aimed for.

bateszi says:

@Ivy: "epic and little should never go in the same sentence, but This show for some reasons seems small yet is so epic, I don’t know..maybe I’m alittle silly"

No, I think that’s actually an interesting point. Because the viewer grows so close to the characters, it feels like we’re viewing the apocalypse through their personal perspectives. It’s epic because Renton and Eureka are saving the world, yet personal because we want to see them survive and get it together! :) A nice idea, Ivy!

@S.A.

Yup, I’m disappointed I didn’t think to cover the obvious environmentalism that’s spread through out the story almost as much as a Miyazaki epic. Nice to know you like Rainbow too – I must have played that track 10 times by now and it’s still great. I loved that it appeared in the final episode too.

Interesting comment about the 80s vibe too. I’m not sure if I picked up on that, but thinking about it, there are certainly some similarities to the likes of Zeta Gundam (though without Tomino’s depression!).

dengar says:

I’m sorry but I couldn’t even get through disc one of Eureka 7(netflix is good for experimenting). I find it difficult in general to acclimate to mecha series (I remain unconvinced that serious people would choose as their war instrument of choice, maybe I’m naive) and when that was combined with surfing I couldn’t deal with it. I guess I should have given it more of a chance, but it seemed too gimmicky for me.

Equitan says:

Y’know, I always thought "Storywriter" was the best song from the E7 OST. It’s a great tune and its use is perfect throughout the series as that sort of "OMG something cool is going down" song. Very awesome IMO.

I don’t know if I mentioned it before but I felt the second half of E7 disappointing. I thought it did a Slayers Try and became too serious for its own good, losing in the process what made the series so appealing to begin with.

I was also a little sick of Renton and Eureka by the end too; although this may have been down to the presence of those ever annoying kids in the series’ climax.

I was much, MUCH more interested in Anemone and Dominic by the end. I thought *that* relationship was much better and well worth the eventual pay-off.

bateszi says:

@dengar: I first tried watching E7 back in the fansub days and I also couldn’t make it past the first episode. I came back a few months ago with a lot more enthusiasm and willingness to perhaps sit through the first four or five episodes. Of course, I recommend it. Though you should know yourself whether or not it’s something for you i.e. do you enjoy fantasy? You said about it being gimmicky, but something like that doesn’t even come into my head. I never question "realism", rather I accept the bizarreness because that’s the way the story is told. For my part, I recommend you give it another shot! :)

@Equitan: There are too many great songs on the soundtrack; to be honest, it’s a great composure of rock, electronica and orchestral music. I love STORYWRITER too – if you’re interested, it’s a song by Supercar, who are a great (and I mean, great) Japanese rock band. If you haven’t already, check out their "White Surf style 5" video on YouTube – a great song! Let me know what you think of it!

I’m actually the opposite to you when it comes to the characters. I found the Anemone resolution to be fairly manipulated. Dominic always loved her, but she always seemed to have a thing for Dewey, to have it suddenly turn around in just that one episode seemed a bit forced. On the whole she was an interesting character though, very insane – a lot like Dilandau from Escaflowne!

kauldron26 says:

aaaah… Eureka Seven.. funniest thing, i only heard about eureka 7 when it popped on anidb’s top 10. and it was #1 for a whole week. i had heard about the show but so many issues prevented me from watching it. first of all it was mecha, and second it was 50 eps. this was during the end of my of my junior year, so I went and read the msg boards on anime suki, and read the reviews on anidb and animenfo. All the reviews were quite astonishing and praise worthy. The fact that it had been ranked so highly to actually debuting at #1 at the anidb charts I was in awe.

Then there was the whole nanashi-fansub drama that spread in the anime community so I was bound to hear about it. On campus we have this DC++ thing and a bunch of folks had all 50 eps so I dl it and said id keep it and watch it over the summer. I watched it and I liked it. And that was it. This was around June I think. Exactly a year ago. I was on campus for the summer studying for med school exams.

But then something happened, sometime in december when I was browsing through adult swim and they were showing it. It was dubbed and all, but I was so caught up in the first episode, and I couldn’t understand y. I had seen it before, why was I so caught up, and excited?? I went and got out my hard drive and decided to watch it again. Shit. As far as I am concerned, I saw 2 very different shows.

You know how one time, there was this girl u knew, she was okay looking, u never thought she was hot, but she was kinda cool. Then one night you actually had a deep conversation with her, and at that very moment, she was becoming a new person. When you saw her the next day, she wasn’t the same… she became ridiculously hot…. U find yourself fantasizing about her every hour, daily, and from nowhere these feelings just busted upon u. And then u begin to wonder, wtf is going on?? Since when did I start liking her, she’s always been cool, but goddamn, why cant I get her off my mind. Next thing u know… well to each his own… I digress.

But I think I got my point across.
That was how my second viewing of eureka seven was for me. It was a totally different anime. The moment renton leaps off the cliff from the very first episode hoping to fly, I plunged and soared with him. Gekko state became my family for those couple of days I relished in eureka seven. And one of the greatest moments in all of anime, and I mean all of anime takes place in episode 26 when renton realizes how much he loves eureka and revs back to the ship, only for eureka to realize how much she loves renton and she leaves to go find him. And then ray and Charles attack.

That ep is full of such beauty and poignance, its just amazing. When Charles is chasing eureka and shes dodging all those bullets and then she pounces off her boards and breaks her hand. She slips and falls into oblivion… and renton comes to save her right when she is saying good bye in her heart. He saves her and they declare their love for each other, simultaneously Charles is chasing them like hell but not even coming close to catching them. ~sigh~ at that moment was when the E7 shattered its way into my top 10.

This greatness of this anime has no specifics. The characters, the music, and the story wow. I dl the ost right after I was done, and I was blasting it on my way to and from class for a whole week. Renton and eureka as amazing as they were in character, they didn’t shine on their own. Each person had a story, and for each story u felt their pain, joy and struggles. Be it dewey, anemone, Holland, and many more. The Art in this anime I don’t think can be topped. I honestly think it is flawless, except for the soccer ep. But top quality animation for 50 eps, c’mon, I give mad props. The only anime that has superior animation is probably Gankutsuo. I don’t think I will ever see something more beautifully animated in my lifetime.

Most of all I love the diversity in this anime. For once they didn’t draw us black folk like monkeys, or fucking black-faced clowns with the big lips and afro. Look at every other anime besides planet es for how black people are represented in anime and u’ll see what I mean. I don’t understand why they draw black people that way… maybe its ignorance or xenophobia…

“Days” was an awesome song. I think its def in my top OP of all time. So many great songs on the ost But the song that gets to me most is Eureka, and Distant memory. These songs just transport me to that beautiful yet fucked up world. At the end of the day, Eureka and renton remind us that life and love are supremely fucked up to the core. Yet within moments… however small and subtle… we can find beauty.

bateszi says:

You described your opinion of the show beautifully, kauldron26. Honestly, I can only agree with you – especially on the animation front, it’s so consistent, colorful and fluid – even the battles are like a painting come to life, all the different smoke colors, mixed with the trappar waves and so on.

As for your comment about the odd way black people are drawn in anime. I suspect it comes down to ignorance; Japan, as a nation, is fairly secluded and I suppose a lot of their opinions and perceptions of "foreign" races and cultures comes from foreign music videos and so on. I don’t think they draw black people in that stereotypical way to offend, rather it’s just the way they’ve been taught, they don’t really think about how these styles may be perceived outside of their own nation. That’s my two cents on that issue, anyway.

kauldron26 says:

i want to read ur reviews of bebop, rahxephon, planet ES, wolf’s rain and Gankutsuo. i know its a lot, but when u have time write something about them. i’d love to read ur take and reception of them, their the only ones off ur faves list that u havent said anything about on ur blog.

Vin says:

just read your posts on this ( i know a month later lol) but i also just finished watching this series… i had watched bits and pieces on TV but this one is pretty awesome. i would say Eureka 7, Eramentar Gerad, Kiba, Bleach and a few others are my fav, would love to hear what you have to say about it! if you need the file for Eremantar Gerad I can send you some via email (i think you’ll see my email). but i like how you describe your reviews!

bateszi says:

Thanks Vin…. And so another E7 fan is born! I can’t believe I only finished watching it June, that’s only last month and it already feels like years!

As for Eremantar Gerad, I haven’t seen any of it myself, but given my notorious addiction to shonen anime, I may well give it a shot. I’ve heard it’s somewhat like FMA?

Vin says:

Um, not too sure I don’t pay attention too much to much in a show/series except for the story line. Eramentar Gerad is about Edil Raids (which throughout the series also gets called Eden Raids and a lot of translations are changed because the job of subbing them changes hands frequently unfortunately) and humans. It’s a lot like Eureka 7 except without the mechas. I’ll give you a quick description and the main goal of the storyline real quick.

Coud (Cou later on in the series >__

Vin says:

Sorry for double posting, I guess what I typed was too long, I can just send you an email if you would like to know the story line and some information on the main characters!

bateszi says:

Hi Vin… No worries about the double post. I think it cut the post because you used the > symbol. You can e-mail me if you’d like, but you can comment too, just don’t use > or <.

Vin says:

Um, not too sure I don’t pay attention too much to much in a show/series except for the story line. Eramentar Gerad is about Edil Raids (which throughout the series also gets called Eden Raids and a lot of translations are changed because the job of subbing them changes hands frequently unfortunately) and humans. It’s a lot like Eureka 7 except without the mechas. I’ll give you a quick description and the main goal of the storyline real quick.

Coud (Cou later on in the series) is a young lad who is aboard a pirate ship called the Red Lynx, he is refered to as the “co-captain” at times, who steal from the rich and give… well to themselves to be honest ;P. It’s how they survive and the rich don’t need it that bad. Well one day the Red Lynx steals from a ship (start of the episode) and find a strange box inside. Coud opens the box because he missed the raid (Coud is very clumsy and misses the whole raid!) where he finds a strange object. Once he removes the object he notices this “cute girl” and thinks that she is a doll. But that would be incorrect, it is in fact an Edil Raid known as Reverle Metherlance The Seven Scantillating Treasure Tree (I have no idea why lol). When she wakes up, she walks straight past Coud where he asks her where she was going. She simply replies, “You smell like a human. I hate humans.” A big fight scene happens next where you meet 3 new players to the story line (and are a BIG part!!!) which I won’t describe to you here. They fall to land and Coud asks Ren where she is going. She said she wants to go to the Edil Garden (Eden Garden later on in the series). He promises her that he will take her there and protect her.

Ren is an Edil Raid that everyone tries to get their hands on. She is a few hundered years old I believe and when she reacts with Coud, transforms into a giant Emerald Sword and can control the wind around them at their will. She starts off hating humans and tells Coud in the first episode, “You’re a human but you’re strange, so I will react with you.” Well because once a true Edil Raid reacts with a human, she puts Coud’d life in danger because everyone wants to kill him and take her as their “prize”. Ren hates being thought of as a weapon so the first few episodes are about Ren getting mad at Coud because she thought he wouldn’t think that way at first then she starts to think he does (which he doesn’t!).

I could put a lot more but I have already put plenty here! The main goal in this series is to get both Coud and Ren to the Edil Garden where it is said that Humans and Edil Raid can live in peace and harmony. There are many enemies along the way and a few that turn into friends. It’s a hard path that the two of them have to walk, and the burden that they carry is great, just like in Eureka 7 (which is my #1!!) If you’d like to know more you can Email me at Vardomke@hotmail.com and I will also try to upload it somewhere so that you can download the files if you would like!

Sorry it was so long

bateszi says:

No worries about the length of the review Vin, though I do blame you for giving me more anime to watch! I’m a rather hopeless fan of this fantasy adventure genre, so no doubt, I’ll give Eramentar Gerad a good look based on your recommendation!

sho23 says:

I’d like to revisit your enthusiasm in enjoying Eureka SeveN.
I agree with you all regarding it’s effect on us.
The music, the openings and endings, art style, themes and topics discussed and it’s ultimatum. I have it specially on my heart about the way Black guys are drawn. I’m beginning to overcome my past-self to develop my art style.

Since last year I’ve been hooked to Eureka SeveN’s ever since Nanashi’s distribution. That I have followed the series even after it’s end. My most recent achievement is attaining an assembling model of the Nirvash Zero. I’m still finding The Nirvash Zero Spec 2. Other then that, I’m playing Super Robot Taisen Z which is the latest SRW production by Banpresto to include Eureka SeveN as part of the cross world story of mecha in a turn based Chess board of landscape and scenarios reenacting the episodes or important arc’s the series has under gone.

This was the first time I came across this blog. I will continue to read this Anime blog since the reception and atmosphere is really good.

Please treat me well *mena.
*Japanese for everyone.

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