On the blu-ray packaging, Funimation trumpets the Eureka Seven television series as “The Greatest Love Story Ever Animated.” Where that series is centered around love, the movie re-imagination, Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers, is all about death. In particular, it is about the fear of death. Even the crew of the Gekko, an alternate universe version of the TV show crew, spends much of the film running from death using any means possible. Renton and Eureka are the only characters who aren’t defined by their fear of death and instead, focus on love.
As with the original series, the movie is set amidst humanity’s battle with the invading alien Eizo. It is less a battle and more a long march to humanity’s extinction. Understandably, this whole situation makes the Earth government edgy. After fighting the Eizo for many years without success, the Earth government gives up. They opt to evacuate enough of humanity to ensure the survival of the human race and prepares a super weapon to deal with the Eizo. The weapon is powerful enough to destroy the Eizo, but in doing so will also send enough ash into the atmosphere to kill everyone remaining on earth.
Renton and the crew of the Gekko have their own plans for how to deal with the Eizo. The Gekko’s crew plan to save themselves, even at the expense of everyone else. Renton, meanwhile, is focused on saving Eureka. While Renton is the focus of the movie, what I found most interesting about the movie was the actions of the Gekko crew, particularly compared to how the same crew members acted in the Eureka Seven television series. It’s hard to imagine the crew from the television series making the same decisions as their movie counterparts. At the same time, it’s hard to say what anyone would when faced with imminent death.
One question I wish the movie would have addressed is whether death is necessary to define life. In other words, whether we need the realization that life is limited to get as much as we can out of it. At one point, Renton states that he wished that he and Eureka could have stayed children forever instead of growing up. Eureka counters that she’s glad they grew up, otherwise Renton wouldn’t have rescued her. Eureka says that what she really wants to do is not stay young forever, but instead to live. But Eureka doesn’t really explain whether she means that growing up is necessary in general, or whether it was necessary for her to get saved.
Ultimately, I highly recommend the Eureka Seven movie. It gave me more than I could hope for from a TV series encore. It provided a happy reunion with Renton and Eureka, along with beautifully animated giant robot battles. And, unlike too many anime movies, it included an original story that complemented the television series without just repeating the same themes.