Type: All you need is the original.
Synopsis: A blue haired boy joins a peace keeping organization in order to stop giant coral reef aliens from blowing up. This is in contrast to his father, who joined a pirate ship in order to hit on a pretty girl. But since the father had more episodes to play with, his comes out to be the more interesting story.
Pros: This anime is difficult to talk about because it had a lot of potential. The protagonist is the rare son of former protagonists whose following his own story instead of continuing the previous story. The setting is a slightly altered version of the real world, fought with political commentary. And the mecha are mainly piloted by pretty teenage girls. Later on in the series, the show even introduces the idea of alternate realities and time travel just to add a little bit of sci-fi spice into the story. An adult Eureka and Renton also show up in this story, so fans who saw the 2005 show as teens can now see their old heroes as grown ups like them. The show is at it’s most interesting when it explores all these factors, especially the last two. It’s just a shame that it fumbles it all so badly.
Cons: I’ve been doing this review thing for a while, but I still lack the words needed to communicate exactly what went wrong with this series. Because on paper it has everything it needs to succeed. It ticks all the generic anime mecha boxes: a boy pilot with daddy issues, robots that can only be piloted by teen girls, not so subtle jabs at American foreign policy, and psudo bulsh$t sci-fi. It’s also a sequel to a well known (kind of) show. But it all feels…hallow. The show has no soul. It all felt too by the numbers, nothing felt earned, and it never took that extra step after a big twist or reveal. “Betrayals” are almost immediately reversed, only one important character dies, romances are only hinted at, and the alternate reality stuff is not explored nearly enough. They don’t even show Eureka raising Ao by herself to understand why Ao loves her so much and resents his father. This is going to sound weird from a guy who likes to keep things light, but the show is just not mean enough. Eureka Seven was mean. Renton was beaten repeatedly by his own side! Holland kicked his 14 year old whining behind constantly, because he was not a father, he was a pirate. Eureka didn’t fall for him immediately, she didn’t even like him that much until 25 episodes in. And the kids of the show were plagued with all these new feeling that they didn’t know how to handle because they were teenage kids, while the adults were haunted by their past actions and still didn’t know who to handle certain emotions. But in AO, everyone loves AO. All the adults are extra nice to him, all the girls eventually have crushes on him, and Ao even forgives his dad after like a 5 minute skirmish. We never get to see Ao deal with the smaller, confusing moments in life that would make the audience empathize with him. He’s never shown to be weak, or rash, or awkward, or selfish. All this actually made me dig a little, and it turns out that the show was directed by the same guy who did Eureka Seven, Tomoki Kyoda, but not written by the same guy (Dai Sato). This would explain the dissonance I got while watching it. I’ll be honest, part of the reason why this show annoyed me was because Eureka Seven was one of my shows. An early anime that caught me as a teenager that I would watch at 4:30 am-5:30am before going to Calculus morning classes. It’s a show I’m very familiar with, and its sequel just does not satisfy me at all.
Watch it?: Let me summarize my points: you don’t sympathize with the protagonist, the plot is rushed, too many ideas are crammed in, you only get excited for the parts when Eureka and Renton show up for their one respective episode, you’re still left with a bunch of questions about what happened to everyone else in the original show (like Eureka and Renton’s other adopted kids) and the show has the gall to save the interesting alternate reality stuff for an online-only episode. (3/5)
MVP: Eureka and Renton
Sorry Ao, but your parents are just more interesting
Best Episode: Ep.13 “She’s a Rainbow” (hey, it’s Eureka!)