I have more anime DVD tiles that I would care to admit.
Obviously I like them all, or else I wouldn't have spend my lunch-money on them, but some just live on with me more than others....like Last Exile, or TenchiMuyo, the Onegai series (Teacher, Twins) , or Oh My Goddess!
They touch a nerve in me, the characters capture my heart and imagination, the ladies are pretty....you know....
I really wasn't expecting to get very excited when Eureka Seven burst onto the anime scene here in the States. It had two very big things going against it for me: Mecha and sky-surfing Mecha. WTF???
However, now that I am about 29ish episodes into the story (about 1/2-way done) I can't get enough. (I also have a Eureka Seven t-shirt, manga, and three DVD's so far). I'm hooked.
So just how did this edgy anime title knock me off my feet? Let's see....
Seven Reasons to like Eureka Seven
- Renton and Eureka - These two kids are the entire reason the story is worth watching. In the very first episode a cold and distant Eureka crashes into Renton Thurston's unfulfilled and shy life. He is instantly smitten. In the end he follows Eureka and their lives and hearts will never be the same again. The slow development of their characters, filled with fears, warts and desires slowly matures (sometimes agonizingly) before our eyes. It's kinda like being back in Jr. High school all over again, but in a good way. Strip out all the other story-line plots and distractions and their story alone would be worth watching. Episode 26 was a defining moment in the relationship between these two. The anime-video mashup done by a fan (8GaugeBrett) posted above from YouTube does a really good job of capturing the moment.
- Good / Evil / Gray - There are lots of clear good-guys and evil-guys. But there are even more gray-guys. Characters who seem quite nice and kind and motivated for good, but are on the evil-side. And the good guys have dark motivations that drive them to do some pretty mean-things. And then there are the supporting cast of citizens that are caught up in the drama. That mix of shades-of-gray makes for a deeper and more fascinating storyline--and mimics real-life much more closely.
- Getting-Along Theme - This is a hidden theme that slowly swells through the episodes I've seen before. There seems to be a desire for the sentient creature that inhabits the entire planet to want to get along with the humans. And many humans want to live in harmony with the being/planet. Unfortunately, a powerful minority wants to destroy it forever. The members of Geckostate (good guys) just want to live in peace and sky-surf on their "ref-boards" but they have had to put their surfing desires aside to battle to save the world they love and enjoy. Their adult view mixes with the kids' youthful naivete and end the end they all are learning something.
- Yeah, the Mecha - I have nothing against mecha. Really. Gigantic battle robots just aren't my thing. The mecha in E7 (aka. LFO's), while important to the story-line, often take a back-seat to the overall character developments and plot line. That was unexpected. And when the mecha are in battle-mode, the battles are often conducted much like surfers and dancers....it's much less guns-a-blazing-missiles-a-firing and more like lethal dancing. The mecha designs are much more organic than is first seen and the Nirvash (good mecha) is also growing and responding to the budding relationship of it's tandem operators, Renton and Eureka.
- Mystery - This isn't your Scooby Doo. Yeah there are deserted cities, spooky underground mines littered with ghostly spirits, strange dreams, city destroying bizzaro creatures, etc.... What happened to Renton's sister and why did she go missing all those years ago. Who is the girl in the picture with Holland and why does his girlfriend Talho seem to feel so troubled about it? What did Renton's father do to make him such a hero--and give his life for? And what is up with Anemone? Will Dominic and Anemone "hook-up" like Eureka and Renton? Or not?
- Animation Quality - The production levels on this series are quite high. The DVD's look sharp and well colored. The ADR work is top-shelf. All the design work and character styling is very nice. The production uses a mix of high-tech "haves" and contrasts them against a stark background of "have-not's" The city and country folk live pretty simply where most of the story takes place. It reminds me somehow of a post-WWII Europe just as the last of the guns have ended--except the landscape is almost reminiscent of a colored coral barrier reef. Yeah. Really.
- Music - What an amazing soundtrack! I was fortunate to get a two-CD set with my collector's edition DVD box. If it was vinyl--it would have been worn through by now. The songs (in Japanese) are powerful, beat-driven works that soar and crash. And then "Himitsu Kichi" slips in, performed by the simple and strong-voiced Japanese female artist Kozue Takada, that just in the tone alone, brings me to tears (in a good way). In fact, almost every episode title refers to a real song from Japanese or foreign artists. Fascinating.
Where to watch Eureka Seven
If your interested--check it out. It runs on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim Friday Fix or Saturday late-nights on Adult Swim. Set your TiVo or VCR. Go get a DVD. Or, if you just really want to dip your feet into the Eureka Seven waters...go to YouTube and do a search for Eureka Seven (while you still can find them there). Like I said, my favorite one that captures just about everything the series is about is Eureka Seven Episode 26. You could do a YouTube search on that as well.
I'm still amazed (not really) how much anime (of all titles) is still available there.
Additional Links for Eureka Seven Fans:
- Eureka Seven - Bandai's (American DVD distributor) website. Heavy Flash. Great pics.
- PROJECT EUREKA - Official Japanese Production Website.
- [adult swim] | Eureka Seven - US cable episode schedule.
- [adult swim] | Shows - Eureka Seven - Fun video blog by US English ADR production crew.
- Eureka Seven - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - A overview of almost everything about E7.
- Characters of Eureka Seven - Wikipedia detail page
- Light Finding Operation - Wikipedia E7 mecha page.
- Plot Summary of Eureka Seven - Wikipedia entry. (Warning: Spoilers)
- List of Eureka Seven episodes - Wikipedia page.
- Eureka Seven - Quality E7 desktop wallpapers from Freddie's Wallpaper collection
- Eureka 7 (TV) - Anime News Network - All the voice actor and staff credits (Japanese/English),
Looks like I'm going to have to save more lunch-money for all those E7 DVD's still to come down the pipes!