27 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Eureka Seven Ao episode 1

Angsty young teenagers. Beautiful colourful animation. Self-important dialogue. Crazy pink explosions. Techno soundtrack. Grand ambitions that you know it will never quite achieve. Oh Eureka Seven, it’s like you never left us.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Eureka Seven. I recognise that there are few anime that ever reach the sort of emotional highs it achieved. I love its scale and ambition, which can translate into some truly awe-inspiring set pieces and scenes. Then there was Bones at their most colourful and exuberant, with lime green sky surfing trails and pink explosions. It was a pretty extraordinary series, and I completely understand why its such a beloved anime for so many people. But boy oh boy did it have some problems. The main character was the most irritating whiny little shit ever to walk the face of the earth. Its self-importance meant it frequently strayed into being pretentious and it got so wrapped itself up in its own little world that it became impenetrable. Great anime, but massively flawed.

Eureka Seven Ao, based on the first episode, appears to be all of that again, for better and for worse. Considering the negative reaction Last Exile Fam got for straying away from the tone of its first series, it’s probably better for Eureka Seven Ao to try do everything to remain true to the original. I’m not sure how I feel about doing that. Fam had its problems, but its switch in focus from adventure to large-scale politics was not amongst them, and I sorta respected it for switching focus. However it doesn’t really become a problem if you use a similar tone and story with different characters for a psuedo-sequel in the vein of Eureka Seven. Its only when you do that several times like goddam Gundam that it starts to become a problem.

So yes, Eureka Seven Ao is about an angsty teenage boy having a magical artifact fall into his lap that means he can pilot a giant robot because he is the son of some magical creature from the past series. The opening episode did have a problem with expository dialogue, straying far too often into the “as you already know” variety, but I rather like all the side characters this episode introduced. They’re varied and interesting with distinguishing personalities that don’t fall into clichéd stereotypes, which is more than you can say for most anime.

The production values are where it stands out. This is pretty classic Bones animation, or at least the animation style they use for all their original productions. Colours everywhere, slightly more cartoony character designs with larger blobs of colour. Not sure if that makes sense, but it’s a look of theirs I like. OK, they use it a lot, but that means they’ve had time to perfect it. The music is the same funky techno soundtrack from last time, and it does a damn good job of ramping up the excitement in the more dramatic scenes. Directing is very good in this regard, which makes up somewhat for the awful exposition.

I should probably add here that it doesn’t seem like you need to have any experience with the original Eureka Seven to jump straight into this one. This seems like it’s off to a solid start too. Then again, Xam’d felt like it was off to a very solid start as well. Oh Xam’d…

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  1. Nebulous
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Ahh the question that defines a man:

    Eureka or Anemone?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Anemone. Dominic and Anemone should have been the main characters

      • Name
        Posted April 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Also The End was several orders of magnitude better than Nirvash. =P

      • Der Fur Shur
        Posted April 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        This is the first time I’ve ever commented on this blog and it’s to say I totally agree, Anemone and Dominic were way better than Renton and Eureka

      • Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        But we all know Hakyuun and Mokyuun were even better (The End and Nirvash in the movie)

    • Posted April 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Anemone, good sir (madam?). Always Anemone.

    • SQA
      Posted April 14, 2012 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      The hilarious thing is so many fans deride the Movie, yet they pretty much used it as a “we sailed the Dominic & Anemone ship so far it went off the edge of the Earth” send up. Which I liked.

  2. Jump
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I put the original anime on hold after 3 episodes, it didn’t really grab me in. Maybe when I’m in the mood I will continue.
    For the new anime, I already picked up 8 new shows so I won’t watch it for now, as long as it doesn’t come with some brilliant new ideas.

    So, please blog Apollon :]

  3. Posted April 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I wish you would blog this, but that isn’t possible I guess ^^’

    What happened with Xam’d?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Xam’d got too self-important and too wrapped up in itself that it became unbearable and dull, which was a shame because up until about the halfway point it was incrediblely good

      • SQA
        Posted April 14, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

        Xam’d needed about another 13 or so episodes. It tried to do WAY too much.

        Oh, and the fictional world kind of collapsed in on itself. But it was very interesting.

  4. luffyluffy
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh please, it’s not mecha is the main character isn’t a whiny little shit. That’s part of the fun!

    I really need to rewatch Eureka Seven. I saw it on Adult Swim and barely remember it man.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Renton was different though. He didn’t earn his right to whine, and never stopped whining even when some things started to go well for him

  5. Duelit
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Just sayian, extremely excited for this series. :3

    • Scamp
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      Just saiyan? Are you super sayain that? hur hur hur

  6. Fadeway
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Ooh someone who isn’t me didn’t fall in love with E7. And then that same person who isn’t me declared Renton a little shit. I declare this day to be a good day. I was beginning to think I had missed some very obvious genius in the show.

    Back to reading the post.

  7. Posted April 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Completely unrelated, but are you excited for Robotics;Notes, Scamp? It’s gonna air on noitamina in the fall season and it’s based on a visual novel by the makers of Steins;Gate and Chaos;Head. Even more semicolons! There’s also some kind of other show called Psycho Pass, but I’m not sure what’s that about. I generally like the josei and bromancy shows noitamina normally does the most, so I’m not sure if I’m excited, but I’m happy for the people who do enjoy this stuff.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      It’s a weird case in that I’d have been more excited for it had it not been in Noitamina. A Production IG mecha show in Noitamina? Oh no not again…

    Posted April 13, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    All i remember from Xam’d was that at some point in the anime i could never tell why things would happen the way they did like it lost its sense of direction other than that it was pretty good. i think. I will be adding Eureka to my list this season. So now its Ao, Apollon, Bros, Maiden, Tsu, Mysterious GFX, & maybe 1 other. #StackedSpringSeason

    • luffyluffy
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink


      I’m watching 18 shows this season. Remove OVAs and completed series, I’m watching 12

      I love when seasons get heavy like this, it’s so much fun!

    • Scamp
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      I’ve got the two sequels (Fate/Zero, Eureka Seven Ao) two Noitamina (Apollon, Tsuritama) two bizarre seinen romances (Sankarea, Mysterious Girlfriend X) two seinen manga adaptations (Space Bros, Jormungand) Aquarion EVOL and Lupin III. I don’t like following more than 10 anime per season, so I’ll probably dump the rest

    • Blargh
      Posted April 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      So far behind at this point. I’ve got at least 2 previous seasons worth of shows to catch up with, and this season is looking like it might actually be worth watching 10+ shows in some fashion. *shakes fist* at guild wars 1 HoM point getting.

  9. Blargh
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    I will stand by my previous convictions. This will be a great show till the half way point, then turn to dogshit story fun time. Poor poor Xam’d. Star Driver too really, despite all it’s FABULOUS, to start with it was actually kinda solid. Too many other BONES shows to list that this precedent works for sadly.

  10. G.S
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    The animation is absolutely gorgeous. I find it hard to really dislike any Bones production because I’m very biased to the art style. Even in the case of No.6, where the ending was butchered, I still found it enjoyable overall, at least partially due to the production. Looking forward to more E.S Ao~

  11. Anonymous
    Posted April 14, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I really hope this brings back the same feeling as E7, if it goes the route of xam’d I’ll be a sad monkey.

  12. Erif
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Hope it isn’t the Second Coming of Renton.

    Then we’re all fucked.

  13. Haku
    Posted April 16, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Somewhere in the middle of reading this article I remembered your review of Redline and started reading it your voice.

    I had to stop due to extreme urge to re-watch Redline.

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