Sunday, May 6, 2007

Eureka Seven Review

The Gekko, originally uploaded by millermz.

Well, as promised, I return with new content! Specifically, my review of Eureka Seven. Before I go into that though, I have mentioned previously, that one of my friends who really launched me into anime, had been watching several of these shows with me, not all at once of course. Eureka Seven was one of those shows that we started watching over a year ago on Cartoon Network, and to finally marathon through the last 6 episodes was great. So, I guess I just wanted to add that for some perspective, because now I have one less show that I'm "currently watching." But now for the review...

In a world unlike ours, a young boy named Renton Thurston lives with his grandfather in a sleepy little town. For entertainment, Renton goes 'air-surfing', for lack of a better term, on his rev board, trying to be just as good as the famous lifter (air surfer), Holland, the leader of rogue militia group, Gekkostate. What Renton doesn't know is that, thanks to his famous father Adrock, and Holland's own needs, the two shall meet. This, along with boredom, and Renton's burgenoning interest in a strange Gekkostate girl named Eureka, helps Renton decide to leave his grandfather, and join Gekkostate. What awaits is not all the excitement he was hoping for, as he has to fend for himself in Gekkostate, where Holland turns out ruder, then dude. Still, with the importance of Gekkostate's missions becoming clearer, and his fascination/infatuation with Eureka becoming stronger, Renton realizes that he'll have to grow up, to help, and even understand, those that he loves.

Well, that's more or less the story, and due to the popularity thanks to Cartoon Network I'm sure many have seen the show. So I apologize if you feel this isn't valuable, but for those who haven't, I flat down say it's a must. Now, throughout the series you're going to get a vibe that is strangely familiar, and that's of Evangelion. Don't feel worried, as this is almost expected. Similarities: Renton is about as wimpy as Shingi, Mechs are involved, Eureka is at first, about as lifeless as Rei, there is a father disconnect stronger than Shinji's but similar, and really, the crew has some similarities with Evangelion characters as well. Not to mention the story's pretty confusing, and in my opinion, the ending (no spoilers) is about as strange as the Evangelion movie's ending.

However, this is no Evangelion. Thankfully, Euereka Seven really lends it's own to the seemingly overcrowded world of anime. The graphics are great, and easily one of the drawing points. While the story is complex, being, along with Fullmetal Alchemist, another great Bones production in terms of the depth of the characters, and their connections to each other. At this point I'd say that while the first 15 or so episodes seem more like kid stuff, the anime gets a bit more gruesome, and just angsty as it progresses, so the Eureka Seven you initially like is not necessarily what you end up with. However, sort of like Fullmetal, you really realize that as the story continues, the trials and tribulations become more and more difficult, so a little more graphic violence is understandable.

My favorite components to this story, not to sound all sappy, are the various couples. Now, the main focus is the developing relationship between Renton and Eureka; however, Holland and many of the other crew members are almost all paired as well, and sometimes this adds for an interesting dynamic that, while treated seriously as opposed to anime styled high-school romances, provides humor to lighten the mood.

Something to note, that I don't always find superb in every anime is the music. Music is important in this anime though, so much so that every episode is even named after a song (although I don't believe we ever hear those songs). Thankfully this isn't music for music's sake, as most of the songs are really cool, ranging from hip-hop tunes, such the opening with Flow's song 'Days,' to cool techno pieces such as Hiroshi Watanabe's song, 'Get It By Your Hands'. Regardless, of what style, I think you'll find a song for you.

To end though, with what appears to be quite a long review, I will warn you that this anime can be confusing. As mentioned above, the ending doesn't necessarily resolve all your questions, and the anime definitely doesn't reveal itself early on. But, if you're willing to take the time to think occasionally through this seemingly daunting 50 episode series, then I say please do, because through it all, I believe that you will definitely be glad that you did.

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