Eureka Seven AO – 24 (Fin)

Renton tells Ao and Pied Piper about how the Scub Coral used quartz to travel across parallel universes, but when they approached Earth, were attacked by the Secrets. The Scub Coral traveled to Earth’s past to escape, but to no avail, and Scub Bursts were born. Renton believes it’s his duty to restore the natural timeline by destroying the first coral, even if it means sacrificing himself and Eureka. Ao disagrees, flies into the pole light, and goes back ten years to when Eureka became quartz to protect him. Renton follows, and the two are reunited. Ao tells them to flee, and stays behind to fire the quartz gun once more. Having saved his parents and secured their happiness, he wanders time and space for a time, returning to Iwato Island in 2027.

This final episode had a lot to say do and no extended amount of time to do it (save abstaining from an OP), and while at times it struggled under the weight of its own convoluted explanations and convictions, it handled the task quite well. The series amounts to a jigsaw, the peripheral pieces of which had been set into place in a scatter-shot manner, always holding back till the end, which was this. The final pieces, the ones that bring the whole picture together, were set down. Now that we can see the picture clearly, the series could just as well have been titled Eureka Seven AI. “Ai” as in Love. Love brought Ao into the world and his parents’ love protected him.

Ultimately his love for them drove his decision to repay them for giving him life and preserving it by saving his mom and making sure she reunited with his dad. Despite growing up without either of them in his life until then, he turned out to be a pretty grateful kid. And we really can’t criticize his sentiment; he quite literally wouldn’t exist without them. The love they had for each other, then, was the real truth of this whole series. As for Truth, the guy? Yeah, he was an evil villain in one universe, but a Nirvash archetype in another. Go figure! Fleur, Elena, and Naru? They kinda get hosed in this episode. When an older, longer-haired Ao arrives at the post-quartz world of 2027, we unfortunately don’t get to see them, or how they might have changed. A wrap-up montage would have been nice.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Eureka Seven AO – 22 (Fin; ’till late autumn)

Ao, Elena and Maggie face off against Truth, but he’s capable of creating a trapar storm that disorients Ao, who crashes into a scub coral. He comes out in Iwato, brought there by Naru, who serves him rice and tries to convince him not to fight Truth, who like him, is merely a child of two races. However, his mind is made up, telling her neither of them have changed. Pied Piper, Harlequin, and the Secret allies take Truth on, but can’t make a dent in him. Ao and Naru arrive, and Ao rushes at Truth. Flash forward to a ruined New York City in the year 12021. An adult Renton Thurston witnesses a Seven Swell and flies into it with his Nirvash, hoping to find Eureka and “bring everything to an end.”

We’re not going to mince words like we always do, and just curse instead: that was a fucking awesome episode. It soared with big happenings, big battles, big explosions, big revelations and one hell of a cut to a finish that brought friggin’ Renton back as a hardened, obsessed man on a mission – apparently jumping from time to time and world to world seeking Eureka. He’s a pretty snappy dresser and owner of some strategically graying hair to boot! And unlike the rather pointless momentary cameos of Claus and Lavie in Exile no Fam, he looks primed to play a crucial role in the finale, which apparently isn’t coming until late autumn. That…caught us a little by surprise, though we should have known that was going to be the case, considering the two week hiatus it took earlier in the season. Gotta milk it for all it’s worth, right?

But seriously, enough can’t be said about how much awesomesauce they crammed into this episode – and how it broke down a lot of previous assumptions and replaced them with new ones. Turns out, Naru’s alien ears are fakes, she’s not romantically into Truth (much to Ao’s relief), and is deeply insulted when Ao tries to refer to her as a big sis figure. But Naru’s theory about coral carriers being blessed is getting trashed by Truth’s evil rays, which cause fatal breakouts in anyone affected. Basically, this guy is just a pure force of nature now, who doesn’t want to reason, which makes it seem like a coral/human hybrid like Ao can exist in human society but a coral/secret hybrid like Truth can’t. Unless he’s just a dick…


Rating: 10 (Masterpiece)

RABUJOI World Heritage List

Eureka Seven AO – 21

Fleur, now president of Pied Piper, meets with the Japanese Diet to formalize a relationship, while Ao patrols territorial waters, turning away the Allied forces with the help of Secrets. On an Allied airbase on Guam, Elena meets Maggie and learns that adults infected with coral can fly IFOs. While in the cockpit of Elena’s prototype, Maggie gets flashes of her other life in Goldilocks. Eureka appears before her and Elena, telling Elena she can’t send her back. Maggie investigates and learns Elena wasn’t born on another world. A scub burst occurs in Indonesia; Elena confronts Ao as he emerges with the Quartz. He talks her down and asks her to come back. Truth appears and starts wreaking havoc.

Fleur and Elena both “like” Ao, but in very different ways. Fleur’s is a fairly conventional bond formed by mutual struggles, parallels in their pasts, and an ongoing mutual crush. Elena’s friendship is complicated by her feelings towards Eureka – feelings of hate and resentment. Elena is particularly fun to watch this week, as she’s excited about her her surroundings and the promise of returning home soon, while overlaying anime traits over her situation. It’s cute, but as we learn later, it’s also a little sad…and dangerous. When Maggie learns the truth about Elena, Elena doesn’t want to hear it, because it’s boring. She had this grand, fantastical idea of where she came from and where her destiny is (no doubt a fantasy fueled by her otakuism). The world she’s living in doesn’t feel quiet right, and never has. So it makes sense that she wouldn’t be too receptive of the idea that it’s her world.

Ao mitigates the sting of this somewhat by giving her a good smack (to her IFO, not her face) and delivering a heartfelt declaration of affection for her and an inteniton for them (and Fleur) to stick together always! It’s a very anime-like presentation that appeals to Elena, spicing up the otherwise dull proceedings. But this isn’t just about Elena: Nakamura has resigned, yet still vows to return Japan to greatness; Haru is home (in a hilarious breakfast scene) and stirring up resentment for the coral’s use as a weapon; Maggie sees her other life for the first time; Fleur trades in her flight pajamas for a smart pantsuit; and then there’s the wild card, Truth: who just wants to SHOOT and DESTROY. A little of everything this week, but all nicely juggled; we were never lost.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Eureka Seven AO – 20

After the fusion explosion, Gazelle fetches Fleur and Ao, who still has an instance of Georg on his phone that they can restart the Triton with. Ao takes the Nirvash into the bowels of HQ and finds the Quartz Gun, which triggers a massive burst of Quartz that he then neutralizes. Allied forces led by Tanaka destroy the HQ after civilians evacuate. Hanna and Harlequin’s survivors arrive and side with the Allied forces. Elena also defects to Tanaka, taking one of the goldilocks prototypes with her. Truth emerges from the HQ’s wreckage and attacks the allies. The Japanese government grants Pied Piper access to their bases and supplies in order to fulfill their end of a contract struck between them, the Secrets, and Blanc, with the goal of eliminating the last of the Quartz. A recording of Christophe details the contract and names Fleur the new president of Generation Bleu.

Sorry for the longish synopsis…a lot happened this week. Pieces are moving all over the board, and while Christophe has been removed from that board, Hanna, Harlequin (minus 200 casualties) and especially Truth are back on it. Truth in particular makes a frightening return having been fused to a fearsome-looking machine called IFO-0 AKA “Cannon” that looks to be a loose one and big trouble down the line. Even Maggie Kwan – not a Goldilocks member in this dimension – gets some time as an arrogant allied pilot. And the running theme of the week is “what is right and what is wrong”, only everyone’s too busy choosing one side for the time being to really mull over it for very long.

Ao, for one, isn’t willing to hand over the Quartz gun. Japan have chosen the Secrets as their saviors and vow to destroy who they deem the enemy: the Quartz within Scub Coral. With their HQ destroyed and enemies everywhere, Ivica can’t be picky about where he sets the Triton down, so Japan it is. Elena…well, she’s looking out for Elena, having gotten an answer from Ao regarding helping her (“no”, at least for now). And Fleur…poor Fleur lost her dad. She hated him for so long, but breaks down when she hears his voice and sees him on video, bequeathing his company to her. Ao is the shoulder she can cry on; these two are going through a lot together, aren’t they?


Rating: 8
(Great)

P.S. The Allied Forces’ Fortress-type IFOs resemble the flying robot guardians of Laputa in Castle in the Sky. Coincidence?


Car Cameo:
Nakamura is sulking in a Toyota Century towards the episode’s end.

Eureka Seven AO – 19

Tanaka and the allied forces launch an attack on Gen Bleu HQ, which experiences a blackout when Big Blue World cuts them off. Truth talks telepathically with the Big Secret Head, but doesn’t like what he hears. Naru tells Truth that the masive scub bust on Okinawa ten years ago bore him into the world, a secret who lost his quartz and thus his memory, in human form. He flies into space and manipulates satellites into destroying Poseidon Base.

As allied forces descend on Gen Bleu HQ, including Maggie Kwan, Elena tells Ao and Fleur she’s from another world and wants Ao to take her home. Truth takes the form of Christophe Blanc, but Fleur sees through it and shoots him. Her real dad gives her and Ao a chance to escape, closes himself in the basement chamber, and detonates the quartz within in hopes of incapacitating Truth.

Which world is the right world? Who is the true enemy, the Scub Coral or the Secrets? Who is leading whom, Naru or Truth? These are just a few of the many questions brought up and explored as the shit hits the fan hard at Generation Bleu HQ. We had a feeling the company had a tough road to follow, but we didn’t expect its absolute obliteration. Their space station is destroyed before the commercial break, for crying out loud! This is a big, loud, dramatic powerhouse of an episode that doesn’t hold back for a minute. Things move incredibly fast, but the characters aren’t simply swept up as pawns in the plot, but shine though and have lots of great moments. We found ourselves fully engaged in every single plot thread in play this week, because every one dealt with a revelation.

Elena’s reaction to her download being cancelled (very meta) and her hilariously-creepy Evangelion-referring sight gag belie a very serious and fatigued girl who’s sick of living in this crazy, messed-up world. Fleur’s love and trust in her father prove decisive to her survival, and she has the strength to shoot whom she suspects to be Truth. Truth has never been better, less bwahaha-y and more vulnerable and confused. Christophe, seemingly out of options, goes out with a bang. He’s left the stage to Ao, Fleur, and Elena – youth – hoping they’ll determine the answers to all those questions, free of the regrets and prejudices adults like him must bear. We were royally blown away by the events of this episode, and are extremely excited to see what comes next.


Rating: 10 (Masterpiece)

Eureka Seven AO – 16

President Blanc decides to initiate Operation Polaris, in which all of Gen Bleu’s quartz will be launched from space and lure the secrets that have emerged to its landing spot in the North Pole, where it will be detonated, destroying the secrets. Naru fights a secret off in Iwato, while Pied Piper counts down the hours until they spring into action. Goldilocks takes out rogue Russian missles launched by a cyberattack, but the shock waves knock the quartz off course. Fleur and Elena take it as far as they can, and Fleur hands it off to Ao, who uses his third engine to get it back in orbit, where it transforms into a weapon. He destroys the secrets, but when he returns to Earth, something’s different…

The Olympics are over, and the Astral Ocean is back in full force, with a stellar action-packed romp that’s full of suspense, explosions, and more E7-esque surreality. To whit: Generation Bleu’s President Blance puts all his eggs in one basket (and asks Pied Piper to bring back South American coffee), and they have just one shot to get rid of the secrets that have popped up everywhere. Ao is determined not to let that shot destroy northern Scandanavia, where the McCafferty sisters’ family is at. When the stakes are as high as they can get and he’s the only hope, Ao steps up and gets the job done, even if orders are stretched. He does so with one of the more colorful and elaborate explosions we’ve seen in a while.

Before his heroics, we were getting a little worried about Ao – either due to recent events, the drugs Gazelle gave him, or a combination of the two, Ao having experiences, then abruptly waking up in a camp with Fleur and Elena nearby. He has a bizarre and unsettling dream involving Naru. He still thinks Eureka is his mother. And stranger still, while his actions avert a disaster in Norway, suddenly nobody’s ever heard of Maeve, Chloe, Maggie, or Goldilocks. It’s as if they’ve been erased from existence, or never existed in the first place. Ao is the only one remembers. What exactly did that crazy Quartz Cannon do?


Rating: 8 (Great)

Eureka Seven AO – 15

Nirvash is fixed as Generation Bleu tries to plan their next step. Han and Pippo are in Japan witnessing Nakamura’s continued parading of the Secret head; they report they’re getting close to communicating with it. When a dormant scub coral reawakens, Pied Piper goes after the secret, which has human form and shoots Ao down. Corals all over the world start to reawaken. Han and Pippo smuggle Georg into a server farm, and he is ‘hacked’ by the secret.

With all the recent doins’ transpirin’, it’s starting to look more and more like a crossroads is coming for Fukai Ao. It also seems like as brief as his mother Eureka’s presence in his timeline was, it was definitely some kind of catalyst. The scub corals are behaving like they never have before, the secrets are getting less and less secretive, and, as we said, Ao is torn between believing his mother’s insistance they’re not his enemies, and his comrades at Generation Bleu insistance that they are.

Ao isn’t the only one facing a tough choice (though it’s wearing on him to the point he needs pills from Gazelle to sleep); Fleur’s dad Cristophe Blanc needs to decide who to fight: the scub coral, the secrets…or both. There’s a sense of hesitation in Ivica’s talk with him: what if the secrets are allies simply protecting their dimension? Blanc’s ultimate decision is to use the massive stockpile of quartz they’ve extracted from scub corals as secret bait. We’d probably just maintain a high-alert wait-and-see position before going after one side or the other, but maybe Blanc knows something we don’t. He’s the boss for a reason.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Eureka Seven AO – 14

After communicating with the Coralians, who are partially occupying her body, Naru emerges back on Iwato Island. After helping Eureka return to where she belongs through use of the pillar of light, Ao visits Iwato Island where he learns his real father didn’t abandon Eureka, but was fighting for him. Before leaving, Eureka insisted she was pregnant with a girl, not a boy. Ao visits Naru at the hospital, but they’re both arrested by Nakamura and the JAF, who have invaded Iwato. Naru escapes with the help of a real coral and unearths the Mk. I. Eureka travelled in, and when Ao hesitates joining her, she flies off with Truth.

This week we get a new OP, a new ED, and a whole lotta new, big developments. Ao and Generation Bleu are faced with two possible truths: either it’s as Naru says and the Coralians are only interested in communication and coexistence, or it’s as Nakamura says; the Scub coral are an invading force, and secrets are the earth’s defense mechanism. Nakamura retrieves a secret fragment and parades it over the airwaves like it’s King Kong, and the international community okays his invasion of Iwato. He wants Naru under quarantine and for Ao to pay for his crime of attacking the JAF and killing Colonel Endo. The usually neutral Gen Bleu can’t do much.

Who are we to believe? Well, we’re more inclined to believe Naru about the Coralians, but she’s so cold towards Ao, we have to wonder about her motives, especially since she’s not 100% Naru anymore. Her transformation into something nearly as enigmatic and powerful as Truth was something we weren’t expecting. As for Eureka having a girl…what does that mean; Ao has a sister out there somewhere? And why was Elena hellbent on killing Eureka? For every mystery this episode shed light on, many more remain. But we’re definitely enjoying the ride.


Rating: 8 (Great)

Eureka Seven AO – 12

Pied Piper launches into space to deal with a scub coral that has arrived in orbit. They dock at a station occupied by Team Harlequin, led by Chief Hannah, who is interested in Ao. She and her “kids” tell him he’s an alien, as evidenced by his ability to see trapar, and is unnerved when he can’t see it in space. After destroying the secret, Ao heads for the scub coral, when it is attacked by a Japanese railgun satellite and starts to fall to earth. Nirvash can’t escape, but as the coral burns away it reveals a ship: the Gekko-Go, and a second Nirvash. After landing in the ocean, the other Nirvash pilot introduces herself as Eureka.

It was cool enough to see Pied Piper in space for the first time (and all the sundry novelties of a new environment), but we also get some major reveals. Ao learns quite a bit: he’s some kind of alien, at least partially related not only to Truth, but the secrets too. It’s great to see elements from the first series return: namely the Gekko-Go, the other Nirvash, and most importantly, Eureka herself, who no longer has that facial scarring. Her sudden emergence from the scub coral at just the right time suggests the coral affords some kind of transportation, both for secrets, and her.

The episode has a lot of new music tracks, Fleur and Elena get some good scenes and great lines and moments, we get a glimpse of Gazelle, Naru, Truth, and Nakamura, and even learn something about Truth’s past! But the big news here is that the time for keeping secrets from Ao has ended, even if doing so was for his own protection. Reuniting with his mother (if it is indeed the same Eureka) is something he’s always dreamed would happen, and now that she’s here, if I were him I’d have quite a few questions already spooled up.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Eureka Seven AO – 11

As Gazelle & Co. investigate the identity of the musician Miller in Britain and America, Pied Piper engages a new scub coral in Australia. Ao sees Truth’s shadow, but his attacks are useless. Upon retrieving the quartz, a strange trapar-based substance attaches itself to the ships, and later the pilots, causing them to hallucinate. Ao and Elena end up trapped in a vivid hallucination in which they’re on the run with Miller, but in real life Miller is made up of the substance. Investigators in Indiana learn that Elena is not really Elena.

This week, Ao gets all trippy and surreal again. We’re jumping here and there with the characters, and things are happening which may or may not be real. It’s a little disorienting, but that’s the point; the most effective way to portray the character’s disorientation is to put the audience in their shoes. This time the secret doesn’t take the form of an angel-like alien spaceship, but infiltrates thebodies of the child pilots. It makes quick work of scrambling their brains, presumably in order to scatter them far away where they won’t be a threat.

Ao asks a lot of questions about secrets and the scub coral’s origins that Georg isn’t able to explain in the alotted time. So we’re left wondering: are the secrets sentient beings, or do they operate on pure instinct, and this hallucinatory sand-like trapar is their latest survival tactic? A little more confusing is the role of Elena Peoples / Miller. We had a feeling they were the same person, but by episode’s end we’re meant to believe neither the pilot nor the rock star are really the real Elena, for real. So who exactly is she? For now, an enigma.


Rating: 7
 (Very Good)

 Car Cameos: Gazelle & Co. drive around in America in style, rockin’ a 1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon, one of the more interesting rides we’ve seen in an anime. The MiBs also investigating Elena drive a fairly-new Cadillac CTS.

Eureka Seven AO – 10

When Phoenix falls victim to a scub burst and resulting secret annihilates all military attacks against it, Pied Piper is on stand-by on the Mexican border. Rebecka and Gazelle attempt to get the governor to request Gen Bleu’s assistance. The governor himself was once a member of Gen Bleu, and considers himself Rebecka’s mentor. Ivica and Ao cross the border to aid people and soldiers who didn’t evacuate; Truth turns out to be manipulating the soldiers to hold the civilians in a store, which Truth transports to the Grand Canyon for an “experiment”. They learn that the secret considers anything with a human form an enemy and eliminates it. Ao leads everyone to safety by hiding in tents, and Fleur and Elena show up to destroy the secret.

This was a weird episode. At some points, it almost seems as if the governor of Arizona was stalling Pied Piper in order to observe the secret’s behavior, at the cost of lost of life and property. Phoenix is leveled and abandoned, save a group stranded at a big-box store. Ivica, a veteran of the Balkan War, decides it’s a good idea for Ao to get some time on the ground in a combat zone. This turns out to be a bad idea. We can’t say we wouldn’t freak out either if people are vaporizing into nothing right before our eyes. The secret’s “options” are cruelly quick efficient in their slaughter; like the Angels in Eva.

Ao snaps out of it long enough to realize said options are actually pretty dumb; they’ll leave you alone as long as you don’t look like a human. So Ao becomes the Pied Piper and leads everyone out using tents. When Ivica nearly sacrifices himself to open the secret’s mouth and allow the IFOs to deliver a missile buffet, as well as when he enters the warzone in the first place, it’s clear he’s a man who’s hoping to avoid needless bloodshed in the name of further understanding the secrets. Both he and Rebecka have seen enough.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Eureka Seven AO – 08

Ao is reprimanded for disobeying orders by being tailed very closely and obviously around Generation Bleu HQ. Fleur learns from Gazellle that Eureka hates his dad like she hates hers. When a scub coral and secret suddenly appear in the Republic of Faisal Arabia, Pied Piper is deployed to deal with it, but the US Government pressures President Fleur to recall the Triton while they’re still en route. Ao leaves the ship in disgust; Fleur follows him. After footage of the hardship in Arabia is shown globally, they are re-deployed to deal with the secret, which is protected by lightning. Elena’s IFO is disabled, leaving Fleur and Ao to work together to bring the secret down.

Finally, an episode that really went the extra mile. The strange confusing events of last week give way to some far more straightforward storytelling and action: Generation Bleu and Pied Piper avoid getting thwarted by bereaucrats and get the job done once again, with Ao and Fleur gaining trust in and respect for one another in the process, to the point where it looks like the begining of a friendship. Fleur is far less aloof in this episode (learning of the burden she lives with helps make her more sympathetic), as if she’s realized picking on Ao isn’t as fun now that she knows more about him. The two had always lacked something they could relate to (besides being teens who pilot mechas, but just watch Evangelion to see how well they got along), but now there’s an opening, and the two find that they not only work well together, but can socialize amicably too. Elena thinks it’s love. She may be premature, but perhaps not wrong. We’ll see.

As for the sci-fi action, there’s a lot of it, and it’s quite good. There’s a nice – if inexplicable – shoutout to Philadelphia as the place that last saw this particular secret-of-the-week, way back in 1752; and it somewhat resembles an eagle. The way it changes form and prepares a kamikaze run on the scub coral really ratchets up the tension. Ao is definitely finding his groove with Nirvash and Pied Piper; he may disobey orders, but his heart’s in the right place. He won’t stand by and let people get killed if he can do anything about it; and that includes stopping Fleur trying to beat the secret on her own, at the cost of her life. We also liked how her dad turned out to be not so bad after all, as he’d staged the footage that swayed the international community to authorize the resumption of the mission. Nice combination of character work and secret ass-kickin’.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Eureka Seven AO – 05

The Triton returns to Generation Bleu’s HQ in the Swiss Alps, a huge city-like complex forged from components recovered from scub corals. Nirvash is repaired, and Gazelle, Pippo, and Han are discovered in the hold. They meet with Bleu’s President Blanc and join the company. Fleur and Elena give Ao a tour, where he meets another team, Goldilocks, led by Bruno and composed of Maggie Kawn and Maev and Chloe McCafferty. Goldilocks are mobilized and are quickly ambushed by Secrets hiding in a hurricane. Pied Piper are called in as reinforcments.

This week is all about introducting the organization Ao has just joined, Generation Bleu. The episode does a good job sweeping him right into the middle of this strange, sprawling new place, aptly portraying how overwhelmed and unsettled he feels there. We’d even say he’s a little unwelcome at first, as the snobbish, entitled Elena and Fleur seem put-out having to babysit him. We meet yet more characters, including the three pilots of team Goldilocks (all girls), who are a little kinder to him. But the scene with Elena leaving Ao in the hall is pretty dire; as is Fleur constantly asking him “What are you doing here?” “Why are you here?” “What are you here to do?”

Yeah we get it, Fleur: you don’t like uncertain people. She has a military, no-nonsense way of doing things, and as for Elena, well, she’s in her own little world. But there’s one nice little moment that gives us hope: when Fleur helps Ao get into his suit. She may not be pleased that this green, blue-haired, wishy-washy guy is now a part of her team, but he is, she and Elena are going to look out for him. Maybe. Bleu is putting a lot of faith in the kid’s innate abilities and will, but with Goldilocks in serious trouble, they need all the pilots they can get. Here’s hoping his first official mission doesn’t turn him into a whimpering pile of angst.


Rating: 7
 (Very Good)