Sunday, March 23, 2014

Eureka Seven

It occurs to me that I posted a blog about the second series of Eureka Seven, Ao, and never posted about the original Eureka Seven series.  I’ve decided to correct that oversight.

Eureka Seven is another mecha series that's done right.  By that I mean that although the mecha is a big part of the series, it isn’t the series centerpiece.   The series survives and thrives on the characters, their development and growth and a really unique plot, not on the splash and glitter of the mecha.  I will admit to some hesitation when I started watching this series.  A mecha series where the mecha surf the skies on what appear to be skateboards or snowboards?  Seriously?!  But it works.

At the basic level, Eureka Seven is a love story, or rather multiple love stories, the primary one being the love between two young people, a boy named Renton Thurston, and a girl named Eureka.  These two live on a planet that has a life form on it called scub coral.  The scub coral’s existence tends to polarize people who either want to study, understand and live in harmony with it, or destroy it completely.  The military and government of the planet take this latter, hard line and want it eradicated.  Opposing them is a group of sky-surfing radicals, who call themselves Gekko State, and live on a jet plane/spaceship, traveling around and surfing the sky.  Sky surfing is possible on this planet because of a substance known as trapar waves, that accumulate in areas and can be used to surf on. 

Renton is a normal teenager who has his own sky board and worships the members of the underground Gekko State.  He lives with his grandfather, a mechanic who raised him after his parents died/disappeared.  One day Eureka and her mecha show up, Renton falls in love, and the rest is history.  Eureka is part of Gekko State and Renton gets dragged, or falls willingly into their lives. 

This is a long series, 50 episodes, but it stays interesting and entertaining throughout.  Renton struggles to fit in with the Gekko State gang at first, and early episodes play on that.  The characters all grow and develop as the series progresses though, and there is a LOT of back story, tying characters together and building a deep level plot that runs throughout the series and does some amazing twists and turns along the way.  Plot lines that seem unrelated often converge as you go.  Some of the plot twists include things like the really big one:  Eureka, as it turns out, is not human but is a Correlian, a creation of the scub coral.  She is human-seeming in the scub coral's attempt to communicate with humans.  At one point she is almost absorbed back into the scub coral when things don’t go well.  And oh yeah, the Nirvash?  The mecha driven by Eureka and Renton?   Also a Correlian and semi-sentient.  Other plot twists include: the leader and also the second in command of Gekko State, Holland and Talho, are ex-military, who rebelled and went their own way, rescuing Eureka from the military and taking her with them.  Holland’s older brother, Dewey, is the general in charge of destroying all scub coral on the planet.   Dewey uses another scub coral human-creation, named Anemone, to fight Eureka-tachi and destroy the scub coral.  At one point in the story Renton leaves Gekko State and accidentally joins up with two people who are undercover military, going after Eureka-tachi. 

One of the things I liked about the series was the fact that a lot of seemingly random elements end up coming together as part of the deeper plot.  And also the large number of love stories embedded in the series.  Among the main characters, besides Renton and Eureka, there's also Holland and Talho and Anemone and her military handler, Dominic. 

The ending is okay.  It felt a little contrived, but there were so many plot ends to tie up, they probably had to do it like that.  The good news is Renton and Eureka end up alive and together, most of the plots are resolved and the good guys on the Gekko State survive and live happily ever after.  Plus the series music is good.  All in all it’s worth watching all the way through.

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