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Eureka Seven AO – 06

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「ライト・マイ・ファイアー/noblesse oblige」 (Raito Mai faiā)
“Light My Fire”

The Truth is out there.

There haven’t really been any lulls in this outstanding series so far, but there have been degrees of excellence – and I’d rank this episode up there with the very strongest episodes, which for me are the second (still the best overall) and the third. I remain intensely curious to know who’s writing this thing along with Aikawa Shou, because there’s a thoroughness and maturity to the scripts that I haven’t seen from a true mecha series in quite a long time. I’m still not madly in love with the notion that all the pilots are little girls for some reasons (a restriction that obviously doesn’t apply to Allied IFOs) but the conceit is more tolerable here than any time I can remember.

One thing stands out for me especially, and that’s the issue of consequence. In a funny way the original Eureka Seven felt like several interconnected series rather than one seamless whole, and as such suffered from a lot of inconsistency, but pretty much throughout its run E7 never lost sight of the fact that actions have consequences – physical consequences and emotional, too. When things happened it had an impact on the cast, we saw the cost paid for risks taken, and the damage caused to relationships when people treated each other badly. When I talk about a maturity to the writing here, that’s part of it – even as something as basic as Ao being rushed off onto a mission as soon as he arrives at HQ is part of the story, as his lack of sleep causes him to pass out in Chloe’s hospital room. It extends to the larger issues, too – and Bruno was clearly someone who was very aware of the consequences of the job he held, and tried his best to make sure Ao was aware of them too.

There are a lot of positives I want to stress, starting with the music. I’m a big fan of the OP and ED for their classic feel (especially the OP) and the BGM by Supercar’s Nakamura Kouji is great in its own right, but also great because it sounds so different from traditional anime soundtracks with its mix of electronica, guitar rock, and strings that always seems to bolster the impact of a scene. Also, I continue to be extremely impressed by young Honjou Yuutaro as Ao. He’s equally strong both in the more martial moments – his voice-cracking battle cries give these scenes a certain added poignancy – and in the quieter ones, where an understanding of the emotions of the scene is required. And then there’s the pacing, which continues to have the persistent effect of making me feel each episode is over almost before it’s started. I almost feeli as if I’m being shortchanged but the counter always says 24:27 after the preview, so I guess I have to accept the evidence. There’s just no drift here, even in slower eps like last week’s – everything seems to be in its proper place and there’s always a plan.

The two most important elements of this episode are Bruno’s sacrifice and the emergence of a new force on the scene. We first meet a mysterious shapeshifter at the beachfront palace of a miscellaneous Latin American dictator, and later at the mountaintop hideout of what looks to be a drug gang. I’m not sure who this person is – indeed, it seems likely not to be a person at all, as they have the aforementioned ability to take on the form of anyone they see, as well as to destroy IFOs with the flick of their finger. The motives for the wanton destruction this entity causes aren’t clear, though there seems to be a “cleanse the Earth” vibe – “Why isn’t the world listening?” – but what is clear is that this entity has a connection to The Nirvash, which they recognize on sight. The most obvious guesses would be either some sort of anthropomorphized form of The Secret or – much more in-line with the mythos of the first series – the human form of a Coralian. That doesn’t totally fit either, but until something or someone convinces me otherwise, it seems the least unlikely of all the minimally educated guesses I could make. What we do know is that “he” is referred to as “The Truth” – and that he’ll be played by Inoue Kazuhiko, a seiyuu so unfailingly excellent that I won’t even bother praising him further – his career speaks for itself.

The Truth is clearly going to be an important part of the next run of episodes, but the more impactful portions of this one surrounded Ao and his continued education as to just what he’s gotten himself mixed up with. Pied Piper’s initial mission doesn’t involve taking on The Secret hiding in the hurricane so much as recovery & rescue, and they are able to retrieve the three Goldilocks pilots – the two older girls being seriously wounded, and Chloe moderately injured. But Bruno has sacrificed himself, apparently crashing the Medon into The Secret to reveal its full form and to buy time for his pilots to be rescued. By the time the IFOs have been salvaged and Goldilocks brought to hospital, Ao is so exhausted that he falls asleep in Chloe’s hospital room, and misses the departure of Fleur and Elena to take on the Secret.

We learn a lot about Bruno after his death, and about Chloe too – who refuses to cry when she learns of his passing from Rebecka after Ao had tried to keep it from her (some fine work by Rin herself, little Matsuura Ayu, in this scene). Even 11 year-olds understand the consequences of the task they’ve undertaken – but it was something Bruno himself never accepted, as demonstrated so powerfully by the “Never Let Children Die!!” written in bold letters on the memo Ao finds in his room after his death. I still sense the truth of Generation Bleu is even uglier than what we’ve seen already (which is hardly pretty). When Chloe wakes him to find his teammates gone to attack the secret, Ao does what he always does – exactly what he has to, without complaint – reasoning that the ones who love him would be sad if they knew he’d let others suffer because of his inaction.

These are decisions 12 year-olds shouldn’t have to make, and while some shows <GUNDAM AGE cough> gloss over this issue with clumsy writing, E7:AO confronts it head-on. It’s remarkable the impact Bruno made in one brief appearance, both on us and on Ao – because it was Bruno who showed Ao that there were other adults besides Toshio that cared about him (with the appearance of his Okinawan friend this is becoming a recurring theme, too – the random kindness of strangers). Again, it’s consequences – the notion of wars being fought by children is a common anime conceit, and an old one too, but here’s a series that seems intent on forcing everyone in its cast to stake a moral position on the rightness or wrongness of the practice. The fact that Ao is courageous and compassionate (and talented) enough to take the responsibility on his shoulders doesn’t mean it’s right that he should have to. Like its predecessor AO is good at asking the tough questions, and there’s every indication that it will go about casting insight on the answers in a more consistent and coherent manner. If so, we’re looking at a very, very special series.

 

Preview

Eureka Seven AO   06   Preview 01 Eureka Seven AO   06   Preview 02 Eureka Seven AO   06   Preview 03
May 18, 2012 at 10:26 am
37 comments »
  • May 18, 2012 at 10:52 amSherylfan

    I don’t dig the OP and hemeway, I skip it all the time, I liked the OP better in the first series. Hope this series atleast changes theme halfway through. Steropony on the other had I like, really neat ending.

    As for the show I’m digging it’s more fast paced feel, or maybe the eps are so good it feels like it flies by compared to the first series. All I’ll say I’ve been very excited for every ep and hooked faster then the first one. A good sign, after being terribly disappointed with last exile, so far eureka is great sequel and hope it keeps it up.

    • May 18, 2012 at 9:39 pmCasshern

      I do the same thing. I just don’t like the opening it doesn’t have that hip feeling that you always got from the other openings in the first season. When you watch the first seasons openings they had meanings and made you feel for the characters and the story. With this one it just looks pretty. I hope there’s a second opening though and that its as amazing as the first seasons OPs.

    • May 24, 2012 at 3:23 pmAnishuma

      I usually skip Ops and Eds after seeing them once.I only like the beat of the OP and the Ed is meh.

  • May 18, 2012 at 10:59 amAnza

    I’m loving both the opening and the ending, I really like how they’ve continued to update the opening every episode or 2 with new content, the new part here being the Red on Nirvash’s head.

  • May 18, 2012 at 11:38 amAO

    you forgot the Eden of the East reference to “BANG”

    • May 18, 2012 at 11:46 amGuardian Enzo

      No, because that’s not an EotE reference – it’s been around since the 70′s at the very least…

      • May 18, 2012 at 2:10 pmLitho

        Probably earlier. I’m sure someone in some spaghetti western has done it.

  • May 18, 2012 at 11:45 amBanana Furikake

    I felt a little shortchanged on the fighting sequence- it seemed to finish way too quickly. On the flip side I think they spent too much time developing the shapeshifter. Oh well.

  • May 18, 2012 at 12:24 pmAni_BEE

    The Truth is out there … and he’s coming to steal your Persona. It seems to be our new Anemone has entered the stage. I like disturbed individuals and I’m sure Truth has is share of disorders to unravel. ;) Thanks for the screen capture of that list (way to fast to read.)

  • May 18, 2012 at 1:12 pmMrZero

    If they want to throw a twist out there that makes Gen Bleu look less than innocent, this whole “Never let children die” motif that gets repeated every so often could have a deeper meaning to it. As in something bad happens if a kid dies piloting one of these children-only IFO’s.

    Probably not! Good ep this week!

    • May 18, 2012 at 9:42 pmCasshern

      Yeah or maybe some tragedy happened in the past that they caused. For example look at their base it looks like a destroyed battle ship or something. Could be more behind why they use a dump like that instead of something that looks better.

    • May 20, 2012 at 8:55 amZetatrain

      Given how the title of the next episode is “No One is Innocent” I think something like that will happen.

  • May 18, 2012 at 2:12 pmLitho

    Was a decent ep until the last minute where the antagonist announced himself/herself/itself as “Truth”. 9000 corniness points + facepalm moment right there.

    • May 18, 2012 at 6:15 pmFantomOmega

      If some regular dude slaughtered a group of people and called himself the “truth” you’d say they’re stark raving mad and disregard anything they say as nonsense.

      THIS is not the case, your dealing with something that’s clearly NOT human and speaks of something beyond your comprehension, IT behaves like a collective conscious but is a single physical entity, to what means is it trying to accomplish is up to speculation (Story Telling Pro tip: that’s a good thing >_>)

      This series is not only about action, it’s mostly about symbolism and characterization too, everything is not going to be told to you in the beginning OR directly for that matter, what point will the plot be if everything was clearly explained since that phrase has a far deeper meaning and no ware was it ‘corny’ and sure I’ve seen a butt load of shows and movies that have a antagonist/cannon-fodder that used the phrase “Truth” but its only corny is used arrogantly as boast of a deluded individual (alien or otherwise) and this “thing” says it like it a is a FACT that no one that encounters it can figure out… if they live long enough that is

      “IT” is in on the joke and “we” (mainly you) are missing the point.

      How you got this far (to Ep 6) is beyond me if you see everything metaphorical as CORN?
      If we replace the C with a P will that amuse you, hmm?

      • May 19, 2012 at 4:14 amLitho

        Gawd you’re butthurt. Whatever you say doesn’t mask he fact that “Truth” is a corny-as-f*ck sounding name for any character. It’s friggin 2012 here!!

      • May 20, 2012 at 5:06 pmKoji

        Litho: Think of the intended audience as well… This is a Japanese show aimed at Japanese viewership. Calling someone “Truth” may sound corny in English, but in Japanese it sounds foreign and intriguing.

        Imagine instead of “Truth” the name was “Verdad” (which is spanish for truth, at least according to Google). Verdad to us would sound foreign and interesting, and if we took the time to translate it we would be giving our selves a little heads up as to what we’d expect from the character. In Japan, however, they most likely DON’T know the meaning of the English word “Truth” off the top of their heads (even though English is a required course in Japanese Highschools, most don’t hold onto that information once they are out, I sure don’t remember any spanish from when I took it in highschool). At the same time though, Verdad to someone who speaks spanish would likely have the same response “Verdad? What kind of corny name is that?”

  • May 18, 2012 at 3:54 pmTre

    I’ve liked this show so far, but up until now I always felt it was missing a certain something that stopped me from equating it with the original Eureka 7.

    This episode and its presentation was the first that immediately reminded of the old series.

  • May 18, 2012 at 5:47 pmricz

    Eureka(nirvash)..check
    Ao…check
    Secret… check
    Truth…. check

    All the pieces is starting to gather this early
    Really love this series

  • May 18, 2012 at 6:40 pmHimeya

    “Welcome to this mistaken world” (06:01), looks like its bolstering the theory that this is another world that eureka might accidentally stepped in years ago.

  • May 18, 2012 at 7:05 pmfragb85

    The beginning was pretty strange considering that it was removed from the events of the story. Still it did establish that Truth is an intimidating antagonist.

    Glad to see that the kids aren’t as awful as the ones from the previous series. If anything Chloe is wise beyond her years. I certainly didn’t expect her to give some wise advice to Ao about his new life. And of course since Ao is such a good character he takes her advice to heart.

  • May 18, 2012 at 9:03 pmPtolemaios00

    I would have preferred Truth stayed as that chick in the flow-y dress. The beginning definitely seemed like a different anime. I was thinking something like Towa no Quon.

    Anyone else think Elena was referencing Gundam00 when she said Allelujah and Kyrie would take care of things? I totally thought she was referencing Allelujah Haptism and Kyrios Gundam before I realized those were the names of their IFOs.

    This week in “Kore wa Zombie desu ka?” fulfilled my request for “I CAN FLYYY!” courtesy of Orito. Wrong anime but still just as satisfying.

  • May 18, 2012 at 9:28 pmThe Moondoggie

    Ao’s rival detected. Is it just me or doesn’t he look like Dominic?

    • May 18, 2012 at 10:39 pmSQA

      A bit like Dominic. If he joined a glam-rock band.

      Actually, looking at some Dominic stills, he looks really, really like him. It’s probably just Homage, but well played BONES. Plus the preview has him talking to a woman with pink/purple blended hair. At least they know the relationship the fans really liked. :)

    • May 19, 2012 at 1:57 amRickyMack

      I was thinking Naru reminded me of Anemone

  • May 19, 2012 at 1:54 amRickyMack

    I don’t think Gundam Age is glossing over that fact lightly, Shanalua has been driving it into Kio’s head that what they’re doing isn’t some video game. Despite Flit training Kio with a Gundam simulator and designing to the Age-3 to work just like said simulator.

  • May 19, 2012 at 7:08 amgabgrave

    Not sure if anyone else felt the same but during the Nirvash melee scene…

    mini BUSTER COLLIDER! mini BUSTER BEAM!

  • May 19, 2012 at 7:23 amAnonymous

    The Truth is a Secret.

    • May 19, 2012 at 7:32 amYoukai

      A Secret is the Truth… I couldn’t resist typing that for some reason…

  • May 19, 2012 at 9:01 amVelative

    I’ve always wondered if the last scene of the OP is some sort of metaphor. Specifically, we see that Ao is riding Nirvash towards the moon and then reaching for his mom’s figure, but then Naru flies along and pulls Ao down to the ground where all the crew of pied piper/gen bleu makes that signature pose…. I am seriously hoping they aren’t implying that Ao is not reaching his mom because of Naru or something of that sort. I know this sounds stupid, but I just felt like if anyone else finds similar experience.

    • May 20, 2012 at 5:11 pmKoji

      o_O Just confused because you said “What if that part of the OP is a metaphor” and then describe it literally.

      A metaphorical interpretation would be that chasing Eureka would be like trying to grab the moon, it’s not possible because it’s too far away and that Naru is there to keep him grounded in reality and making sure he doesn’t lose site of what’s important to him now (versus chasing after something he can never have)

  • May 19, 2012 at 11:15 amtristanyx

    Do I need to watch the first Eureka Seven to be able to watch this one?

    • May 19, 2012 at 1:59 pmAO

      NO….
      Not really. BUT it’s a very good series. The themes are different. I loved it.

    • May 22, 2012 at 11:03 amNarduath

      I’d recommend sticking with E7:AO till its over, and THEN watching the original series. Otherwise, you might be afflicted with ICD(internal consistency disease) where you deliriously keep looking to connect the 2 series and get slightly frustrated when it doesn’t add-up.

      E7:AO is a really good show and can be viewed as a stand-alone, imo.

      • May 23, 2012 at 1:26 amfoofiebeast

        but what if they do end of gloriously matching up….how much would they regret not having seen the first?

        At this point I’m starting to (unfortunately) think this is along the lines of pocket full of rainbows and just has similar characters, and that really bums me out. PFR sat alright with me because they were upfront about it and nothing matched up really. If this has some similar elements, but then further on in the series like Moon Doggie ends up being Ao’s dad I’m going to be royally pissed.

        I’m really hoping that since they bothered saying it is more of a legit sequel and have so far made some obvious references to the first that it will be an actual sequel in which case I think you’ll regret not having seen the first.

        I’ve really enjoyed it either way though.

  • May 19, 2012 at 9:41 pmiron2000

    Did the events at Myanmar and Peru happen at the same time or one after another?
    Is Truth one or many?
    Since the first ep my impression is he is just one being.
    (Unless there is some Rei scene coming up :P)

    So Truth is against the Secret too?
    He attacks the Secret on that Eisenhower.
    Does he want to damage it or trigger the Secret to cover up?

    Truth remembers the past too.
    The flashback of Nirvash’s back again.
    Truth’s memory? Or a memory before he became Truth? Or whatever :P
    It seems like he doesn’t have full memory and perhaps can be manipulated/influenced by someone ‘skillful’?

    Why is it that same Nirvash’s back scene?
    Was it before some big sacrifice that it was burned to everyone’s memories?
    The ones who know about it, they are all at the same place at that time?

    Relations to Eureka?
    Wild thought: Renton set this current situation and Eureka came to create some hope :P

    Hopefully Truth will reveal his motivations next ep.

  • May 20, 2012 at 3:10 pmBakaMochi

    “Never let children die” really made me tear up. Such a powerful message and it’s not delivered so heavy-handedly. Wars aren’t meant to be fought by children, but here they don’t really have a choice since IFO’s can only be piloted by children.

    I thought Generation Bleu was a little shady before (especially that president), and they certainly don’t seem like they have very clean hands so I’m looking forward to what they’re really like in the upcoming weeks.

    Glad I caught up with this!

    • June 14, 2012 at 12:22 pmFT5Havok

      Isn’t the president look like Renton? Am I the only one getting that feeling…