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Eureka Seven AO – 07

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「ノー・ワン・イズ・イノセン/bye bye angel」 (Nō wan Izu inosento)
“No One Is Innocent”

Wherever The Truth is from, apparently they need more lolis.

Speaking only for myself, this might have been the most “Eureka Seven” episode Astral Ocean has offered yet. – complete with a massive plot bomb, much of which was incomprehensible to my feeble brain, at least so far. I guess it isn’t really E7 till you don’t know what the hell is going on, so welcome to the machine. Of course it wasn’t only that. There was an overall feel to this ep that recalled the first show for me – iconic imagery featuring Ao (not) and Naru, a quick-cutting visual style that felt very much like the old Kyoda-sensei – but it still retained the somewhat darker and more nuanced feel of AO. It’s an interesting mix.

Among the many things we don’t know yet is just what the deal is with The Truth, but what I can say for sure is that I’m glad he’s played by Inoue Kazuhiko. There are very few seiyuu that bring what he does to a role – the confidence, the swagger, the insouciant humor seemingly always lurking under the surface. Kazuhiko’s roles vary as much as anyone, as befits his incredible range – but they usually reflect a character who carries a great deal of light and darkness in him simultaneously. In a role such as Nyanko-sensei we can even observe his performance modulate over time as the character slides further towards one end of that continuum, but that’s a character we lived with for four seasons – I have no expectation that The Truth will have any such journey. Still, despite his brutality we can sense this character is operating on a different plane of awareness than those around him, and that “good” and “evil” as we know them probably don’t exist in his vocabulary.

One character I haven’t given much thought to is Stanley (Sawaki Ikuya) who appears to be Christophe Blanc’s deputy (and also takes temporary command of Goldilocks). I don’t know if he’s playing the Kozou Fuyutsuki role here, necessarily, but it’s now apparent that there’s more to Stanley than meets the eye. He’s keeping secrets from his boss at the very least, and in concert with Rebecka. When The Truth attacks GenBleu headquarters it’s Stanley who’s making plans for worst case scenarios, including telling Rebecka to destroy “that” – hidden under the HQ – if things should really go sour. I suspect “that” is this, which the Allied forces Commander Tanaka (I find it very interesting that the Allied Forces are locally led by someone who’s apparently a Japanese-American) tells his bosses is “still underneath Gen Bleu’s HQ.” I don’t know what “that” is, but based on what we can see in the hazy photograph – sharply angled features, triangular head – it looks very much like type the END.

Now that, Friends, would certainly be an interesting turn of events, pregnant with story implications to say the least – but for now, it’s a guess. And given some of the other tidbits The Truth throws our way, even more so. He tells Ao that this is an “erroneous world”. He also tells Ao that while he’s interesting because he’s flying “That Woman’s” machine –all the more so as her son – Naru is even more interesting. Why is Naru so interesting to the Truth, this blue-haired entity who wears a cat bell and thinks nothing of killing humans as if they were ants? Ever since the concept art came out, I’ve always thought Naru bore a certain resemblance to Anemone. Could just be the Yoshida Kenichi character designs of course – but then, it might not.

Possibly tying all this together is the magical mystery tour in the middle of the episode, a strange series of events that occurs after Ao flees Gen Bleu in The Nirvash only to find The Truth standing on his hood, unperturbed. It’s an interesting and delicate piece of animation by BONES – all of a sudden we’re back on Okinawa, the colors are queer and unsettling and Ao and Naru are together again. Ao’s acting strange, though, and he appears to cure Naru of her breathing difficulty – and even give her the ability to fly. Turns out of course, that this is not the true Ao but The Truth – but Naru recognizes his shadowy avatar as “My Sea Giant”, the creature she encountered during the incident as a toddler when she lost her health. And she spurns Ao to go with him. When he wakes up he’s at Gen Bleu and the world looks normal again, but he’s been out three days – and the Truth’s abduction of Naru is all over the nets. It wasn’t a dream, and Ao is (naturally) crushed.

The episode title “No one is innocent” really makes a lot of sense, because the theme is clearly that no one is who they appear to be. The Truth discards identities like old tissues, Rebecka and Stanley are secretly colluding for unknown ends, even Elena is apparently playing at her idol alter ego of “Miller/Mirror”– it was certainly Omigawa Chiaki doing the voice – and is oddly unperturbed when The Truth finds her. Even Gazelle has a taste of this when his father who always called him a “worthless prick” wants him to return to Okinawa to help his Quixotic independence battle. This is an episode where no one is trustworthy and Ao can’t even trust his own senses, as The Truth bends his reality. This question of identity is key to everything – who is Naru, really, and just what is The Truth? We’re no closer to a direct answer, but his interest in Naru seems to be our best clue.

As bewildering as this episode was in some ways, I think we’ve been building up to it because it played right into what seem to be core themes of Astral Ocean – deception and generational betrayal. Ao and Gazelle are both at the center of this in different ways, but for both what’s significant is that the adults of this world – Okinawan, Allied, Japanese, American – are making an utter mess of things. Ao especially finds himself in an unenviable position, a tool in the hands of many powerful people with their own agendas, and I think he’s going to learn some hard lessons about not giving his trust away too easily. The connections to the original series are just beginning to show themselves now, not just plot-wise but thematically too – and in the end of that series, it was really all about Eureka and Renton putting their faith in each other’s hands, almost literally becoming a universe of two. Despite the events of this week, it’s Naru who’s the one Ao can really trust – I’d bet the ranch on it – and I expect their painful story to be a direct spiritual descendant of Renton and Eureka’s.

I had the pleasure of attending a special Eureka Seven: AO event at Fanime 2012 this evening. The first three eps were shown and there was a panel afterwards featuring designer Koyama Shigeto. Koyama-san has a truly awesome résumé, and was one of the original design teams on both E7 series. A wrapup and video of the event is posted here.

 

Preview

Eureka Seven AO   07   Preview 01 Eureka Seven AO   07   Preview 02 Eureka Seven AO   07   Preview 03
May 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm
53 comments »
  • May 25, 2012 at 11:51 pmfragb85

    The B part was really surreal and bizarre. Ao must have been smoking something to get such a strange dream. Don’t do drugs kids, it gets your love interests NTR and kidnapped.

  • May 26, 2012 at 12:26 amCasshern

    Wow am i the only one here who just felt like they’ve been NTR’d by this? It was a huge mindfuck then you get NTR thrown in your face. I really wanted to smack Naru in the face when she left Ao for that “Truth” Douche-bag. I hope Ao kicks his ass and lifts this NTR curse from us and himself. Also on a side note “Truth” is too powerful!

    • May 26, 2012 at 12:53 amGuardian Enzo

      A. We don’t know if the actual events happened as Ao saw them in his head – we know his vision was not detail-accurate (like the three-seat cockpit in The Nirvash). We know Naru was abducted by The Truth – we don’t know how it played out.

      B. If it did happen as Ao remembers it, we don’t know whether Naru was being controlled by The Truth. Clearly, he has that ability.

      Don’t be so quick to discard Naru – her bond with Ao is stronger than that. It was painful, but they’ll end up together. This is E7.

      • May 26, 2012 at 3:05 amPat

        I had to go back and look at that a lot but its not the Nirvash having a 3 seater cockpit, he takes off in the Triton’s FP and it turns into the Nirvash when its out of line of sight for half a second, pretty much confirming when the colours are completely washed out that only happened in his dream.

      • May 26, 2012 at 9:46 amtriggerhappypilot

        Just a minor note: That three-seater cockpit actually isn’t the Nirvash. It’s actually tbe Triton’s onboard FP: http://i.imgur.com/2wwnV.jpg

        How he can change from flying that to flying the nirvash in less than a second is best chalked up to dream logic.

      • May 26, 2012 at 11:14 pmBeedle

        The way I interpreted that sequence was “Filter = Fake; Color = Truth”. So, Naru really did get ‘abducted’, and Naru’s sea giant really is Nekoboi.

        Personally, I don’t mind so much as I’ve been banking on Fleur since the beginning, but meh. This is E7~

      • May 28, 2012 at 1:52 amdefunkt_bots

        Ao also boosts out of the Gen Bleu base in his flight suit with Truth riding the nirvash like a galactic fairy.

        The next we see of “true” Ao, he’s back in casual and packing a sloth. That truth guy has some serious voodoo….

        His index finger twin buster rifle is my favourite so far.

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:11 amgrt

      nope, not just you. totally did not see that coming. hope it wont turn out to be a rage-making show.
      oh wait, i already feel the rage coming. XD

  • May 26, 2012 at 1:30 amBeedle

    Doujin artists are gonna go wild with this one…

  • May 26, 2012 at 1:37 amWerpi

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • May 26, 2012 at 7:33 amWerpi

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • May 26, 2012 at 7:34 amWerpi

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • May 26, 2012 at 8:11 amMike

        or maybe people just didn’t like your opinion?

      • May 27, 2012 at 9:25 pmxRichard

        Once you get 5 or 6 downvotes, it doesn’t stop. That’s how the hive-mind works.

        Both of your points are quite valid opinions, I’ll reword them:
        - I had difficulties with the low saturation sequence. I may have a problem with color perception or something.
        - The whole “Truth Persecution” part felt uninspired and really stretched and I skipped it. [I'm with you with this]

  • May 26, 2012 at 1:46 amfoofiebeast

    Speaking only for myself, this might have been the most “Eureka Seven” episode Astral Ocean has offered yet.

    What?

    This felt like the least E7 episode so far. I was completely baffled by how insultingly stupid it felt and it seemed like it was getting dangerously close to Star Drivery pettiness. I’m confused as to how a show can be so so so incredibly good for the first 5-6 (6 was questionable) episodes and then drop so dramatically on the 7th.

    I’m really disappointed because I’ve been really really really enjoying the show so far.

    • May 26, 2012 at 2:27 amMrZero

      I think the first three episodes were fantastic and definitely matched the tone of E7. Everything after that has been a little questionable in terms of direction and feel.

      E7:AO is too in love with every mech show that’s not E7. It’s especially falling hard for Evangelion.

      I really want to let go and just enjoy the show for what it is but lately I feel that the connection and differences between this and the original E7 are too distracting. At the moment I feel like this is a brand new show with an E7 dressing just so that the creators can get an already built-in fanbase for the show.

      Big plot bombs like the blurry purified theEND are exciting and keep me watching but even then I feel a little like it’s used to keep the original E7 fans around.

      I appreciate my expectations are too high for this show and I’m sure when it’s all said and done a second re-watching will allow me to enjoy it for what it is (whether that being a great sequel or just a good show with E7′s borrowed looks). Right now the mysteries are more frustrating than interesting to be absorbed by.

    • May 26, 2012 at 7:44 amGuardian Enzo

      I completely disagree here, in that I love the first three eps but to me, they don’t have that much of an E7 feel. I love ep 7 too, and for the reasons stated in the post I think it’s the most E7-ish of the entire series.

      I’m saddened to see so much negativity over the last few eps, but I guess I’m not shocked because this is obviously not trying to be an E7 clone. Rather it seems to me to b a sort of deconstruction of the mecha genre as a whole with E7 connections (which are becoming clearer every week). This is very much E7 reinterpreted by Aikawa Shou. I love it but it’s not the safest route they could have taken. I hate it when they take the safe route.

      • May 26, 2012 at 5:53 pmfoofiebeast

        I think we’ll have to wait and see how much of a “reinterpretation” it is. I got the feeling that after Pocket Full of Rainbows they weren’t going to try that again.

        In terms of this episode feeling like E7 I guess I don’t quite get what you think was similar? I’ll grant that the confusion was present in E7, but I don’t remember any characters as overpowered and out of place as “The Truth.” What I liked about E7 was how they built up the world. When things got weird it was gradual and you (at least I) accepted it because it was never too big of a leap based on past experiences. When you take a “new” world and then just plunk down a seemingly all powerful, teleporting, shapeshifting, overly dramatic (especially in attire and appearance….) character it just feels really out of place to me. All I can think when he is on the screen is that I hope it moves on from this relatively soon and gets back to more interesting aspects of the show. Unfortunately then I remember right now it’s only set as 24 eps and there is a good chance the truth will be the main focus of the show.

        Also I still think this WILL end up being a direct sequel, and the episode that adult Renton shows up will be awesome.

      • May 26, 2012 at 6:04 pmfoofiebeast

        also I think it’s really interesting how split we all seem to be on these last few eps.

  • May 26, 2012 at 2:17 amDdadain

    I was like… WTF is happening >__>

  • May 26, 2012 at 2:24 amDeck

    Am i the only one who has no idea what is happening in this show?? So many blank spaces, Renton, gekko crew, the kids, why is the scub back? And now Naru, the truth, theEND(although it looks more like the LFO from the promo art? @_@
    If this was 50 episodes, id stop watching and wait until everything is released.

  • May 26, 2012 at 3:23 amShirocat

    I hope that Ao’s ‘dream’ is not completely true. Otherwise I’m very disappointed at you, Naru. She was behaving like stupid girl, who fell in love and would do everything for her loved one, even betraying her best friend.

  • May 26, 2012 at 5:17 amBoo

    If what’s hidden beneath GenBlue HQ is really theEND,then could GenBlue HQ be the tree like coralian structure(not really sure,all i remember spec 2 had a pretty nice fight with theEND there) that got hit by vascuud cry-something(again,blame my lousy memory)? If so shouldn’t theEND be reduced to glittering dust by protecting anemone and dominic? But all in all,despite the absurd episode, AO is slowly building a connection to E7 which is a very big plus to me

  • May 26, 2012 at 6:33 amricz

    “the end” joined the crew
    Secret, Truth, The end, Naru, Ao, Eureka/Nirvash, GenBlue …Really epic

    But man dream or not I hate that naru X truth scene :C

    Well Fleur is the one I liked D:

  • May 26, 2012 at 8:37 amkabayongtao

    It’s kind of ironic how The Truth does make use of lies for whatever it is trying to pursuit.

  • May 26, 2012 at 9:09 ameureka 7 a0 fan

    did anyone think the photo on the mans device at the end of the episode look like the “type the end” from the original series?

  • May 26, 2012 at 10:04 amTarage

    Worth noting is that when Ao gets into the Nirvash in the ‘dream sequence’, it has THREE seats. This can be seen at 7:30. At 7:45-7:50, Ao is piloting something that doesn’t look like the Nirvash’s original flight mode, but that of a small shuttle. It then quickly changes back to the Nirvash we are used to, and the cockpit returns to it’s one seat configuration.

    Everyone missed this in the backlash of the NTR business.

  • May 26, 2012 at 10:55 amderpy derp

    she was getting in the way anyway

  • May 26, 2012 at 12:20 pmSeishun Otoko

    I agree, this is definitely the most “Eureka Seven” episode that Astral Ocean has to offer yet.
    A mysterious overpowered bishounen shows up and starts wrecking havoc. This is BONES alright! And hell yeah, it would be awesome to see typeTheEND squaring off with typeZERO again! Naru seems more like a Talho to me than Anemone. Those midriff… mmmm… how I’ve missed them =3

    • May 27, 2012 at 5:00 pmThe Moondoggie

      Typical Seishun. XD

      Anyway the guy reall looks like Dominic in some shots this episode and it only strengthened my theory that Eureka isn’t the only one who gave birth in that world, possibly Anemone too.

      Maybe Coralian mothers migrate to other worlds to give birth?

      But then, if Truth is Anemone’s, why is he so OP and Ao seems like just an ordinary kid?

  • May 26, 2012 at 5:51 pmAnishuma

    NTR FOR THE WIN!

    There was some slight NTR traits and implications between Holland and Eureka in E7, but to have this happen so quickly only 7 episodes in is delicious.

    Side note, THE END FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF YEAAAAAAAAAAH!

    Now to predict whether Ao degenerates into a whiny Renton or shows more of Awesome Ao in pissed mode in the next episodes.

    Based on the preview, it’s pissed mode time.

  • May 26, 2012 at 7:56 pm004samro

    Wait, Elena was Mirror!? Whoa, I did not notice that! Also, am I the only one not liking Naru? I haven’t liked her since the 1st episode, and this episode did not help me in liking her.

  • May 26, 2012 at 10:04 pmLegion

    This episode didn’t feel like E7 to me. Although to be frank, the series has felt very little like E7 to me aside from having ‘Eureka Seven’ in the title.

  • May 27, 2012 at 6:35 amCroco

    NTR Crisis

  • May 27, 2012 at 11:16 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    Lol, I’m glad to have visited here and read the comments. I really thought Ao got NTRed but you guys pointed out that it could have just been Ao’s dream version of how things happened and is not what actually happened. But before visiting here, I was like “DUMP NARU, THAT BASTARD. GO FOR FLEUR, SHE’LL FLY WITH YOU!”. But then again, the opening and ending credits should have been enough of a spoiler for us to show that Ao’s probably gonna end up with Naru.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 27, 2012 at 5:02 pmThe Moondoggie

      Also, the OP showed Ao being stopped by Naru as he reaches for his mom… DAT GURL is nothing but trouble… >:(

      • May 28, 2012 at 9:12 amThe Story You Don’t Know

        It might actually be some kind of spoiler.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 27, 2012 at 6:53 pmShinn

    Found something you all missed…..

    http://s15.postimage.org/ycf5ttumj/2_Ui_EQ.jpg

    Notice anything odd there??? Seem a little Nirvash old and not a little nirvash new??

  • May 27, 2012 at 7:01 pmExukvera

    Where i saw this before?
    -Boy’s mother disappears when he is a child
    -Boy meets girl with family issues (they quickly become close)
    -Alien invaders appear
    -Boy hijacks legendary mecha and kicks invaders’ ass
    -Boy enlsts to confront aliens looking to protect girl (also hoping to learn about his mother’s fate)
    -An overpowered rival appears
    -Girl likes boy but is attracted to rival
    -Rival snatches girl and boy little can do to stop him

    • May 28, 2012 at 3:17 pmexia

      Gundam Age

      Thats for an even younger audience though, so they are trying to get the kiddies indoctrined that if they have family issues and problems in life, they need to hijack some sorta mecha and everything will be smooth sailing afterwards, in an anime smooth sailing type of way, (protag gets the girl, he learns epic moves, he defeats longtime rival, everyones happy,) end of story.

      • May 28, 2012 at 7:48 pmzero hour

        my reply was for exukvera sorry

    • May 28, 2012 at 7:46 pmzero hour

      this sounds like season one of Robotech with Rick Hunter and Minmay

  • May 27, 2012 at 9:33 pmxRichard

    ITT: People who were too young to notice the NTR undertones in E7.

    The episode was weak: 15 minutes of poorly choreographed mindless action between Truth and “Blue Generation Highly Trained Private Security Force”. Then 5 minutes of plot bomb. I like what they are doing with this (implied?) twist, but I’m sure there was a better way to deliver it.

    Maybe it turned out like this because they kinda forced the episode 6 to end with a big cliffhanger. Just as this episode.

  • May 28, 2012 at 3:46 amDragonite88

  • May 28, 2012 at 7:51 amiron2000

    The blurred image looks like the final form Nirvash to me, with something else behind it.
    Starting to get the Evangelion vibes.

    The desaturated sequence left me with Truth’s final words that this world is wrong.
    And the question on whats more is there to Naru?

    Also something with Stanley, Rebecca and Blanc.
    1980, I wonder under what circumstances did Generation Bleu come about?

    I agree with your interpretation of the title and the episode, Enzo.
    A nice read.

    I wonder, is there a mecha under Truth’s big shadow?

  • May 28, 2012 at 11:29 amCyrano

    If Ao’s dream really is true (which I doubt), it would leave me really confused and scratching my head for a while. It would essentially be an about turn for the character of Naru, and that is one of the things I dislike the most, which is when characters from out of left field behave completely contrary to their initial development in order to pigeonhole them into the plot. It’s the biggest flaw that I felt Guilty Crown had and I would hate it if Eureka Seven AO went down the same route.

    However, I have faith in the writers, so I feel that this is either just Ao’s insecurities projected onto a semi-realistic event that he dreamed, or that Truth is controlling Naru in some way. My bet is on the former, as the dream sequence just felt out of place in the manner in how it developed and the desaturated visuals seemed to imply to me that something is somewhat off-kilter and skewed. Still, either way, I feel that this is a good way to add conflict into the series. While I’m sure many people will be troubled or unsettled by the development, but that’s exactly what conflict is supposed to do.

  • May 28, 2012 at 4:58 pmKumaKaori

    FFFFF dammit dammit dammit XD. You were at Fanime and RC didnt set up a meet-up or anything D:!? wth gaiz XD? … Pfft. I probably wouldn’t’ve been able to make it anyway. I was running around as escort/interpreter for Kia Asamiya all weekend <<;.

    Hehehe, glad you were at Fanime ^_^. Hope you enjoyed it :D!.
    ~Kuma.

    • May 28, 2012 at 10:19 pmGuardian Enzo

      Sorry! I mentioned it well in advance over at LiA, so start following me there and you’ll know next time! ;-) I did meet up with Zanibas, in fact.

      That was you translating for Asamiya-san? I was at the Kamen Rider panel, but you said no pictures so… Asamiya-san seems like a very nice guy – it was certainly a great panel, though I’m not a huge KR fan and was a little lost at times.

  • May 28, 2012 at 11:19 pmAO

    Okay, what I don’t get is why is “truth” a FAIRY. I mean he/she just came out of no where and started doing things. I really do not see anything to connect it with the story. Yes, future will tell. However, unlike other series, this one is just so random. Yet, this randomness is what that is making this series interesting.

    In addition, you should know this is JUST a SPIN-OFF. Its like two people with the same last name with no relationship. If you take away the icons, you get a completely new story.

  • May 29, 2012 at 3:08 amZero Hour 17

    been to busy to wath this past episode 2, but from this I won’t be starting again yet. NTR cliff hanger. f that, god I hate NTR, it’s a stupid plot device

  • May 29, 2012 at 6:52 amanon

    More importantly, where are Eureka and Renton D: ?