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Eureka Seven AO: Jungfrau no Hanabana-tachi – OVA

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「エウレカセブンAO -ユングフラウの花々たち-」 (Jungfrau no Hanabana-tachi)
“Eureka Seven AO: The Flowers of Jungfrau”

Any way you look at it the lead story in the Astral Ocean OVA is Ao in a dress, but there are actually a couple of semi-serious moments along the way.

Safe to say that Jungfrau no Hanabana-tachi falls squarely in the class of OVAS that place humor as the primary goal, and achieve it by reimagining the events of the series through a different lens, going places where the TV series never would. In that sense this one is definitely a success, primarily because it’s funny most of the time it tries to be, and that’s pretty much the point from which any comedy must jump off if anything else about it is even going to make a difference.

This episode is set early in the TV timeline (somewhere around episode 10 I would guess) which happily brings us the return of the first OP and ED, which I love (especially “Escape”). The premise is that the girls of Generation Bleu are to be part of a feature on “Universal Naturing TV” featuring Sophia C. Friday as the classic Japanese vision of the blonde Western TV reporter. Aside from a hilariously campy take on a Swiss festival (which Elena declares is also a cosplay party to rival Comiket – “That’s a lie”, indeed) the virgin maidens of Pied Piper are also to be featured. Ao expresses some disappointment at not being part of the story and photo shoot (“That would cause all sorts of problems” declares Rebecka) but be careful what you wish for is the moral of the story here, especially where Christophe Blanc and Elena are involved (though Fleur is suspiciously happy to play along as well).

Most of what follows isn’t remotely serious, as a mortified Ao flees looking like a cross between Eureka and Heidi, as Fleur and Elena give chase, and manage to edit the film to look as if he’s acting in a film for the Swiss Tourist Association. Meanwhile, Team Gazelle gives chase, acting as chaperones and watchdogs as the voracious TV reporter Ms. Friday tries to corral the young beauties for a photo shoot. As Elena uploads the pics to the Pied Pier website, Ao quickly rises to the top of the idol rankings despite the “M” quite clearly entered into the “gender” field on his profile page.

It was indeed pretty good fun to watch Ao squirm in his variety of pure-pure girl outfits and Eureka hairdo, but there were a couple of weightier moments. The first of these is when Fleur presents Ao with a camellia, telling him it “embodies the perfect charm”, and he reflects that on Iwato, it’s called a Tsubaki. Elena lightens the mood by blowing bubbles over the pair, but it’s clear from Elena’s reaction how she feels – and there’s something quite weird about an older girl presenting a flower to a younger boy the way they’re respectively dressed. The other comes when Pied Piper is drafted to do do battle – still in cosplay uniform – with a Secret that’s appeared on the Swiss-Italian border. Ivica catches a glimpse of Ao wearing both his game face and Eureka outfit and is stunned at just how much he looks like his mother – and indeed, it’s impossible not to see the eerie resemblance, and the moment is actually fairly poignant. On the whole the episode doesn’t amount to all that much in terms of the series canon, but it’s quite a fun diversion – and it’s nice that it can deliver a couple of moments that genuinely add to the character arcs.

October 16, 2012 at 6:49 am
29 comments »
  • October 16, 2012 at 7:52 amSuppa Tenko

    I haven’t been following E7AO very much, but has Renton appeared yet?

    • October 16, 2012 at 8:03 amToto

      Short answer: No.

    • October 16, 2012 at 8:17 amvegeta617

      Show Spoiler ▼

    • October 16, 2012 at 8:21 amelianthos

      @Suppa: Show Spoiler ▼

      • October 16, 2012 at 10:36 amelianthos

        Argh, forgot the spoiler tag. Sorry Enzo. Can you?

      • October 16, 2012 at 1:25 pmd

        Noooo, what is read cannot be unread…

      • October 16, 2012 at 2:04 pmBakaMochi

        A bit late, but it’s been fixed. Also – it’s tedious, but you can try e-mailing the author next time something like this happens and it’s not fixed right away :3

    • October 16, 2012 at 10:30 amNitro

      Show Spoiler ▼

      boy i sure am great at replying to the right comment

  • October 16, 2012 at 11:13 amDa5id

    I think this might have just been an excuse to dress Ao like Eureka.

    And for Elena to make more Bones references.

    Also, the art style of this one just…bothers me.

    • October 17, 2012 at 7:24 amNitro

      i dunno if you’ve noticed, but the art quality of the entire series has always been slightly questionable anyways. i suppose off-model faces were the trade-off for all those action scenes.

      • October 18, 2012 at 7:16 amKoji

        Ranma 1/2 reference >>>>>>> all other references this episode.

  • October 16, 2012 at 1:40 pmGenesis

    Even though the episode was fairly silly, it was really fun to watch. Ao has always been rather feminine (watch the shape of his legs when he’s wearing a battle-suit; pretty womanly for a 13 year old boy) so it’s fun to see the studio actually point that out. It was also nostalgic, seeing Ao look like Eureka. It was pretty much fanservice for those of us obsessed enough to want to see Ao look like his mom even more than he already does.

    • October 16, 2012 at 5:49 pmGuardian Enzo

      You voted for him in the idol rankings, didn’t you? ;-)

      • October 16, 2012 at 6:09 pmGenesis

        Maybe I did, haha. Even though it seems like most people didn’t like all the crossdressing much, Ao definitely won points in my book. It was a fun kind of silly, I laughed my head off at a good deal of the references.

      • October 17, 2012 at 7:08 amNitro

        wait…. you mean people DON’T like crossdressing??

      • October 18, 2012 at 10:16 amRickyMack

        I guess not, Rudy Giuliani seemed to enjoy it…

  • October 16, 2012 at 1:50 pmBlackStealth1989

    I lost a lot of respect for Ao as a result of this ova..
    Let the dislikes commence

    • October 16, 2012 at 3:59 pmAnanas

      Honestly, the only good thing about this OVA was Truth and Naru’s absence.

      • October 18, 2012 at 7:18 amKoji

        Because Naru had too much screen time before? Seriously, put all together and excluding the first two episodes you get, what… 20 minutes?

  • October 16, 2012 at 3:39 pmjingoi

    Oh great, they’re trying to make their Eureka fans gay now.

  • October 16, 2012 at 3:54 pmredpikachu

    rofl elena’s maaka cameo <3333333333

  • October 16, 2012 at 3:58 pmAnanas

    I’ve gotta be honest, AO is a decent show at best and while I enjoy it for what it is, it simply doesn’t leave much room for expectations, at least it doesn’t insult its audience by throwing useless fillers at us (the horror).

    Here with this OVA we got firsthand a taste of what a AO filler would look like, bland and pointless. To say that it was average would be an understatement as the thing was plain bad.

    The pacing never manages to take off and the plot is limited to Team Pied Piper running around and cosplaying until a random Secret needing to be blown up appears. It’s pretty obvious that no one really cared about giving proper direction to the whole thing when they tried to fit every possible track from the OST in a semi random fashion as things went on. Finally the animation was dangerously weak (anti gravity oranges).

    In the end this OVA was just a dull and directionless bonus episode filled with lame fanservice.

    • October 17, 2012 at 7:03 amNitro

      tl;dr you completely missed the entire goddamn point of the OVA

  • October 16, 2012 at 4:54 pmstarss

    This OVA will be the death of him. :D

  • October 16, 2012 at 6:55 pmKarmafan

    Did they ever finish the last couple of episodes to end the series? I think 22 was the last one I saw.

    • October 16, 2012 at 7:11 pmGenesis

      The series is currently on a break until November, so episode 22 was the last one released.

  • October 17, 2012 at 1:06 amos

    no full size image? :|

  • November 20, 2012 at 4:01 amSeishun Otoko

    Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the finale Enzo ;)