OP Sequence

OP: 「Escape」 by Hemenway
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

「コール・イット・ホワット・ユー・ウォント/AO’s cavern」 (Kōru Itto Howatto Yū Wonto)
“Call It What You Want”

Damn – now that’s anime!

I won’t lie to you here – I had a shit-eating grin on my face for that entire episode. I just want to throw words like “Awesome!” and “Cool!” and “Alphanumeric!" (geek check) around, but I’m too old for that – so I’ll hide my enthusiasm behind pseudo-intellectual babbling like I always do. In short, this episode was an absolute triumph – clearly better than the premiere, which was excellent on every level. In fact, I’d put this about on a par with anything the original E7 had to offer in 50 episodes – it’s right up there was with Ray/Charles Arc, which I think was Eureka Seven at its storytelling peak.

So any pretensions at impartiality aside, I can talk about everything I loved about this episode (which was pretty much all of it). Last season Mondays were embarrassingly good, this season (as has more often been the case) it’s Thursdays. We have the NoitaminA block with two potential classics, Sankarea, a stylish and sexy update of Lupin III, and the hilarious and underrated Shirokuma Café. And now it’s clear we have another knockout in Eureka Seven AO, which represents everything I loved about anime when I became a fan. It looks fantastic with almost no CGI, it has a great soundtrack, iconic imagery, the characters are already engaging, and it has scope and scale. This is what made BONES one of my favorite studios, and what we haven’t seen much of from them since Xam’d – though there was just a hint of it in Towa no Quon. Based on the first two eps, AO has a chance to be one of the best BONES series series.

I’m not still sure how this story connects to the original series, but frankly I don’t really care enough to obsess over it the way some fans are. As long as the show is this good that’s all that matters – whether it’s a direct sequel or an alternate retelling, whether the original happened 20 years or a Century or a Millennium earlier, it’s all good. I’m happy to wait and find out with the rest of you. What we know for sure is that Ao is definitely Eureka’s son, as she made an appearance in his dreams, still voiced by the lovely Nazuka Kaori. She’s seen briefly, removing the turquoise from her hair – and the message as it relates to Ao and what he’s endured on Okinawa is clear. Of Renton there’s no mention yet, but it seems obvious that Eureka saved Naru from The Secret 10 years earlier, then disappeared (and event which seems to have given Naru the ability to see the future through her dreams, unless she possessed it already).

Whatever the connection to the original series, what’s clear is that we have a very interesting and edgy plotline that isn’t afraid to tackle some issues that are hot-buttons in Japanese politics. We have an ugly struggle between the Okinawan independence movement and the government of greater Japan, with a sport of post-UN international force as a third player in the local politics. There’s some rough language here – Okinawans referring to the Japanese as “Japs” – and a very messy entanglement in the personal side of the story. Naru’s father is a militant in the independence movement for starters, a hard-liner – and this group clearly blames Eureka (and by extension her son) for the misfortunes of the island over the last decade. The courage shown by Fukai-sensei in raising Ao is clear here, as he’s brought suspicion and prejudice on himself by doing so. Gazelle and his cohorts Pippo (Sakai Keikou) and Han (Fujita Yoshinori) seem to be independence-minded as well – but they’re not above trafficking with “Japs” as part of their smuggling operations. Their ultimate loyalties are still to be determined.

At the heart of what makes this series so great is Ao, who’s presenting one of the most likeable and plucky main characters in many a season. Ao is a tough little bastard – he doesn’t seem to be afraid of much of anything (or rather, he doesn’t let his fear paralyze him) and he acts quickly even when he’s not 100% sure what he’s supposed to do. Honjou Yuutaru is absolutely doing a bang-up job here, both with Ao’s tiger-cub GAR moments and his emotionally vulnerable ones. When he goes screaming into battle on the Nirvash, his voice cracking in a way no adult actor of either gender could fake, you know BONES made the perfect call with the casting. For a series that makes you feel like a 14 year-old while watching it, it’s wholly appropriate that a 14 year-old should be the star.

I can’t imagine any fan of Eureka Seven not getting a thrill out of Ao jumping into the cockpit of the Nirvash (known as the “Mark One” to the denizens of this world) and surfing the trapar into battle with The Secret – and kicking its ass. That was pure E7 gold, thrilling to watch in glorious traditional animation as Nakamura Koji’s jackhammer musical score rose up in the background. All of the big set pieces were beautifully animated, fully in the tradition of E7 but looking even better. Equally impressive though, both in terms of direction and acting, was when the focus narrowed down to Ao, hiding his newly turquoise hair under a baseball cap and in hiding himself. Only Naru knew where to look, and Ao was prepared to have her recoil in disgust like the other Okinawans had done, and his relief when she embraced him was a really strong emotional payoff after only two episodes. I don’t know who “Takeyoshi Kakuto” is – a real newbie writer, Satou Dai or Kyouda Tomoki undercover – but he’s got some serious writing chops on display so far.

The story is clearly ready to move into the next phase now, with Pied Piper’s “Generation Bleu” pretty girl pilots squad arriving on the scene. They’re quite curious to know what’s up with the boy pilot who made their old Mark One do things they couldn’t, but Fleur Blanc (Ohashi Ayaka) seems kindly disposed towards Ao. Also on the team is Elena Peoples (Omigawa Chiaki) and Rebecca Hallstrom (Nakamura Chie) with the three of them under the command of Ivica Tanovic (Gotou Tetsuo) who feels to me as if he may be a link to the old series in some way. I can foresee Ao being caught up between Pied Piper and Gazelle’s group on a personal level, with the Okinawan, Japanese and International forces each trying to use him for their own ends. It has the makings of a fascinating political struggle but I hope AO doesn’t get too caught up in that side of the story, because the personal side looks to be a powerful one – Ao’s struggle to be accepted, and to find out more about his past.

I confess I had a rooting interest for this show going in, as I was a dissenting voice against the many proclaiming it a failure before the first frame had aired. But that aside, I think even an objective observer would have to admit the series is off to an excellent start – and even to a biased one like me, it’s exceeded the high expectations I had for it. I’m not going to claim victory after two episodes of a 24-episode show, but when you have a Grade-A main character, superb old-school production values, and you’ve managed to lay the groundwork for a compelling story without even needing to use the original show as a crutch, you’re off to a fantastic start.




  1. Seeing the interactions between Ao and Naru was really heartwarming for me. I thought they did a very good job in creating a believable yet compelling relationship. As always, the fight scenes were breathtaking. Studio BONES simply knows how to do them right.

  2. Going to have to disagree with you on the link with the first series. If this show were a fresh idea like Xam’d or the like then I would be on board, but the fact that it ties to an already amazing show is just as important as those awesome moments. Just like with Last Exile, and with any sequel/prequel/related story, it has to pull double duty. It has to respect the established story, and tell it’s own. The fact that the moon does not bear the important signature that ended the first series is worrisome. Still, this is Bones, the people who helped create some amazing anime when they were with Sunrise, and have a pretty good track record with their own shows. Who else could take a half complete source material like Fullmetal Alchemist and write an ending that made sense, despite varying drastically from the actual ending later on. Even Gainax can’t do that properly.

    I understand that you are excited, and by all rights you should be, but never NEVER downplay the importance of the link. By virtue of the fact that it exists makes it integral to the show’s survival, and its own legacy. Lest we forget Fam.

    1. Except that Xam’d ended up being more style than substance (I rewatched it 3 times and I still have no idea what the hell a Xam’d is), and as for Gainax, if you’re talking about EVA, the ending made perfect sense (if you’re not, I don’t know what you’re referring to).

      1. I’m not denying it had substance, but a lot of the drama was way too over the top for my taste, and after I was pulled out of the tension for the 5th time I started realizing that some stuff just didn’t fit. It was good, just not great.

        Maybe you can answer this for me: The show never gave a clear definition of what a Xam’d is beyond a hiruko being put into a human. Does that mean that you can put ANY hiruko from ANY other person into a different person and make a Xam’d?

      2. Oh boy you had to bring Xam’d into this.

        It’s one of the biggest dissapointments I had when watching anime when it was airing (via PSN, too!). I was so pumped after watching those first episode. The world, characters, music and visuals were glorious–amazing. Everything.

        But the series never took off to Awesomeland. I guessed the series was just taking its time to deliver the goods, only around episode 9 did the main character start training his abilities…Then they killed off Akiyuki’s rival by episode 13, I think. I was puzzled: how would the series go on now? And Oh God, such horrible mess they did with everything. There was too much stuff crammed up there. Story, characters, they never got to fully develop these. It was like watching Inception only without the explanation at the beginning. Even the visuals considerably dropped during this middle part.

        Just..ughh *shivers*

      3. I’d be somewhat thrilled if BONES announced they were making a sequel for it.

        But unfortunately I woulnd’t get my hopes up very much. Not after seeing what they did with Darker than Black (another series that was dying for a season 2 to get some questions answered…But they only created more questions, damn).

      4. No, Gainax tends to at least do an okay job with series they create. I was more referring to series they translated from manga. Every time they have done so it has been with horrible results. Kare Kano? Horrible once they ran out of material. Mahoromatic? Same problem. Bones however has an excellent track record for anime original endings.

      5. Justinnnnnn:

        I’m pretty sure the characters (important ones atleast)were well-developed.
        The story… not so much
        But yeah, it seemed like anime was going to take us to ‘awesomeland’
        Xamd, to me, is a good-great anime. It’s not awesome, but it isn’t bad either.
        The ending was good though.

    2. Look you guys are missing the point. I didn’t mean to bring Xam’d into this to derail my point.

      What I’m trying to say is that saying “I’m not still sure how this story connects to the original series, but frankly I don’t really care enough to obsess over it the way some fans are.” is wrong. You cannot ignore the predecessor. You cannot create a universe as rich as this and then throw it away for the sake of making something new. Again, all I have to do is point to Fam. It should be self explanatory at this point.

      1. Okay I have no idea why you people are downvoting these comments. Are you implying that it’s fine to throw away a well aged story simply for cheap entertainment? I mean, I guess this is why Michael Bay films gross so much…

  3. I have to admit, when the Nirvash lost its arm and Ao said “It’s not lost! Pick it up!”, then smashed the Secret’s head in with its severed arm, I honestly jumped out of my chair and shouted HELL YEAH!

  4. Now we’re talking. The action set pieces were great starting from how Ao gets into Nirvash right to the end where Ao impales the Secret with a severed robot arm. Ao really is a guy to root for, since he wants to save people despite being persecuted. And it seems that Ao has quite a bit of hot-blood I enjoy on mecha protagonists and dialed-downed angst. That’s always welcome.

  5. The 1st episode was really good but this episode… it was just… completely… Fn awesome!!! lol Ahh Nirvash, I’m glad your back!

    After seeing Eureka in that flashback, It made me realize that I really want to know what happened to her and Renton(and everybody else for that matter). It’s killing me that there are so many possibilities. Oh and it looks like the Nirvash is “the first ever” again.

    Also, what did that comp(George?) say? 1940! Idk what year they’re currently in but I can’t imagine history didn’t end up turning out differently for them. I mean, it sounds like the scub and ‘secret’ have been around for a while. Anybody know if the original E7 ever said how long the scubs had been around in their universe.

  6. Nirvash, what the hell happened to you?! I hope they explain the changed appearance soon. Hell, I wonder if LFOs are even the same in this series.

    Anyway, definitely looking forward to the rest.

    1. This Nirvash IFO should be a completely different machine with the same name and similar appearance.
      The IFO should be mechanical as they don’t have the Scab Coral to excavate the organic skeleton that an LFO is built upon.

      1. Yes, yes. I know. But since I was watching the fansubs instead and that fansub terms are habit-forming, calling it Scub alone without making a mistake with Scab, Scrub or Scrab is hard. 🙁

        *shrill* *shrill* *shrill* *flail* *flail* *flail*

        The Moondoggie
  7. HAHA Enzo, you were not alone with the soul eater smile. I could barely contain my fanboy excitement throughout this episode.

    So far this has been a please to watch.

    BONES i salute you. O3O

    Good episode, good blog post. I really loved the detail in the animation, especially the explosions. Hope BONES keeps it up.
    Though there are some acronyms that I’ll have to look up, for example IFO or FP? Either I missed the meaning or they never mentioned it so far. Anyone?

    Anyone with japanese skills who can confirm if what was said can really be translated as “Japs”? With the group working on the series, there are sometimes cases where they like to be more liberal than necessary, so a confirmation would be nice.
    I’ll this comment with two typos, that I found in your blog post, Enzo.

    “it’s right up there was with…”
    “and event which seems…”

    1. I haven’t actually watched this episode yet but according to Wiki:

      IFO which stands for Intelligent Flying Objects are the successors to LFO.
      FP stands for Flying Platform, a vehicle that is a cross between an automobile and an airplane that uses Trapar waves.

  9. Ao is just one awesome kid. Jumps in the Mark One like “you want me to do this, fine. Then let’s do this”, shows some badass trapar surfing and the whole arm thing.

    Any character who almost automatically grabs an arm to use it as a weapon after it has been blown off, is awesome in my book. Not to mention his grade A response to Fleur.

    Bonus points for Fukai-sensei and Naru for staying on Ao’s side.

    I has seriously been a long time time since grinned so much. (Actually no, had the same thing last weekend Show Spoiler ▼


  10. I try this series after having the Xam’d vibes, after watching this episode all I can say is I’m extra satisfied with it, I might also try to watch the original series sometime in the future if I have extra time, I’m very jam pack this season.

  11. I really hope reffing makes a return in this series, in E7 when Renton jumped out of a flying plane riding only his board through the clouds was engrained into my anime loving heart.

    Anyone else think the crew looks a tiny bit kiddish, like they took a number from Gundam Age?

    1. Maybe its a new third faction that doesn’t want Humans and the Scab to communicate?
      Or something the ancient humans (before the Scab Coral covered the Earth in the original series) left behind?

      Wonder if that blue hair, gold eye boy in black (in the OP around 1:04) has anything to do with the Secret.

      AO reminds me of EVOL.
      New main mech with same name fights new enemies.

  12. So far so good, this was a great start. I was never really worried about how this show would be connected to E7 though, just that it wouldn’t be good since they decided to make it a sequel. I am a bit worried about the fates of the original characters though.

    Also thanks for confirming that Eureka was still voiced by Nazuka Kaori, that made me even happier.

      1. First guy to the right of center has a very similar face to Hap. Hes also the oldest one there, making him a person of interest. Hap was a bit fat, but the nose and eyebrows are pretty similar.

  13. Okay, this one’s a keeper.
    As long as it doesn’t descend to the old series penchant for emo-Renton, child abuse and “ai no chikara”, it’ll remain on my watch-list.

  14. Interesting evil-looking guy in the opening, and Shoji Kawamori still has the right stuff. Beyond that, I’m still waiting for an AO episode to make me smile ear-to-ear. 3/4 of the original series eps up to 27 did that for me. But kudos to BONES for relying on hand-drawn over CG mecha.

  15. Absolutely loved this episode. The OP brings that E7 feel from the original… The BGM’s been awesome, with remixes of tracks* from the original E7 sprinkled in with some new compositions that just make me want to repeat em’ all day… The animation’s crisp and in ways, visually better as well. I suppose this is merely because of the growth of technology since the original, but everything feels more sleek, more modern, especially the new mecha designs. And to top it off, they put in some darn nice characters, and put in a fair amount of moments similar to the original E7’s first few episodes too, bringing some great nostalgia and chills. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Ao might even be better than the original.

    *If I’m not mistaken, the song played starting at around 11:33 is kind of a slightly different ver of “Jiga no Bouhatsu” on the original OST 1, Disc 2. 😀

    1. While I agree that Ao has less guts and more brains than his supposed dad, I’d like to say that you should give Pied Piper a chance.

      Sure Gekkostate is cool and all but Pied Piper’s a freaking rescue team.

      The Moondoggie
  16. Hell YES, Eureka is back! I waited for this like all my life after seeing the first series. I love the atmosphere and Koji Nakamura doing the music. He wrote Storywriter for the original series and the ending credit song for the movie, Supercar<3

  17. As far as this being a sequel, I’m guessing that Eureka got onto Okinawa through accidental interdimensional or time-travel.

    I say this because the world of this story seems to be a not-so-distant future version of our current world, whereas the original series was set in the FAR future. So, this series can’t follow directly afterwards on the same timeline as the first series – in order for it to be a direct sequel, it would have to involve a different time or different world.

    (Maybe the world of the current series is the world on the other side of the Limit of Questions?)

    1. This makes so much sense, because E7 world was nearly completely covered in Scab Coral (not sure why gg is calling it Scub Coral), so this actually does look like the past.

  18. Good BONES is back and it’s FREAKING AWESOME! The scenes with Nirvash surfing the trapar into battle, the flashbacks with Eureka, that warm embrace from Naru, all sent shivers down my spine and in a good way!
    As Enzo said, Ao’s a great shounen lead, a tough little bastard but without being obnoxiously so. He knows what he has to do and tries his best to make things work. He also cries when he needs to but importantly knows how to get back on his feet. Sounds simple right? But such characters have become a rarity in animes these days and Ao’s definitely a breath of fresh air amid a slew of neutered & obnoxious male leads.

    Seishun Otoko
  19. Right up there with the Ray and Charles arc? This was a good episode, but I personally wouldn’t go THAT far.

    The show has had a decent start but I still remain skeptical myself. I need to wait until much further in the show before I can gauge how it holds up to the original series.

    1. Yeah, its still too early for me to make a call on AO. So far so good but BONES will have to do better than Anemone’s resolution in EP48 before I can say AO can match the original.

  20. Ao is angsty to an understandable degree while still getting shit done like a boss.
    Naru is adorable and her relationship with him is heartwarming and natural without painful misunderstandings and awkward moments.
    Fleur turned out to be a surprisingly nice girl so far.
    Gazelle doesn’t beat Ao senseless for no reason.

    It’s like Bones suddenly reached nirvana and found out how to do characters right.
    Well, plenty of room to go backwards.

    1. Holland didn’t beat Renton senseless for no reason…as characters go, Holland had some of the most development there. He started off just as childish and immature as Renton was, only claiming he was an adult but never showing it. He hit Renton because it made him feel like he was in charge. It WAS wrong, it WAS immature, but he grew out of it and developed into the protective father figure that he was at the end of the series.

      BONES always knew how to do their characters right if you ask me.

  21. If Eureka was a Coralian, does that make Ao a coralian too? And is this the same world in which the original Eureka Seven took place(although I really don’t thinks so)or is it earth? So many questions, maybe its a little too early to tell.

    1. His eyes when he saw the word Eureka in the cockpit, before his hair changed color: Those eyes are Coralian.

      Yes. Ao is half-Coralian, half-Human. Still badass though: getting to save the day with skills out from nowhere, presumably inherited, like a boss.

      The Moondoggie
  22. Really sick episode. I love the relationship between Ao and Naru, and I’m interested to see how Naru factors into all of this. Why did Ao have a vision of her? Is she related to the Nirvash and Eureka? (Also loving her and Ao’s seiyuu)
    But I’m dying with curiosity about Eureka, which I see as a good thing. Mainly, I want to know why she came to Okinawa and why Renton wasn’t with her. When they showed her dying her hair black, I honestly wanted to cry. What would cause her to do that? Not to mention, why is she always so distant in Ao’s memories? In E7, she was so close with her “kids.” Why not with him?
    And Ao’s hair? It changes color? WHAT?
    Overall, this show has been great so far. Like Enzo said, when a sequel can stand on its own like this, you gotta give props.

    1. I have so much love for your Reboot reference Guardian Enzo. Yes “Everything’s Alphanumeric!” indeed.

      I’ve had alot of love fore Bones from the begining, although I loved Eureka Seven a lot but I found for me personally Wolf’s Rain and RahXephonto be outshines it on certain levels … that said I feel much more attached to Eureka Seven AO characters so far and may end up outshining the rest of their work as already they a weaving a complicated world that makes me root for Ao and disheartened for Eureka, watching her try to conform to the island (also thinking the worst for Renten).

  23. Dominic and Anemone’s Child Confirmed :D, I thought it was Elena at first, didn’t expect to get Blonde from Brown and Pink LOL

    One mo child left to reveal, I can’t wait.

    Great episode though.The Nostalgia is getting too powerful and I can’t contain it.I was literally cheering when I saw Nirvash take off.

  24. damn, BONES never fails me with their action sequences, with or without robots. I hope that E7 AO will have a great story like its predecessor.
    However, I’m a bit disappointed because AO’s OP ED is not as good as the old ones. AND, the biggest disappointment is THERE IS NO GIRL WHO IS AS BEAUTIFUL AS ANEMONE!

  25. Wow. Just wow. The animation is really good that I can’t get enough out of it. But then, now I feel bad for Eureka. So she was treated that way after saving the world in S1. Where the heck is Renton anyway?

    The Story You Don't Know
  26. Didn’t all scub coral retreat into a planetary ring of Earth at the end of the first series? That is why this world is so different from the world in the virst series, and more like our Earth, because all the scub coral are in outer space orbit… No scub coral (or almost none anyway), so the oceans reappeared, and the geography changed so much…

  27. This has been a damn good start. i enjoyed the original alot despite some minor flaws and was looking forward to this, and it hasn’t disapointed so far. looking forward to seeing where it goes

    p.s that action scene was fantastic both visually and also in building the tension of the fight

  28. This episode was just amazing and completely drew me in more than the first ep. ( which was very good as well)
    The soundtrack is just.. perfect I want it.

    Naru is quite the mystery and I would love to see more background development on her.
    Ao is pretty amazing and something about his character just makes the whole thing believable.

    The relationship between those two is just golden.

    It’s the start of a grand adventure and I am here for the ride.

  29. I am watching all of the hyped up series this season, and AO stands above them for some simple reasons.
    Namely…colors. Other series are dark and depressing and digital out the arse, but Eureka gives me the bright and explosive color pallette with the Okinawa setting and the mecha trails….not to mention the hand drawn art. I barely remember anything from Eureka but I am really liking this show anyway.

    1. I suggest you check out Sakamichi no Apollon, Tsuritama and Uchuu Kyoudai. Bright colours and hand-drawn art. Zetman is kinda dark, but also has nicely done hand-drawn animation.

  30. That was a fantastic second episode! I agree with the general vibe of the posts, BONES really channeled what made them great here even moreso than in the already great first ep. I can’t wait till next week for more.

  31. Weird thing is if this series was a direct sequel to E7, where’s the “Renton <3 Eureka" etched on the Moon? o_o

    I'd like to see Gekko State and Gekko Go again too… and my lovely Anemone, where art thou?

      1. There are several WMGs I have read that says the same thing. It is plausible, though, that Eureka did travel/was thrown back in time with the Nirvash.

        It could also be a different world or the astral plane where all the people who dissapeared in the original went. The title, apart from having the protagonist’s name, also would be referring to an astral ocean/plane.

        Just WMGing along XD

        The Moondoggie
  32. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the first two episodes. Ao is a much better character compared to Renton, and Naru is good as well. The only thing that I’m too sure about are the obvious moe like pilots in Generation Bleu, I mean do we really need those types of characters!? I don’t think so, especially when you have good characters like Ao and Naru.

  33. This is just a guess that popped in my mind, and it’s probably pretty dumb, but… could Gazelle be Renton? Of course, they’re radically different personality-wise, but their hair look similar, and Gazelle seems to know more than meets the eye; I don’t think that him knowing that Renton could pilot the IFO was just intuition…

  34. Watched the recap ep51 which gave me an Evangelion vibe.
    Watched ep1 then went back to recap with ep50 and 47 then 42.

    In Ep50 the sentient original Nirvash told Renton and Eureka that Scab Coral(or is it the people assimilated by the Coral? The ‘we’ is vague.) will eventually return.

    LFO(Light Finding Operation) became IFO(Intelligence Flying Object).
    With this new Nirvash as the prototype IFO, I guess it mechanical?
    Not like the LFO which have some organic core body thing as I remember.
    I suppose Eureka had something to do with the IFO development, could Renton had too?
    The past, kind of reminds me of 00P when CB developed and test the Gundams.

    The Secret/G-Monster, what are they?
    Enemies of the Scab Coral?
    The blue hair, golden eye boy (OP, around 1:04) is he with Secret?

    Blue hair, pink hair and green hair 😛

    Generation Bleu seems to know a lot.
    Perhaps the old guys are involved in IFO development as well and have met Renton and Eureka?
    Feels like they have been preparing.

  35. Im pretty sure that something went wrong in the human scub coral astral plane which sent eureka and maybe renton back in time, as well as these “secret” monsters. This takes place 30 years from NOW, we don’t know when the scub blooms started, but they left for 10,000 years in the original, and their departure date seems to be in the 2000s. If this were a nice convoluted time travel story i would be quite pleased.


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