「ウォーク・ディス・ウェイ/Plant Coral」 (Wōku Disu Wei)
“Walk This Way”

“The one where stuff blowed up real good.”

I have to say that AO is working on pretty much every level for me, but what really impresses me – all the more so given the uncertainty about the writer going in – is how the series seems so carefully and skillfully planned out. There’s no sense of improvisation or uneven pacing at all – every episode has felt perfectly self-contained, and the overall impression is of a series that was carefully crafted start to finish before the first episode ever aired. Whether that will continue for 24 eps is an open question, of course, but this ep – like the ones before – absolutely flew by. The slider on MPC seemed to be be moving faster than the Nirvash in battle.

Speaking of battle, we had plenty of it, as was expected based on the staff list. But again the balance was excellent, with an action-driven first half giving way to a thoughtful and emotionally true second. There’s just nothing like a really good non-CGI explosion and this episode was loaded with them, including that of the G-monster itself. I think the interplay between Ao and the GenBleu girls was on target, as he tried to muddle through on minimal knowledge and a little help from the Nirvash (I thought “Easy Mode) was a little insulting). GenBleu was a little offended at having to babysit the newbie, but not too proud to accept the help of someone who could pilot a machine more powerful than theirs. The notion of a bunch of idol pilots isn’t my favorite element of AO on paper, but I like these girls so far – they’re honestly protective of Ao while showing just the right level of irritation at his ignorance of what they do. And Ivica is fast becoming a standout in the cast as he shows the commitment he has to protect the children in his charge – and even the boy who officially isn’t, yet.

With Ao’s help (and a very funny NGE reference from Elena) the G-monster is eventually destroyed, and Ao vey nearly with it – he ends up unconscious on a beach, where a kindly disposed local takes care of him. As it has consistently, AO is diligent in showing both sides of each of the competing political forces at play, and here is a positive face for the Okinawan side – a man who was saved from a G-monster as a child by someone flying an IFO that looked like the Nirvash (Eureka, presumably) and sees Ao as something of a hero for doing what he does. He shows Ao (and us) the modern side of the Okinawan State for the first time – a gleaming modern metropolis built on money from trapar mining – but here too there’s disagreement. There are protest rallies complete with hip-hop DJs and Gekko State logos (whether that’s foreshadowing or just self-reference I can’t say yet – nor do we know what the “Johnson Scriptures” are) demanding independence in the Capital every day, and the locals are clearly split. Even within families we see the good and the bad, as Ao’s savior has a sister with a ramen-ya, who would gladly sell Ao out to the International Forces for a chance to buy her way to America.

There are really several stories playing out here, subtly but elegantly interwoven with each other. The political and the personal are hopelessly entangled for Ao, as his desire to stay and protect the island he loves in spite of everything seems no longer possible for now. As he’s a target for the selfish desires of every side, his best option for now seems to be to join Generation Bleu, where at least he’ll be under the watchful eye of a commander who will try and prevent him from becoming either a child victim or a tool for selfish ends. This means giving up his home, and saying goodbye to Naru for now – and also to Toshio, who disapproves of Ao becoming a pilot because Eureka flew her “Mark 1” (in familiar colors) into a scrub burst ten years earlier, and never returned. Depicting simple unconditional love is a lot harder than it looks, and I really admire the way the feelings Ao, Toshio and Naru have for each other have been so effortlessly brought to life in these first four episodes. I’m certain that both of them still have major roles to play in this story.

The new information we received this week certainly beggars some interesting questions. If Eureka did indeed pilot the Nirvash into the scrub burst, what is the IFO that Ao is piloting now – the one which said “Welcome, Eureka” on his first trip to the cockpit? Is the Gekko State logo in the protest meaningful in any way? We know from Ivica that all the GenBleu IFOs are derived from the Nirvash design, because they were able to replace the arm that Ao dropped into the ocean (his slightly embarrassed reaction at doing so was spot-on for a kid his age). There are a lot of theories flying about, but I’m still holding my cards close to the vest. Some sort of alternate world scenario still seems most likely – a “sequel but not a sequel” – and that would likely mean that the Eureka that’s Ao’s mother isn’t the same one as the original E7 Eureka, and that Renton (despite Ao’s appearance) isn’t 100% confirmed to be the father.

For now, it’s a new direction, as Ao’s mindset shifts towards following in his Mother’s path and catching up to her somehow. Several new characters will be introduced next week, though for familiarity’s sake we’ll still have Gazelle, Pippo and Han – who stowed away on the Triton as part of Ao’s new harem. I want to belatedly credit the wonderful Kiuchi Hidenobu (Darker than Black’s Hei), who’s playing Georg, the Triton’s computer system. It’s one of the most charismatic I’ve heard since the peerless Gilliam II from Outlaw Star. It’s also interesting to note that the pre-order interest in AO (as measured via the imperfect but usually predictive Amazon “stalker points”) is excellent – this may just be a rare case where quality and commercial success go hand in hand. If the show continues at this level of excellence and proves a strong seller, I’d be very surprised if BONES didn’t add a second series within the next year or so the take AO to the same episode count as the original E7.

 

Preview

68 Comments

    1. I got a shiver down my spine when she quoted Rei Ayanami, she sounded almost as the real deal and that´s the reason Elena is my favorite character of this season.

      haseo0408
  1. Gekko State new logo, hippies, Ao blushing, Eureka turning in the OP, plenty of bros….

    Another week of E7:AO.

    My speculah: Eureka lost the Nirvash at some point after she gave birth to Ao and went back. Why Nirvash looks so different is because some noob from the military modified the thing after it was recovered.

    Hoooboy….

    The Moondoggie
  2. HAHA! oh man, I completely was unable to place the reference the first time, even though they make it pretty damned obvious in the episode itself orz;;.

    They’re doing a great job giving us tiny little bites of the setting and the world, and never giving us enough, or too much. … Mmn and then there’s the music ~w~. *happy sigh*

    My biggest question is: “Why is Nirvash/Mark 1 a single pilot mech at the moment???.” It’s twin cockpit was it’s most distinguishing feature, among other things ;P.

    I’m not looking forward to summer season. I’m not going to stand a chance in deciding whether Lagrange or Ao steals my heart more. @A@! ~Tsuduku!

    Kumakaori
  3. The battle was pretty good, I laughed at Ao just screwing up and not knowing what to do. Especially the part where he forgot that Nirvash lost an arm. Glad to see Ao moving in with Gen Bleu. At least now he gets to help people who deserve his altruism. So many ungrateful adults around Okinawa (except for that one dude who helped him).

    I like Elena just for that hilarious Evangelion quote. Heres hoping she gets more meta-references.

    fragb85
  4. This episode was so good i kept rewatching it~
    and i realised that Ao actually did destroy the Secret in 80 seconds! Love the attention to detail by BONES.

    Dominic
      1. That is exactly what I am hoping for. I feel like this is an alternate dimension and Eureka somehow traveled to it. Then, she traveled back 10 years ago but the Nirvash got left (or was intentionally left) behind.

        Regardless, I really feel like Renton will show up on the other side of that moon in the OP eventually and if it does happen I will be so excited at that moment.

        UnknownVoid
      1. I totally agree. But the more I get to know the world of Eureka Seven Ao, the less it seems to have anything to do with the original Eureka Seven. Just like there are showing snippets of popular anime/manga icons, so do I feel that the character Eureka is just another icon from a very missed series.

        Main reason for this is, the timing issue. How can the world be changed so much after the original series? I mean it takes hundreds of years to reestablish a civilization. But, here it seems it happened within 10 to 20 years. In this time frame, a lot must have happened to have come to such a different world from the original E7 series setting. There is no mention of the years past from what we know; all we know that in “1945,” or so I cant remember, there was a powerful event that destroyed most of the cities. This had nothing to do with the original series, to my knowledge.

        In addition, there is no mention of Ray=Out, the Moon with Eureka+Renton, of Renton, of the LFO, of the sky fish, or any of the other aspects of our memory of E7.Renton, of Renton, of the LFO, of the sky fish, or any of the other aspects of our memory of E7. From this I have come to an epiphany that “this series has the bare minimum to do with anything that has happened in the original Eureka Series.” Therefore, there will be no Renton, no GekoState, or anything else for that matter.

        In conclusion, i would think we should stop desperately hoping to see anything other than Eureka herself from the original series. This is just another “spin-off” from the E7 series. No correlation what so ever.

        AO
  5. This is, no doubt, better than the first one.
    I’m already invlove with some of the characters and their chemistry.
    People were complaining about how annoying Renton was back then (didn’t find him annoying btw) But now there’s nothing to complain about Ao.

    I miss the Gekkostate though. I’m already missing Moondoggie -_-
    I also like Omigawa Chiaki’s voice xD

    Alec
      1. >>>>already missing Moondoggie…

        >>What? I’m right here XD You miss me? Dude, I’m not into dudes, but thanks.

        He’s not talking about you dude. Since when did you change your name from ‘The Moondoggie’ to ‘Moondoggie’? Make up your mind about your name dude…

        Mixed Milkshake
      2. As much as I’d like to disagree, his name did always have the “The” in it. People just take it off because…well, no one would ever refer to a regular person with a the in front of their name.

        Also, it was pretty clear that he was joking. I know you’re not a fan of swear words on a site that covers shows about prepubescent girls in skimpy outfits attacking each other in thousands of different scenarios, but you should really lighten up.

        Da5id
      3. ‘Sigh’

        My sarcasm went completely to waste, it seems pretty obvious from the way i wrote my comment with the extra ‘dude’s that i was joking as well. Oh, and Moondoggie? I’m not new, I’ve been a regular on RC for over six months, it’s just i don’t comment or talk as much as most of you guys.

        Also, Da5id, i don’t like swearing for a reason and i do ‘lighten up’ sometimes, except most of the time you guys just don’t get the jokes…

        Mixed Milkshake
  6. I like how every character in this series completely ignores existence of Renton, my guess is, he became a bad guy or did something really horrible in the end of first Eureka Seven (not anime, because there he was fine, light novel i guess?) that talking about him is taboo, not even Ao questions where the hell is his dad or who was his dad… I’m betting plot twist is going to be based on Renton.

    Werpi
    1. Only Eureka knows Renton as far as AO’s cast is concerned, and even she is missing since Ao was only three. Maybe if/once Ao’s reunited with Eureka we can see Renton.

      Beedle
  7. My fave this season
    I really loved how they still have some focus to eureka

    I love how they changed the opening too

    But did they already forgot ao’s father?(I feel bad for renton if it’s really the same world as the 1st E7) 🙁

    And I hate the fact that I must wait for another week just to watch the latest episode >.>

      1. Don´t forget crazy as hell, remember that their plan to stop the Millitary and the Scub Coral at the end of the first series was a “miracle”. Holland you crazy bastard how I miss you.

        haseo0408
  8. very nice episode.
    Here’s a random (and rather foolish, I admit) comment: as our beautiful Naru was coughing, while on the deck of the boat, my 1st and only thought was, “Dear, if you covered up with warmer clothes, maybe you wouldn’t be coughing??” (lol)
    of course, I know it’s not a simple cough, but I’m just curious as to whether I’m the only one who thought that… lol

    Kethy-chan
    1. No, you weren’t. It’s a little strange, how the adults are completely fine with how Naru’s dressed. No daughter of mine is ever going to wear such clothes and walk around in public. The things teens do these days to look fashionable…

      Junglepenguin
    2. The whole design of her character is cute and her voice only makes it better.

      Her outfit is too boss. If my daughter could pull off an outfit like that I’d let her.

      DaSilva
  9. I love the way the machinery feels so solid in this show. The shots from inside the cockpit looking out onto the screen, when Ao is pulled into the hangar, the flood of lock-ons for the missiles (okay that wasn’t quite as realistic but it did feel satisfying) …absolutely stunning. I can’t believe I have to wait another week for the next episode!

    machan
  10. So I just read that the manga ending wasn’t canon. The manga ending got me depressed a long time ago… I’m a sucker for happy endings. Off to the Eureka anime then!!

    0927123
  11. Well the production values are through the roof. Everything looks amazing. The story is good but it feels like its missing something. Fight scenes don’t last as long as they should and the Nirvash isn’t as acrobatic as it could be but that will probably change once Ao gets good at piloting the Nirvash. No idea what was up with the random encounter with the guy in the purple shirt and his crack head looking sister. Seems like some interaction scenes were left out right there but its no big deal. And felt odd being introduced to all the new scenery in such a short amount of time. The pacing was a bit rushed as well. But hell its only the 4th ep and you do have to give masterpieces time to warm up first and get really good. Though there is one thing that bugs me the most and its the big story contradiction. The entire setting seems to be in a totally different world than the 1st season. I mean hell you hardly ever heard about the continent that the story of the 1st series took place on. Not too mention that there were no mention of real world counties like japan and America plus the entire climate was totally alien like compared to ours. Why aren’t people ref boarding anymore and where are the sky fish. I’m really starting to think they pulled the same trick they did with the movie and put this in an alternate universe as well considering that his gramps mentioned that eureka disappeared with the scub coral years ago. Not once did he mention the badass battle that was fought by Renton. And if you look at his flash back of the event the Nirvash wasn’t even transformed like it was in the end of the 1st season. Man i hope we get some answers about this. Also am i the only one who’s getting sick and tired of the factions getting mentioned over and over throughout each episode. If somebody’s not talking about America or the alliance, their talking about Japan or Okinawa independence too the point of being unbearably annoying. The whole thing sounds and feels like a huge Japanese nationalist campaign speech. Those names just seem so out of place with an anime like Eureka7.

    Casshern
  12. Naru is getting increasingly annoying. I wanted to like her, but clingy females who are also not the brightest tool in the shed bother the heck out of me. I love how her goodbye present was giving Ao her sloth to take care of. It’s like her say of saying “Please don’t forget me! But you won’t be able to anyway, because every time you clean the sloth’s feces, you’ll be reminded of taking care of me!”

    petitorenji
  13. Enzo got me second guessing myself with all those theories about alternate plots.

    I am still 100% convinced that Fleur is Dominic and Anemone’s daughter, even though I only got the blue eyes and last name to go on.That being said, if I don’t see Anemone somebody is going to die.

    Anishuma
  14. I like how Ao does make use of crude yet effective maneuvers with Nirvash. First, the decapitated arm swing, then the disposable weapon explosion for this episode.

    Maybe he’ll continue doing so, though it would be interesting if he’ll gradually refine his fighting skills as the story progress.

    kabayongtao
  15. WELL. I actually watched the special 00 episode which was kinda confusing. Characters narrating over old anime and movie footage, but it was new dialogue and from that I gather from the ending part of it is that Eureka and Renton got separated and this is what happened and I bet Renton will show up actually looking for Eureka an meet his son.

    As he was talking about in the 00 ep that he would look for her and no matter what he’d always find her and all that jazz. And Eureka was saying how she has something to believe and hope for now, something to live for.

    I either think that it’s in the same universe. People seem to forget that in the end of E7, the scub coral left. Leaving the earth EXACTLY how it was when it left. And you think about it, we never really saw large city scapes in E7, it seems much like the same world. They just don’t use mechs as much. Maybe that’s cuz scubs made trappers yeah? with the subs not ALL over the earth. It’s hard for them to lift.

    on that note I MISS LIFTING.

    Krypter
  16. haseo0408
    REPLY | LINK 3 0

    I just hope Renton makes an apearance at some point, I didn´t spend 50 episodes watching that kid save the world just to not being around in the sequel.

    Today at 11:10 pmAO
    LINK 0 0

    I totally agree. But the more I get to know the world of Eureka Seven Ao, the less it seems to have anything to do with the original Eureka Seven. Just like there are showing snippets of popular anime/manga icons, so do I feel that the character Eureka is just another icon from a very missed series.

    Main reason for this is, the timing issue. How can the world be changed so much after the original series? I mean it takes hundreds of years to reestablish a civilization. But, here it seems it happened within 10 to 20 years. In this time frame, a lot must have happened to have come to such a different world from the original E7 series setting. There is no mention of the years past from what we know; all we know that in “1945,” or so I cant remember, there was a powerful event that destroyed most of the cities. This had nothing to do with the original series, to my knowledge.

    In addition, there is no mention of Ray=Out, the Moon with Eureka+Renton, of Renton, of the LFO, of the sky fish, or any of the other aspects of our memory of E7.Renton, of Renton, of the LFO, of the sky fish, or any of the other aspects of our memory of E7. From this I have come to an epiphany that “this series has the bare minimum to do with anything that has happened in the original Eureka Series.” Therefore, there will be no Renton, no GekoState, or anything else for that matter.

    In conclusion, i would think we should stop desperately hoping to see anything other than Eureka herself from the original series. This is just another “spin-off” from the E7 series. No correlation what so ever.

    AO
  17. also there is PROOF that this series has nothing to do with the original is the first picture at top of this page with Eureka and the Moon. Did you notice something? Yea the engraving of Eureka and Renton is not there…….

    AO
  18. Couple things I realized after rewatching this episode (lol already):

    1. Those Scub coral look an awful lot like the land shown in the original E7. Notice how places like Bell Forest are cone shaped? The new Scub coral might be a little different, but the general shape is the same. More and more likely that this is the past.

    2. Ao promises Naru to return, much like how Renton promised Axel to return–but he never did. Something makes me think Ao won’t be returning to Okinawa ever.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Py687

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