「タイトゥン・アップ/génération bleu」 (Taitun Appu)
“Tighten Up”

This marks the second in the collaboration between Zephyr and Myself to provide two perspectives on two of the season’s best shows – E7:Astral Ocean and Jormungand. I hope you’ve enjoyed our little experiment – if you’ve had half as much fun reading these posts as we did writing them, then we enjoyed them twice as much as you.


Guardian Enzo:


He’s still eeeeeeeeeeeevil.

All of my favorite series in this outstanding season are carving out a special niche in my viewing consciousness. With Sakamichi, it’s sheer awe at watching a true master do his stuff. With Tsuritama, it’s pure, unbridled joyousness and a seemingly impossible amount of smiles (mine, and the characters’) crammed into 22 minutes. And with E7: Astral Ocean, it’s that damn slider on MPC – it keeps malfunctioning every week, telling me these 5-minute episodes are 22 minutes long. It has to be a fault – there’s no way 22 minutes could move that fast. I’m ordering a full diagnostic.

Of course, that this was true again this week (for me, at least) when BONES gave us effectively a world-building episode is a tribute to the stellar writing of this series. I know some disagree, but I love these world-building eps in multi-cour, SF/Fantasy shows because they’re essential both in grounding our understanding of the world and in making the characters into three-dimensional figures. I loved them in Seirei no Moribito (many didn’t), I loved them in NGE, even some of them in the original E7 – and this was an excellent one. It was important for us to get to know Generation Bleu – how it operates, what the daily lives of the pilots and crew are – and also to begin to flesh out the other pilots, especially Pied Piper. BONES’ attention to detail in GenBleu’s mountaintop HQ was impressive – the konbini, the kissaten, the transportation – it’s mostly unnoticed but that kind of structural support makes everything in the series feel more real.


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So after watching this episode, would I be correct in assuming that the next time there’s a hurricane in my area, it’s probably because there’s a bunch of secrets coming and I’ll be able to get a glimpse of Generation Bleu!? What? No you say? Because it’s an anime? Darn it!

Ahem* Horrible attempts at comedy aside, if there’s one thing I noticed from this episode and about Astral Ocean (to be abbreviated “E7:AO” from now on) as a whole, it’s the sheer amount of references they use in every episode. Most likely though, this is because the original series also used references to old songs and bands in its episode titles. However, this was one aspect that made the original series a lot deeper than it looked, and is thus a welcome addition to E7:AO. There is one key difference though, and it’s the fact that the references in E7:AO are much easier to understand and to determine the origins of. Perhaps it’s because most of the references this time are pretty much only to recent or notable anime, but regardless, it makes each episode even more enjoyable when you get that “Eureka!” (see what I did there? :D) moment when seeing a reference to a show you’ve watched before.

And well, here’s a quick list of some of the references I got or at least aspects that made me remember other things. I have put each reference in spoilers in case you have yet to watch the series.

  • Madoka Magica Show Spoiler ▼
  • Bakemonogatari Show Spoiler ▼
  • Evangelion Show Spoiler ▼
  • The three IFO’s piloted by the Goldilocks squadron (Gloria, Credo, Requiem) are all names of the sections of a typical Church mass, as are the ones piloted by Pied Piper (Kyrie, Alleluia).

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    Author’s Note: Lost in America’s 2nd-round match at the 2012 Aniblog Tourney starts Saturday, May 12 at 1:00 PM PST. Thanks to your help LiA scored a big win in the first round – I hope you’ll consider supporting us again. If you’d care to vote or just check out the various matches, just go here:




        1. Now that i think about it, her reaction was “prepared”, it’s like the story hints to us that this is how they deal with any outsider who knows their secret, they might even connect it to Eureka’s and Renton’s disappearance, maybe Eureka found out some dark secret about Génération Bleu, so they made her disappear.

    1. Several points of this episode (Enzo pointed exactly which ones in his spoiler) gave me serious shivers. Looks like this stuff is deeper than i thought before.

      Also i want its OST so much

      1. Yeah, one of the best OST of the season (coincidentally along with Sakamichi and Tsuritama) for sure.

        I definitely sense this story is going to go to dark places, and the name “Pied Piper” may reveal its sinister double meaning. I don’t want to believe Ivica is a snake, but he may not be as much of the protective Daddy figure as he appears. Ao is such a likable lead that I really hate the thought of his having a “bad end” altogether. But BONES has pulled that angle before, to some extent.

    2. Is it just me or did one of the original E7’s most standout floors rear its ugly head for the first time in this series?

      I’m talking about the bi-polar attitudes of characters. You saw it all the time in the first series, mainly in the form of toying with Renton, and now we’re seeing it here with the 2 Generation Blue Girls. Of course, their sudden cold attitude midway through the ep (just after reaching the dorms) could all bear some meaning and explain itself later in the series, but as of right now it’s mega jarring. Not as jarring as Holland’s sudden 360 in his treatment towards Renton, but still a tad, uhm, low quality.

      1. I agree with you. The inconsistency felt weird and annoying. At first, they try to get to close to him with all the friendliness and all. Now all of the sudden they are cold to him.

        1. Well, to be fair, what you described has been a gimmick of many anime. Thing is, with most other anime that do this (majority being low quality ones at that), you can see it coming a mile away. The usual “beautiful girl makes protagonist blush and ropes him in, only to treat him like dirt later” practice.

          Here it just felt totally jarring. I mean, it’s expected they keep Ao in the dark with many things (we still have no clue if the Gen Blue are good guys), but it just didn’t make any sense with the two girls. Yeah, I accept that one is a bit aloof (possibly a yandere?) but where did the other one’s “what’s your reason for being here, Ao?” come from?!

          The slouching bearded guy is probably a decent guy, though. The sloth likes him, after all.

      2. I think Fleur’s actions could be interpreted as a more blunt version of what Bruno’s probably doing – telling Ao “this place is not all it seems, and you should seriously think about getting out now.”

        I also have no issue with the girls treating him differently when he was just a cute kid they were helping in Okinawa, vs. someone they’re now going to be responsible for full-time.

        And Bruno has no beard – just a ‘stache.

      3. Iv’e noticed a change in Ao’s personality as well compared to episode 1 where seemed more cool and collective, here he seemed overly sheepish to the point it became annoying.

    3. I’m loving Elena’s extensive use of meta references. The Madoka reference in particular was perfect.

      I also like how Ao is portrayed. He’s a kid after all so he’s pretty confused about what to do in his new home. Still, he approaches it with a kind of childish naivety without a hint of pretentious emoness. More protagonists should be portrayed like this.

    4. Great catch! I didn’t get the Bakemonogatari reference.
      It does seem like there’s more to GenBleu than meets the eye. The preview hinted at the possibility of Goldilocks’ demise but I hope that’s not the case.
      I’m not too worried for Ao. He seems like a smart kid and he has guts so I’m sure he’ll pull through just fine. Plus, we know Naru (I miss her midriff already!) and the fanboys got his back 😉
      And yes yes yes, can’t stress enough how great E7 AO is and everyone should be watching this awesome show!

      Seishun Otoko @ Seishunmaru
    5. This episode suck. Bone’s tendency to pad episodes with fan service is really annoying me, it pissed me off during Darker than Black season 2 too. Lolis doesn’t make a show better Bones, mech fighting does. :/

      Only thing that’s interesting on this episode is we found out that Ao’s eyes are different from everyone else and the gen blue hq came from the scub coral, other than that, worst episode so far.

      1. It saddens me you’ve received so many downvotes because what you’re saying rings very true to me. I loved the first series of Darker than Black but the second series was awful.

        In the original E7, most the kids were just that. Kids. I know a lot of people found the adopted children annoying but to be fair that’s a pretty accurate representation of kids that age. At no point did Linck jump in an LFO and save Gekkostate.

        The new cast of pilots in E7:AO just doesn’t seem right and I hope there’s a bigger purpose behind it all other than appealing to a certain crowd. I’d take Charles or Holland over any of these young girls.

        The referential anime stuff doesn’t appeal to me either or fit in to the previous atmosphere of the original E7. It’s kinda immersion breaking. RANT OVER! :O

        1. They did Boo and I do hope there is a compelling reason . It’s just an odd decision at the moment that has only served to introduce Loli-type characters in to a series that didn’t really need them before.

    6. I’m actually quite glad that Génération Bleu and the girls didn’t just suddenly accept Ao as a peer. It makes for much more interesting character relations and gives the show a bit more of that grit of realism that makes good SF (paradoxical I know). And its because of this coldness that the small actions of Ivica showing Ao his suit ,Fleur helping him outfit and Hallström giving him Nirvash’s key become more of a symbol of grudging acceptance. Gotta admit its really good writing when the non-combat episodes fly by so quickly.

    7. fun note: they got the English headline correct.

      Personally, Elena’s behavior towards Ao looked like acceptance (in addition to her continuing trolling streak). Fleur, on the other hand, looked more like not wanting Ao to join GenBlu…(that continuing question of why is he here, the “accidental” forgetfulness, the “colder seriousness” when on topic)

      One more thing: Ao not a quarter Coralian, that’s new.

        1. ^ This. Compare their treatment of him at the end of the episode where he decides to suit up. The attitude with Fleur is gone and while still blunt, the infliction is more of a sempai getting him ready.

          The transition was a little awkward but I think this is more due to time constraints than anything else. Currently AO is only set for 26 episodes, and this episode served many purposes including setting up more of the background of the series in general as well as introducing no less than 5 important to semi-important characters. Ideally you’d probably want a couple episodes to cover all of this but this would

          A: Slow down the series tremendously. In the four episodes previously there was almost non-stop action and just this single episode by itself already brought down that high level of energy. Trying to spread that over 2-3 would have ground the series to a halt.

          B: Cut down on what could be considered “more important story elements” down the line. In a perfect world budget constraints would be non-issues, unfortunately when your series is both on a tight timeline, and when you design your series to be as inefficient as possible for the sake of beauty(hand drawn mecha versus CGI) you may sadly have to cut some slight corners.

        2. I thought her attitude was more like, “Are you sure you want to be here?”, “what is your true purpose” as she asks him the same question twice which indicated that she is not annoyed or wants AO out, and “you really should not be here, you don’t belong here.” He does care for AO, why else would she help him with his suit.

          In addition, Generation Bleu is not “good” or “evil” per se. But, more like what Dewey form A7 was doing, or even what NERV from EVONGELION. Still, the seem to have a more sinister motive; how else is the story going to move forward.

          Furthermore, look at the intro song. It tells you much more about the plot. You see Ao running and surviving on his own. It did not happen yet. You see another person with “weird” eyes; you know he will be the main antagonist. I fell the way Nirvash was reverse engineered , so must have Eureka been as a test subject. I mean they did extensive bio-analysis on AO.

    8. So the swiss base is made from parts salvaged from various bursts?

      Hmmm, seems like the potential tie-in to the OG E7.

      Oddly enough there is that giant hand and misc debris in the first episode scub burst.

    9. I first have to say I really like the dual reviews.

      Overall I thought the episode was alright, it wasn’t the best thing ever, but it did it’s part as a world-building episode. The only thing is that I do not like the idea that all the IFO pilots are young girls, it just feels out of place, I mean as Mr. Zero said above, in the first E7 you had for the most part mature pilots who understood what they were doing. I don’t really mind having Elena and Fleur but when you then add the Goldilocks crew it becomes somewhat obvious that the purpose is simply to have cute girls in pilot suits. It’s not needed.

      1. Lol whoops, just saw this now. XD.

        Na it’s alright eh, I had the free time anywho. XD. And at the moment, kinda looks like there’s a high chance I’ll have some free time to give another one of these a try sometime later too, presuming Div allows it and you’re interested though. XD

    10. 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.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:30 pmAO
      REPLY | LINK 0 0

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

    11. I bet that Generation Bleu has Eureka locked up somewhere. The may as well be protecting the base from total destruction. I have always thought E7(original) to be a re-make or Evongelion. I mean the stories were pretty much the same. For this, Eureka(character) to be locked up; like Adam was in EVON. There are just too many similarities.

    12. Somebody please tell me that Bones did not just set a romance flag between Fleur and that stowaway guy who’s wearing the black suit. It looks like it will be one sided though since it looks like he has a thing for the Hallstrom

    13. Just to add a bit of positive conversation after my last comment:

      The new paint job the Nirvash received is still not the classic Nirvash colour scheme seen in the promotional artwork and this figure (http://myfigurecollection.net/picture/369298&ref=item%3A99495).

      If you look at the last few scenes and the updated credits animation you’ll see the Nirvash still has it’s green colours on the Ref board and a full head of red as opposed to being mostly white.

      This is quite interesting, perhaps Ao is destined to leave Generation Bleu replacing their colours for the Nirvash for the one’s his Mother knows? Something to keep an eye on!

    14. GenBleu, does it has a hidden agenda?
      What is the ‘Quartz’?
      The events of the past, they shown the arrival of Eureka but I want to know about the first Scab Burst, the development of Mark I and the establishment of GenBleu.

      Gazelle, Pippo and Han.
      What role could they play?
      Will Gazelle sell out GenBleu to the Allied Forces?
      Or is he a loyal guy?
      Or will he be the youngster of justice when the old guys are corrupt?

      The military of Earth has yet to be elaborated on, so far only GenBleu is seen.
      So far only a few characters from Earth’s military are seen.
      Wonder if Truth is an Allied Forces experiment or a human personification of the Secret?

      The arrival of Eureka, the Scab Burst, Trapar bubble, Trapar trade, Trapar tech.
      13 years.
      Does Eureka know why she fell from the sky?

    15. While the sequel is quite good, it is indeed an extreme hyperbole to say that at 5 episoes, E7:AO is better than the original. In fact, just like the thoughtful post by AO, I doubt whether this anime can even qualify as an E7 sequel, simply because so many things simply don’t add up

    16. Just saw episode 6. i got to say, it has nothing to do with the original series. Just enjoy E7:AO as a new method of telling a story; just as the creator of the anime CardCaptures used the same characters to tell a different story with the same anime characters.

      P.S. in the end there is a reference to “Eden of the East” which goes “BANG”.

    17. Time loop guys. This is the E7 earth, before the exodus and return. It looks a lot like an alternate universe version of maybe 10 years from now. Eureka came back in time for whatever reason. That explains why the moon isn’t carved, the lack of the ring, and the hints of a past that parallels (our world’s) with the mentions of dates 1945, etc. It makes way more sense for this to be the past of the e7 world we saw. If it were the aftermath, there are too many inconsistencies. I doubt that places would have their old names back after 10,000+ years, and only maybe 20 years after humanity struck a deal with the scub.

      John Titor

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