「(ワン・ネイション・アンダー・ア・グルーヴ/blue thunder」 (Wan Neishon Andā A Gurūvu)
“One Nation Under a Groove”

It’s ironic that Eureka Seven AO is the first series in almost two years to make me question whether I really wanted to be blogging at all.

Sorry, Haters – I’m not jumping ship. I still love AO, and that’s just the problem. For some reason the overwhelming negativity I see towards this series really bothers me, more so than with just about any series I’ve covered. It’s not as if I’m unused to disagreeing with most fans about a series, and it’s not as if the general reaction to AO has been negative. The show does quite well on MAL and Anime Planet ratings. But the negativity has been so loud, so shrill, and – in my view – so wrong. And maybe because I have a special place for E7 in my heart despite it’s flaws, that really depresses me. This is a show that I love to watch and find exhilarating, and one where the experience of being a fan should be overwhelmingly positive – but instead, my mood is dragged down by all the hate. It’s enough to make me wonder whether I really should be doing this – it’s not like I’m getting paid for it. I do it for love of anime, and Eureka Seven is an elemental part of my love of anime. All that’s my problem and no one else’s, but it’s also an undeniable fact.

If I might vent a bit, let me just state why I think the criticism of AO is misguided – bearing in mind of course that opinions are just that, and art is subjective. I could compare this to another beloved series getting a sequel in the past year, Last Exile. What I see here is a series by BONES trying to be true to its predecessor, yet expand beyond it. With Gonzo, I see a series blatantly casting its core values aside to try and cash in on the flavors of the moment. AO is a series with a talented writer and director trying to make a statement, with animation drawn by hand. This is anime created by people vs. anime created by a committee, and the contrast couldn’t be more stark.

So what is AO about, really? Well, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that there was a Madoka Magica reference early on, as this show owes as much to that one as it does to any (though with Aikawa Shou rather than Urobuchi Gen I expect less overt hopelessness and despair) apart from the original Eureka Seven. Look at the track record of Aikawa Shou – Martian Successor Nadesico, UN-GO, OER. This is a writer fascinated by politics, by generational betrayal, by the untrustworthiness of our five senses. His stories feature a fundamental distrust of authority and often dip their toes into illusionary worlds. In the 1950’s Eisenhower (a former 5-Star General) warned Americans about the “Military Industrial Complex” – a warning I wish Americans had heeded more closely – and this is the root of what Aikawa-san is depicting here, and in UN-GO. As with Madoka, he’s doing a kind of deconstruction here – not of E7 per se, but of mecha anime and sci-fi anime in general. He’s exploring the core assumptions of child soldiers in the same way Urobuchi Gen did with mahou shoujo. That’s why you see elements from not just the original Eureka but also other pillars of these genres, like NGE (and sometimes even direct references to them).

The trickiest part of all this is that Aikawa and director Kyoda-san have to do this while maintaining the spirit of E7 and linking to it, and so far I think they’ve walked the tightrope brilliantly. But I hear complaints that it’s too different from E7, that it’s confusing (seriously, after E7 to complain this is confusing?). The kerfuffle over Naru’s supposed betrayal (about which we know next to nothing) reminds me of the uproar over Nagi’s virginity when Kannagi was airing. I don’t feel the need to have everything explained a third of the way through the series, and I think the links to E7 have been suggested and teased quite smartly. For me, E7 was all adolescent rage against the machine – disrespect for authority, surfing, club music… AO is E7 grown up (ironic, given that the hero is younger) – rather than teenage angst it’s dystopia. Rather than a fantasy setting it’s our own Earth in the unsettlingly near future. AO is it’s own show, and I don’t want a copy – I want something that feels like E7 but moves beyond it, and that’s exactly what we’re getting from BONES here. And I’m just sad that more people don’t see it that way.

Which brings us after that roundabout introduction to this week’s episode which, apart from a dip in animation quality, provided another example of the superb writing this series has consistently provided (screenplay was by Kawasaki Hiroyuki, who wrote the adaptation of Hyouge Mono). Once again Astral Ocean displays a philosophical similarity with it’s predecessor handled in much different style, and that’s the moral ambiguity of the authority figures (and power figures too – not necessarily the same thing). In some ways I think E7 was told from Renton’s POV – it was that world as seen from the POV of an angry 14 year-old boy. Well, we have an angry 12 year-old boy at the center of AO, but the narrative perspective here is more reflective – in a sense, it’s as if the story is being told by an adult Ao looking back at these events.

The differences between Ao and Renton are an interesting element of the two series. Ao is an angry boy, but (and bear in mind, I like Renton) the anger is born more of righteousness – a trifle grandiose, but genuine – rather than self-pity and sullenness. Gazelle makes reference to Ao hating his father of course, but what does that mean, exactly? Ao presumably doesn’t even know who his father is (we of course assume it’s Renton), so perhaps he simply hates him in absentia – and hates him for being absent (or even more, for abandoning his mother). Bear in mind too that Gazelle is a young man who hates his father himself, and for good reason. Hatred of fathers is hardly a rare subject in mecha anime, but it’s certainly very much at the heart of this one.

Then there’s the father who’s very much present in this story, Christophe Blanc. Fleur hates him because, effectively, he saved her life at the expense of that of her mother – certainly a defensible action. Or perhaps there are deeper reasons and that’s just the one she tells herself is true because it’s straightforward and easy to get a handle on. What’s clear here is that there are multiple axes of power at Generation Bleu, each with their own agenda, and it’s not clear which are “good” and “evil” yet – and most likely, all are somewhere in-between. Blanc is kind to Ao when he tries to take the Nirvash and go after Naru, when Rebecka is pressing for severe punishment – but then he makes sure Ao knows he’s under his thumb by sending Gazelle, Popo and Han to obviously shadow him Keystone Kops style. He apparently cuts a deal with the Americans to remove Pied Piper from dealing with a Secret attack in the nation of “Feisal Arabia”, an enemy of the United States – then used Gazelle and his team (who seem to have become Blanc’s odd jobs squadron) to fake a news report to force America into relenting and letting Pied Piper save the day.

I don’t think Blanc wants anyone to know just where he stands – perhaps he even knows that Stanley and Rebecka are keeping their own counsel behind his back. It’s an inescapable fact that GenBleu is both a military rescue outfit and a money-making corporation and that Blanc must ultimately answer to his stockholders. I’m also intrigued by where Ivica stands in all this, and right now my sense is “caught in the middle”. I’m convinced that he really does prioritize protecting the children on his team – but not convinced that there isn’t a more sinister reason why that’s such a priority. Like all the other adults he knows more than he’s letting on. I’ve seen numerous complaints about this being yet another mecha series where the pilots must be children – but for me, that’s akin to criticizing Madoka Magica because the mahou shoujo are all little girls. AO is exploring the very nature of the premise here, and digging deeper into the consequences of it – the stuff that most series skate right over.

Meanwhile Aikawa and his team continue to pepper the story with intriguing mentions of Secret events at key moments in our history – in this case, Philadelphia 1752, where Benjamin Franklin supposedly discovered electricity by flying a kite in a lightning storm. The implication here is that The Secret have played a critical and perhaps even intentional role in human development. There’s also a very obscure and clever reference by Elena as she opens fire – “A Hot Day in Little Russia”, which is the overture from Mussorgsky’s opera “The Fair at Sorochyntsi” – which is about a demon and temptation. She also makes reference how Ao and Fleur should “Gattai” – which would no doubt please Rika from Hagani. Universe!

While the scuttling of Ao’s plan to rescue Naru took her character out of the mix this week, the other pilots were very much at the center – especially Ao and Fleur. I enjoy the banter between the three of them which (perhaps because of the youth of the seiyuu) rings quite true – they behave as adolescents quite naturally would in this strange situation, or so it feels to me. I think Elena’s imagination (“Elopement!”) was running away with her, but there’s no question that Ao and Fleur found common ground – and in the same way teenagers often do, complaining about their parents. Indeed, the Fleur flags were raised proudly this week, but I don’t think they trump Naru’s even more prominent flags. This is proving to be an area of distinction between the two E7 series though, as there was really never any doubt about the potential pairings in that series (though there were certainly more of them).

So at that, we’re officially a third of the way through the series. Astral Ocean has done exactly what I hoped it would do – carve an identity of its own, while still strongly hinting at the direct connections to the original series. It certainly isn’t a series that’s taken the safe route for a sequel, and I’m happy that’s the case. Going for edgy and difficult is always riskier than giving fans exactly what they expect – not that there’s anything wrong with that if you do it well enough – and it remains to be seen whether BONES will be rewarded for taking this approach. Given that the negativity is so much louder than the opposition it’s tempting to believe AO will fail commercially, but I still have hopes that won’t be the case – not just because BONES is in dire need of a hit, but because I want studios to be encouraged to take chances and challenge their audience, even with beloved franchises like this one. For my part I’m going to do my best to be objective and not let my enthusiasm as a fan get the better of me, but also to not let the negativity spoil the experience of watching the series. In the end things like BD sales are out of my control, and the only opinion that really matters is my own.




  1. Elena’s references are always enjoyable each episode. Was a nice chuckle when she suggested Fleur and Ao gattai, not quite as good as her Kyubey impression but still nice.

  2. Wow people hate on Eureka Seven AO? It hasn’t wowed me yet but neither did the original series at this point.

    It’s written well enough and the characters remain likeable. They’re not Sakamichi Apollon level but at least none of them pull the “Act idiotic and indecisive” bullshit that too many anime characters from other series fall into.

    The main criticism I have of this series comes from it needing more revelation. Without a bit more of it the build up AO doesn’t carry the suspense like it should. I want to know if this series is a true sequel or simply a parallel storyline. If we knew that then we could start giving more of a damn about the Scub Coral and the Secret since we’d have a frame of reference to work with.

    E7 AO’s a good series and thanks for blogging it Guardian Enzo.

    1. I don’t know about you, but it seems pretty clear to me at this point this is a direct sequel(especially since BONES themselves have said it is…) that involves some sort of time/dimensional travel to the past for reasons yet unknown.

      1. That’s actually the impression I got as well. That the world of AO actually represents a world before the Scub Coral got out of hand and took over the world. Since the original Eureka 7 takes place after humanity returned to the planet.

        More than anything I used that detail as an example for the fact AO could benefit from answering a few of the mysteries since it has already thrown quite a few in the air.

      2. Oh? Suddenly everyone is on board with the back in time 10k+ years before E7 theory that i’ve been saying since the first couple eps? I’m a time traveler, so you all should have believed me from the start. It is nice however, to see that it’s the general consensus though any avid sci-fi/anime fan, or time traveler coulda told you that from the start ^_^

        John Titor
  3. “Given that the negativity is so much louder than the opposition it’s tempting to believe AO will fail commercially”

    Wait, people are actually voicing negativity about this series? And it’s loud enough that it could threaten it’s success?

    I just don’t understand fanboys. You’d think after the complete failure of the Last Exile sequel (That played it safe by introducing lots of “current trend” moe protagonists and pretty much spitting on the epic original’s name) people would actually welcome something that had a brain and heart.

    1. O GAWD!! Please don’t make me remember the sequel of Last Exile. They should burn it with fire, throw the ashes into the middle of the desert somewhere then nuke the desert.

  4. Awww yeaaaaah, more Fleur flags raised for Ao. I don’t care if Naru is featured in the OP like 27 times. ALWAYS ROOT FOR THE UNDERDOG/CUTER GIRL.

    Honestly, the only problems which I have had so far with E7: AO were the massive, confusing plot bomb from last episode, and parts of episode 6. A lot of my disappointment in those episodes however, really only lied within Truth, who seems like a boring antagonist, at least to me.

    As for this episode itself, the character interaction between Fleur and Ao seemed rather realistic. Complaining about your parents is a pretty normal bonding interaction between teenagers. If I had to point out flaws, one of them would be how easily the couple smashed The Secret, since the solution was as fairly easy as flying towards the enemy and shooting it. Another would be how this episode didn’t make a smooth transition off of episode 7’s plot points, which felt fairly awkward.

    I haven’t really noticed all of the hate for Eureka Seven: AO, since I haven’t been keeping up with blog posts or forums on the series. So far, I’ve enjoyed Astral Ocean, much more than the original. I don’t see many memorable characters so far, but it lacks all of the original’s irritating ones (and I really hated some of the characters). So for now, I can say that I’m enjoying this incarnation much more than the previous one.

    1. I wouldn’t take those blushes to seriously you know. She blushed at Gazelle too. But yeah, I know what you mean. I’m rooting for her too since I honestly do not like Naru as much since the whole kidnapping thing.

      You said you really didn’t like some of the characters in the original E7? On the protagonist’s side the only character that I had any dislike for was Talho, but that’s only because she was an immature girl telling other people to act mature. She grew out of that though.

      1. I’m not taking the blushes to seriously, haha. But I’d also be lying if I said that I’m fond of Naru. And hey, one scene is somehow enough sprout tens of fan fictions, no matter how irrelevant it is. 😛

        I really liked most of the original’s characters. Renton, Talho, very rarely Eureka, and often times her three children annoyed me the most. Especially Renton and his overly dramatic crybaby moments. Nevertheless, E7 is still a classic. A flawed classic at that, but still.

      2. I’m not a big fan of Naru, but I seriously doubt that she’ll lose to Fleur with all of Naru’s flags. I prefer Fleur, but hey, when has a childhood friend ever lost to a rich girl?
        Show Spoiler ▼

  5. Please don’t wallow in self-pity. One of the most exciting things about media is that it means something different to each individual and it’s a shame you have to bring up that you don’t like other people’s opinions in the first paragraph of your review.

    Fans of the original are more than right in complaining that this is too far of a departure from the original than it should be. We were expecting a sequel that existed in the same universe and surpassed the original through creative story telling and engaging characters.

    Instead, What we have right now currently is a cop-out, too afraid to take on the legacy set out by the original and essentially providing a whole world and story reset. In addition to borrowing way too much from other successful animes to really be able to create an atmosphere of its own, It’s also playing up to tropes created in the last few years by anime as a whole which results in a show that is very afraid to tred new ground. It’s a very safe move by Bones, which is disappointing for a fanchise like E7.

    I really cannot see how people can say this is true to it’s predecessor. As someone who watched all the episodes of E7 prior to this new series this really couldn’t be a bigger departure from the original, both in style and atmosphere.

    You argue that this is a deconstruction of the mecha genre and and a reinterpretation of the E7 methos is unfair. We have the reinterpenetration, that was the E7 movie. What we have now is a series that borrows far too heavily form other successful shows and is too afraid to step out of the cliches to make it’s own mark in the genre. There’s no reason why a series as rich as E7 needed to have it’s sequel sacrificed to make commentary on the mecha genre as a whole.

    This episode itself is fine and it’s still far too early to write this series off as a failure but it’s important to recognise Bones have struggled with sequels lately. Darker than Black 2 stripped out all that made the original great and filled it with all the anime that have held anime back these last few years, such as loli protagonists. Otaku pandering is really becoming a problem.

    I’m glad people are enjoying this sequel but to expect everyone to accept this as an adequate sequel is unfair. So far it really hasn’t demonstrated anything stand out past those first few episodes.

    There is no reason for this series to be so heavily referential to other anime, other than the fact that Bones is too afraid that the series would not stand out without relying on the support of shows that have come before AO. I want better from it because I know it’s capable of it.

    1. “It’s also playing up to tropes created in the last few years by anime as a whole which results in a show that is very afraid to tred new ground”

      You know I never noticed that till you mentioned it, but I’m actually OK with that unless they take it too far.

    2. As one of these “fans of the original”, I think I can ask this: What are you going on about? Too far of a departure? There hasn’t been a single point in the series where I’ve even considered “this isn’t Eureka seveN”. Unless your big concern is that it’s missing the pointless filler episodes and the concept of muddling a plot beyond the point of comprehension? Then sure, yeah, this isn’t Eureka seveN.

      I’m not sure how you can talk like the original series didn’t make use of these tropes you’re referring to. Eureka herself was like three tropes over the course of the whole series (and over time became one of the most annoying characters in the series by the end. But hey, cool, you’re allowed your opinion. Realistically, nobody is making you watch the show, but I gather you will just so you can complain about how “unfaithful” it is.

      Haters gonna hate.

      1. “Haters gonna hate”

        pretty much this. Someone is always going to complain regardless which direction AO took.

        Frankly, complaining about how AO doesn’t have any/enough ties to the original E7 at this point in the story is like giving up a baseball game after the first 3 innings, entirely premature and short-sighted.

      2. C’mon now, “haters gonna hate”? We can keep the discussion above this.

        First, let me clear a few things aside about the original series:

        – It was heavily flawed
        – It was 20 episodes longer than it needed to be
        – It had a large cast that was underutilized and had a lot of unlikeable people within it

        Now I’m not arguing AO is a bad show. I’m arguing that it is a bad sequel, for a lot of the same reasons the movie wasn’t a good E7 movie.

        – The world of E7, one of its strongest points and what makes the fillers almost excusable, has been cast aside in favour of a world similar to our own with traces of the original E7 (trapar waves, scub). All the history, technology and intrigue have been reset in favour of a clean slate.
        – AO trys to hard to show its an anime and cares little for immersion like the original did. Instead of subtle nods we are literally forced to be told about other anime that exist in reality. In addition I think the fact we have a character that literally said “This is the fan service” whilst showering herself is not a good step forward.
        – Loli pilots, kid-only pilots. These two things go directly against what E7 has set up in it’s original show and are the biggest examples of pandering and borrowing from other more successful shows. E7 was a world of adults with maybe four kids total who had any real importance (Eureka, Renton, Anemone, Dominic). At no point did Maurice pilot an LFO. He was just an annoying child. An accurate representation of how they are in real life. He wasn’t Gekkostate’s ace pilot. Like that kid in Goldilocks. So far there is no good reason for this decision and I’m not sure we’ll ever get one, it’s just Bones trying to appeal to a wider audience.

        The end of E7 left the a great set of building blocks for an engaging sequel. What happens next for the cast of characters? How does a world react to such a world-changing event in addition to having its entire ruling structure broken apart in a day? What happens to Renton and Eureka? With the scub coral leaving and the trapar waves with them how do they survive all their technology being made redundant?

        To pick up that world 20 years later with Eureka’s kid and a new cast would’ve been challenging to pull off. However, it would’ve been great had they done so, so it’s hard not to be a little disappointed they went down the alternate-reality route (even if it is related to the last few scenes of E7) in addition to borrowing too much from other anime.

        I’ve said it before that my expectations of this show are unrealistic and I’ve also said before that all my criticisms may be invalid comes 5 episodes from now. However I want to express my opinion of uncertainty as we go along as I think it’d be silly to turn a blind eye to it all.

        I could write more but I’m not seeking people to say “You’re right! How could I ever like this show!?”. As my opening statement said, people take different things away from media and that’s what makes it so great. This is just my slice of it. Rant ovah. 😀

      3. Most of your points comes across as something that bothers you specifically, rather than something that’s objectively wrong with the show, which is perfectly fine, that being said…

        Personally I have absolutely no issue with them taking the route of time/dimensional travel instead of having this sequel take place in the original world. I thought the story in E7 was wrapped up very well, its story has been told, and attempting to milk a sequel out of it would’ve been forced to say the least. I mean, any new villain/antagonist, save for maybe an alien invasion, is gonna pale in comparison to what we had in E7, so why go there?

    3. I think the major difference is that E7 spent the better part of two full seasons (almost 30 episodes) developing its characters and getting you to care about them. Ao has probably spent less than 10% of its time thus far doing so, instead opting for battles and establishing its setting. Seems like a waste to me.

  6. Wat?. There are people hating on E7 Ao?… Color me stunned. I’m loving every moment of it, even if I dont understand all of it. I loved the pot shot at “Election Year Politics” XD. While this week’s ep felt a little out of place in the long run of things. It was still a brilliant ep and continues to build the magnificent world or E7 Ao.

    Until next week~.

  7. I think the reason that everyone’s bringing up the negativity must be because they marathoned the original E7. The original had so many mindnumbing moments, but I liked most of the characters, and the fact that they knew they had a story to tell.

    I feel the same way about E7:AO. I just about all the characters, and I know that the story’s pretty well planned out.

    Only thing I don’t like is the fact that this episode nothing was mentioned of Naru’s capture. I honestly expected Ao to be a little bit more worried for her this episode. It’s just strange to me.

  8. Woah, you almost make it sound like a good thing I haven’t been keeping up with the general comments with people about this series. Because personally, I really like it, and it’s one of the stronger shows this season imo. The writing is intelligent and strong (it does goof up sometimes but never to the point of pissing me off), the characters are likeable (especially compared to the original, what with the show starting with whiny Renton, jerkass Holland and those f-ing little kids) and grow quickly on me and the music and animation are generally very well done. It’s pretty obvious the writer from Un-go worked on this too and I find all the background politics to be quite engaging. I do wish they’d explain things a bit more about it’s connection with E7, but it has certainly built up it’s own face already.

  9. I really loved E7, and the last time I’ve seen it was probably two years ago. I enjoyed AO a bit, however I personally find it a bit lacking so far. It kinda felt like Evangelion on a diet.

    Maaan i still havent seen anything in AO that made my skin crawl in excitement like the time Renton did a kick-back-drop-turn (was that right?) for the first time.

  10. you know the same thing that happened with DTB s2 is happening here. I adore it and so do five other pepole. If they were there own independent projects they would be showered with praise. you know what Im sick of sequals that arent intrested in being the orignal constantly getting trashed. And you know what? I think Im done with online reviews in every way shape and form (you and star crossed anime blog however are both great but i cant take it anymore) Bye.

  11. I guess it helps that I think the previous E7 was overated. That way, I can judge AO with its own merits. Really, I’m not seeing what exactly causes so much negativity. I didn’t really like the previous episode, but its not really that offensive to rile on the whole series. Ao is still very likable protagonist to me and he carries the show unlike some others *coughaquarionevolcough*.

    And really did like this episode, despite the noticeable dips in animation quality. It gives a scenario that allows Ao and Fleur to bond (over a mutual hate for their dad). The laughing scene at end is a great way to show how thy closed the gap between them.

    On the flipside I really didn’t like how they keep playing the “America is evil and manipulative” card. I’ve seen this plot a million times already and its really tiring. Aren’t there a million other political satires they can think of?

    1. Well, in all seriousness… it’s probably the most realistic political satire. Not saying America is evil, and I don’t think that’s what the show is trying to really say, but it’s representative of the political workings of the US as we know it now. That election comment should have been pretty easy to relate to real life as well.

      1. Well, its made in japan, and we DID nuke them. Hell, the entire military/mecha genre is just “replay ww2 in the future, but japan wins, even though the evil empire nuked us in some way” (thats UC gundam right there) It makes sense they aren’t quite over it. Making america the villain is totally kosher.

        John Titor
    2. The simplistic bash-America politics of this episode annoyed me too. I love modern Japanese pop culture, but the Japanese post-WWII generations seem to forget that a few decades ago their country was a military dictatorship that unleashed divisions of bloodthirsty sadists on the rest of the far East for reasons of conquest (I have a relative who survived the Bataan Death March and spent several years as a “guest” in Japanese POW camps and after hearing his stories, my “bloodthirsty sadists” description isn’t an exaggeration.). This post-WWII, post-atomic bomb victim mentality is getting old.

      As for this episode: AO’s father?!?!? Huh? Did I miss a Renton flashback somewhere??

  12. Eureka Seven is my favorite anime and I’m rather enjoying Ao so far. I can see why people are underwhelmed with the show, though. Eureka Seven, to me, was always a new adventure every week. There was just something absolutely magical about it and episodes that legitimately left an impact on me. The episode with the sick little vodarac girl Renton seeked treatment for. Or the entire Charles and Ray arc, or the final episode…or pretty much anything centering around Dominic and Anemone as they were my favorite characters…though I liked pretty much everybody. I think a big part was also that I was around the same age as Renton when the show aired in Japan and I watched it for the first time…it really solidified the bond between viewer and character even more for me.

    Ao doesn’t seem to be able to invoke those same feelings in me. So far it really seems like monster of the week with the secrets, and while Eureka Seven had antagonists you wanted to see just as much as the protagonists, Ao doesn’t seem to have that. In Eureka Seven I cared just as much about Anemone and Dominic as I did about Renton and Eureka. It made me unable to pick a side and really just hope the two sides were able to unite against the evil manipluating both of them.

    Ao doesn’t have that yet. The Truth just seems so predictable to me…I’d bet he’s going to realize the error of his ways before long and join up with Generation Blue or the protagonists are going to see how corrupt Blue is and join up with Truth. I’d like to be wrong, but that’s how I see it. I’m really hoping they use Naru and Truth as a bit of a foil to Ao and company, because that would be cool.

    Anyway…I guess I just want to see Ao having a big “wow” moment to truly engross me soon. Like the Charles and Ray arc or Anemone and Dominic falling from the sky. You know…something.

    1. u made me watch the original ._. but i dont know if i will ever be capable of rewatching. that show was so emotional for me xd i watched like 14 eps then marathoned 36. shit hit me hard XD

      1. which doesn’t change the fact that you’re not gonna have something that’s as engrossing from a show that’s barely finished setting up its story compared to a show that’s already had a half year to build up its story and characters.

        Like it or not, with the way AO is setup, it needs to be judged on its own merit, not as an extension of E7 with 50 episode’s worth of build ups and character development.

  13. Hmmm.. I didn’t like this week episode that much, and not because the dip in animation quality too. I don’t know, somehow I feel that the background of Ao hating his father is just so sudden and it feels to be tacked on like that just to give him some similarity to Fleur and to improve their relationship. There seems to be no indication whatsoever in the previous episodes that he hates his father, and suddenly in this episode, it just come out, from Gazelle too, which is strange considering Ao and Gazelle doesn’t seem that close to each other for him to be able to know that Ao hates his father. I would believe it if Naru or his grandfather is the one telling the viewer that one, but Gazzele? that really comes out of nowhere.

  14. Wow! There’s people that dont like this show? I like this show! I’ll admit, though, that the two things I don’t like are the designs of the secrets and the character of Naru.

    And I’m all for Ao X Fleur!

    1. About design of Secrets, the forms they come somewhat confuse me: swing carousel, “paper crane” (van’t say anything about first 2 though). Some hidden symbolism maybe? :\

      1. I think it’s very clear that these Secret forms were designed to look man-made, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I was at the Fanime panel of the guy who designed them, Koyama Shigeto (report, pics and video at LiA) and I really wanted to ask him, but he basically made it clear that there were snipers waiting to take him out if he dropped any spoilers.

      2. Maybe because they’re all the same color scheme and block shaped that I dont like them, when compared to the LFOs which they are different from each other. The designs feel lazy, no offense to the designer though.

  15. I wouldn’t worry too much about those nattering nabobs of negativity, Guardian Enzo. There will always be a sectarian sect in an uproar over not being consulted on the making of the sequel.

    Let them leak urine, while you see past the bellyaching of spoiled fans and see the show as it is, and write up your solid analyses.

    I myself haven’t been diligently following your coverage of this show, but I can tell that Eureka 7 AO is caught between the impossible dream of a full-fledged sequel and a “reboot” that plays it safe with formulaic tropes. Maybe they’ll pull it off, maybe not.

    But none of us are responsible for the opinions of others.

  16. I’ll explain why I am less thrilled with Ao then I was during episode 1 in an itemized list.

    1. NTR. Eureka Seven was a story about love and growing up. There was very little in the way that didn’t get conquered by love in the end. Hell, Nirvash painted the moon with Renton and Eureka’s love. Naru seemingly abandoning Ao, whom she had had a very deep connection with for the entire series, just because a crazy new guy jumps into the fray seems to run counter to everything that the first series stood for. Yes, it very well could have been a VERY bad dream, but it just feels wrong for this show.

    2. Truth. In Eureka Seven, we only had a handful of ‘super humans’. One of which, probably the most powerful, was Norb. But even then, he only had the ability to take out a handful of LFOs before being severely winded. Truth jumps around, explodes things, and generally acts like an overpowered god. It’s like inserting a super robot(Gurren Lagann for example) into a real robot show(Gundam for example). The genre clash is… distracting.

    3. Quality. I don’t know what it is, but everything seems to be less with Ao. Eureka Seven had absolutely beautiful and choreographed fight scenes. Ao does have pretty visuals, but nothing nearly as spectacular as the first series. I’m not doing a very good job of describing it, but it’s just a feeling I have. There are less Trapar trails, less aerial maneuvers, less dynamic songs. Yes, some of the songs are good, but nothing has hit me like Storywriter, or Sprinting Spirits. It feels like a shadow of Eureka Seven’s amazing art direction.

    Eureka Seven Ao is by no means a bad series. It’s just not shining as brightly as we would have hoped, and it’d disappointing that the plot seems to be meandering without a true goal in mind. Granted Eureka Seven had a slow start as well, but I don’t think Ao is going to be a 50 episode epic, and so it doesn’t have time to waste not focusing on a clear story. It had a strong start, but each passing episode brings less and less to the table.

    1. And for the record, I am NOT being negative just to be negative. I WANT this show to be amazing. I love Bones. I fully believe they can pull off something amazing, and they have before. I just can’t lie and say that this series hasn’t left me wanting. Please don’t ignore the flaws simply because you don’t like that people are upset. Just because someone is being loud and obnoxious does not mean they don’t have a point.

    2. You know what’s more annoying than NTR? all the people who gets offended at everything that they think has the slightest hint of NTR.

      FFS people, using some of your standards every fking shoujo romance story ever would be NTR. Karekano? NTR, Fruits Basket? NTR, Hana Yori Dango? NTR. The list goes on and on, you see how ridiculous that is?

      Not everything is all happy and rosy all the time, get used to it. complaining that Naru x Ao isn’t going well and is NTR when it’s only the first 1/3 of the series and no definite conclusion as to what actually happened is just asinine.

      1. Oh yea, because I’ve said there’s nothing wrong with AO… oh wait, I never did.

        But hey, don’t let that stop you from trying to put words in my mouth, or trying to deflect the points I’ve made, which is that putting the NTR tag on AO is stupid, retarded, and asinine.

      2. I look at what you have posted, mocking and ridiculing everyone who points out flaws in AO, and I have all the evidence I need to disregard everything you say as either fanboyism or trolling.

      3. Please point out anything I’ve posted that isn’t backed up with actual reasoning, or where I “mocked and ridiculed EVERYONE” who pointed out their issue with the series.

        If I’m mocking and ridiculing someone, it’s because what they posted is IMO nothing more than misplaced fanboy rage. If this section is instead filled with undeserved praises heaped upon the show, I’d be mocking and ridiculing them instead.

        but hey, keep up with the evasions and deflections and ad hominems, I’m still waiting for you to explain why what I’ve pointed out was bs in your post is wrong.

        or you can keep going with your “lalala-I-can’t-hear-you” routine

      4. actually, now that I’ve looked through every post I’ve made in this section, the only person that I’ve mocked and ridiculed is just you, after you went into your fanboy rage mode after I called you out on the bs you posted.

  17. I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of canon pairings but certainly not here in E7 AO. I just don’t find the interactions between Naru and Ao interesting. Seriously, I find Ao and Fleur’s interactions more “natural” and interesting. I know that Naru’s flag are raised all over the place, like how the Persians(Naru’s flags) outnumbered the Spartans(Fleur’s Flags). I know it’s kind of hopeless but I certainly hope for some mushy story between Fleur and Ao.

    The Story You Don't Know
    1. Doesn’t this feel like Guilty Crown all over again where everyone praised the show in the beginning, but then a lot of people started to dislike it as it went on?

      1. yea, though the difference is that AO is actually good despite the nerdrage, while GC started the slide into the epic trainwreck that it is from episode 1 and never looked back.

      2. Guilty Crown had problems let’s get that out of the way, so people weren’t exactly wrong for criticizing it. Eureka Seven:AO has so far been pretty good, sure the last episode wasn’t the best but overall the standard the series has so far is good. Just a few picky fans that don’t understand that just because this is a follow up to the original series that it doesn’t have to be exactly the same thing.
        A sequel can keep the some of the general theme but it can also bring new things to the table so it can truly establish it’s own identity. An example, for better or worse, would be something like Aquarion Evol.

  18. Guardian Enzo: I respect you, so I’ll say this straight out. If you let haters get to you, you’re playing right into their hands. There will always be haters (whether genuine or just trolls) and they will usually be the most vocal out of the group. It’s just the nature of the internet and real life in general. And trust me, no matter how much you or anyone else may try and counter-argue, no one usually wins an internet argument, although it does happen once in a blue moon. So, my policy is either to ignore them, of if I do address them, then I don’t take it to heart if they don’t feel the same way.

    As for me, I’m a big fan of the original series, and I’m enjoying the sequel as well. Granted, not as much as the original, but I’m still enjoying it nonetheless. Nothing anyone else says will change that or take that away from me. They’re entitled to their opinion as am I, but I won’t let it get to me. It’s important to have thick skin on the internet.

  19. Personally, I think this show is able to hold its own fort, and it proves to be enjoyable to watch. Bones hasn’t particularly been capable of creating anime with a good closure, but in general their anime has been mostly within the acceptable benchmark, and Eureka Seven AO proves that point as well.

    Continue blogging on it, it is always interesting to see from an objective POV sometimes.

  20. I didn’t even know there was so much dislike for this series, though I must admit I kinda got bored watching this even though E7 had a bunch of it’s own fillers. E7 felt more like a Super Robot series overall because of it’s cheerfulness and it’s filled with adults. E7AO feels more like a Real Robot series but it’s casted by kids which definitely does not go well with real robots. Every IFO Pilot in the series have just gotten into middleschool which puts them around 11-13 years old, some even younger.

    Suppa Tenko
  21. @Guardian Enzo:

    I’m very much in agreement with both you and Cyrano’s earlier post, so I’ll save repeating his ideas in my own. Eureka 7 was indeed full of flaws, yet beyond those flaws was a fantastic series that I then defined BONES with. Eureka 7 is still one of my all-time favorite series, and I am in agreement that although AO is a refreshing new take on it, I am enjoying it all the same despite the differences. Most people think that a “sequel” should be akin to the next book in the Harry Potter series. However, I think part of the reason that BONES chose to make AO take part so much in the future was to allow themselves that luxury of creating a series ‘related’ but not a ‘replication’. AO does indeed keep integral aspects of the original, such as the deep and mysterious plot that keeps us guessing until even the very end, the youthful dissatisfaction in how the adults choose to run the world, etc etc.
    As in most of your posts where you say that each episode seems to ‘fly by’, I just can’t get enough of Eureka AO in the mere 24 minutes allotted, yet I still feel extremely satisfied at the end of each episode, and with the direction it (seems) is taking the series.
    To sum it up, haters gonna hate, but there will be those of us who do enjoy it despite flaws or objections. Guardian Enzo, each of your posts thus far have been insightful and interesting, so please continue to provide your thoughts for those of use who value them most!

  22. I was very unaware that people were hating on this show. Thus far it has surpassed my expectations and standard of quality. Personally I had some problems with the original eureka. Mostly in that it started too slow and childlike, not much unlike the rather obscure zegapain. Similarly to zegapain it developed into a great story when it finally picked up it’s pace and stopped being so shonen-esque.

    Anyway, back to astral ocean. Thus far it seems like all the good parts from eureka plus a lot of originality. It shows that the script writer of UN-GO is working on this one. He’s not one to write bland characters. They all feel like there’s something more behind them. Just like with basically everyone in UN-GO, and now best seen in Christopher Blanc and Truth. I’m not sure what to expect of Christopher. He is very vague at best about his motives and goals. All in all he turned out to be a nice guy. At least until we know why he’s mining those cores.
    I also like the changes to the eureka formula. No unecessary filler, no bland villains, a more interesting main character and the fact that this world is nothing alike the one in the original. Perhaps that’s the Truth of the matter.

    Keep your head high and remember that those haters are STILL the minority Enzo!

  23. Here’s my take.

    I didn’t like the original E7 very much, so I was hesitant to pick this up. The original? Too much corniness and in the lovey-dovey department, annoying screaming babies/toddlers, weird juvenile fantasy plot devices, questionable personal motives and developments, and no shortage of head-scratching filler leading up to a rushed, baffling finale. There was also altogether too much supernatural mysticism that might as much have been influenced by LSD as anything, what with all the trippy “world is dreaming” stream of consciousness as the show leaped around painfully trying to decide on a target demographic and age-group.

    Interspersed with all the frustratingly annoying bits were some incredibly powerful scenes, however. The scene Renton lost control? Chilling. When a desperate, broken Ray crawls across her ship in a sea of blood moments before her death? Heartrending. All this alongside dynamic fight choreography, compelling depictions of trauma and struggle, and so forth. Maybe this juxtaposition of contrasts made those powerful scenes stand out so effectively. The whole mood-swing from silly immature antics to visceral conflict; you know, the same stuff people have said about One Piece.

    In any event, I’m finding AO to be quite consistently realistic, barring a few plotholes (does the yet-unexplained existence of Truth qualify?). I can vouch for the fact that AO is more down-to-Earth (literally), more self-aware, and more emotionally believable E7. This might have the unfortunate side-effect of seeming duller (less “magical”) than its predecessor in comparison among die-hard fans of the original. Like GE says, AO feels like E7 grown up. In my case, Eureka 7 earned a place among my favorite anime, but I’m really enjoying this new ride.

    The expanded emphasis on social, familial, and political commentary in AO thus far, in addition to tongue-in-cheek humor and references, are a bit more up my alley than angry brats pissing on anyone a few years older than them in front of some pseudo-symbolic backdrop of folklore and technobabble. Plus, the themes, people, motivations, and setting of AO just seem so much less blatantly bizarre than in E7, and in consequence they are more tangible and natural.

    Also, I had to look up this “NTR” business. This incredible article is filled with a sociological exploration of netorare, and I suggest that anyone who merely thinks of the term (or genre encompassing it) as “cuckolding” should take a look: http://www.animenation.net/blog/2010/07/19/ask-john-what-is-ntr-and-why-is-it-popular/

  24. Thanks “Commenter” (LOL) and hoiut. I see we share a lot of the same feelings about both series, hoiut, as well as about why AO seems to be finding some reistance. Commenter, I certainly agree that Aikawa is not an especially mainstream writer – if you read my UN-GO posts you certainly know I questioned what commercial niche the show could possibly be targeting – but I still loved it. OTOH, Nadesico – though it’s pretty old now – was quite popular in its time, and retains a certain classic status.

      1. Let that stop me from doing what?

        Enzo, I think you need to take a step back. That you are getting so worked up over people commenting about how they don’t like a show you like is a sign you need to re-evaluate what you are doing as a blogger. I understand it can be frustrating, but you also have to understand that everyone isn’t going to agree with you all the time. To be honest, when people start calling the other side “haters”, the argument is already lost.

        But whatever, I’ve spent far too much time on this forum arguing with people about an anime, so I’ll take my own advice and drop it. I just suggest you either accept the fact that AO is not as amazing as you are hyping it up to be, or at least recognize that people have legitimate reasons for being a bit disappointed with the direction. If you can’t do either, perhaps you shouldn’t be blogging, a practice which invites criticism.

      2. That’s just how he is Enzo, whenever he gets called out, he evades and tries to change the subject, doesn’t even have the balls to give an actual response.

        also Tarage, before you accuse others of being unable to accept criticism or different opinions, you may want to look into a mirror yourself first.

  25. I don’t really understand what people dislike about this series. Through 8 episodes (or 16, I suppose, if we make it a percentage for E7), I like it much more than the original. Disregarding the continuity issue for a moment, AO has way better characters and themes than E7.

    I feel like the episode count– only 2 cour– is really helping AO. I felt that E7 had way too many filler– not just episodes, but in general– that really ruined the show despite some great moments (the entire Ray and Charles arc, for instance). It feels like a more light-hearted and less mystical Evangelion– which I’m totally fine with.

    Admittedly, Truth and Naru’s betrayal are definitely divisive elements. Truth to me feels very-Kaoru-ish, with his superpowers and sudden appearance. Personally, I feel like he was introduced a bit too soon– for a series that was a bit more grounded the E7, I would have liked it more if he was introduced towards the end, like Kaworu was.

    In the end, I guess I’m saying that even if E7:AO is a deconstruction of super robot shows, or even a deconstruction of the original E7, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. Maybe AO takes place in an alternate continuity, or something. I liked the original E7, but it wasn’t amazing or noteworthy, really. AO, I think, has that chance.

  26. I am enjoying this anime as well as E7. I don’t have any anything to complain about this series. I just enjoy it. If you don’t like and enjoy, why waste your time to watch this anime and complaint how bad this series are?

    Just go ahead n watch other series if you don’t like E7:AO. This anime haven’t end yet, but i can’t stand the criticism of it. Don’t compare an anime that haven’t complete with those anime that have complete years ago.. It’s just unfair to this series..

  27. The last few episodes of E7:AO have been rather bland. I don’t feel any empathy for the characters and frankly the action sequences aren’t that exciting or interesting to watch.
    The only reason I’m sticking with it for now is to see Renton and Eureka again. WHERE IS HE?!

  28. Dear Guardian Enzo,

    Do not ever stop.

    I love you bro, and I agree with you all the way. I absolutely loved the original and I’m loving AO for all the same reasons. You’ve done great explaining your approach here, this is a fantastic writeup — but now it’s out of your system.

    You cannot, and should not have to, explain yourself to the haters. Tell us what you like about it and why, haters be damned.

    Stay strong. You are (not) alone.

  29. summing all up..i loved the original E7..and i do like this sequel/alternate/parallel retelling..come on guys..u watch shows for ur own enjoyment rather than to frown over it..thx for the post enzo..im sticking with u till the sweet/bitter end..XD

  30. Please spare me your rant of self-pity. Enzo, I’ve followed your posts on Random Curiosity a lot, and being an anime reviewer myself, I respected the opinions of you and this blog, but this really made me question your logic here.

    Before I say anything else, I’ll come clean right now: I don’t like the sequel, and never saw a need of it. The original Eureka Seven ended fine. The plot for the most part ended with little loose ends, and there wasn’t much left to expand on. A sequel just seemed unnecessary for me, which is why I was greatly incensed when I learned there was one in production. But like any objective reviewer, I am willing to give everything its fair chance. I’m 1/3 of the way through E7AO as of now, and it’s clear to me that it fails as a sequel to the original.

    At its best, I can only call AO mediocre at this point, and goes against the original in some rather important ways. First off, it’s a monster of the week show. In E7 children piloting LFOs was not encouraged, and Renton was only there because Eureka and Nirvash chose him, and Renton wasn’t ready for it. AO has kids everywhere and it’s stupid. Truth is an X-Men villian. Why is this shit in a mecha show? Why even give him shapeshifting powers if he can just blow shit up like a one-man army?

    There is scant evidence to show that the sequel is even inspired from the source material. For example, the hippie counterculture, themes from the 1960s, the surfer culture, all of which are found in Eureka Seven are not present in AO. There’s no surfing element to the battles in AO, like there were the original, which made it very interesting to watch. It doesn’t even preserve Eureka Seven’s colorful presentation. Where the hell are my pink explosions?!

    Eureka Seven AO in the end is really just a mecha show, but just tangentially related to Eureka Seven. If the trapars were replaced with rockets and scub corals with aliens, this could easily be generic mecha anime #3,267.

    Another problem with this is flat and bland characters. Eureka Seven’s greatest strength was its ensemble of characters which, while unevenly developed, maintained the audience’s attention by giving them complexity and depth. Ao is about as interesting a character as a goldfish working as a stock broker; really, he’s nothing more than just a generic self-insert Mary-Sue. At least when Renton played the nice guy, the fact he took it to the extreme and got picked on by the crew of the Gekko made it interesting. Oh, so because Ao keeps fighting the Secret by tearing off his robot arm that automatically makes him interesting? Well I hate to spoil your fun, but this is the same clichéd shounen determination we have seen in EVERY SHOUNEN ANIME EVER.

    Because E7 was a strong show, it appealed to people who bothered to understand it and people who just wanted a mecha show to watch. E7AO has nothing to understand, lacks the unique character, but appeals to mecha viewers, which were the vast majority of E7 viewers. To them E7 was just another mecha show and E7AO is the mecha sequel. To them, I say enjoy it all you want; just leave me out of it.

    If the sequel is going to be made, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. A well-made sequel is one that builds upon the original world, the original cast, and the original themes to create a new and engaging story. A badly-made sequel is one that forgets its roots, does not understand the original themes, creates a new situation with only threadbare connections to the original story, and claims it’s the successor. AO falls more into the latter than the former. Its story thus far is bland at best, its characters are duller than lead, and its world is unoriginal. Its connections to the original series are paper thin at best, and almost nonexistent at worst. The only thing that makes it a sequel at all is because its riding on its name.

    The fact you spend 2/3 of your post attacking detractors of the anime just shows how you cannot take criticism and refuse to entertain the idea that the sequel may not be as great as you hoped it would be. Not everything turns out as we want it. We learn from it, accept it, and move on. Not everyone thinks a sequel to a well-loved show a success; that’s part of life. What makes anime great is that people take different views away from it. It doesn’t detract its overall value, it’s just the result of differing views on quality, artistry, and storytelling. The show simply isn’t that good. You’re free to disagree with me on that, but the fact that you think the criticism is misguided only makes it worse.

    1. You review things on youtube that get less than 500 hits. That doesn’t qualify you a reviewer on the level Enzo is, considering this site has a huge fanbase, one you couldn’t hope to compete with, and it isn’t hard to see why. You missed his point completely. You have basically made a post illustrating why he feels certain vocal criticism is unfounded. You speak of a “right and wrong” way to make a sequel, and don’t feel obligated to judge this on its own merits, or on the risks it has taken (and succeeded obviously, as there is just as much praise as anime channel 4chan denizens). You’re wrong. I’m from the future mind you, so I know that as a fact. Feel free to think this is my opinion, but Enzo wins this argument, and so do i. E7:Ao also turns out to be the anime of the season. Sucks for you buddy.

      John Titor
    2. wall-o-text can basically be simplified into “I hate it because it’s not just like the original E7, and I’m right and everyone who disagrees is misguided and can’t accept different opinion lololol”

      did I miss anything?

      1. Not a thing. I recommend you check out his youtube channel. He does that “im such an asshole and my opinion is so amazing that i need to yell and scream about why everything that isn’t my opinion sucks” schtick that has never been funny ever (except maybe yahtzee, but he knows its a joke). But in his case, reading his forum posts, the irony is just too amusing to ignore.

        John Titor
  31. Anyone notice every positive comment has more downvotes than upvotes? Yet the comments are slightly weighing toward the positive? If you’re just reading the comments to downvote every post that even remotely praises this series, you should kindly find a different hobby. Its clear you aren’t commenting and adding to the discussion. No, you just sit here read the first sentence of a post and click thumbs down. You’re all the worst. Pathetic little kids most likely. Playing with yourself is more productive than the wanton negative voting here. This isn’t 4chan. Stop trying to sage legitimate discourse.

    At least I get some solace in knowing you ALL die soon. The genocide of stupid internet comment behavior of 2015 will really be a sight to behold. Look forward to it.

    John Titor
  32. Renton: Hey son I’m back
    Ao: I hate you dad
    Renton: Boy, come here and give me a hug.
    Ao:(crying in Renton arms) Where did you go?
    Renton: Your mom can do some wierd things and turned my junk the colors of the rainbow, so I went to get it fixed.

    1. Some kind of emergency shut off under one of the panels is what that was I guess.

      I’d say he’s the one person I can actually live with pulling that off since he’d know exactly where the panel he needed to open was to get at, what I guess is some kind of emergency shut off, since he’s the head technical man and has been in charge of maintaining the Nirvash ever since Ao brought it onboard (as well as probably the Alleluia and the Kyrie).

      It’s ofcourse on some level a shame he was able to since you could easily feel the passion of wanting to go after Naru coming off of Ao, but if there’s one person I could live with being able to stop him it was the old man.

  33. Man I loved this ep.

    The main story was very good and plenty of touching stuff and finally really nice bonding with Ao and Fleur, not to mention their nice teamwork. Plus a great feel for the entire Team Pied Piper crew during the various stages of the extended mission.

    Plus I burst out laughing regularly at Gazelle, Han and Pippo monitoring Ao so openly with their flamboyant “sneaking” (had a feeling it just had to be purposeful lol), and when Ivica was running holding Noah and when Ao and Fleur were going to bust in on Christophe.

    It was also great when after the team got back to the base and the relief as they discovered the ruse of the fake damage and fake injury broadcast footage Gazelle’s group pulled off under Christophe’s order to enable them to save the day before that actually happened when they saw the “set” and realized it was them in costume.


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