“The Final Frontier/The Gates of Summer”

Only one thing was certain about these last two eps of Eureka Seven AO – they were going to be controversial.

It’s a real shame that the idiocy of TV scheduling caused these final two episodes to be delayed for close to two months, because irrespective of how you feel about a series, having to wait that long for a conclusion is undoubtedly going to dull the impact. And if you’re as big a fan of this show as I’ve been, it’s tantamount to torture. Already facing an impossible task in pleasing its audience, the last thing in the world AO needed was to be left hanging for two months after a classic cliffhanger.

I think it should be pretty obvious by now that Astral Ocean has split the audience in a big way, and it’s fair to say a good chunk of the original fanbase was disappointed with the show before these two eps even aired. I’m not going to rehash all those old arguments, tempting as that is, because they’re circular – I don’t see any minds being changed. Suffice to say I’m a big fan of AO and I think Aikawa Shou has delivered something bold, challenging and faithful to the original while daring to be very different. That was based on the first 22 eps of course, but I think the best thing to do is to try and judge the finale on its own terms.

I’m actually writing this portion of my post before having watched the final episode, because if I’m going to be try and be even-handed I may as well go all the way and give the penultimate one a chance to impress in its own right. By its very nature this is mostly a setup episode, but often the next to last ep of a series – especially a multi-cour one – is actually better than the finale. I can’t say yet whether or not that’s true here, but I thought this was an outstanding setup episode – it certainly didn’t create any anti-climaxes for episode 24, because almost nothing got resolved. It leaves a lot of work for a very busy finale, but it’s plenty action-packed in its own right.

What we can see based on episode 23 is that “our” world does indeed exist, and appears to be running in a sort of parallel to the ones we’ve seen in the series. As for Truth, he’s on what amounts to a suicide mission to bring reality back to reality – as he sees it, anyway – a reality where the Scub and Secrets don’t exist but nuclear annihilation and the cold war does. This, of course, is where his path finally diverges with Naru’s, and he turns on her and shoots her out of the sky (she’s rescued by Nitorin Rajkumar) before turning his sights on Ao.

For Ao’s part, his path seems to have come down largely where I expected it to. He’s seen the fallacious nature of the choice being presented to him – Secrets or Scub – and realized that in order to achieve happiness he needs to try and find a third option (though we still don’t know if that’s possible). Ultimately Ao ends up having to use the quartz gunexactly what Truth wants. As to the world that’s created by the use of the gun, it’s clearly not ours – but a lot has changed, including the political landscape. Truth seems to have disappeared from existence altogether. Ao has apparently won a great victory – over Naru, in part, who’s been fighting with the Allied forces against the Secrets. Ao can clearly sense that things are still very wrong here, and when he sees what he thinks is Eureka’s arrival, he races to her – only to find a Nirvash that looks like his own, yet different.

Without any question Renton’s appearance is the highlight of the episode, and I was quite pleased with the way it was written. Eureka has appeared too, in astral form, and it’s interesting to note that Renton was quite surprised to see her in that form – “You had no other choice?” is his question, and the implications are obviously crucial. Eureka tells him that Ao has grown up well, he’s “Such a good boy – and much more upfront than his father was.” How true that is – and when she disappears again to continue her vagabond existence wandering through time, we’re going to find out at last how father and son relate to each other.

And now, to try and sort out my feelings about the ending.

To be honest, I’m not especially looking forward to publishing this post because there have been so many people shitting all over this series since somewhere around episode 4 (though not everyone gave it even that much of a chance) that there was no way this finale was going to avoid a shitstorm of mockery and derision from those people, no matter what it did. And since it declined to deliver a happy ending tied up with a pretty bow, I can only imagine the reaction is going to be tantamount to torches and pitchforks. Certainly nothing I can say is going to change that, but I long ago decided that I was going to let the criticism of AO be water off a duck’s back – in the end it’s a case of Anthropic Syndrome. The only opinion that matters is your own.

I’ll throw a little bloody meat into the water, just for fun. This final episode did have problems – as 97% of final episodes do, and about 90% of those have similar problems to this one. Namely, this would have been a great 24th episode in a 25 episode series. It frustrates me that shows leave so much plot left to resolve in a finale that they aren’t able to give a proper coda to the characters, yet I see it happen over and over and over, even in multi-cour series where there’s really no excuse. A really good ending is getting most of the plot heavy lifting done in the penultimate episode (I’ll refer to my shining example of anime greatness, Seirei no Moribito) and allow time in the finale to properly wrap up the character arcs. The arcs of those connected to the original E7 did have a well-defined conclusion here – whether you liked it or not – but the “new” characters were largely shortchanged, and that’s a shame.

As to the mechanics of the plot itself, as convoluted as it was it largely holds water in terms of the mythology as far as I’m concerned. Effectively you had the Scub traveling to different times to avoid the Secrets, who viewed them as antithetical to “correct” existence and pursued them to exterminate them. Renton and Eureka fought to protect the Scub, but they paid a heavy price for it – and so did the universes they interacted with. Ultimately a lot of what happened in Astral Ocean comes down to Eureka and Renton’s decision to have a child despite being told it was unwise and selfish to do so – and to have a second, despite the tragic way the story of Ao’s older sister ended. It was really from that – and from the activities of GekkoState and the notion that it was possible for human and scub to co-exist – that the conflict that drove AO sprung.

Yet, strangely, I can’t view what Renton and Eureka did as a mistake because I can’t see Ao himself as a mistake. He is, as his Mom says, a good boy – brave and empathetic and in many ways a combination of the best in each of his parents. Isn’t that what any parent would want their child to be? In the end Ao’s decision – which I’ll dig into in more detail in a minute – validated his parents’ decision to have him, because he sacrificed himself to create a better world for the friends he left behind, and to keep the mother he loved and the father he learned to love at the end from having to endure any more suffering for what they’d done.

As to why things were exactly the way they were in the “Third World”, after Ao used the gun the second time, I’ll freely admit that there are certain aspects that I can’t explain. For example, why Truth re-emerged as an Archetype powering Ao’s Nirvash after having been erased as a Secret in the prior world. Given his unique nature and the fact that Secrets are basically physical manifestations of the universe itself given a will, it certainly isn’t impossible within the confines of the premise. I would argue that the larger superstructure holds up. It casts a rather pessimistic view on the open-ended way E7 concluded – If I could pick a song to summarize the message of E7 it would be “What’s so Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding” while Astral Ocean might be “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – but it was always a distinct possibility. Simply put there are limits to existence that no beings, no matter how advanced, are exempt from. Ultimately what the Scub Coral believed was possible was impossible, and someone had to pay the price for that.

The lack of a 25th episode to fully wrap up the arcs of the new characters cast a shadow backwards, and suggests that in hindsight it would have been wiser to trim the world-building back by an episode or two and spend that time at the end, on the world-deconstruction and the impact it had on the characters. If that world was important enough to construct in such detail despite its impermanence – and I’d argue it was – than I would have liked to have seen more focus on it as the series concluded. Everyone was absolutely necessary – Elena was a crucial character, even if she acted mostly as a misdirection in the end. Characters like Ivica, Stanley and Hannah were vital in shaping Ao’s view of the world and presenting the different aspects of responsibility – and culpability – among adults. Gazelle and his crew were the central pillar of the political sub-plot that gave the story much of its impact in the early and mid-game arcs.

Fleur, I think, most deserved more closure. Even her father had a GAR death at least, but Fleur was destined to be left behind – I think that was obvious as soon as the second ED aired (much of the ending was, in truth) but she was always secondary in Ao’s heart to both his mother and to Naru. Naru’s ending was another that needed more attention – her importance in the story was obvious from the beginning, but after a strong comeback in the final stretch she was largely forgotten in the last episode. This might very well have been intentional and it’s a defensible choice, but not one I fully agree with.

In the end though, things came squarely down to Ao, Eureka and Renton – and no one should be surprised by that. The themes that drove much of the series – the failure of adults to provide for the children, and Ao’s evolution towards escaping the box his circumstances had placed him in and finding his own path – were the focus of the finale, as they should have been. Ultimately father and son each chose to sacrifice themselves, but Ao believed that Renton’s decision to do so was based on a faulty premise. He took matters into his own hands – literally – and chose to act without deferring to or waiting for the adults around him. For Ao, the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the one. Both he and his father wanted to “end it” in their own words, but only Ao’s way would definitively do so in such a way as to protect both the world he was born into, and his parents.

The question for me, then, is not whether the ending is consistent with the series – it is – but what to make of it emotionally. There’s no doubt that Ao did what he did out of love, but he’s a child – and perhaps, because of that, didn’t fully understand that his parents would probably have sacrificed themselves rather than go on living knowing their son sacrificed himself for their happiness. That was the crux of the situation, and the effect of the selfish decision Eureka and Renton made, though admittedly for the right reasons – Ao shouldn’t have existed at all, and something had to be sacrificed to restore the balance. I think Eureka and Renton might have been able to prevent Ao from doing what he did – it’s hard to say with certainty – but in the end they realized that it was due to their judgment that Ao was in the situation to have to make the decision he did, and they had no right to take that decision away from him. In short, Ao had the moral authority to decide the future that they lacked.

It’s a bit of a heart-wrenching thing, really – those scenes of Ao and Eureka together, the beautiful mother and beautiful child, achingly call to mind how unfair it is that they could never have a normal life as a family. Eureka and Renton made so many mistakes but they made them because of love and faith, and that’s the tragic aspect of their story. As for Ao himself, it appears that he found himself “outside time” in a somewhat similar situation to the one Eureka exiled herself to, with only the Archetype Truth for company – though he was able to see the visual proof of Renton and Eureka’s love for each other in the end. He managed to go back to save his mother – and to clue her into his own eventual existence – and return eventually to the world that was the same as the one he’d left, but different – changed for a third time by the firing of the quartz gun, and two years into its future.

Indeed, I see many similarities both between what Ao did and what his mother did to save a universe, and between their fates for doing so. Rather than dying Ao became a wanderer in time, as Eureka did, and it seems in the end he reverted back to “his” universe – though presumably now one that has forgotten he ever existed in it – and with the disappearance of Nirvash and Truth, it seems trapar is likely to disappear too, and Ao is coming back to a world without Scub and Secret. So he can continue to exist in this world, now as a long-haired (possibly) 15 year-old – though he’s going to need to learn how to surf in the ocean, seemingly. But he at least has a clean slate, and can now forge his own path and even his own identity – and one suspects that path will take him back to Iwato Island (now part of a fully independent Okinawa, with Gazelle as head of its Department of State), and to the girl he loved since he was a toddler. Given that Ao is a boy who should never have existed in the first place, this was his loophole – the universe found a way for him to exist after all, by erasing his identity and starting fresh. In that sense it’s a happy ending for Ao, and one that’s richly deserved.

That’s certainly the longest episodic post I’ve ever written, so that gives me even more imperative not to wade at length into the question of this series’ worth on the whole. You believe what you wish, and so will I. I think Astral Ocean stands up as a daring and risky sequel, one that was altogether more subtle and difficult than its predecessor. BONES certainly didn’t take the path of least resistance here and no doubt they’ve paid a price for it commercially, but I dismiss out of hand the carping about this not being a “legitimate” sequel. It expounded on the mythology of the first series, and answered many of the questions that show punted on in the end. I loved E7, for all the glorious mess of contradictions and indecipherable BONES plot twists it left tangled, but ultimately it became a very narrowly focused story at the end and left its larger plot unfinished. I won’t deny that the answers AO found were more pessimistic than hopeful in many ways, but they were answers – and ones that were philosophically and logistically in-line with the mythology.

I have no illusions that this finale is going to escape the negativity that’s been a constant in the fan community, but that was inevitable as soon as the series laid out the type of sequel it was going to be. There were certainly flaws, as there almost always are with endings of multi-cour series, but it was true to the series and to the franchise, and emotionally it hit the mark for me. As indeed did Astral Ocean as a whole. Ao was one of the best main characters of the year, the music was excellent and while there were some inconsistences in the visuals, it delivered some glorious hand-drawn mecha animation in a way we rarely see it in this day and age. I’m very glad that the only opinion that matters when it comes to art is our own, and mine is this: Astral Ocean is one of my favorite series of 2012.


      1. I agree with Nitro: It’s Ao’s show, not Renton’s. Less than a sequel and more like a spin-off. Compare the original Nanoha(starring Nanoha, of course) with Vivid(starring Nanoha’s daughter, Vivio) and Force(starring Touma). It’s like that: both played as sequels, but really taste like spin-offs instead.

        But it doesn’t mean that it sucks though. It just played out differently from how we thought a sequel should have been.

    1. I love the entire ending, though I could’ve used more closure. However, so damn nice that it ended up with Naru x Fleur 😀 Yes, it did, don’t try to convince me otherwise!

      Lovely ending!

  1. As a parent myself, I can totally understand Renton and Eureka’s desires to protect Ao at all cost. It’s funny, my parents always told me “you will one day understand how we feel about you, when you have children of your own”. How right they were… how right they were indeed.

    Although I debate that trapar has disapperaed completely, when Ao jumped out of Nirvash Neo at the final scene, his wave board was definitely surfing trapar and he was in really high altitude, I doubt he’ll jump out and ride the air and fall to his death. Unless of course, the presence of Nirvash Neo generated a temporary trapar wave… then I am sure trapar still exist in the atmosphere.

      1. yeah i was kind of wondering how Ao planned to successfully reenter the planets atmosphere without a: a baumgartner style and b: any trapar to surf down on….

        plus am i to understand that Ao removed all of the scub from existence ? – did that act not negate his own existence… i’m sort of confused. the paradoxes of time travel do not allow it!

    1. Is scub corals really disappear completely? I thought the one who wants to destroy all the sub is Renton, but Ao doesn’t want that because Naru and all the coral carries will disapear with the scub, instead he annihilated all the secret in the past (when he saved Eureka), so I guess scub coral is still exists.

  2. Was Dewey right, after all?

    I’m glad you liked it, I certainly didn’t. What started out as an interesting show with a spectacular start in the first three or so episodes turned, to me, into a disaster.
    It shat all over the original’s themes of finding a way to coexist with the Scub Coral and puts a heavy damper Renton’s and Eureka’s happy ending.

    To me, it felt more like a spin-off than a sequel, with matters and characters from the original show used as carrots on a stick to keep people watching a show that, without the name Eureka Seven, would’ve never had the audience it got because I found the plot not only disrespectful to the original, but also nowhere near as interesting. And I didn’t even like the original that much.
    Not to mention the typical Bones ending. Satisfying conclusion? Closure? Nowhere in sight. It was not worth the emotional investment.

    Fool me once, Bones, shame on you.
    Fool me twice, shame on me.
    I will be careful not to repeat the mistake of watching a show, especially a sequel, by them.

    I am very disappointed. I really wish I could bleach the whole thing from my mind.

      1. I did but the show itself still exists, even though the events in the anime technically didn’t happen. I was referring to erasing the show from existence altogether so spare all the nothingness that the entire show became after the great looking promise during the first three episodes. XD

        Shou Aikawa going back to his old habits in his writing… there is a rumour floating around that the fellow that wrote the first three episodes jumped ship and we got this gigantic mess :\

  3. Confirmation or not, it was still nice to have someone agree with me. I could not have put it in better words Enzo, it is a risky sequel alright, but one that didn’t deserve all the harsh criticisms.
    This sequel is no where as bad as people make it out to be, at least in my opinion. For one, it did answer how the question of limitation was resolved at the end of the E7 with a good plot twist that actually ties well into the story. But granted, if all your expectation weighed on seeing the old cast reassembled and their post-E7 life told, then you are in for a disappointing surprise. Yes, the connection is still there, but only with Eureka and Renton at the core, the rest of the cast had no spotlight. But once I stopped obsessing over how different it was from E7, I was able to appreciate it for what it is – a story about Ao, Eureka and Renton’s son, embarking on a journey to discover who he is and who he can be.

    That said, I do feel conflicted about the ending and some degree of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, I find it good albeit frustratingly hard to tease apart. On the other other hand, damn….I was waiting for a forever family union. It’s just bittersweet to see them stranded in different timelines after what they have been through. The thing is, if you accept what Bones is trying to do here, then there is little way to negate the ending because as things stand, someone or something needs to be sacrificed in order to keep things in relative balance. The entire show sits on the premise that Eureka and Renton’s child cannot survive in trapar-heavy environment, which entails Eureka destroying her own kind. Because Renton doesn’t want her to go through the pain, he takes the burden upon himself and sends her to a different timeline. Of course, the scub corals wreaking havoc across different universes – even if it is unintended and much of it driven by the emerging secrets – is another incentive for Renton to destroy them. The part that Eureka gets stuck in a space limbo is a twist that’s devised so Ao is given a chance to experience the world, see things through his own lenses and make decisions that are meaningful to him. Rather than just being Eureka and Renton’s son, he’s important within a much bigger picture, and I rather like how his personal growth is handled. The theme of family ultimately ties the whole show together. Renton and Eureka wanted to sacrifice everything they ever worked for so Ao can live in peace, and Ao returns the gesture so his parents can be together again. Like Bones series, this one is also about personal struggles and growth, sacrifice and hope. And at the center of those themes, holding the pieces together, we have love – Renton and Eureka’s love for Ao, and Ao’s love for his parents. I just wish there was more screen time with the three of them together.

    The biggest difference that separates Ao from E7 is that it has a much more sinister take on racial-integration, revealing all the implications and limitations, which aren’t that far fetched if you consider how little we know about the scub corals. The sequel questions the beliefs the characters fought for so adamantly in Eureka Seven, so it seems that in retrospect, the journey in the original series appear to lose some of its weight and purpose. However, I’m probably in the minority to think that the values in this series do not necessarily contradict with that of E7. The show never takes a side as to declare which species is “evil” and deserve to be eliminated, and it never imposes a set truth upon the audience – having Truth take on different forms is a rather symbolic and profound representation. It’s not regressive in the sense that what the characters did in E7 was completely meaningless, but because they didn’t know how the scubs resolved the question of limitation, they simply could not have predicted the outcome and its impact. Ao’s decision at the end of the day helps the series to reach a somewhat neutral standpoint, it foretells a future perhaps not as rosy as the one we were made to believe at the end of Eureka Seven where humans and scub corals co-exist in harmony, but it is also not as radical as what Renton intended to do. Co-existence is not a negated notion, because otherwise the union between Eureka and Renton would not have been possible, it is just something that hasn’t been achieved yet in practice on a universal scale.

    Bones had the ending in mind when they planned the series, it was not randomly invented because Bones did not know what to do with the enigma they created. This sequel reminds me of Rahxephon in so many ways, convoluted, philosophical and politically sharp, I don’t think Bones could have a done a more different sequel that still manages to have a heart of its own.

    Finally, sorry for the super long rant!

    1. I’m going to be honest with you, when the ending came if left me feeling a mix of emotions. I felt closure – yes but it was with anger, pain, sadness and joy all bundle into one. It left me to go to various forums to sort out my feelings.

      After watching it again, I can say now that while I can accept Eureka Seven Ao … I do believe that they can be so much more. Sure you’re satisfied with a bar of chocolate but wouldn’t a box of chocolate be so much better.

      Part of the problem I think was the length. I’m sure that if it was a 50 episodes worth of story, I believe that they can deliver a story that is more satisfying, comprehensive – one that we can be emotionally involved. But it wasn’t so and because the pacing was design as if it was the whole thing was left to fall apart. And it’s a shame because this was not a bad story from the start – it was a good story that became such a mess because they couldn’t make it even longer. The problem I think was so crucial that it cause other problems as well – because the story was only 24 episodes despite a pacing and plot that is worth more than that the resolutions was solved with half-ass execution. Plots became murkier, confusing and in some instance meaningless. I don’t think this can be call an excellent story if the audience was left to wonder the internet just to figure out what the heck is going on.

      And then there was the time travelling. Time travel is complex – presenting it was a task in itself because people had to stop thinking about time from a linear stand point. Using time travel as a plot device was even more challenging because it opens up cans of worms that is both hard and difficult. In Eureka Seven Ao, the viewers are left to ponder just how it all makes sense and when they do arrive at an answer they discover that the answer itself doesn’t make sense but they accepted it anyway because they was no better alternative. It is frustrating, difficult and I don’t think it’s fair to expect from viewers to know time travel theories – sure, I do but what about those who don’t? I’m not surprised if a few had drop the show simply because it actually takes an incredible effort just to try to enjoy a story that they may not necessarily enjoy.

      Ao’s sister was another can of worms. I admit it – I felt tearful that time when Eureka and Renton was left mourning their daughter’s death. I love the couple and seeing them lost their child breaks my heart. But I do think it’s kinda cheap to kill the child at this point in the game – and when I thought about how the story’s pacing and length was at fault, I start to get this idea that the child died less about the incompatibility of two different cells (a point that deeply bothers me) but more on the fact that Bones was simply incompetent. They had to fill all the plot holes while making us feeling emotional so what they did – they killed her, they killed Eureka and Renton’s child so that they got a few emotional points. And yeah they got it, it was a good ending but I was unhappy and miserable and frustrated because instead of a mere good ending they could have a GREAT ending and they mess it up!

      … Sure a slice of pizza is great and all but is not a box of pizza even better? That is the best analogy to express my disappointment with Bones. I love Eureka Ao, I want to love it but why is it that my heart hurts so much?


      1. I admit the series doesn’t exactly hold your hand with its story telling. It can be very difficult to follow with so many subplots intertwined and developing at the same time. It’s not just with this series, Bones has established this muddled style of storytelling since Rahxephon, so I’m actually quite used to it by now after having seen a good chunk of their shows. Half of the time, you feel like you are thrown into a dream world where common sense and logic do not apply, and suspension of disbelief is just something you need to have if the story is to make sense at all. Even if you do give Bones another 25 episodes, well, you would still likely be very confused by the end of it as in the case of Eureka Seven. The only difference would be that the characters will no doubt be better flushed out. I actually think Ao is one of Bones better resolved shows as many of the questions central to the plot were answered near the end, the frame that holds the show together is largely intact. However, the exact metaphysics of time traveling is never elaborated in detail, there was never a clear explanation to the sequence of changes that took place when the Quarts gun was used. How or why they arrived at one outcome as oppose to another is just something we need to accept. The only time travelling mechanism you really need to understand here is scub burst, which was caused by the emerging secrets, the world’s defense mechanism who chased the scubs from timeline to timeline. Naru and her beliefs, Generation Bleu, the secrets, the brutal reality Eureka & Renton had to confront are all different facets of truth. There is no villain, or even right or wrong in this series, just different perspectives depending on where you stand.

        Hmm, I actually think the sister twist was very original and one that made a lot of sense, even though it’s a very tragic element for sure. I found it to be a good twist because it goes to show that things are never as predictable as we like to assume. Life is full of unfortunate surprises. The fact is no one knows the exact nature of scub corals, where they came from and what is the limit to their capabilities. Ao is that beacon of hope, the validation that co-existence is possible and his decision holds more weight precisely because of the struggles Renton and Eureka. But I understand though, it’s certainly heart wrenching to watch and difficult to process.

  4. I loved this series, and as much as it broke my heart, I loved the ending. As a self-proclaimed biggest E7 fan, I can tell anyone who cares to listen that the original series was built up to be a tragedy. Eureka was supposed to die at the end; every other version of the story, minus the film, ends in her death. The reason this was changed was because at the last minute the studio felt that their seiyuu were doing a fantastic job and that it would seem cruel to kill her off. Hence, our Wish Upon a Star ending. However, I’ve personally always been dissatisfied with that ending, despite feeling happy for my two favorite characters.

    Dissatisfied as such, I’m in love with the tragic ending of AO. Yes, there were inconsistencies and many things never got explained. Yes, most of the new characters were ignored hugely. Yes, the ending was rushed. But it hurt, in a good way. It was beautifully sad; no parties truly ended up happy. We have Eureka and Renton cursed to childlessness so long as the Scub exists, with a dead daughter and an exiled son, and we have Ao himself, who was selfless and mature enough to choose his own way, with only the prospect for a new beginning as a result. Ao has become my second favorite character in the world; he’s so much more than just another mecha pilot. He’s had precious little in his life and yet he gave all that away when he felt it was right.

    In any case, the consequences of the original story on AO really do make all the difference; life is not “happily ever after”. People hit on sadness and unfairness everyday. That Eureka and Renton came to this end after all they went to to be together wasn’t fair, it’s true, but they at least get the tiny consolation that somewhere beyond their reach, one lone survivor of the future they could have had is still out there and very much alive.

  5. I liked this show, I’ve have since the beginning what ever mixed thoughts on the ending aside. How ever I didn’t love it like I did the original flaws and all.

    I’m really not sure what to say other than that, I understand why others don’t like it. For example I don’t really like the shadow it casts on the originals ending. However I liked this show and I liked the main three characters even though I spend most of the show worrying about Eureka more than them.

  6. It’s sad to say but my favorite episode was episode 1. I felt like they tried explaining so much in these last 2 episodes that it reminded me how confusing this show was.. I think this show is a prime example of why we should leave classics alone. Unless you can create something better than the original…dont touch it

  7. They really should have explained more of what exactly happened with the ending because I’m a fair bit confused…

    Like I’m assuming that Ao’s last shot with the quartz gun was supposed to have gone through the space/time portals the secrets had opened up and traveled through time to hit every scub that had appeared? That would explain what happened in the scene after where young Naru is watching as the pillar of light appears/disappears but there’s no scub… right?

    But if Ao did get rid of the scub from appearing and thus get rid of the secrets attacking and “fix” everything then shouldn’t there have been some MASSIVE changes to the timeline considering how long the scub had been popping up and the secrets had been attacking?

    And if the scub are gone how was Ao able to use Renton’s board to fly down if there was no Trapar?

    Beyond all of that I’m fairly pissed that there never seemed to be any actual explanation of where Kanon actually came from and that The End’s brief appearance never came up again.

  8. I agree: I wish there was a 25th episode to tie things up.

    I wish the scripts would have gone through at least one more re-write to make the whole series hold together better and improve the pacing and development.

    What can be painful is to re-watch the show from the beginning and realize how much you are watching isn’t going to be resolved in a satisfactory way.

    1. This was enjoyable series with a likable protagonist, great and interesting side characters who should of had more time being developed. I don’t think most people would be angry about a bittersweet ending IF executed well. But I would understand if they were frustrated by a disjointed, rushed, and inconclusive ending. I think the ending was fine and the series in general but horrendously paced. Maybe it’s just their style to frantically race to a conclusion that has a vague resolution. If it is, I hate it. I mean they certainly took their time to do FMA:B correctly.

      That’s biggest flaw with this series and I believe with many recent Bones series. There aren’t enough episodes towards the end to properly examine and conclude their series. Look at UN-GO, Gosick, Star Driver, Darker than Black S2, Xam’d. They all don’t properly conclude in a satisfying way but have excellent world building, characters and plot. The studio still hasn’t found a way to properly develop their excellent properties by throwing the pacing all over the place and that to me is far more frustrating than just watching the average or bad show.

    1. I think Xam’d is one of my biggest anime disappointments. It started off so incredible, had an amazing cast, animation, and music. The story seemed interesting and there seemed like a ton of places it could go. It started going downhill, then after the mid season finale…ugh. Such a massive disappointment. I think it could have been one of my all time favorite shows.

  9. So … ao fires the quarts gun annihilated the machine truth was on and then changed time. He then again sees truth but as an archtype for the nirvash neo.

    Fires the gun to save his mom and to stop them from fighting what they’ve been protecting since they were still kids(renton&eureka). Ao also confessed that he likes the world where he was born in and would willingly save it no matter what the cost at the same time sending renton&eureka back on their time. So he fired the cannon again(luckily he faced it upwards or else little naru would have been hit hehe).

    Sending eureka&renton back to their time, annihilating the secrets about to create a scub burst (on w/c eureka was suppose to do by transporting the quarts somewhere), then sending both him and truth (where?) that’s my question. Truth says that they were travelling time. I mean the fade away’s are confusing me hehe

    then he was able to go back to his own time. The time in w/c he started his journey? yeah i wanna look into more on this. Though I could use some help to those who have there thoughts on it since i have only a little free time.

  10. I wish I could shoot myself with the Quarts gun to live in a world where this anime did not exist. Just like Darker than Black season 2 BONES proves once again that it cant make a satisfying sequel to one of its series. I hope they make a worthy sequel to Eureka Seven or never venture further into series, its better to kill something while its still beautiful instead of ruining it. I was very hyped for AO, but its not only a bad Eureka Seven sequel its a bad anime itself.

  11. Hmm my opinion is, AO was a great (if a bit flawed) show on it’s own. But even I wish for a Quartz Gun if I have to view it as a sequel to the original series.

    My reason is basically, the original series did so much effort to have Renton and Eureka go through all kinds of trouble to ultimately be together and have a happy end. Then in AO they used that very happy end to ruin it all.
    – They did their best to protect the Scub -> it now invades other worlds and which leads to a future dead world.
    – Even if it was frowned upon they have a child out of their love -> she turned to stone when born cuz of the state of said future world.
    – They have a second child and do every thing to keep him save -> Renton and Eureka are separated because of that, Eureka is trapped between timelines by sacrificing herself to save Ao and then Ao has to sacrifice himself to save Eureka again. So it was either a child without his parents or parents without their child.

    I admit I prefer happy endings, mostly purely cuz I want a main couple to be happily together (Main reason why I dislike Gurren Lagann’s ending). But after the ending Eureka Seven gave us, I can’t help but feel that AO did everything to ruin it.

    Good show, worst sequel ever.

  12. I’m a fan of the original E7, and I’m also one of those disappointed about this sequel, but hell, if BONES gave this a happy ending, I would forget all my disappointments and love this, but no. BONES failed me, just like what they did with Darker Then Black season 2.
    After seeing how much hardship Renton & Eureka had to go through just to keep Ao alive, and how it must have been painful for them to lose their first child… really, all I wished for was for their family to be together. Now I really think that the original masterpiece, Eureka Seven, should have never been touched.

      1. And yet a large part of what I remember and enjoy about the original Eureka 7 to this day was the satisfying and happy ending. That ending made the whole long journey worth it.

        To me, that ending was one of the best points about the whole show, which means a lot, considering that most endings of stories are pretty crap. AO’s ending just feels unsatisfying and hacked together, and that Bones had started too many plot threads throughout the series that they then realized they didn’t have another 26 episodes to truly develop and conclude.

        It also invalidates the previous happy end of E7, which just makes me want to forget AO’s conclusion. In the same way the the now-infamous ME3 ending was bad not because it was not a happy ending, but because it invalidated the themes that the series had built up, and didn’t answer enough questions for a satisfying conclusion, so is AO’s ending also not a fitting conclusion to the previous series and the great potential that AO built up.

  13. As others have said, I also wanted a happy ending. Ao, Renton, and Eureka (and the daughter) living together whether in whichever world. In a sense, it is the same problem I have had from the beginning. Interesting show, but not what I wanted from the sequel. Oh well, it did not kill the original series for me and this series was certainly an interesting ride itself.

    1. Not bothering to spellcheck or type out a complete sentence aside. There comes a time when you realize that making something dark just for the sake of it doesn’t make it better.
      Having it set at current time earth and have alot of it focus on a small insignificant island chains wish for independence when the original series spent 50 episodes building and expanding the world they lived in felt incredibly lazy on Bones part. Not including the guy that came up with the originals premise. Spent unnecesary airtime on monster of the week and a half-assed villain that didn’t matter resulting in a rushed unsatisfying ending that didn’t bring any closure. No original character in AO mattered in the end but Ao himself because of the retcanon gun.
      The writers deciding they needed to include E7 somehow and decided to shit on everything they accomplished at the end of it.

      As a standalone anime it would have interested me about as much as any other mecha anime of the year, which is not at all. Bones trying to dress up Doki Doki Okinawa politics as an Eureka SeveN and replacing sprites with Eureka references doesn’t make it a proper sequel.

  14. I like the ending, but it failed to provide is closure for the characters.
    Like Fleur for example, or Fleur, or Fleur, or Fleur.

    Just as how AO doesn’t exist in everyone’s minds, the rest of the important characters didn’t exist in the creators’ minds. They provided closure for Eureka and the family though, which is what matters the most, but still…

    The anime’s a bit confusing ; the anime having a 2-month break certainly didn’t help the case

  15. This was definitely different. It felt like they had little planning at all and made episodes on whims. In the openings it looked as though Naru was AO’s destined one, yet she played a role that feels like a side character.

    I could not take Truth’s involvement in this matter seriously. AO just accepted him so easily after killing fleur’s father and everything he’s done. Just seems like the writers used the most convenient way to justify things every time.

  16. I thought this episode was really lacking, because it couldn’t give closure to most characters emotionally.

    Here’s a small explanation on Truth becoming an archetype:

    The Quartz Gun is like a genie. It makes wishes become true. Given the assumption that there are infinite universes, it takes you to the one in which what you want is real. Or, perhaps it just actually changes the world to what you want.

    Either way, Naru had just told Ao that he couldn’t keep up because his machine was fully mechanical, unlike her Nirvash. Ao was also fighting Truth. He fired the gun and both problems solved each other. Truth is now a silly AI on his epic Nirvash that isn’t completely mechanical.

    It came off as a cheap trick to me, and I didn’t realize this until somebody posted it over Reddit, but overall I’m alright with Truth being an archetype after this explanation. What I can’t stand is how he just disappeared at the end. Or what happened to all the characters. Or how Quartz came to be, so that the scub coral could continue existing.

    Anyways, what I understood is this:

    First of all, there’s a question regarding whether life can reach a limit – the question of limits, I think.
    Eureka Seven – Renton and Eureka defend the scub coral from being destroyed
    The scub coral threatens the world, not sure what happens here, secrets appear.
    Humanity becomes extinct, the limit of life is near? Using the quartz, scub corals travel back in time to escape this fate. TO different universes. Trying to establish itself.
    Secrets follow the scub coral through the time warps. For some reason, they also attack humanity.
    Eureka Ao events

    I’m particularly not sure about when the secrets show up. Here’s a post saying other stuff. http://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/13i24x/spoilers_eureka_seven_ao_final_episodes_23_24/c745cfo

    1. From what I understood, the scub coral went to the past because the limit of questions was near in the future because Renton and Eureka helped the coexistence of both races. Their presence in the past would altar the universe since they weren’t suppose to be there so secrets were created to prevent that. The ones that did get away into different time periods were eventually being hunted down and destroyed by secrets. Renton and Eureka began to notice the disappearing scubs and started investigating as to where they went which was when Eureka accidentally arrives to another time pregnant with AO’s sister. The only reason I can think of as to why the secrets started attacking humans in the future is because they were starting to become infected with the corlian-based disease in AO’s time which could probably have progressed over time.

  17. I wanted to love this show, I really did. I thought episode two was phenomenal and really captured the spark that the original had and then…it could just never get its feet off the ground. Sure, there was an episode here and there that was really well done but nothing that was amazing. The original series had so many inspiring and beautiful moments and this one failed to deliver those. The ending was really disappointing. It left too many storylines unresolved and ultimately felt anticlimactic. It’s frustrating that the show didn’t live up to the original series, but oh well. It wasn’t terrible by any means…just wasn’t great.

  18. I’m still not sure what I feel about the ending, on the one hand I really enjoyed the short lived teary reunion at the very end on the other hand I really hated how they ignored what ended up happening to the rest of the cast.

    I’ll say this though… This really was Ao’s story.

  19. The ending at least how i see it:

    At the end Ao’s timeline (at the end when he jumps on the board Renton gave him) shouldn’t have trapar (or at least if it does it should be extremely low density trapar) because when he went to save Eureka in the past he shot the secrets and erased them, with no secrets in existence when the scub first came to earth they’d have no reason to jump into different dimensions/pasts. His timeline is still the same (for him) Either because even if the scub didn’t need to go to the past, it’d still have trapar in Eureka’s + Renton’s timeline so they’d still have to do the time travel to have him born safely, or because of his interference with the timeline he somehow lost his place in time, and the universe tends to correct things such as misplaced time travelers (last line is a joke, but kinda serious o.o)

    Hero Of Senki
  20. I thought that was a spectacular ending, really changed my overall rating of this prequel. There’s admittedly a lot of things left open-ended, but there was also a phenomenal amount of really great content in the latter half of the last episode, epic really. As great as it was, I think I would say the potential it had was far greater. It’s like everything is there to make this series overall utterly amazing, but there just wasn’t the right intricacy in writing. This last episode especially shined light of how much more amazing it could have been. All in all, the finale was unarguably entertaining for me (the 23rd episode was a bit droll, using Renton’s appearance as the cliffhanger again just like the 22nd episode was a bit unnecessary, but when the 24th got kicking with three awesome insert songs in a row, oh man…) but I can’t help but wonder how much better it could have been. (In that hypothetical case, I think it would have easily contended against Fate/zero for best show of 2012 and maybe even overall, for me at least.)

    I am a bit disheartened at all the negative response though. People seem to be insatiable when it comes to this prequel because of their expectations after watching the original series. First people are whining about Eureka and Renton not showing up and now they’re whining that the ending focused too much on them and didn’t cover the side-characters’ epilogue stories. It’s not that I don’t agree with some of the complaints, but yeah, okay…

  21. Rewatching some of my favorite episodes from the original…and yeah, AO just never really managed to capture the magic of Eureka 7. It always seemed to be right on the edge. Specifically…it never gave us a moment like in episode 26 of the original, when Eureka and Renton are finally reunited.

    1. The third should probably a spin-off instead of a sequel, though, since AO is more like a spinoff. best bet is when the humans escaped from the Scub Coral and returned, completing the circle.

      Or they could do an alter-universe in which Ao’s sister lived…

  22. This show went against everything what made Eureka7 so great and even destroyed the deserved happy ending from Renton end Eureka. For me, this show is one of the biggest dissapointments since the last few years.

  23. I don’t usually post, but since I am such a big fan of the original E7, I just have to put some of of thoughts down here.

    I am very very disappointed in E7:AO. Like many of the posters above me, I felt that it went against everything which made E7 a great anime. I understand that this is E7:AO, and not E7, but there are things which every good story / show should have.

    In my view, what made the original E7 great for me were the characters – the interaction between them, the struggles that they had to go through and ultimately the character development that they received towards the end of the show. A great example of this was the whole Renton x Eureka x Holland trio. The relationship between them, the internal struggles that they had to go through and ultimately the characters that they became at the end of the show was what made the show great. We had memorable characters in E7 – the Gekko gang, Dominic, Anemone, Charles and Ray…I could go on forever about what made E7 great.

    E7:AO had none of that, and a lot of it had to do with the poor characters. Ao was a mediocre character to say the least when compared to Renton in the original series. Naru…don’t even get me started – she is one of the most inconsistent characters that I’ve seen in my experience of watching anime. This inconsistency is extremely evident towards the last few episodes. Gazelle and co received little to none character development at all. Nakamura couldn’t really find a place within the E7:AO cast…the list goes on.

    E7:AO had the potential to be great. I was ecstatic about episode 12, when Eureka appeared in the Gekko. I was like, “Aha! This is were the strands laid down in eps 1 – 11 would start to come together!” Boy was I wrong.

    These are just my views – in no way am I trying to sway people to think that E7:AO is bad. I understand that E7:AO was enjoyable to many and I understand and respect that. But I just had to rant because I loved the original E7 so much…

    P.S.The music in E7:AO didn’t live up to the potential of E7 also…E7 had great great music that added a lot of depth and atmospher to the whole E7 world – Storyteller, Niji etc. E7:AO was certainly missing in the music department also…

    All in all, I didn’t like E7:AO. Just my two cents.

    1. I definitely see where you’re coming from. But while I do agree that most of the points you specified greatly contribute to a show’s success and enjoyability, I don’t think they’re necessarily essential. Personally, I think Eureka Seven AO could have done fine without them, were the story and characters not such a mess.

      Character development and relationships are great to watch, but I think AO was intended more to be a “coming of age” series. (I realize this sounds a little contradictory, but let me explain.) I won’t argue that character development is necessary; that much is a fact, and moreso if the series emphasizes the protagonist’s maturation. However, while long-term inter-character relationships are a great way to support character development, they’re not truly necessary; I think the anime version of Kino no Tabi is a fantastic example of this. The focus of AO on Ao could have been more introspective, that much I agree. It’s quite meaningless to name the series after your protagonist if you end up showing character but not character development. However, I still don’t think this was the primary issue.

      Instead, I feel that the problem essentially lied with the story–arcs and plots jumped too fast before any of them could settle or make themselves seem relevant, the extraordinary amount of themes wrecked the pacing and story quality, and far too many characters are simply glossed over. Someone like Mama Hannah certainly didn’t need character development, but her role in the story needs to be explained and emphasized more–or she might as well not exist. Gazelle, Ivica, and Rebecka (possibly even Blanc) all played tertiary roles in terms of importance, even though they were obviously intended to be secondary–or at least pivotal.

      If you have a good story, character development should come naturally to the script writers–E7, in a way, is a testament to this (well, I understand this is very debatable). Likewise, great character development should naturally lead to appealing storylines. But, whereas I could find sympathy for Renton and identify with his principles, I found it quite hard to like Ao, at least in his self-righteous moments.

      Huh. I feel like I ended up agreeing with you on everything after all.

    1. Nonsense.
      This pointless sequel destroyed everything good thing that was achieved in the the prequel. Of course the fans will get mad and disappointed and that is absolutely justified.
      AO is like a downright ridiculously bad sequel to the Lord of the rings where Sauron still wins in the end and Frodo and the rest of the gang died a painful horrible death.

      For me AO will be ignored and treated as if it had never existed.

      1. Dude, I agree completely with you.
        I still don’t get it. The first three episodes were so promising, but the rest of this anime was just extremely disapointing and bad.
        A story that made no sense, monsters of the week and bland characters and now this ending that even destroyed the original.
        In my opinion, this anime is just bad, really really bad.

      1. Of course people are allowed to have different opinions. But if the story, like in this sequel, is just so objectively badly written with plothols bigger then the mount everest and that even went ageinst everything what made the original great and basicelly destroys it, but at the same time some poeple are trying to justify this absurdity, of course people will facepalm. And when a he has even the nerve to call that just as “whining because they didn’t get what they wanted”, it gets just far more ridiculous because he just ignore the rest of the things on the list that made this such a mess.
        This show did nothing right besides the animation and the music.

  24. A bit flat in the end:

    1. Ao changed the world with Coral Cannon
    2. Erased Truth and became Ao’s archetype
    3. Erased the Secrets, now there are no more history of secrets blowing up corals…
    4. He got stuck…

    LOL, I dunno why he can’t exist in the future, though. The fact also made me realize that now, Renton and Eureka now lost two kids, the first one being Ao’s sister. That’s just mean. 🙁

    In the end it was an enjoyable ride. Not just as fun as the original, but fun nonetheless.

    1. Man i know, when Fleur said about that all we be a family, and AO saying that we will be back because of that it click to me tha AO has feelings for Fleur, and that he consider Naru a Bigsister.

      1. that’s what i thought too… but i suspect it’s my shipping goggles acting up :D.

        Anyway, before AO fired his gun the light indicator on Fleur’s mech turned purple. what’s with that? i can’t remember what it implies.

  25. We, the fans of the original series aren’t whining about not getting the ending WE WANT. We’re complaining because the characters didn’t get the ending THEY DESERVED. If everything that happened in E7, will lead to this kind of conclusion, Renton & Eureka will lose their children and will continue to live in a world that forbids them to have a kid, it’s unfair.
    Also, the rest of the characters in AO, in the end, were completely forgotten as well. No closure, no character developments. Loose ends everywhere.
    In short, everything that was done in E7, and through out AO, in the end, it all went to zero. If there was something I like in the ending, it’s when I heard “Niji” playing.

  26. So the ending is the typical open-ended ending.
    Very japanese 😛

    I suppose the whole focus of AO is Ao.
    His evolution, his character development.

    Since in the final world theres no Scub and Secrets then theres no Gen Bleu.
    Fleur could be in her home country and Elena become an adult or old lady already?

    Its explained that Quartz respond to human emotions.
    On the second shot, theres both Ao and Truth…then Truth disappeared but exist.
    The last shot fired at the Secrets, wonder what is Ao thinking, could his thoughts and feelings help shape the world his returns to in the end.
    Could the last shot fueled with his feelings made a better world that ‘solved’ everyone’s problems?

    Well I suppose they left that to the viewer.

    Maybe a few more years down the road, another Eureka 7 project?

  27. I say that Bones will release OVA/s or even a movie to tie things up for Ao and the rest of the characters .. possibly showing us the world Ao landed into and how things will work out for him .. or maybe what will happen to Renton and Eureka (was still pregnant with Ao) after he save them .. but that’s just my guess, i have no solid info regarding that.

  28. This is the year of disappointing sequels. Eureka Seven Ao, Aquarion Evol, Last Exile Fam, and hell, even video game franchises burned with Mass Effect 3 and Diablo III.

    I can’t help but wonder if all of these mistakes are due in part to the creators losing sight of what made the predecessors so great. In this case, not only did Ao seem to rip down the very lessons gleamed from the original. Remember “Don’t beg for it. Earn it. Then it will be granted to you”? I simply don’t see how that motif can be applied to Ao at all.

    I’m seeing a lot of the show’s defenders seemingly attacking the ones who are disappointed, and this is something that needs to be addressed. I can’t speak for anyone else, but at no point was I ever mad at people who enjoyed Ao. If you got something positive out of it, I’m happy for you. But criticizing people who don’t like it as ‘whiners’ is simply degrading to all parties. To claim that a sequel shouldn’t continue the motifs that it’s predecessor established is wrong. It’s fine to deviate, but if you swing too far away from the original, you end up with a story that in most cases could have all of the material linking the two together removed and not harm the series at all. Would people be complaining so loudly if there weren’t surfing robots? If trappar were called something else? Ao isn’t a bad anime when judged alone, but due to the fact that it IS linked to the original, it has to carry that dogma, and that is where it failed.

    It’s like the prequel Star Wars movies. Lucas lost focus on what made the first three great, and what we got was a shallow caricature of what might have been. And just like Jar Jar Binks, I wish I could unwatch Ao.

    1. Guilty Crown, AO, and EVOL were complete trainwrecks for me. It’s either the creators have lost sight of what made their predecessors great or us fans have expected more and something else out of them.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      The Story You Don't Know
    2. I think what I wish I could figure out most is what Enzo saw in this series that I didn’t. Granted we have disagreed in the past, but I have to wonder what he saw that I missed. It’s clear we both love the first series, but how we deviated so drastically on the sequel confounds me. Perhaps it has to do with our different reactions to negativity. I recall Enzo questioning his purpose in blogging when he found such a strong backlash to a series he liked. I have all but become accustomed to it, as I still carry a flame for shows like Gundam Seed even though the general consensus is that it was a heavily flawed series. I know a lot of this vitriol comes from it’s sequel, and perhaps the vitriol is warranted, but it never stopped my enjoyment of the series because of the opinions of others.

      In a way, I wish Enzo would take time to debate some of the more vocal of us about this series instead of simply labeling us as haters. I long to be able to see this series in the eyes of a fan, but perhaps it just wasn’t for me. I imagine this is what people who don’t like anime feel.

  29. As a big fan of the original i will said it was good end but for E7 AO, for me E7 was one of the best anime in all these years; it pains me as a fan of the previous series that the creators put that world as a wasted land, and not to said what happen to the rest of characters, (aurice, Maeter, Linck, Dominic-Anemone…. what happen? .

    That aside, i agree that AO was a great series, funny moments, good plot, good figths, good antagonist and a good end.

    My only critic is that there was a lot of political issues that steal scenes, specially in the last ep; insted of seeing those peoples that why not put more moments Renton-Ao or Fleur-AO.

    1. I hope you mean “good end” as in one you enjoyed, and not “good end” as an end where things were generally positive for the characters. I would have to disagree with you far more strongly on the second than I would on the first.

  30. AO’s ending treatment reflects the show as a whole, it’s only about AO.
    Truth and Naru are still unlikable characters full of nonsense.
    Anyone else serves as some sort of plot devices at best and are quickly forgotten as the show went by.

    Once again BONES tried too hard to tell a different kind of story, which is admirable yet pointless given how incompetent they are at it.

  31. E7: Astral Ocean is a really good series. As what the author said, “Astral Ocean is one of my favorite series of 2012”, it was one of my favorites too. 🙂 I’ve never expect that kind of ending and it’s refreshing.

  32. It’s true that AO’s ending didn’t give proper closures to the other character arcs, but then that doesn’t really make its ending a bad one. I also wouldn’t say that the ending is tragic or not happy as Renton and Eureka bid farewell to AO with tears of content as if they’re saying “my boy turned out real good” or at least that’s how i see it. I find the ending much more hopeful.

    Also I don’t understand why people hate it when a sequel destroys something that is established strongly in its prequel, just like in EVOL. Everything comes with its opposite, happiness comes with sadness, kindness comes rudeness, etc. Beside, even though AO’s ending showed how humans and scubs can’t coexist, Ao still lives and he is living proof that humans and scub could coexist as he is part coralian part human, so E7’s ending isn’t totally wasted no?

  33. This ending reminded me of [C]. Not really in a good way.

    I liked [C] too, mind. Found it experimental and daring. Until somewhere about the halfway point when it became clear the writers had no idea where they were going with what they’d started.

    Several years on, different studio, same story.

  34. all it needed for me was 50+ eps like the original. there was so much color to the characters i think they could have run side stories and had better build ups. details is what helped the original E7 stand out. for what they had here it was well done i can say they riled me up and had me going. good show. i don’t mind the open end deal. i can’t help think that these arguments of legitemacy might have paralleled when star trek went into next generation from it’s original series. you love what you knew naturally but E7 was always a …surreal daydream to me. so it’s continued that.

  35. For a show like AO to have (somewhat) comprehensible closure is more than enough for me. Am I disappointed with it? Yes–it could have been much more. Am I surprised? After 22 episodes, not really. Thoughts on the time travel/alternate dimension ideas? Bones did an amazing job trolling everybody.

    Indeed, many things are left unfinished. Presumably all the scub coral that left the original series is destroyed–somehow, by Ao’s quartz gun–yet Ao’s “original” world remains how it was, only without the scub coral. Was Johansson somewhat wrong? Or did he manage a glimpse of our universe? Could it be that the world shown at the end was yet an alternate alternate world?

    Furthermore, in retrospect, it’s quite hard to distinguish Ao’s and Renton’s idea of fixing the scub burst problem. Renton wanted to destroy all the scub coral in the other dimensions; Ao did that after all. So what was the problem? Did Renton not realize he could have saved Eureka, and somehow only Ao realized it? In the end, didn’t Ao relinquish “his” Naru and all those who were infected with the scub, even though he complained about it as he fought with Renton? They both wanted the same thing, they both had extremely slightly different ways of going about it; if they had talked it out, there would be no point in fighting. Yet somehow Bones managed to make Renton seem idiotic and Ao hypocritical.

    I do have to congratulate the series for relating back to its first theme–that the errors of the last generation create only problems for the new one. I love that Bones was able to poke fun even at Renton and Eureka’s decision in the original E7 to save the scub. And I admire how Bones showed that their love for their children overcame any beliefs they previously had: they would rather accelerate the extinction of a species before giving up their child. And as a result of being blinded by love, only the child they tried to protect was able to show them their mistakes.

    The deal with the Secrets and scub bursts is a little mind boggling. As much as I could make out, it seems as if the scubs entered an alternate dimension at first, which brought on the Secrets–and rightfully so, since scubs didn’t exist in that dimension. But did the scub escape to other dimensions, or another time in that same alternate dimension, or a different time in a third alternate universe? Perhaps all of the above? I don’t believe this was made entirely clear, and as a result, neither is Eureka’s temporal dissonance explained thoroughly.

    As with any show, there remain other hypothetical questions thanks to poor closure. What about Fleur and Naru’s love stories? How was Elena, herself from another time/dimension, affected? And what of Truth, who has chosen to wander through time and space forever? They are all pivotal characters to the series, yet Bones brushes them aside like nothing once Renton enters the picture.

    In the end, AO does fulfill its role as E7’s sequel, albeit not beautifully. Many–and I mean many–aspects of the show could be improved, and story coherency definitely needs to be furnished further. But as a loosely-connected standalone, AO was magnificent. The first half was solid and enticing, and although the second seemed much weaker, it concluded the story as best it could. It’s a show I know I’ll be going back to: excitedly at first, grudgingly as I trudge on through 24 episodes.

    Despite this horrid/fun experience, I would definitely enjoy an OVA or–God forbid/thank God–sequel to AO. Well, an OVA for closure, and a (not direct) sequel set in the same universe(s). Or maybe I just haven’t learned my lesson. 😛

    tl;dr, Renton looks badass when lounging in his Nirvash, and Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean deserves an 8/10.

  36. To be clear, this series was absolute crap. The stench of an outhouse is preferable. AO, essentially, rapes the legacy of the original series to the extent that I wish I could UN-WATCH IT. Standards have fallen people are being less than critical on this series. If you haven’t seen it yet, avoid like the plague. Specially if you’ve seen the original.

  37. To be clear, this series was absolute crap. The stench of an outhouse is preferable. AO, essentially, rapes the legacy of the original series to the extent that I wish I could UN-WATCH IT. Standards have fallen when people are being less than critical on this series. If you haven’t seen it yet, avoid like the plague. Specially if you’ve seen the original.

      1. I wish that was the only problem. There was nothing redeemable about this series. Not as a sequel, nor as a stand alone series. The script was a complete mess. The saying goes; if you can’t dazzle someone with your brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit. The only cool episode which I thought might indicate saving this sorry series was episode 23. Renton’s entrance was pretty damn dramatic accompanied with the only cool song that stuck out for me out of the whole series (anybody know the info for the song?). Of course that only lead to Renton kicking some balls then consigning Ao to oblivion. My fault for getting my hopes up since it was an appropriate ending to bat shit show. Can I get a refund on my time?

  38. Beautifully written analysis and plot descriptions, exactly what I was looking after watching the final. I too was left with a feeling of both enjoyment and expectation after watching the finale, but your post answered almost every question I was left with. This truly was a different wrap-up than what I was anticipating, but needless to say I am curious as to whether an additional season will appear. Was AO commercially successful enough for BONES to want to push out additional episodes?

  39. Put this in a previous post but hey,

    From what I understood, the scub coral went to the past because the limit of questions was near in the future because Renton and Eureka helped the coexistence of both races. Their presence in the past would altar the universe since they weren’t suppose to be there so secrets were created to prevent that. The ones that did get away into different time periods were eventually being hunted down and destroyed by secrets. Renton and Eureka began to notice the disappearing scubs and started investigating as to where they went which was when Eureka accidentally arrives to another time pregnant with AO’s sister. The only reason I can think of as to why the secrets started attacking humans in the future is because they were starting to become infected with the corlian-based disease in AO’s time which could probably have progressed over time.

    This is what I got from the ending. The secrets were wiped out from the final shot AO took to send his parents back to the future. Without the secrets’ existence, scub corals are able to travel back into time without being attacked meaning no scub bursts. Without scub bursts, humans have no provocation to attack the scubs themselves. This leaves a world where scubs and humans can coexist and one where there must be some trapar from the scubs that probably assisted AO’s flying in the end. This is conjecture but the reason his Nirvash disappears is because there is nothing left to fight and thus no longer served any purpose in that time so the universe decided to erase it since it did not belong in that time period to begin with. How did the universe erase it? Well, there was a universe created secret inside the Nirvash so maybe that had something to do with it.

  40. this is one bad anime. no cohesion and definitely confusing. also, the main villain “Truth” turned into a good guy in the end. what a total bullshit. its one of those shows which tried to be smart and played with your feelings but failed big time. to be honest, i didnt care if Ao meets Eureka or what part Renton can contribute to the whole story. i cant feel Ao’s affection towards Eureka, a mother he never met long enough. the big battle against Truth also never happened.

    those who critisize the show will be told this is a show in its own right, those who liked it have no problems that its a good sequel. to me, those are just plain excuses to justify a poor show.

  41. then the big question – if they wanted it to be a standalone series, why borrow the franchise? just make a goddamn new series. borrowing the original E7 did nothing than just plain cheap free publicity

  42. They could of showed more after he returned. Not exactly a happy ending because it was hinted he might not exist in the world but his two year old self was left behind just like Ao’s original time line. Ao only altered the time where Eureka disappeared. Which makes it so he still exists the island inhabitants including Naru and old man Fukoi or it could be he created a time paradox. It wasn’t exactly made clear if he was returned to his timeline or not.

  43. IN THE END… this is what we get when writers or directors got too much splendid ideas and lesser understood(overly-cliche-time-travelling-is-still-too-complicated-for-us-21stcentury-monkees) concepts in their heads. All go great at the first 10 episodes and then they started to : Hey, why don’t we give this ‘otaku cum timeslider cum bishoujo-character’ …a subplot of her own…A subplot so weird…so mysterious… that it will last till some 20th episodes and Show Spoiler ▼

    IMHO, the story is great… if only someone had the decency to tie up the many loose ends. But it seems the creators were too eager/enthuastic to flesh out their poorly-understood concepts in the beginning and gradually got confused in what kind of story-path they are supposed to concentrate. In the end with 2 last remaining episodes, someone with “DESPERATELY FOR MORE TIME” decided to show Show Spoiler ▼

    That is so convenient of a ‘happy’ ending.
    Frankly to me, it looks like the Eureka 7 AO creators are just like every profiteering money-grubbers we see in the anime industry who are casually passing by to cash in the original franchise by adding more lavish mecha designs, poorly understood concepts (which even Mikuru-chan would gladly prefer to relive THE ENDLESS8 saga instead) and more fanservice girls. And why do we need a sloth mascot in the first place?

  44. Im pist the show had a little bit of flawes but if u sum it up its a good sequel renton and eureka went back to the kids in the World were we coexist with the scub and ao went back to the third World which has trapar and all the people he knows but since they think he died they went on with normal life and problably tried to forget his deathbut fluer will find him yell at him for, leaving her then he will go for her and have his kid with her and it wont die cause hes half Human. Thats my thoughts to how they can truly end it ,please give ur comments.

  45. I haven’t read all the comments but I just hope everyone can eventually gather that this show is a prequel and sequel all in one; explaining the earth before consumed and covered in coral in a past existence and the start of the symbiotic life Renton in Eureka seven comes to appreciate a few thousand years into the future. Remember Stoner’s article in Eureka Seven about the past along with what discovered from his sister about the scub-coral seeking companionship and traveling the universe. Naru and the universes Anti-bodies said about scub-coral being a parasite. Renton’s sister relayed an incident in history where the scubs over-ran the planet and devoid of company changed their M.O. to live in harmony with humans, birthing eureka, etc.,etc. This mix of prequel/sequel was one of the major thought provoking elements of this anime that peaked my interest. Awards to the writers! People like them give us artists the inspiration to continue moving people with fantastic imagery.


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