Eureka Seven: AO is the next major anime from Studio BONES (there have been a few other shows from BONES in between, some Phylix loved)- and allegedly a direct sequel to the 2004-2005 anime epic Eureka Seven: Pslams of the Planets. First of all, full disclaimer, the original Eureka Seven is bar none, my absolute favorite anime of all time. I love the original with all my heart. Its perfection as far as I’m concerned, so hearing that there will be a direct sequel left me with mixed emotions; on one hand: “YAY! Eureka Seven is continuing”, but on the other hand “Oh God, these people are gonna milk the cow and ruin a perfect, neatly wrapped storyline”. Suffice to say, Eureka Seven: AO has a lot to live up to and it has already been judged in comparison to the original just because of AO’s nature as a sequel. That said, I’m going to go into this First Impressions with as little bias as possible, but I will be making the occasional comparisons to the original show based on continuity and storyline details.
Eureka Seven AO tells the story of a mysterious boy named Ao Fukai who lives on an island that’s fighting for its independence, with his adopted grandfather and his best friend, a sickly girl named Naru. One day there is a Scub Burst- a natural and fairly standard occurrence in this world- and a mysterious creature known as a “Secret” or “G-Monster” emerges from the Scub Burst. In an effort to protect the Island village that hates and fears him for being a foreigner who brings disaster, Ao pilots a mysterious, special IFO mech known as the Nirvash Mark I and defeats the G-Monster. Ao gets recruited into this group known as Generation Blue and he begins to battle G-Monsters while trying to find out what happened to his mother, a mysterious woman- revealed to be Eureka herself from the original series- who fell out of the sky and landed on the island.
Is everyone still with me? Great!
So far the show has been great. The characters are well established this early into the story and you get a real feeling that they are all complex characters with their own unique morals and internal conflicts. Ao, Naru, The islanders who just want their independence, the Generation Blue Team and a host of others have been well executed so far. It needs not to be said that the animation is top notch, this being a Studio BONES production and all. Everything seems great on paper, but it’s actually not. Where the show starts to fall apart is the storyline; frankly, if you have seen the original, AO seems like a giant pile of plot holes that impede on your ability to enjoy the show at all. Firstly, the show seems to take place in modern day earth; notable countries like Japan and the United States referring to themselves by name.
The original show took place 10,000 years in the future, after the Scub Coral had covered the entire planet, and left the original Earth perfectly preserved underneath the Scub encrusted shell . If this show is indeed a sequel that happens AFTER the original series, then this is a huge contradiction. It couldn’t have been up to 20 years since the original show ended and half the Scub Coral left the planet. You’re telling me, in that time, humans have all moved back to Earth and the cultures that have been lost & forgotten for over 10000 years are instantly picked up again? In the original series, the humans didn’t even know they were on (a Scub Coral encrusted) Earth. It really just seems like AO doesn’t take place in the same universe. I floated a wild theory that the show takes place 10000 years in the past, right around the time that the Scub coral originally landed on Earth, before humans fled the planet wondering about in space for 10 millenniums. Maybe Eureka time travelled and gave birth to her son Ao in the past. It’s a wild theory, I know, but it would explain a lot of things, like why most of the IFO mechs seem to be completely mechanical instead of hybrid machine/Coralian Archetype we have in the original series or why I haven’t seen a single Ref Board or Trapar Lifter around. It would pretty much explain every frustrating inconsistency with this show so far. So it’s a sequel that’s also a prequel. That’s walking into paradox territory, and time travel isn’t something so simple that can be toyed with. Besides the frustrating inconsistencies, Eureka Seven AO has been otherwise fantastic as a self-contained show. The only other major gripe I have so far is the villain, this douche le pleb named “Truth”. Apparently he can shape shift, invade people’s dreams and cause spontaneous explosions. He is a typical anime over powered villain with that “I know something the good guys don’t know and walk around with a smirk on my face all the time” swagger. All he does is walk around blowing shit up with his fabulous hair. This guy is like a poor man’s version of the magnificent villain turned anti-hero “Accelerator” from “A Certain Magical Index”.
Eureka Seven Ao started out with magnificent promise and it’s otherwise delivered on all counts. The extremely frustrating inconsistences with the continuity are a bit jarring and make it difficult to fully enjoy the show, especially if you are looking for a continuation of the storyline from Psalms of the Planets, but that aside, E7:AO truly is a great anime, with engaging characters, compelling conflicts, fantastic animation, pulse pounding action scenes and a whole lot of potential. Let’s just hope the inconsistences in the storyline are smoothed out soon.
In any case, I’m just glad to have Eureka Seven back in my life. Welcome home, Eureka. I’ve missed you.
Foot Note: You might want to check out the series “X’amd: The Lost Memories”. It’s considered the spiritual successor of the original Eureka Seven and so far as proven to be more befitting of that title.