Anime Spotlight: Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven is an anime series created by the Bones anime studio. The anime was produced by Bones and was directed by Dai Sato. The series aired on Japanese television from April 17, 2005-April 2, 2006. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for the Eureka Seven anime series.

The series focuses on Renton Thurston, a 14-year-old who is the son of Adroc Thurston, a military researcher who died saving the world. Renton lives with his grandfather, and he thinks his life and his town are boring. He’s also into lifting, which is a lot like surfing in the air; however, lifting uses trapar, a substance that is abundant in the air. Renton idolizes Holland, a legendary lifter who is part of a renegade group called Gekkostate.

Renton’s life changes when a large mechanical robot called the Nirvash Type Zero crashes into his room. Eureka, the mysterious female pilot, turns out to be a member of the Gekkostate. The Nirvash is attacked, and during the battle, Renton’s grandfather has him deliver the Amita Drive, a special part for this mecha. This delivery and his involvement change Renton’s life, and he ends up joining Gekkostate to co-pilot the Nirvash with Eureka.

It turns out that Dewey Novak, a colonel in the U.F. Military, has a plot to overthrow the government so he can wipe out the Scub Coral, a race that is currently lying dormant in the world. Dewey was originally a commander of a branch of the military that carried out genocidal campaigns against the Vodarec people. Other important antagonists include Second Lieutenant Dominic Sorel and Anemone, a young woman who pilots another Nirvash (one known as The End). The series culminates into a clash between Gekkostate and Dewey’s forces in order to decide the fate of the world.

The crew of the Gekkostate is made up of a wide variety of characters, but the most notable are Holland, Talho, Hap, Hilda, Matthieu, Gidget, and Moondoggie. Eureka also has three children she took in named Maeter, Maurice, and Linck. When I first saw the three children, I was afraid they would be like the kids in the first Mobile Suit Gundam anime series and not have a real purpose outside of providing some comedic relief. As I watched Eureka Seven, I was pleased to discover that the kids had a purpose and a major role in the series, and that they were characters in their own right. Moondoggie was a character who seemed to not have a real purpose being part of the crew outside of comic relief, but he ended up having a reason to be there by the end of the series.

One of the takeaways I had from the series is how much certain characters changed and evolved over the course of it. These changes were the most noticeable in Renton, Eureka, Holland, Talho, Maeter, Maurice, and Linck. But Renton and Eureka went through the most evolution as characters, with them experiencing major situations that tested them and their resolve. After watching Eureka Seven, I think I can say that the series’ combination of sci-fi, action, and character development helped to make it a strong story. Overall, Eureka Seven is a very well-done show, but I think my biggest complaint when it comes to the character development is that Anemone’s change in character seemed to happen a little too suddenly right at the end of the series. Outside of that one nitpick, I do think that most of the character development that took place during the series was handled well.

Another strong point for the series is the mecha design. Some of the mecha that appears bears a strong resemblance to some of the mecha from the Super Dimension Fortress Macross anime series.

Several themes run throughout Eureka Seven. Racial integration is presented in various relationships in the series, as well as religious tolerance and harmony. There are also allegories of real world conflicts and political climates of the time the series was being produced. There are also themes of parenting, family, “puppy love,” personal identity, protection, responsibility, and guilt. Eureka Seven also depicts surf culture, subcultures and their related musical movements, and environmental movements.

It should also be noted that most, if not all, of the episode titles, are song references. Also, while watching the series, my husband and I found references in some of the episodes to the bands New Order and Joy Division.

I enjoyed Eureka Seven, and I would recommend it to viewers who enjoy mecha anime that has a strong focus on character relationships and character development.

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