Anime Blu-ray Review: Eureka Seven The Complete Series

Eureka Seven The Complete Series is a seven-disc Blu-ray containing all 50 episodes of the series. This set includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.

Eureka Seven The Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: August 30, 2016

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 is 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 joins 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. Moondoggie was a character who seemed to not have a real purpose for 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, as they both experienced 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.

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 to 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.

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. It turns out this isn’t terribly surprising, since the mecha in both were designed by Shoji Kawamori.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080i High Definition 4×3 (SD Remaster), and the audio includes Dolby TrueHD: English 2.0 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I thought the video quality was good on this release, and I have no complaints about the audio quality.

Bonus features are scattered throughout this set: There are commentaries included the following episodes: Episode 1, Episode 7, Episode 13, Episode 15, Episode 20, Episode 26, Episode 27, Episode 32, Episode 36, Episode 39, Episode 43, and Episode 50. There is also a “special textless version” of Episode 50 in this set.

Discs four and seven include interviews with the following Japanese and English voice actors: Yuko Sanpei, Kaori Nazuka, Stephanie Sheh, Jonny Yong Bosch, Keiji Fujiwara, Michiko Neya, Crispin Freeman, and Kate Higgins. To be honest, the most memorable interview comes from Crispin Freeman. He really seemed to have a greater depth of understanding for the series in comparison to the other voice actors, and he was very articulate. That’s not to say that the other interviews were bad, though. They were good for what they were.

The set also includes textless openings and closings, the U.S. trailer for Eureka Seven, and FUNimation trailers.

Eureka Seven The Complete Series should be added to the anime home video library of fans of the series. It allows you to get the entire series in one collection, and the amount of bonus features included also make this set worth it.

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