Eureka Seven: AO Complete Series is a four-disc Blu-ray set that includes all 24 episodes of the series, as well as one of the OVAs. This set takes the original two sets that were released for the series in 2013 and 2014 and combines them together. The set includes both the original Japanese audio with English subtitles and the English dub.
Eureka Seven: AO Complete Series
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Release Date: June 23, 2020
The series is set in 2025, and the main character is a boy named Ao. He lives on the island of Iwato Jima in Okinawa. His friend, Naru, had an encounter with a Scub Coral 10 years earlier and has some of it within her. Scub Corals have been causing problems across the world for a while, and more people are becoming infected by them. But where a Scub Coral appears, entities known as Secrets also appear.
During the incident 10 years earlier with the Scub Coral that infected Naru, Ao’s mother Eureka vanished without a trace. Fans of the original Eureka Seven can see that this is the same Eureka from the original series, but it doesn’t become clear for quite a bit of the series about how Eureka ended up almost 10,000 years in the past.
Ao’s adventure begins when he stumbles upon three smugglers (Gazelle, Pippo, and Han Juno) trying to smuggle some items to the Japanese Armed Forces. During an incident when a Scub Coral appears, a bracelet falls out of the briefcase. Ao picks it up, and later realizes it was once owned by his long-lost mother. This bracelet allows him to pilot the Nirvash (a mecha) that had belonged to his mother.
Ao joins a group called Generation Bleu in the hopes of finding his mother and learning more about his birth. He becomes part of a team called The Piped Pipers, which includes Fleur Blanc and Elena Peoples. Fleur is the daughter of Generation Bleu’s CEO, and Elena is a mysterious girl with secrets. One of her secrets has a connection to Eureka.
After joining Generation Bleu, Ao encounters a stranger named Truth, who has a deep hatred for Eureka because of what happened 10 years earlier and is determined to acquire Nirvash for his own. When he learns Ao is Eureka’s son, his hatred passes down to Ao. Truth also manipulates Ao’s friend Naru into siding with him.
There’s also a bit of political intrigue going on in the series. Okinawa wants to assert its independence from Japan. Meanwhile, Generation Bleu, Japan, and the United States are trying to acquire the quartz from the Scub Coral, which causes a problem when it’s revealed that Generation Bleu has been hoarding quartz in its space station.
During the series, the quartz that Generation Bleu has gathered from various Scub Corals become a weapon for the Nirvash. When it’s fired, though, it has the ability to rewrite events, which causes problems for Ao.
Eureka Seven: AO relies heavily on time travel and alternate universes in order to set up the story that’s presented in the series. While there were some interesting ideas being explored by utilizing these concepts, I wasn’t entirely convinced that the execution of those ideas was as strong as it could have been. Also, it felt like there was a lot going on and a lot to try to keep track of, between the time travel, Truth and his manipulation, and the various political intrigues taking place. Not to mention the teenage drama that characters like Ao, Fleur, and Elena go through. And then there’s the three smugglers and what they go through after joining Generation Bleu. As the series progressed, it felt like there was just so much I was trying to process and keep straight as a viewer. By the end of the series, the story felt kind of dense to me.
The OVA that was included in this release is set shortly after Ao joins Generation Bleu. It’s rather light-hearted in nature, and in the long run, didn’t really add anything to the series. The best bits were the references that were made to Ranma 1/2 in one of the scenes, and the fact that when Ao is dressed up as a girl, he’s dressed up in Eureka’s signature outfit from the original Eureka Seven anime. Honestly, outside of those two things, I found the OVA to be rather forgettable.
When all is said and done, I think that Eureka Seven: AO isn’t as strong of a series as the original Eureka Seven. However, I can say I did enjoy it more than I did the Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers anime film.
The Blu-rays included in this set have the video in 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native). For the audio, it includes Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or the audio quality for the episodes included on this release.
Since this release simply combines the two sets that were originally released for Eureka Seven: AO back in 2013 and 2014, the breakout of the episodes and bonus features aren’t what you would expect from a four-disc set. The first and third discs only include one episode commentary on them. The first disc includes a commentary for Episode Five, while the third disc includes a commentary for Episode 13.
The second disc includes several bonus features. The first is “Inside The Booth: Eureka Seven AO.” This runs for about 14 minutes and includes interviews and footage featuring Brandon Potter (the English voice for Gazelle) and Zach Bolton (the ADR Director for Eureka Seven AO). They talk about working on the series, and we also get to see footage of Brandon doing some recording for the dub. This isn’t a bad feature for what it is.
There is a commentary for Episode 10 on this disc. “Original Commercials” runs for a little over three minutes, and this includes Japanese television commercials to promote Eureka Seven: AO. There are four different textless versions for the first opening song, “Escape,” as well as three different textless versions for the first ending song, “Stand By Me.” The U.S. Trailer is the English trailer to promote the first half of the original Eureka Seven: AO home video release, which came out back in 2013. Trailers include trailers for properties that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time the first half of Eureka Seven: AO was released.
The fourth disc includes a video commentary for Episode 21, as well as a regular commentary for Episode 24. “Promotional Videos” runs for about 10 minutes and includes a handful of videos that were made in Japan to promote the release of Eureka Seven: AO. The first video that was included in this feature didn’t make much sense to me, because it featured a song that I have no recollection of hearing in the series and included random images from throughout the entirety of Eureka Seven: AO. It felt like a random music video that had no context to it whatsoever. The other videos included in this feature made sense to me.
There is a textless version for the first opening song, “Escape,” as well as three textless versions for the second opening song, “Blazblue.” There is also one textless version each for the first closing song, “Stand By Me,” and the second closing song, “Iolite.” The U.S. Trailer included on this disc is the English trailer to promote the second half of the original Eureka Seven: AO home video release, which came out back in 2014. Trailers include trailers for properties that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time the second half of Eureka Seven: AO was released.
If you’re a fan of the Eureka Seven: AO anime series and haven’t added it to your home anime library yet, I would recommend this Blu-ray release for the series. With this set, you get the entirety of the series in one package, and it’s ultimately a little cheaper than buying the two original sets separately.
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