Monday, April 30, 2007
Eureka Seven: Adult Swim Finale and Overall Impressions
Adult Swim aired the final episode of Eureka Seven this past Saturday, simultaneously making me happy, mad, and confused. Confused is to be expected when it comes to Eureka Seven, and happy comes quite easily too. The mad part is something that really surprised me, but this has been the 3rd time this year that Adult Swim has really irked me (ENOUGH with the April Fools weekends and InuYasha movie marathons!), so I shouldn't be TOO surprised. But let's discuss Eureka Seven first, and what Adult Swim did WITH Eureka Seven in a little while.
Eureka Seven is a Japanese anime series from Japan.... where redundancy runs free.... Eureka Seven is/was/will be produced by Bones, most notably the studio behind Fullmetal Alchemist. Bones was formed from members of Sunrise, a subsidiary of Bandai, the studio behind the Gundam series and about 50% of the anime most people have heard of. They loves them their mechs. They decided to produce a mecha anime after FMA, and wanted to use the designs of Shoji Kawamori (Macross). After a few rejected attempts to get E7 off the ground, Bones finally gave it the go ahead.
Eureka Seven tells the story of young Renton Thurston, the teenage son of the hero Adrock Thurston, a military researcher who sacrificed himself to save the world. Renton leads a relatively boring life with his grandfather repairing machines. He dreams about being like his hero, Holland Novak, the popular lifter (sky surfer, no rivers/lakes/oceans) and lifting all the time. As luck would have it (or as the writers would have it) an LFO (mecha) , named Nirvash, crashes into Renton's home. The LFO is piloted Eureka, a young, enigmatic teenage girl with mint green hair and little emotion. She is part of Gekkostate, the group that Holland leads. Renton immediately falls in love with Eureka and decides to follow Gekkostate after making a delivery for his grandfather to Holland and Eureka.
That was the simple part of the story. The overall arc is about the Scub Coral/Coralians, a sentient alien life living as part of the planet, the military's attempt to deal with the Scub Coral, Gekkostate's fight against the military (former military members themselves) and the love between Eureka and Renton. The last one is the big theme here folks. Eureka is not your average teenage girl (is there such a thing!?!?) and her peculiar behavior and mysterious demeanor make Renton want to get to know her even more. It is revealed late in the show that Eureka is actually a way for humans and Coralians to comunicate with each other, and they need to find a way to save the world from impending doom.
This was a very confusing show, even by anime standards. The localization team deserve "mad props" for translating some of the weirdest dialogue I have ever heard, and for making sense of what is a confoundedly confusing plot. I had no idea what was going on until episode 40, and this is a 50 episode show, but it does all make sense (more or less) by the end. The important themes are there (love, brotherhood, duty, humanity) and easy to see, even if you don't understand what a Control Cluster, Coralian, or Trappars are. I almost walked away from this show after the first 2 or 3 episodes because of how random and unclear the story was, but I am glad I stuck around. I am sad that I won't get to see Renton and Eureka every week now, that I won't know how Holland and Talho end up later in life, or where Anemone and Dominic are headed in their lives.
The finale was bittersweet, but Adult Swim edited out a good 5 minutes of content, so most viewers will never know how the show ACTUALLY ended. But first the good. Everything ended the way I hoped it would. Renton and Eureka end up together (and finally kiss (who says "I love you" before ever even kissing anyway? (yes, I know they are 15/16 in the show, but c'mon))), all the good people survive, there is a good twist with a character that was onboard the Gekko, and everything just felt right about the way it came together. No big surprises, no OMG!!1!!!one!! moments, and nothing too flashy or emotional. Think of how you wanted NGEvangelion to end (as compared to how it actually ended (before the OVAs)), and that is how well put together Eureka Seven's ending was. I loved how they matured Renton and Eureka physically to go along with their emotional growth as well.
Adult Swim made me like the ending a lot less. Eureka had a monologue at the opening of the episode, and Adult Swim cut that out and replaced it with the normal "Sakura" theme opening, so when the show actually starts, there is 60 seconds of lost footage about exactly where Eureka went at the end of the last show. Then there is the ending.... the ending SHOULD have been a 4 minute epilogue starring Renton's grandpa and the 3 kids, but once again, Adult Swim just aired the normal ending theme. This shocked me. Adult Swim usually tries to respect the source material, and has done a great job with it, especially where Eureka Seven is concerned. They starting airing the "American Cowboy" warning before the show several months back so that they could show the actual blood and violence in the episodes, so you know they WANTED to show as much content as possible. So where did this horrible edit come from? Apparently, they would rather show 3 commercials for ATHFCMFFT instead of the show.... I have sent them an email with much finger wagging.
Once again, I am sad to see the story of Renton and Eureka (and Nirvash) end. I hope the manga does the show justice, because I would gladly start reading it. This is a great series that doesn't take itself too seriously like other mecha shows do. Fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion and RaxPhaleon (SP? don't care) will definitely enjoy. The DVDs are out (most anyway) and they won some awards. Eureka Seven has become one of my favorite animes, but still a long way from the top (don't worry, FMA, you are king). Boo-urns on Adult Swim for butchering the last episode, but if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have even heard of this show..... so I don't know where to go with that.... I am left a bit confused on how to feel on that topic.... confused.... a comforting place for Eureka Seven fans.
EDIT: READ THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE FOR AN UPDATE: CLICK HERE!!!!!