Eureka Seven AO Episode 13

[We’re kicking off our weekly GLORIO anime coverage with brief recaps and impressions of our favorite shows of the season. We promise to keep it safe and professional on the main page, but be warned: once you click “read more” we’ll be flying those spoiler flags nice and high. In this case that includes spoilers for the original Eureka Seven series!]

Recap: After his daring escape from being burnt up upon re-entry, Ao spends some quality time with his mysterious rescuer. But both the Japanese government and Generation Bleu are closing in on their position…

Thoughts: Up to this point in its run, AO has really only been consistent in two things: 1) Being very pretty and 2) Its maddening inconsistency. The story so far has been a mess of filler, half-baked ideas and plot threads that seem to spiral in upon themselves.  That’s not to say that the show hasn’t been fun, but it’s definitely lacked focus or coherence. Things begin changing in episode 12 with a bombshell of a final twist, with episode 13 we only go deeper down the rabbit hole.

I think it’s fair to say not many of us expected the stunning swerve that was the Gekko and Eureka emerging from the falling Scub Coral at the end of the previous episode. To its credit, the show doesn’t cop-out on these revelations, immediately going back to the well and teasing out more details of the plot. It’s an episode heavy on the talking and relatively light on the action, which is a good thing – finally some of the more intriguing questions are being uncovered. We learn definitively in this episode that this is the Eureka we know and love from the original series, and furthermore Renton is namechecked for the first time (confirming that he’s Ao’s father) although he still remains offscreen.

But just as those particular questions are solved, fascinating new ones emerge. For a start, this is not the same Eureka who’s previously existed in the Ao universe – she’s from an earlier point in time and is in fact still pregnant with Ao. There’s also the tantalising hint that she’s not from another world but in fact merely from the distant future. Which makes a lot of sense in fact – one of the big revelations of the original Eureka Seven was that the planet they were on was in fact Earth thousands of years in the future.  It’s a really encouraging sign that the threads are gradually pulling together, offering both setup and payoff in one sweep.

That’s not to say the show has ditched some of its worse aspects. Truth remains an incredibly irritating villain with little apparent motivation or empathy, and although his Tron-esque battle with the Nirvash at the end is pretty cool, his fanservicey swimsuit scene is pointless filler. Gazelle is also almost entirely redundant here, and remains at least in my eyes a pretty unlikeable character. He’s pretty much only present in this episode to provide someone for Ao to get angry at. And while it’s too early to judge the appearance of ‘ghost’ Eureka, her mysterious statement that the Secrets are not Ao’s enemies is infuriating and clichéd. It’s not like she couldn’t say more, right? The continued political wrangling also remains as tedious as it ever was, dragging down any chance the show had at reaching the breezy atmosphere of the original.

Nevertheless, this episode gave me great hope for the show. It’s at its strongest in the early parts, where Ao and Eureka’s interaction shows a level of depth and subtlety that the show hasn’t displayed up to this point. Eureka’s brief words on Renton (“He was a crybaby as well…and kind of useless”)  are beautifully heartfelt and touching and show the kind of emotion the show can achieve when it chooses to leverage its distinguished predecessor. Hopefully, as the two worlds seem to be moving closer, it’s something we’ll see more of. Though Eureka Seven AO continues to have problems, it’s fair to say this episode had me firmly back on board, and eager for more.

Bonus note: Anybody else notice Ao is wearing the terrible maroon tracksuit Renton wore when the Gekko  crew set him up on that prank delivery?

Marlin Clock’s Thoughts
As a big fan of Eureka Seven from its original airing on Adult Swim, I was really excited to hear about a new series in the Eureka universe. While I agree with Zigg on the sloppy execution so far, these last two episodes have renewed my faith entirely. The most unfortunate thing about this entire experience I feel is that you could have cut out episodes 6-11 and I really don’t think you’d miss anything important so far. Despite that, I’m hopeful the show will continue this upward trend.

Lifesong’s Thoughts
I was close to dropping this at episode 11 but I’m glad I stuck it out. After 12 episodes of a show that appeared to have little more than a Eureka 7 paint job things are starting to come together. There are still a lot of questions to be answered but for now at least we have something to ponder.

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