Eureka Seven Ao Episode 14

Recap: Ao’s battle with Truth reaches a conclusion, but not before an important revelation comes to light. In the meantime, Naru experiences a vision concerning the true nature of the Scub Coral. Both affected by what they have discovered, the two children reunite in search of answers.

Dragonzigg’s Thoughts: After two good to excellent episodes, Ao comes back to earth with a bump, as the exciting adventure and intriguing revelations of the arc once again become bogged down in exposition. It’s a shame to see Eureka leave the scene (though it’s surely only briefly) as she’s been the shot in the arm the show needs, and the revelation that Ao may have a sister is a genuinely cool twist. In the meantime, Naru’s dream sequence should be a critical turning point in our understanding of the plot but the presentation is pretty poor (seriously, why do people always have to be naked in trippy dream sequences?) and the impact is lessened by the fact that the second half of this episode descends into Naru and Ao standing around and talking a lot, with the former looking like some sort of Christmas tree fairy in her ridiculous bed sheet skirt and rabbit ears. It doesn’t help that Naru has had pretty much no actual character development up to this point. It’s difficult to feel for someone when the total of her contribution has been to be a crush for Ao and to have been creepily perved on by Truth.   The low point of the episode has to be the ridiculous sequence wherein the Nirvash is impounded and we get a lecture on international jurisdiction which has to be one of the most boring things I’ve ever watched. Ao’s subsequent escape is laughable, since every single guard appears to have become entirely blind. Still, it’s a strong ending, with Naru seemingly becoming our new villain and escaping on another Nirvash (seriously, are they giving those things away in cereal boxes now?) along with Truth.  It’s a tantalising prospect, and this episode has some strong ideas, it’s just that they’re delivered incredibly poorly, and that’s a real shame.

Other points

– We get our first glimpse at a figure who is surely Renton in the new opening, though he appears to have been taking fashion tips from teenage goths. Also, that looks a bit like the Gekko’s cockpit attached to a rocket towards the end.

– Speaking of the new OP, I’m not so hot on it. It’s a little too close to the original series OP Days (also by FLOW) for comfort and just not a great tune. The new ED song I do like, even if the animation is an excuse to get the girls in bikinis again.

– My memory may be a little hazy, but I’m pretty sure that the TypeZERO never used the crazy homing lasers in the original – they were the trademark weapons of TheEND.

– I’m going to guess wildly and say Ao’s sister is either a) A complete red herring or b) Elena, who we know has a connection to the future and is angry at Eureka. For abandoning her perhaps?

– There’s a fair old bit of QUALITY animation in this episode. Ao and Truth in particular go off model several times.

Lifesong’s Thoughts
Things are heating up but after taking this long to happen I can’t help but question why this anime is going for a double season run when it’s only now starting into the “true” plot of things. This pacing and presentation are off here. After this episode much of the first half feels wasted and pointless and the characters and dramatic happenings feel rushed to accommodate that. I think we could be on an upward road now but I am going to line up my expectations with what I’ve seen so far and try not to expect too much.

I’d much rather be watching Lagrange.

Marlin’s Thoughts
I really don’t like this new opening. Like REALLY don’t like it. The first one had such an awesome song, why mess with that?

On things that actually matter, the plot is also dragging its heels once again. It does what I really hate about some stories with a lot of intrigue where you know people know a lot, and they clearly show they know it, but they talk in vague terms or refuse to talk for the sake of keeping up dramatic tension. The most egregious example is when the Japanese officer keeps going I KNEW IT I KNEW IT while reading that one dude’s book. What do you know, man? Why do we have to hear you shout it. Naru’s reentry was something I feared, as I knew she was only a vehicle to drive the intrigue of the Truth plotline, which I really have no interest in unless it ties itself well back into the Eureka plotline. Hopefully we see a bit of a better showing in the next episode, otherwise I’m going to be kinda pissed that i put my faith back into AO only to have it squandered once again.

On the speculation side, I’m partial to part b of Zigg’s sister predictions, it makes the most sense, even if it seems a little cliché. I do hope we see the original duo again sooner rather than later, as I don’t know if I can take more of that possession style of voice acting Naru’s got going on any longer.

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