Part of The Epic Journey. Spoilers for Eureka Seven 1-13.
My forgetfulness of Eureka Seven largely stems from the fact that I watched all 50 episodes all at once the first time. Even with a twenty-six episode series, it is rare for me to completely remember all of the inner details after it’s over. However, I can usually well recall things that I recount through blog post. My original Eureka Seven post was almost embarrassingly sparse, saying next to nothing about the series except for how it made me cry. Now, I don’t plan to go into deep analysis here, but I’d at least like to get my thoughts out on these episodes.
The first fourth of Eureka Seven is based mostly on lighthearted character development. Serious and dangerous situations aren’t taken by Renton as ‘life or death’ situations, but just as part of his adventure. Here in the beginning, Renton is a complete child, and he is not totally unaware of this fact. He wants to know more about everyone around him, but his fundamental worldview is too far removed to totally comprehend anything that happens.
In the beginning, Renton hates his boring life in his shitty town and wants to join the Gekkostate and be a rebel. He gets that chance after meeting and saving Eureka, the girl of his (and my) dreams, whom he swears on his life to protect. The embark of his journey is beautiful and full of youthful spirit. However, once he’s aboard the Gekko-go it quickly becomes apparent that their life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The crew is poor, they are a bunch of jackasses, and Eureka is taking care of three young children who refer to her as ‘Momma’. Even though he’s off on a journey, life still sucks.
Renton thinks at least 90% with his dick in these early episodes. He is driven by his puppy love for Eureka more than anything, though his total ignorance toward the world only gets him into trouble. Luckily for Renton, he is also too stupid to realize the gravity of his trouble, so he can act without fear and pull off great feats without thinking.
The main point of these episodes is to get us acquainted with the crew of the Gekko-go through the growth of their relationships with Renton, meanwhile lightly exposing some of the major themes and plot points that will emerge later in the story. You could say, it’s all about setting the stage.
At first, the Gekkostate members are either indifferent toward Renton or pick on him. Each of them grows to like him, though, and he starts to feel like a real part of the group. Even Eureka’s kids, who are at first utter bastards to him, warm up to him and learn to respect him. We also learn of some of the interpersonal relationships and conflicts behind the scenes of the crew, especially with the group’s leader Holland and his main squeeze, the uber-bitch, Talho.
Despite Renton constantly fawning over Eureka and her being his main driving force, we hardly get to peek into her mind at all yet as a reflection of Renton’s lack of knowledge. Different things make her very interested in Renton though it is sometimes apparent that she cares more about how he effects her mech, the Nirvash, than he himself. The only things Eureka seems to care about are the Nirvash, Holland, and her kids, with Renton only by association. The only glimpse we catch of her past is when Renton learns that she once worked for the military and killed scores of innocent. Renton is quick to forgive this because he believes in Eureka, but he fails to understand the impact of this on her psyche. When Eureka starts to loose her ability to communicate with the Nirvash, we see her become a bit more cold to Renton along with hints that she might be blaming him for it.
Meanwhile, all sorts of behind-the-scenes action is put into play that doesn’t make sense yet. We know a prisoner named Dewey with some past connection to Holland is taking a position as a military commander, and that he is scheming something with an (admittedly horribly cliche) council of elders. The government always ends up in conflict with the Gekkostate, though it’s usually the Gekkostate’s fault as they interfere with the regular military activities. We see a lot of a young man named Dominic on the military side who is bright on combat and absolutely nothing else.
The most questions are raised towards the end of this arc when we meet Anemone who is the epitome of sex a total nutcase. She seems to be the Eureka to Dominic’s Renton which is made explicitly obvious when she has a black version of the Nirvash and events at the end put her and Eureka in bad conditions which Dominic and Renton team up to alleviate. Episode 12 features ‘the zone’ which has to do with this big ass thing called a ‘coralian’ and some really fucking insanely trippy nightmares that give me a director’s boner. All of this will obviously be explained later, but the current lack of knowledge only does more to put us in Renton’s shoes as a hapless fool.
These episodes don’t feel like too much happens because it is lighthearted and comedic, but the job done setting up the stage is perfect, as all of the side characters have personality and meaning and we feel as it we’ve really gotten to know Renton. Pacing-wise, the show is consistently fun and exciting, though episodes 10 and 11 could have been fused for greater effect. I look forward to seeing this yet fun and simplistic adventure evolving into something much more.