Perhaps “substance” is code for “minor” in the world of EUREKA 7, because the only thing that’s getting abused as far as I can see is Renton. Maybe this is another matter about the underage which the Japanese are just more OK with as culture, but… good lord, Holland is really kicking the shit out of him. Maybe I’d satisfied that the crew’s finally calling their leader out on this pathetic behavior, but their comments seem insufficient considering how, just in the episode alone, he belts Renton’s head into a metal bar and then shoves him off a balcony.
Renton shakes off the damage like Wile E. Coyote, of course, but this has really started to feel like THEY CAGE THE MECHA AT NIGHT or something. The episode even ends with him turning into a violent sociopath because of all this physical and mental abuse. Even if they end up revealing that the Nirvash is like Spider-Man and Venom’s symbiote suit (which the visions of the climatic freak out strongly suggest,) I’ll insist on reading it this way. If only he was beating Holland’s mecha to a scrap at theend, instead…
You know, watching the incompetence of Holland’s leadership get pointed out like this makes me think again of how the rules of averages and percentages might apply to escapist fiction. The lion’s share of titles you watch in a particular genre will focus on heroes who’re meant to be the best at what they do - - the strongest, the bravest, the wisest, etc. Watch enough of that stuff, though and you start thinking about what the mediocre in their field must look like because, by the law of averages, they have to be there, lurking around the edges of what you’re seeing.
Watching this, I can’t help but think that Renton may have had a better time if he crossed paths with the “right” rebels. Instead, he’s run in with the incompetent ones, and all his potential to be a legendary mecha pilot is being squandered for it.
Just a thought.