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EUREKA SEVEN #28 -- Watch & Learn

Prepare to feel all sorts of contradicting feelings.

Awe... it's got his and her cockpits.
Awe... it's got his and her cockpits.

Man… here’s a show that pushes moral ambiguity hard enough that you start questioning if you’re even watching an escapist adventure anymore. I’ve run into plenty of sympathetic villains, across all niches, genres, media and other stripes of entertainment, but I don’t think I’ve ever run into one like Ray Beams. Your heart’s breaking for her from so many different angles of sympathy - - from her infertility to her maternal feelings for Renton to her tragically unhinged tribute to Charles - - even as you get rather solidly behind how hardass Gekkostate must get about taking this crazy killer out.

For as common as sympathetic villains, coming-of-age action-adventures are a dime a dozen and I likewise haven’t ever come across an entry in the genre that’s as honest about the whole journey as this show is. Nearly every episode pits Renton’s youthful and naïve idealism against some of the meanest contradictory choices of adulthood; and the show’s been surprisingly unblinking and unsentimental about these dilemmas.

The Beams may be wonderful, kind people in other parts of their lives, but no mercy can be shown to them in this particular slice. Holland may be an abusive sack of shit most of the time, but Renton better damn well listen to him. Eureka may actually prove to be as horrible a monster as Ray makes her out to be, but because Renton can’t deny his feelings for her, he’s just going to have to learn to live with that. And so on. There’s even that great moment where Tahlo begs Renton to save Holland with a blood transfusion - - even though he hates the guy, and even though she apparently hates his big sister (another clue to a mystery we’re long due an answer for.)

Despite appearances, this is definitely a show with some notions to chew on (and with real substance, unlike STEINS GATE) that offer a lot more than you'd believe, at first. This has been a truly gripping surprise.

Watch this episode, "Memento Mori" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

tristenkw5on Feb. 5, 2012 at 1:44 p.m.

Man! Two STEINS GATE put downs in the same recent episode posts of two completely different anime.....

STEINS GATE really must've sucked.

AURON570on Feb. 5, 2012 at 4:10 p.m.

@tristenkw5: No it's Tom's tastes, Steins;gate has been incredibly well-received for the most part.

zaldaron Feb. 5, 2012 at 5:12 p.m.

He is just trying to get my goat. This turns out to not take its ideas to a good full conclusion to my mind but up until about the last few episodes I had the same thoughts as you. I would go so far to say this ISN"T escapist adventure. Which of course is why I like it, and what makes it perfect for this column. (But then I read scholarly articles about Eva and Lain)

The central conflict in the show is between pragmatism and idealism youth and age.

tristenkw5on Feb. 5, 2012 at 6:25 p.m.

I know, I was only partly joking. Though, well-received in no way equals quality, personally. Otherwise DBZ would be the greatest anime on the planet lol.

InfiniteGeasson Feb. 5, 2012 at 7:50 p.m.

You didn't even watch all of Steins;Gate, though did you?

Darokion Feb. 5, 2012 at 11:35 p.m.

I'm almost wondering if Tom went back and finished off Steins;Gate and had the same reaction to it that I had to Madoka. Going into Steins;Gate with the hype train in full effect might make it a hard to live up to the love that series gets, but fortunately I watched it as the hype train was gathering momentum and got myself a good seat. Madoka on the other hand didn't feel as revolutionary and subversive as Mawaru Penguindrum did.

Still hard to draw parallels between Steins;Gate and Eureka Seven or YuYu.

zerodualityon Feb. 6, 2012 at 1 a.m.

It upsets me that this is so underrated while mediocre shows such as madoka and anything key is highly praised just because "OMG KAWAII-DESU".

Dig Deeper into Eureka Seven

A young boy named Renton has a mech and its pilot, the young-looking Eureka, nearly fall into his lap. He joins them and their renegade group, Gekkostate.

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