If EUREKA SEVEN ends up spawning a whole franchise of series - - and I can certainly picture that - - I suspect that the fans will end up cataloguing ASTRAL OCEAN with an asterisk next to it. It strikes me as the sort of sequel made after executives at a company change offices and get a new creative team on who don’t have the tightest grasp, or the strongest desire, on fitting the story they want to tell fit into any continuity that's been established.
Yeah, we’ve got Eureka, we’ve got Nirvash and we’ve got the Scubs… but now we’ve got some ripped-from-the-headlines intrigue in Burma’s drug market that feels incredibly jarring in the ES space opera milieu.
Watching this, I almost wonder if the staff had always wanted to do something political and are now using the success of the first series as an opportunity to scratch that itch without fear of failure. I’m not saying it’ll spin out this way, for sure, but I’ve seen it happen enough times in other stories where creators kind of blindside the audience by making some fumbling topical point at the end.
Hell, even the shape-shifter we’re introduced to in this episode seems kind of removed from the rules of fantasy that have been established so far. The opener with the Mexican stand-off was a little confusing (although, I did enjoy it even while I wasn’t always sure what was going on) and it’s starting to seem like Clue #2 for this show earning itself that asterisk.