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Watch & Learn: EUREKA SEVEN #1

Somebody's been reading their Joseph Campbell...

Somehow, I doubt anybody involved knew what "Blue Monday" is actually a reference to.
Somehow, I doubt anybody involved knew what "Blue Monday" is actually a reference to.

O.K., Alamun gets a very rare +5000 Honorary XP for suggesting all these fantastic series in that one talkback post. If I’ve been on a hot streak of good material for these past few episodes, than he's most certainly been the grease to lubricate the wheels.

I have to say that EUREKA SEVEN’s felt more like the first 20 minutes of your quintessential summer blockbuster than anything I’ve ever watched for this column. Whoever wrote this must have seriously boned up on their Syd Field, their Robert McKee and their Joseph Campbell. You’ve got your plucky young orphan with restless dreams bigger than the confines of his small town and the vision of his guardian. He’s got a few ghosts in his past he’s running from and, just when his options seem to have run dry, a mysterious young girl literally crashes down into his life and beckons him rather directly into a grand adventure. Meet the hero's 1001st face, right?

Most times, the invocation of Campbell’s “mono-myth” triggers my gag reflex. There are archetypal characters and plots, sure, but it has never really sat right with me to hear anybody describing how their creative process adhered to clichés (the meaner term for archetypes, perhaps) like it’s some badge of accomplishment. Yet, archetypes become traditions because they’ve worked many times before and, for as many stories as you'll run into that perform recitation of the hero’s journey that's so rote it'll dampen your spirit, the rare show that makes those forms work in a way that feels fresh and real really makes up for everything you've had to suffer through.

No question, this was one of the tightest anime pilots I’ve seen so far. There wasn't a wasted moment and I’m seriously jonesing to see what happens next like a kid who wants to take a big gulp of cherry soda after getting his first, fizzy sip. I’ve come to recognize Bones’ animation style and their work here was even more impressive than in BROTHERHOOD -- I want to get wowed again, immediately.

And I feel a fundamental compulsion to see what exactly sky-surfing mecha will entail.

Watch these episodes “Blue Monday” here and decide for yourself.

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

PenguinDuston Oct. 11, 2011 at 6:32 a.m.

Eureka Seven has been my number two favorite series ever for a while now, so I am glad you're finding it entertaining. It does so much right that even when it strays too far into weepiness, it does with the jumbled passions of a teenager, so it's forgivable. I'm usually not too interested in a show's symbolism preferring to focus on the characters and how they develop through the plot. E7 does a lot of things different than most other animes in that regard which is one reason why it ranks so high on my list. The series is longer than most of what you've seen I expect, so hang in there through to the end. The music is pretty good, too I think.

If you end up enjoying it fully, I suggest you check out Xam'd Lost Memories and Nadia Secret of the Blue Water for similar thematic stories.

WrenchNinjaon Oct. 11, 2011 at 6:37 a.m.

I'm glad you enjoyed the first episode. E7 is a surprisingly long series so I hope you stick with it. It's probably my favourite anime, I mean it's the only one I went and bought the DVDs for.

@PenguinDust said:

The music is pretty good, too I think.

That it is! Heck, every episode title is a song title, so music is deeply connected to the series. That and sky surfing robots.

Ley_Lineson Oct. 11, 2011 at 7:27 a.m.

Man, the movie was garbage, cool subtitle though "Pocket Full of Rainbows". I never really enjoyed Eureka 7, maybe because all the main characters were hippies or were they more surfers, either way didn't much care for the characters. I gave it a good shot, I watched like 30 episodes. Just wasn't for me.

vebbonon Oct. 11, 2011 at 7:44 a.m.

I know the music from E7, but not the full story and I've been meaning to check E7 out for a while now. After all, I'm fond of most Studio BONES productions.

ZombiePieon Oct. 11, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.

When I realize that a movie follows Campbell's heroic cycle I immediately tune out and lose interest in the movie. This was part of the reason why I wasn't a big fan of Summer Wars. Anyone want to talk about the most generic example of the hero of a thousand faces?

yllekkramon Oct. 11, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.

I really enjoyed Eureka Seven, but I think calling the plot "tight" might be a little optimistic. However, I think it does do an excellent job of developing the characters and the relationships between them. It also helps that the soundtrack is awesome in and of itself.

@WrenchNinja said:

@PenguinDust said:

The music is pretty good, too I think.

That it is! Heck, every episode title is a song title, so music is deeply connected to the series.

Heck, almost everything in this show is a reference to somethingelse.

ReyGitanoon Oct. 11, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.

Eureka 7 is my favorite anime of all time. I don't want to go into too much detail since your just at the first episode but it came out at the right time in my life to have an impact on me. As for the Blue Monday thing, E7 is chocked full of New Wave references so get ready for that.

PewPewLazerson Oct. 11, 2011 at 11:29 a.m.

I had a quick look around and I'm mostly getting images of mechs, it that the main focus? I'm still unsure exactly what this is and would like to know.

Just finished Death Note so I'm eager to find another series to jump into.

Mesoianon Oct. 11, 2011 at 11:59 a.m.

Oh Eureka 7, almost 48 episodes of exponentially rising levels of awesome and 2 episodes consisting of a blithering childish let down of an ending. A great show, but the high points are damn high, and the low points are DAAAAAMN stupid. Yet another example of what happens when you run out of source material and are forced to make up an ending.

Though that ending was still better than pocket full of rainbows, I found that movie to be genuinely upsetting.

@PewPewLazers: No. In fact, in the long run the mechs have a very small part in the show. Save for the NIRVASH and the "THEEND", all the mechs are fairly inconsequential. But of course...there's a very good reason for that.

Required watching really, the ending is dogshit but it's so an amazing ride getting there. Some of the most emotional scenes laced together that I've ever seen in a television show, let alone an anime. It does a great job defining, love, trust, truth and sanity and why they rarely apply to the things going on in the world.

I just want an OAV that ends the show better. Man that ending is terrible.

spilledmilkfactoryon Oct. 11, 2011 at 12:04 p.m.

Bones is awesome, and so is this show. I remember thoroughly enjoying myself when I started watching it on adult swim so long ago, but never got the chance to finish it out because they moved it to a weird time slot

PewPewLazerson Oct. 11, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.

@Mesoian: Ah, okay. That's what I was hoping to hear in all honesty, bar the poor ending of course. In general I find most interesting shows/films have a hard time concluding, especially when they are based on some sort of mystery. I'd have the exact same criticism about Death Note but then again I am completely satisfied having watched it.

yllekkramon Oct. 11, 2011 at 12:18 p.m.

@Mesoian: I'm fairly sure that the Eureka Seven anime is the source material. Also, I didn't think the ending was that bad. While the final few scenes were a litte confusing and an OAV to clear it up would be nice, I wouldn't say that the entirety of the final two episodes was terrible.

colorbrandonon Oct. 11, 2011 at 12:22 p.m.

Brings me back to my middle school days. I notice from a lot of the comments that people like to hate on this one, or rather, for all popular anime series in general. This one exploded in popularity long after it finished airing. Take your hipster glasses off, everyone, and enjoy this for what it is.

SoldierG654342on Oct. 11, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.

A weird thing happened we with me concerning this series. Even though I watched a not-insubstantial amount of it, I completely forgot it even existed. Seriously, I went years not remembering that not only had people made this, but I had watched it.

eldiaxon Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:04 p.m.

YES! Eureka 7 is a wonderful anime, one that is among my top anime I've ever seen. Just make sure to completely avoid the movie, since it doesn't have anything to do with the actual plot or the character development of the series, except that it shares same characters and setting.

Mesoianon Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.

@yllekkram said:

@Mesoian: I'm fairly sure that the Eureka Seven anime is the source material. Also, I didn't think the ending was that bad. While the final few scenes were a litte confusing and an OAV to clear it up would be nice, I wouldn't say that the entirety of the final two episodes was terrible.

The source is sort of an odd thing, but it is the manga. It's just one of those things where they both went on congruently, the anime made filler while the manga stuck to a monthly release schedule (much like FMA). They end dramatically differently. What proves how good BONES is is how good that filler is. That filler is BRILLIANT and really propels the anime above the manga plot wise.

It's hard to talk about since I don't want to spoil anything, but when this happens later with future series, it feels like BONES learns their lesson. There's a difference between a bad ending and an unsatisfying ending. The latter isn't necessarily a bad thing, the former is simply as described.

Waleson Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:29 p.m.

As an avid fan of Eureka Seven, heed my warning: it gets worse. Not worse in that 'this anime is horrid'. Worse in the sense that 'Oh holy God, please tell me that did not just happen'...I believe the other appropriate phrase is mind fuck.

Jnason Oct. 11, 2011 at 3:02 p.m.

I love this anime, it's one of my favourite. You're in for a treat, Tom!

Dunchadon Oct. 11, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.

Huh. I find it surprising how most of the comments are positive.

I never finished this series, because I'm pretty sure I absolutely hated the protagonist. Can't remember if there was something else as well, but I definitely remember despising the main character.

chickdigger802on Oct. 11, 2011 at 3:33 p.m.

funny enough how I got into this not that long ago. About eps 30 right now, some of the themes are pretty compelling vs your typical gundam political garbage.

And surfing robots that turn into cars. Why not?

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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