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Renton Thurston is a 14-year-old boy who lived with his mechanic grandfather in a backwater town. Every day he dreamed of being with the mercenary "Light Finding Operation (LFO)" aircraft pilot group "Gekkostate" and riding "Trapar" particle waves-- a sport called "Riffing"-- with their charismatic leader Holland, especially when faced with his father's acclaimed past or his grandfather's desire to protect him. When a young girl named Eureka riding the original LFO, the "Nirvash typeZERO", asks his grandfather for a tune-up, she inadvertently brings the attention of the military to the garage; as a result, the garage is destroyed and Renton is forced to deliver a new type of interface-- the "Amita Drive"-- to the Nirvash. After a heated fight in which the Nirvash destroys the military LFOs by unleashing an immense amount of power, Renton is invited into Gekkostate. However, he quickly realizes that behind the facade of a traveling group of mercenaries is a very bitter reality. Written by
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At its heart an exquisitely told romance with beautifully animated action scenes, and characters created with love
The first time I watched Eureka Seven, I was in a mood of "meh, this is going to suck," it didn't but I definitely didn't love it either. After watching the first two episodes and failing to be interested enough to continue, I forgot about it. Some weeks later, on a forum I regularly visit, people were gushing over it. I was wondering what the hell they were on about; they reassured me that it got better and better and better and better .and then even better. "Mecha just isn't my thing" I said "especially when said mecha rides on lame surfboards through the sky". WRONG. The mecha aspect is such a miniscule part of the show that placing it into that anime genre is a crime against humanity. Instead the show becomes one of the most compelling dramas I've ever seen, anime or not. So yes I continued to watch, the next few episodes were nothing special, humorous in parts, interesting in others. I was growing impatient waiting for an arc to form. And then it happened and everything changed, by episode 30 I was proclaiming Eureka Seven as the best anime I've ever had the pleasure of watching and by the end of it all, Eureka Seven had solidified it's place in anime history as possibly the most beautifully written anime ever.
So what is it about it that makes Eureka Seven so refreshing and wonderful? For starters it's nothing like the general mecha anime, if you look at all of them, they are all named after the mecha: Rahxephon, Evangelion, Gundam etc. Eureka Seven set itself up from the very beginning as a character drama and by naming it after the main female character they achieved this. Eureka Seven is all about the characters. Occasionally there are no mecha battles for episodes at a time, when there is one, they are there to compliment the story and the characters own development. At first I felt Renton was rather annoying and I continually found myself saying "shut up" allowed, whenever he was on screen, however by the end Renton had undergone such an excellently written change, he wasn't the annoying kid anymore he was instead one of the most endearing male leads in any anime I have ever seen. Technically Eureka Seven is an achievement. Every aspect, the music, the animation does its job with finesse. The music by Sato Naoki is superb and at time compels you to tears in even some of the happiest most uplifting of scenes. It weaves itself into the anime and never feels out of place. The animation is mostly consistent but at time it drops in quality, however the high level of art is maintained throughout. The arcing story is always interesting and doesn't fall into boring clichés and contrivances which plague most anime today. The writers indict war and it's meaningless with beautiful tact and subtlety. The mysteries are well told and answers are littered throughout, a lot of them leaving the viewer to ponder over and think about, rather than having them shoved in your face.
Sadly Eureka Seven has slipped under most peoples radars; brushing it off as the same thing I felt it was when I first watched it. Fullmetal Alchemist another offering from Bones animation Studio has managed to make a dent in the anime community, even though I liked that anime quite a bit it pales in comparison to Eureka Seven. Hopefully as word of mouth spreads Eureka Seven will find itself as widely acclaimed as it deserves to be.
Eureka Seven is what every anime, no every TV show aspires to be, something original, intriguing and always fun. It's a rarity to have such a uniquely told story that is full of lovable characters and wondrous technical achievements. Eureka Seven is the best anime of 2005. No, the best anime in years.
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