video version of this post: https://youtu.be/HpjBzwFV45M
There are many times in life I wish I had superpowers, and finding a gem of an anime like Eureka Seven from the past that I overlooked is an occurrence that brings back that desire. I wish I had infinite time or time travel abilities not really to live forever but to experience enjoyable things at times when they were most appreciated. Much like I’d love to experience star wars when it was originally released I’d also like to be able to bring myself back to the days when things like Bebop and Evangelion were new and the zeitgeist of their influence was still fresh. I also wish i had infinite time for the selfish purpose of watching all the anime i could possibly see as I sadly know I will leave this world missing something.
Eureka Seven likely needs little introduction to most, but it was a 50 episode epic coming of age story blended together with mecha, romance and action genres. Studio Bones produced it back in 2005 and it was an anime original. The heart of the story takes place far in the future and revolves around Renton Thurston a boy who lives in the shadow of his father who died as a hero to mankind, a belief shared by much of society but not quite by Renton as he never got to know him.
In this future there is a popular action sport called lifting which is basically sky surfing and it is Rentons favorite activity. Lifting similar to skateboarding today is sort of a rebellious act and rentons hero Holland leads a rebel group called Gekko State that is on constant run from the military and the organized government. Renton eventually becomes a member of Gekkostate and at first sight falls in love with a crew member named Eureka and this spirals out to an incredible tale of maturity. The series shows the struggle toward finding one’s individuality and self worth, both with and without people always being physically there supporting you.
While i’m not a huge mecha fan, action romances are my favorite genre, and they in my opinion are far too rare. Inuyasha and chrono crusade, my favorite anime and manga respectively have elements akin to Eureka Seven, but the latter has more flair and futuristic wonder that can only come with the sci fi setting it has. I love when a relationship is battle tested both literally and through experiences the main characters go through. Eureka is not typical on any sense and Renton struggles to understand both himself and a girl who possesses great power and a sense of mystery. His emotions are all over the place as he in many ways has to raise himself through life’s struggles. and One of the most intriguing aspects of romance to me is how the characters act away from one another. How do they think? How do they act? How do they change? Do they grow or fall apart?
Now in Eureka Seven’s case it has those elements in spades, but it is not just one romance but several overlapping ones. Eureka and Renton are the stars, but my most appreciated the relationships between Holland and Talho as well as Dominic and Anemone.
Holland is the leader of the rebel group and has a tragic past. He is at times brash and unapologetic but is loyal and committed to his crew. His backbone is supported by the tough love of Talho, his second in command. Her tsundere attitude provides comedy at times but the show has several scenes dedicated to her expressing her true feelings although she does have difficulties expressing them to the man she loves most, Holland.
Anemone is, for the majority of the show, a major antagonist used by the military as a weapon. She is looked after by Dominic, a young but high ranking military official who seems to have an unrequited love of Anemone and hates how she is used as a tool. Anemone denies needing Dominic and treats him like crap a lot of the time but just as the show also develops Renton and Eureka’s relationship, we see how being apart affects Dominic and Anemone as well. Anemone slowly realizes she at times is not strong and needs Dominic who supports her no matter the cost.
The relationships in this show felt real. You do not always understand everything about your partner in life, but you do your best to support them and be there when they need you, and these characters did that. None of the romances are perfect, and I loved that.
Eureka seven is a journey. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect for everyone, the journey is long with a slow start, and the sci fi element can get a little convoluted at times but it successfully throws genres and character archetypes onto what became an amazing roller coaster ride. I wish I could see this show back when I was closer to Renton’s age and I wish time were infinite that way the ride wouldn’t end.
- Thanks for reading, – Miasma