AO SEIZED THE REINS OF HISTORY – Eureka seveN AO Episode 2

Eureka Seven AO Mark I

[Eureka SeveN AO 01 “Born Slippy”]

There are a lot of different angles to the story in this show. They have not been afraid to just keep throwing things at the audience, with little to no regard to its place in the story and why it fits. Now, I don’t mind when there is a little suspense. The story shouldn’t reveal all its secrets right away.  But I’m beginning to feel like there is a growing disconnect between what I’m seeing on the screen, and why I should care.

One of the things I did not expect from this show was it’s political nature. The writing and directing have focused a lot of effort on establishing just how divided the people are on and around this island. Through these two episodes, as much as we learn about Ao, we are introduced to the political factions getting involved on this island. We have the territorial conflict between Okinawa and the Japanese mainland. We see the local islanders, including Naru’s dad, looking to start a rebellion to break free of all outside control.  In the end, the one person in the island that has that everyone is united in fear is Ao, as a result of a history with his mother. The events that brought Ao and his mother (presumed Eureka) to the island, have left a tragic scar on the local residents. This event so important that it alienates Ao and his adoptive grandfather from everyone. As we see already, these conflicts are shaping the story as much as anything else.

Eureka Seven AO Island Rebels

But as a viewer, many questions were left unanswered. Last week, I defended this opening as a way to hook the viewer into coming back to find out what’s going on. Even those familiar with the original series are seeing a world much different than before, leading to many unanswered questions. And with this week, while fantastic in it’s action and visual effects, really showed a failure to familiarize us better with the world around Ao’s story. We find ourselves moving from one group the next without fully understanding why they are important, and why the short snippets of dialog and history are so important. While its great to get a frame of reference of the magnitude of the situation, it does nothing to help us understand the “why” this is all happening to begin with.Eureka Seven AO Mark I Secret Fight

But while we know nothing about the supporting cast yet, the director has made sure that we identify Ao with Eureka. As Ao initiates the startup of the Mark I IFO, the screen flashes “Welcome Home Eureka”, and his hair transforms to an instantly recognizable color of turquoise. And ‘surprisingly’, Ao manages to pilot the Mark I, although not very well. But he manages to not only stay alive, but defeat the G-Monster. This fight brings him under the watchful eye of Generation Bleu, our last player in this conflict.

Eureka Seven AO Ao Pilot

Now that we’ve completed this first arc, my hopes are that the rest of the story begins to flesh out. While the action has been great, and the visuals on  fan service level, I’m left waiting to see just where this story is going to go. With all the thread lines being introduced, it will be a fine balance to make them all relevant in the story and to the viewer.


ghostlightning

Woo that was a hoot. AO sure SEIZED THE REINS OF HISTORY. I appreciate how the show used the “pro” pilots (read: hot chicks) make the distinction of Ao being a total n00b. This isn’t Renton who can do a cut-back drop turn pretty much immediately — though Eureka SeveN powered through that by making sure Eureka the veteran pilot was involved in Nirvash’s tricks. Remembering love for a lot of shows in this episode. You win points if you can identify the references~

 

What a bunch of morons.

About JoeAnimated

-Growing Older, but never growing up. Father, engineer, and all around nerd. Grew up watching the great american cartoons of the 80's, now a casual watcher of Japanese Anime.
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51 Responses to AO SEIZED THE REINS OF HISTORY – Eureka seveN AO Episode 2

  1. Rednights says:

    It’s a bit too early to have expected anything substantive from the political angle of this show, as it’s still filling in the boy comes into contact with unimaginable mecha and we have to show how awesome it is flying around quota. That and I’m not a fan of the political drab at the moment, as my focus is on the Eureka storyline really. I would imagine viewers who haven’t seen the original are even more so terribly confused on what the hell is happening.

    As for his piloting, it was pretty good. There have been some horrendous first time mecha piloting starts over the years, this isn’t one of them. No coaching, manned up and did it himself.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      My point on the piloting was in reference to some comments last week. I guess in the end, the piloting was believable enough. Good enough to win, but showing his struggle in how he did it. It would have been way more frustrating if he just stepped in and kicked ass.

      • ZabiLegacy says:

        Piloting could have been less realistic. Also could have been closer to Eureka Seven on the far realistic end of the piloting spectrum. Not happy with it, but I’ll grit my teeth and accept that aspect of the show.

  2. sadakups says:

    I swear to god I was expecting Ao to perform a Cut Back Drop Turn anytime during the battle with the G-Monster. That would have sent me screaming “FUCK YEAH!!!!” on the screen.

    My only concern with what was presented in this episode is that it felt like the show was a completely different show from the Eureka Seven that I know, that is, if the writers were aiming for that. Right now, I just don’t feel that connected to this new universe although I’ll give it some more time to present itself.

    • Admittedly, I wanted to see that during the battle seen, but had it happened I know I’m going to be upset afterwards. Ao isn’t a reffer like Renton, who breathed Trapar and idolized Holland. He also saw the the Nirvash do a cut back drop turn in the flesh, which must have given him some confidence to attempt that maneuver himself. Ao had nothing of these, so such a move would’ve been a problem had Ao even tried it.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      What Ghost said.

      As with the disconnection, as I look back on both episodes, and the time line they show, this may not simply be 15 years after the scub coral. What if the 2025 date is actually 2,025 years after the scub coral left?

      • sadakups says:

        The way I see it, AO is a completely different show with having stuff from the first show being tossed around just to make a connection. It’s has an alternate universe feel considering the drastic difference in setting, and that Eureka is mentioned as if she exists in that universe as a different entity. Not to mention the G-Monsters really look uninspired to me, and I’m hoping they’re not doing a monster of the week thing or dare I say it, another attempt at “Evangelization”. ;)

        Hard to tell though, but who knows, if done well, making a good connection from the first show could end up the epic of the year. I’m still betting on Renton showing up with that ‘stache. Seriously though, I have no complaints right now, I’m enjoying what I’m seeing, it’s just getting used to the new set-up.

  3. thoughtcannon says:

    I really feel for Ao not being able to happily return to his oji-san. I really wonder what direction he’s going to take. Will he head off with the smugglers? Generation Bleu? This is the kind of anime that keeps me begging for more.
    I’m down with all the factions being brought in. I’m used to shows and novels with multiple viewpoints and multiple storylines. I dig a show that doesn’t think I need to be explicitly told everything and expects me to keep up. In short- I’m a massive Game of Thrones fan.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      The opening implies a connection with Generation Bleu. They become the new Gekko State group. And I agree, it’s great to have all the story lines and angles, but now, they need to build on that and bring the rest of us with it.

    • ZabiLegacy says:

      Game of Thrones provides plenty of exposition. It uses new words in places where context isn’t hard to figure out and assumes you know it. They have alot to exposit, so they assume you can keep up because they provide the needed tools to keep up with the information. I consider GoT a triumph of how to put as much information out in the least amount of time. This, not so much? The exposition here was at best bad, at worst nonexistent. No context clues will help you understand info that isn’t properly revealed. This is very very much not like Game of Thrones.

      • thoughtcannon says:

        i beg to differ. I have no difficulty following this plot and I feel that the information that has been presented is more than adequate for the time being. One of the problems I think is that a lot of people (myself included) are thinking that this Eureka is the same Eureka and I’m not sure if that’s the case. Game of Thrones (especially reading the book for the first time) is 10 times more difficult than this to follow and yes Martin is a master of getting exposition out in as few moments as necessary but I feel that the style is similar here, and as such while it may not be as adequate as Martin’s, it is enough to competently follow the plot.

        • ZabiLegacy says:

          I would say that comparing Game of Thrones to this though is useless. The reasoning as to why Game of Thrones occasionally need a double take, is that every second they seem to be throwing in exposition to something. The scale is so vast that they cannot put everything, or the end result would be unwachable/unreadable. This has the opposite problem. There is JUST enough information that everything on the screen makes some degree of sense, and nothing more. that means if you ever miss something, you are immediately behind. First time I watched the first episode, I missed the part where they briefly mentioned it was the Japanese army who hired the schmucks, and then everything immedialty made no sense. There is no excuse for that. There is plenty of points throughout the story, where they ca just slow down and make sure everything makes sense. Game Of Thrones makes the trade off of coherence for scale, but the scale isn’t bigger then it has to be here. It would take a few extra lines of dialogue to make things better put together. Why can’t they put that?

          The second issue is context. Without context for an action, the action is all I’m getting. Compare and contrast the death of Ned Stark to the death of the Night’s watchman on the first episode. The latter was better directed, and more shocking considering we were new to the show. But, we never really knew the guy. Ned’s death took a toll because we had spent so much time getting to know him. Just enough to keep watching is not enough to make me care. It’s one of the things the original E7 did so amazingly right. When it had a big moment, all that extra time that it spent letting us get to know the cast and the setting paid for itself. EXAMPLE: Without the rather boring plotline with the desperation disease, the payoff of the central core wouldn’t have worked. This show exposites and characterizes the bare minimum for no good reason, thus robbing cool action scenes of any reason to care. How much better would the destruction of the town be had we seen him talking to people in it on his way home in the first episode? Or the destruction of the battle ship, had we spent more time there? I think maybe thirty seconds of people talking on the bridge for a reason to care about it’s destruction is a good trade

          • thoughtcannon says:

            Hardly seems fair comparing E7 Ao’s first 2 eps with AGoT’s 8th and E7′s like 32nd, in terms of payoff anyway. I’m still disagreeing but I can understand how some people would need an extra bit of info. That’s not my case though, and since I’m the one contextualizing the show, that qualifies as good (enough) in my eyes.

  4. Tzu says:

    I really liked the Mark I cockpit, the steering wheel responded to shock very well and the little screens that zoomed where nice. Too bad this is not a two seat mecha as the Nirvash, it was kind of cool for Renton to fight alongside Eureka. I cannot picture Naru fighting thou. The opening kind of shows a bit too much of what may happen to her, but I won’t spoil for those who didn’t notice.

    • I didn’t want a copy of the Nirvash anyway, but yeah it was really cool to see Eureka and Renton in the same cockpit. So many awesome memories!

    • JoeAnimated says:

      There are a lot of little details in the animation that stand out. Making the cockpit with an all digital screen (like a Gundam) was a nice touch. And something simple as the steering wheel vibration in sync with the combat motion. The visuals in this show are great.

  5. SQA says:

    Well, we got our first piece of information about where Eureka is. 10 years ago the biggest Scub Coral burst happened at Okinawa. Which probably took 1/2 the island with it. Eureka somehow was involved/hasn’t been back since. How this sits in the original time line is anyone’s guess, for now.

    As for the political angles, well, our main characters are only somewhat understand them, so they’ll come with time. It’s going to be a complex world, so you can’t expect everything early. We still need to setup characterization with our main players.

    Also, this is how you start a mecha series. Ao isn’t a perfect pilot but has potential, the enemies aren’t stupid (seriously, that was some solid combat tactics from that G-monster) thus making the kill stand out, and hinting at how powerful this mecha could be. Oh, and it’s Plane/Mecha combo this time (not a car/mecha). Which is going to be fun.

    I really loved that Ao wasn’t a wimp in the mecha. He didn’t just luck into his victory or have some ass-pull to win. He, in fact, beat the G-monster with his own mecha’s severed arm. THAT is awesome.

    We’ve got a really good potential for an extremely good successor series to Eureka 7. It’s going to be different enough to do its own thing, but these characters feel like they’re right out of that world. Which should, hopefully, avoid the problems that Fam ended up having.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Fam is Dead. Long Live Better Sequels.

    • ZabiLegacy says:

      It would be really cool to have that characterization setup up for the main characters? When is that going to start happening? Because if they aren’t going to explain the setting till they give the cast personality traits, more then one dimension, and whatnot, we may not get it for a long long time.

  6. SQA says:

    Oh, there’s also a picture of Asuka with text saying it’s Misato.

  7. megaroad1 says:

    Loved the action in this episode. I actually think that Eureka Seven AO is being quite informative if I compare it to other shows at this second episode stage, dropping little crumbs of information here and there (the Eureka flashbacks, oji-san recognizing the Mark I, all the references to ’10 years ago’). I suppose the story will gradually flesh out.

    I do think that people who are watching AO without having seen E7 first must feel pretty lost though.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      yeah, a lot of those little references we recognize would just go by. But maybe that’s a good thing? No frame of reference, so it’s less confusing?

      • ZabiLegacy says:

        Strongly agree, one of the weirder aspects of watching this is being confused at how the modern country system exists, if this is a sequel to the distinctly sci-fi eureka seven. Without that frame of refrence, this would probably make alot more sense

  8. dliessmgg says:

    It always confuses me when people say that a show is confusing when it’s not. Okinawa is to Japan what Taiwan is to China and obviously there are military tensions between them, occasionally involving robots. Generation Bleu defeats the evil monsters for money. (A leftover from the first season, I assume?) (Were there enough monsters in those 10 years to let the organization survive?) The Okinawans don’t like foreigners with turquoise hair. The protagonist has some mommy issues.

    If I’d seen the first season and/or there was a smaller number of good shows this season I’d have watched it. Sadly I can’t stop time from flowing.

  9. Andaer says:

    Awesome! It’s great how this show combines the personal story of AO – relationship with his (girl)friend and mysterious past – mecha action and politics and how the result feels so natural and fitting.

    Honestly I don’t remember too much of the (political) world of the original series (‘ end) and I can’t link it to the world shown here. But for now it is ok, I like it if the mysteries are slowly revealed in the cours of the show.

    I’m a little bit disappointed that the traper surfing subculture doesn’t seem to exist, especially because the story is set on an island. This was one of my favourite elements of E7 and it coems very surprisingly that the GenerationBlue pilots (unfortunately fanservice characters so far) are surprised that AO’s mecha “stands”.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      The surfing sub culture, or counter culture in general, has been replaced with rebels looking for find freedom for the island. Rather than having a group of (young) people with a so-cal beach attitude, we have old people with guns looking to start a fight. I miss the easy going nature of the Gekko State as well.

    • SQA says:

      Joe just wants more Holland running around in his boxers.

  10. ZabiLegacy says:

    Eureka Seven AO is a very pretty show. In alot of ways it reminds me strongly of Rinne No Lagrange. And Guilty Crown….You see where I am going with this, right?

    I’m not going to rehash my complaints about the complete lack of characterization, wasted moments, or exposition. Both are here in even stronger quantities this episode. Take all my complaints about how badly written last and apply them to this one. What I want to take time to point out this time around, is alot of the really disturbing trends I am starting too see in this show, and compare them to the other shows that this team has made (Xam’d, E7, Mars Daybreak). Of course all of these may be rectified by the show later, but excuse my lack of faith in the writing to improve.

    There are alot of things to learn from Mars Daybreak. Most of the other shows that the team has done have showed that they understood just how cool being part of a team was. It reached it’s pinnacle with the Gekko State, who could be summed up as skyboarding outlaw revolutionary counter culture icons. One of the key aspects of E7 was Renton using the Gekko as a way of growing up. The same can be said for the mail crew in Xam’d. They should for all intents and purposes be lame, but managed to pull off badass with gravitas not seen in many shows. Who are these guys? Some planetary defense organization? Like in every other mecha show? My first warning sign for Generation Bleu, was the all female cast of pilots. I remember that as one of the elements of Mars Daybreak that didn’t work very well at all. And really, why would the main hero need a harem? Unless they can provide an explanation for why they would want to do that, it seems a little bit on the stupid side. My next complaint is the way they are built up within the show. Remember when Renton was talking about how cool Gekko State was in the first episode? By this point we could consider that from the context of the first scene with them blowing alot of KLFs up. In this show, we have yet to really see much of Generation Bleu. But what we have heard is lots of characters talking about how cool they are. Obviously this is a violation of show don’t tell. But, it’s also a violation of a larger rule of exposition. That having lots of buildup without actually seeing a force is almost always ineffective. And not like how some shows might hint at a larger threat, by showing part of their influence. That still can be defined as showing off the strength of that force by way of hinting that everything that happened so far was them by proxy. I mean just doing nothing but talking up how cool they are. You only do that if they are later revealed to suck. And even then show don’t tell works. All we have seen of GB is lots and lots of talks, and ugly ships.

    Speaking of ugly ships, I can be the only one who thinks that something went horribly wrong with the robot design, right? The nirvash looks pretty damn good. I wouldn’t have used grey, because grey is boring. But, the nirvash in this show is really well designed. What about everything else. For starters, Generation Bleu’s shock at the nirvash implies that there are not any other human robots in this show. Talking on a site that wrote a long article explaining why human fighting human robots are the best, I don’t think I need to explain why this is disappointing. But their choice of what to fight are particularly bad. Those have to be some of the worst designed ships I have seen in anything. They look fat, all have one color, and don’t seem to move in interesting ways. It makes me want the duck ships from Lagrange back. And according to the OP we will be seeing alot more of those flying boxes of uglyness in the future. And talk about uncreative too. Ship vs. mecha battles have been done else where better for years. This is a show that had giant robots on rainbow skyboards jousting with boomerang swords. I refuse to believe they cannot think up anything more initresting. And that enemy? It looks like something Andross would barf at you in Star Fox 64. The design isn’t simple enough to go for a simplistic aspect like the diamond angel from EVA, but it’s too prismic to think of it as anything but an overgrown Geometry Wars Baddy. Alot of it’s design seems wasted, and all and all it’s the least interesting enemy design in the whole franchise. Compare and contrast too the KLFs in E7. Those things told you alot about the world they lived in, and about who piloted them. Armed to the teeth, but week defensilvy and easy to take down. They reaked of bureaucracy. Furthermore, the completely unneeded blood in them, reminded us that there were humans inside, who probably liked mecha combat less then the Gekko did. What does this thing tell me? It isn’t quite other worldly. It doesn’t look purposefully week or purposefully strong. It’s just very angular.

    Eureka Seven wasn’t deep down an action show, an adventure show, a mecha show, or a sci-fi. It was a coming of age romance. As amazing as those other elements were, the truth depth of E7 was in it’s romances. It’s why I can make the statement that Holland was the antagonist of the first half because of his opposal, and have some evidence to back up my claim. I know this team can make good romance. My three all time favorite anime romances come from them (the two from E7 and the one from Xam’d), I should not be underwhelmed by the romance in this show. Yet, I am. Part of it comes from my personal disappointment that they decided to leave the slow building and very realistic romance from the first one, to return to some “will they won’t they” childhood friend shenanigans. I will admit that this is a matter of personal taste. So sue me. But what I do find very frightening is how little I can feel of the connection between the two leads. Remember how at the end of the last episode, he discovered what he thought was the death of the girl he loved. And how the show, and AO, seemed to forget about that entirely by the time this episode started? One would think he would still be reacting to that. Yet, he never seems to even bring up this fact again in the entire episode. If this was the first show, they would not have let the seeming death of Eureka be a small deal. Why wasn’t his immediate reaction upon returning to the island to go look for her rather then return home? Why did he care more about his changing hair color then the love of his life? Where was the “I thought you were dead?” when he saw her again? He just sort of said Hi and whined about his hair. I don’t know much about these two or their rleationship, but what I do know seems to be discarded every episode. And the introduction of possible harem elements this episode with that other pilot? Please god no. Remember, this is a sequel to E7. Remember episode 25? Remember episode 48? I bet you do, because they were unforgettable. Renton going after Eureka in the Nirvash to save her from Charles and the lamentation and subsequent redemption of Anemone, were jaw dropping. I don’t expect that level from this show. I just expect adequacy.

    Like I said, all of these problems may become no problems in time, but all in all, I think there is a much larger issue hanging over this show. Xam’d was a 40 episode show that they failed miserably to put into 26. This does not feel much like a 24 episode show. I continue to expect better of Bones. This is E7 they are playing with. Not some ordinary sequel.

    • SQA says:

      This is about 10x betters than Rinne’s first two episodes, and considerably better than Guilty Crown’s first 2 episodes. Ao isn’t going to get Shuu’d, the writers here are MUCH better.

      The Generation Blue fights turn into Mechas. Mechas will be best for combat, but for Orbital entrance/exit, it’s much better to be in aircraft mode. The preview even has Fleur’s IFO going into Mecha mode. So, that’s really not an issue, at the moment.

      Oh, and the romance in Xam’d? That series mostly lost me with really, really crappy world-building, but I guess I can see an enjoyment with the way the main romance resolved. Though it always felt really weird. Though that had more to do with what they kept doing to Akiyuki throughout most of the series. The guy never really got a chance to progress his character. Though his parents are some of the most tightly written side characters you’ll find.

  11. JoeAnimated says:

    At this point, we’re just speculating. 2 episodes mean nothing. The way things are, it could be 10 episodes before we really know anything or understand the context. Does everything so far leave me with a questions, comments, and frustrations? Yes. But thank god this isn’t as bad as LE Fam. After two episodes, I was rooting for someone to kill that stupid little kid. I was see a beloved series be butchered by a worthless piece of garbage embodied by a brainless moe-fied fragment of a LE character. If there is one thing I can be thankful for in this start, is that I don’t hate any characters yet. I’m will to wait things out on that point alone.

    • ZabiLegacy says:

      Maybe, but all in all Fam wasn’t a bad show. It just failed miserably with the writing of one of it’s characters. The rest of the show’s writing was fine. There isn’t some horrific abomination yet, but this show’s writing is just consistently bad. And to be perfectly honest, I never found the original Last Exile to be all that great written. In my mind it was the direction that really sold it. E7…..is different. The direction and animation were amazing of course. But, at the end of the day, it was the writing that made the differences between just great and amazing. Too see myself wanting to strangle the writers of this? In many respects it’s better then Fam, but it just feels like a violation of why I remember love for E7 in the first place. >.< The real sad part though? I was totally on board with this until the first episode. Sharing links with all my friends and whatnot. I wanted this not to suck so badly

  12. foshizzel says:

    Best summary by the way!

    Amazing episode this week for action and music this week and Ao’s hair finally changed color! I guess he might have to leave the island soon with the whole military looking for him. Generation blue = Moe pilots doing moe things, but I guess Ao will join them eventually right? Just like Renton and gekko state at least that is what it appears to be from the opening video.

    Fun episode I can’t wait for more <3

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Glad you liked the summary. Trying out something new with these posts to see how well it works. Should we keep trying? Like you said, based on the OP, I can see Ao joining Generation Bleu. At that point, things should (hopefully) get a lot more interesting.

  13. sammie says:

    A lot of people are wondering if this is a new timeline especially with the 1940 reference in the show but in the last episode of eureka seven the world must have suffered a huge technology lost. Also did anyone else notice the holes in eurekas dress for her wings in the preview. Anyways i seriously want to see some old characters but so far this is an amazing sequel

    • JoeAnimated says:

      I was wondering of the timeline started at 0 at the end of the original E7. What if Eureka and Renton lost physical form or something goofy, and didn’t return back to earth for 2000+ years? Other than a whole new timeline, we could be generations past were the last left off. At this point, not even the manga has made it clear when and where we are relative to the last story line.

  14. Pingback: Eureka Seven Ao vs Logic: A Most Splendid Battle « Toxic Muffin

  15. Myst says:

    You know what’s interesting? The confusion and uncertainty you describe is a big part of why this feels like Eureka 7 to me. I remember watching the original Eureka 7 for the first time and being so confused from everything that was happening and all the terms that were thrown around. As you have pointed out AO has given us plenty of information, but we can’t really make sense of it quite yet and that has brought back a lot of memories of going through Eureka 7 for the first time. Of course, that doesn’t address the issue itself, but I think I was very lenient with these first two episodes for that reason.

  16. fasd says:

    from what i remember the nirvash of the original series morphed into an independent living being at the end and on this new series it looks completely mechanical (i saw ep 4) and different concept other than the look slightly similar to the beginning episodes and there way no way any of this new political stuff and nations with real names either leaving me to think this is just an “okay at best” spinoff or a complete fail attempt at a sequel

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