Thoughts on Big Robots, Love, and Bones (Spoilers are plenty)

The main focus of this piece is love. Love as it is presented in series by studio Bones. Before jumping into pretentious and flashy polemics, let me explain what I mean by love in the context of this piece. I don’t wish to be limited by the definition of love as a romantic feelings between two adults or mature teenagers. I want to broaden the definition of love and say that – for the purposes of this piece – love is the feeling of strong emotional attachment and empathy towards other living beings. Why so broad? Because I want to consider the extent and authenticity of emotional connections in various series by Bones. However, because my definition of love is so broad, I have to limit myself to only a few series, and I have decided to focus on Eureka 7, Bounen no Xamdou, and RahXephon. With this, let’s jump into the fray.

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I claim – and feel free to disagree – that love in E7 is the most shallow of the RahXephon, Xamdou and E7 trio. Allow me to explain why. E7 is shallow because it paints the picture of a very narrow and simplicstic love. Just as you did, I have enjoyed every moment of Anemone and Dominic’s relationship; I have smiled at the awkward moments between Reyton and Eureka and applauded Hollands attempts to capture Talho. However, all these relationships are silly. Yes, silly because they are devoid of the broader love. Each and every character in E7 – perhaps except for Dominic and Anemone– is a cold blooded murderer. Now you are probably questioning my sanity because – of all characters – Anemone is perhaps the most crazy one. And this is precisely why I coupled her with Dominic in their opposition to the murderous Main Cast of E7. She doesn’t kill by choice, she is forced into it by torture. If you watch the series and try avoid being sympathetic to the main characters simple because they are main characters, you will notice that Renton & Co have no love of life. They have no appreciation of other beings except for their buddies and allies. For them, there is a clear dividing line between enemies – the government – and us, the glorious and righteous rebels; between our own who must be protected and them who must be destroyed – a euphemism for killed.

No, it's not a hug that Anemone needs, it's true love and devotion - the feelings Dominic offers.

I pose to you a question: can you love a cold blooded murderer? A murderer that has no justification for one’s actions other than uninspired “mamorism”? “Yes” is my claim, but the love for such a person is shallow and meaningless. Allow me to demonstrate this by contrasting the E7 with Xamdou and RahXephon. My claim rests upon the difference in the depth and genuinity – if there is such a word – of love between Akiyuki and Haru on one hand and sham of a love between Eureaka  and Renton. Let me start at the very end of Xamdou. The very last moment of Xamdou is one of the greatest anime psalms celebrating love. Two adult – important factor – lovers meet after many years apart. They stand side-by side and profess their love for one another. There is nothing more. The lovers speak in calm voices; there are no grand monologues or gestures. Their joy is within them, it isn’t the joy aimed at the viewer – though we still feel it very strongly. The joy of their reunion, joy of their love is something very private and intimate.

Consider Rahxepone. Towards the end, there is a scene where Megumi yells at the top of her lungs that she is over her crush on Ayato. After which Haruka, in quite and calm voice, tells Ayato of her love that survived for many years. And Ayato reciprocates her feelings in a calm voice that is full of emotions. Just like Xamdou, the RahXephon confession scene is brilliant in it’s portrayal of genuine love devoid of pretentious or overblown drama.

Contrast the E7. Perhaps in line with the younger age of its protagonists, all the declarations or confession in E7 are the moments filled with awkwardness and embarrassment. Remarkably, this is true not only for Eureka and Renton, but also the other cast with exception of, yet again, Anemone and Dominic. If you will, all the characters in E7 experience their first crush, their first – i don’t want to use a euphemism – sexual tension. The characters are not looking at the relationships from the position of “i want to spend my life with this person and I’m confident that even when it comes to laundry our love will see us through”. Rather the characters in E7 are acting upon a momentary impulse; they act as if their love is just a stimulant similar to the murders they commit every other day. Recall how Renton fell in “love” with Eureka. He saw her appear from Nirvash’s cockpit and felt excitement. Of course, the authors didn’t intend this as sexual excitement, but I doubt one can interpret Renton’s emotions as anything else. He though her hot, she had a cool car – sorry, ELV – and Renton soon discovers that someone is after her. I claim love in E7 lacks the gravity of the relationships in other series by Bones.

Consider Rahxepone. Towards the end, there is a scene where Megumi yells at the top of her lungs that she is over her crush on Ayato. After which Haruka, in quite and calm voice, tells Ayato of her love that survived for many years. And Ayato reciprocates her feelings in a calm voice that is full of emotions. Just like Xamdou, the RahXephon confession scene is brilliant in it’s portrayal of genuine love devoid of pretentious or overblown drama. Contrast the E7. Perhaps in line with the younger age of its protagonists, all the declarations or confession in E7 are the moments filled with awkwardness and embarrassment. Remarkably, this is true not only for Eureka and Renton, but also the other cast with exception of, yet again, Anemone and Dominic. If you will, all the characters in E7 experience their first crush, their first – i don’t want to use a euphemism – sexual tension. The characters are not looking at the relationships from the position of “i want to spend my life with this person and I’m confident that even when it comes to laundry our love will see us through”. Rather the characters in E7 are acting upon a momentary impulse; they act as if their love is just a stimulant similar to the murders they commit every other day. Recall how Renton fell in “love” with Eureka. He saw her appear from Nirvash’s cockpit and felt excitement. Of course, the authors didn’t intend this as sexual excitement, but I doubt one can interpret Renton’s emotions as anything else. He though her hot, she had a cool car – sorry, ELV – and Renton soon discovers that someone is after her. I claim love in E7 lacks the gravity of the relationships in other series by Bones.

Ok, he doesn't look very excited here - his room was smashed after all - but rest assured, his mood changes rather quickly.

If you watch RahXephon and Xamdou, you will notice how rarely – if ever – do the characters blush. At the same time, in E7 blushes and romantic embarrassment are common place not only among young characters, but also among – age wise – adults like Holland. I claim that both RahXephon and Xamdou are the series that take the topic of love much more seriously than E7. The former two series are – in effect – an attempt and weaving a story about love of adults as opposed to crush of teenagers.

Compared to Haru and Akiyuki, these two doves look and behave like kids

To defend this claim allow me to abandon romantic love and go back to my proposed definition of love as empathy towards living beings. Consider the idea I raised at the very beginning: Renton and Eureka are murderers. You probably vehemently disagree, but let me ask you why you do so. Take a moment to reflect on why you think Renton and Eureka are not two cold blooded mass murderers. Have you contemplated it? Perhaps you claim that they were defending themselves. However, why do they need to engage in the activities that force military to act? Perhaps they are defending the planet against the evil guy Z. No, that is not it because, neither them, nor us realise that the planet is in danger until the we are well into the series; thus, most of the time Eureka and Renton kill simply because it preserves their lifestyle as members of Gekko-go.

I do not expect you to agree to my claim just yet. However, I will continue to defend it. Consider episode 4 where the team of Geckgo is broke and chooses how to get the money. Renton proposes taking part in a surf-boarding competition, but the crew decided to go with smuggling. The latter is delegated to Renton who accepts and goes on to fly – granted, he was in the passenger seat – by a military base killing ELV pilots or at least destroying their units. Why did he kill these men and women? The simple answer is either for money or because he was ordered to. However, I don’t find these answers satisfying and I hope that neither do you. I think – and I’m certain the writers didn’t intend it as such – that Renton kills because he has neither respect nor love of anyone but himself. Hence he only values things and people important to himself. Sure, he claims that he love Eureka, but can you really believe it? Does he ever say that for him, happiness is what makes Eureka happy? Does he put her as a human being above her as object of “mamorism”? He probably does, but that is not central to his character. I claim that for Renton, Eureka is important only to the extent that she is his future love match. Of course, this is the fault of the authors as Renton is their creation, but from the view of love as portrayed by the series, Renton’s feelings are shallow. And seeing that you disagree vehemently, let me contrast this with Xamdou.

In the series there is an episode, six, where Akiyuki makes a successful attempt to save Nakiami from the Humaform Weapon only to earn Nakiami’s reproach and scorn. To remind you, after Akiyuki kills the Humaform he says that he did it to protect Nakaimi because the Humaform is an enemy. To this Nakiami scornfully replies along the lines of “So that makes it alright to kill it?”. If you can, do yourself a favour by watching that scene to feel and soak in its impact and implications for the development of the characters. Nakiami values living beings not as objects of mamorism, but as precious and irreplaceable lives. This scene, although likely not intended as such, is the condemnation of “mamorism” as shallow and, more importantly, unexamined basis of devotion and love.

I claim that nowhere in E7 such a scene exists and that the scene where Eureka picks up children is forced and unnatural as she goes on killing after saving the children. As I said before, the characters in E7 categorise everyone into “us” and “them”, those to be protected and those to be fought. By contrast for Nakiami a living being is a living being regardless of form or conflict side. And in Xamdou she is not an exception for Akiyuki’s father, Haru and many other characters share her attitude.  I claim that the characters in E7 love for life does not  go beyond “mamorism”. You disagree and rightly so. However, let me give you another example of celebrated Bones series where the unconditional love of life plays a central role: RahXephon.

Hold on, you might say, Ayato kills the Mu on the regular basis as if it’s nothing. Indeed, he does, until episode 19. I am tempted to say that in that episode he concludes that Mu and Humans are the same; however, this idea is misguided. Why? Because Ayato comes to that conclusion earlier, likely after he discovers that he is a Mulian in episodes 15 and 16. Here is a lengthy collage of screencaps from episodes 15 and 16 that illustrates the change. When going through it, recall that Mulian blood is blue, not red and note how wonderfully the director uses these two colours throughout the episodes and the series in general.

What happens in episode 19 is Ayato discovering -albeit too late – that he doesn’t give a shit – forgive the strong phrasing – if someone is a Mulian. Did Ayato have a romantic attachment to Asahina? Most likely he didn’t, but he loved her as a human, no, as a living being. This love shapes all his subsequent actions and takes precedence over simple ideas like “enemy”, “ally” and “mamorism”. The RahXephon equivalent of Akiyuki being reprimanded by Nakiami, is Ayato’s experience of the sorrow of losing a loved one. After that event Ayato becomes avers not just to death of dear ones, but to death as such.

At this point, let’s return to E7. Answer this question: apart from the major antagonists, did any of the Genkogo’s foes get any development as humans? The answer should be “no”. By contrast, in both Xamdou and RahXephon the sideline fighters get ample exposition; exposition that demonstrates that neither Zanbanee, nor the militaries have a moral superiority. Rather, they all want to live and to experience – or continue experiencing – love. One moment at the end of Xamdou is rather typical of the whole series. When the Souther Fleet is being decimated the obligatory dying scream over the intercom is “Mother” as opposed to cliché “Damn the Whatever the Title of Opposing Organisation”. Turning to RahXephon, you might claim that Raxhepon’s enemies are simple “enemy of the week” type villains. You are correct as through several episodes this is indeed the case. However, once the story shifts into higher gear the enemies become people dear to Ayato. Though I do feel that the term “enemies” here is not correct. You might want to consider what was the goal of the enemies of the week. In fact, if you think about it, they have never attacked first and, in the first season, the story strongly hints that the cause of the Great Mu war was not the attacks by the Mu, but a preemptive strike by America and Japan. Thus, there is little reason to believe that Mu ever posed any threat had it not been for the actions of humans. In fact, the finale gives credence to the argument that both Mu and Humans can coexist in a harmonious – tuned – world that Ayato and Quon give birth to, hence why the scene at the very end, scene that some people misinterpret as a battle between Ayato and Quon.

My claim here is that in RahXephon over the course of the series the sideline characters display not just love for particular individual, but for life in general. Even Makoto Ishiki and Dr. Kisaragi have that streak in them. They make sacrifices -sometime ultimate – not to protect someone important to them, but to indiscriminately protect lives of individuals. This is what puts Rahxepon on the same level as Xamdou and high above E7.

Again, let’s go back to Rahxepon and examine the love between a child and mother. The example of such relationship is Ayato and his, adopted, mother Maya. She loves him not as a main characters she know him to be; she loves him not as important part of Mu’s plans. No, Maya love her son as her son or in her own words Sure, she isn’t always home and Ayato does feel neglected, but i sense that Maya is akin Haru’s mother. See, Haru’s mother was also very neglectful of her younger daughter Midori. However, i believe that the neglect stemmed from the responsibilities these mothers have to bear as well as their awkwardness about maternal duties. When called upon, in Midori’s case the play and Ayato returning to Tokyo, the two mothers are frank, loving and caring. The feelings of these two mothers are genuine and when you watch the series you can’t help but empathise with them. But even more than these two women, I can endlessly talk about Akiyuki’s parents and their love for one another and their child There is nothing of a kind in E7 as it suffers from the “Missing Parents” trope. I suppose this is a simple shortcut to focus the narrative on the crew of Gekk0-go; however, parents’ love is the first we experience and for most people it stays with us for the rest of our lives. To omit it from the story that is supposedly about love, is very unfortunate.

I wish to make it clear: I like E7. I have fond memories of it. Despite this, I claim that E7 is shallow and that the love it portrays is moving yet fake. I claim that the emotions and love in Xamdou and RahXephon are true and sincere feelings that stem neither from momentary sexual desire, nor from adolescent sensation of first love. I claim that in both Xamdou and RahXephon the characters display love that is both very deep and genuine. If you were to ask, I envy the characters in Xamdou and RahXephon, I pity the ones in Eureka Seven.

Further Reading

A somewhat similar view of Xamdou that voices frequent criticism: many concepts – mythology in particular – are not made crystal clear and leave viewer guessing. And one more on the ending This post highlights something you will face when watching RahXephon, there are similarities with Eva, if you get over them, you will likely enjoy the show. Sorry, but I’ll have to share this: the best – in my view – moment of whole E7: Dominic’s confession to Anemone, that alone makes E7 worthwhile:

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45 Responses to Thoughts on Big Robots, Love, and Bones (Spoilers are plenty)

  1. Etrangere says:

    Interesting, very interesting. I’ve finished watching Xamdou recently, and I only watched a bit more than half than Eureka 7 some time before. The main reason I dropped E7 despite other qualities in storytelling is how so many characters in the stories were instrumentalized only to Renton’s, and sometimes Holland and Dominic’s, story. Other characters had very little agency, and when they had some agency, it was for the sake of Renton, Holland or Dominic. In comparison Xam’d was a breath of fresh air, characters whether they were important protagonist or small bits felt alive, had their own story in the world and their own reasons to act. Nakiami’s story crosses Akiyuki, but isn’t about Akiyuki (or vice verca). Even Haru’s story isn’t about Akiyuki, even though she’s so focussed on him.

    The way you argue about it from the point of view of love is though inducing and illuminating as well, especially the part about minor antagonistic grunts being portrayed as, well, people, and every life being seen as deserving, one of the thing I did love in Xam’d though I thought thematically it could have been worth more development.

    Though I’m surprised you don’t mention something in E7, doesn’t Renton at some point suddenly realises he has been killing people in those mecha all this time and is shocked by it? That implies he didn’t realise he was committing those murders before that. Which, well, is remarkably stupid of him but not entirely impossible of a self centered 14 year old boy. Since I stopped watching sometimes after that, I don’t know if he started killing again after that, but it was portrayed as an important step in his character development.

    • universalbunny says:

      I left out that episode on purpose – is what I would like to say, but I simply forgot it. 🙂 Had i remembered, – i’ll have to rely on Chan here who said that Renton never killed again – my argument would have been that Akiyuki’s and Ayato’s moments instilled in them the sense of responsibility. Neither of the two stop fighting. Ayato, and to much lesser extent Akiyuki, still kill, but they do so consciously bearing the weight of their actions. Where as Renton – remember i’m going by Chan’s comment – simply shifts the responsibility onto someone else, and no, the irony isn’t lost on me.

      Likely, the above didn’t convey what I have in mind. Let me use Evangelion as illustration. During the second part of the series, there is a moment when an Angel enters GeoFront and defeats both Asuka and Rei; is same fight one of the two charges at the Angel with N2 mine.

      During the fight, Kaji – Misato’s lover – waters melons and Shinji finds him at that. If you recall, Kaji tells Shinji “nobody is forcing you, think for yourself and decide for yourself”. Importantly, Kaji does not say that Shinji has a responsibility to protect humanity, so no spiderman here. Shinji has ability to decide, but the responsibility for decision is his alone and he has no right to blame anyone.

      Same true for Akiyuki and Ayato – they decided by themselves that they will kill and their murders will be their responsibility and their sin. In a sense, they – as Nakiyami – sacrifice themselves to protect life they love so dearly. By contrast, Renton makes the opposite decision – he tries to make an omelet by having someone else break the egg.

      • Etrangere says:

        Well, I’m already sold on Xam’d superiority over E7, so I won’t be tough to convince, but I doubt everyone will be similarly persuaded. I love the EVA references you use.

        • universalbunny says:

          I light of the comments, I begin think that I have missed a lot in E7. Regardless of that, I don’t think Xam’d is superior. Paraphrasing vendredi: a different level of maturity, perhaps?. I would like to go with “sophistication” instead of “maturity”, but i think both Chan and ghostlightning would justly criticise such word choice.

          If you liked Xam’d, i do strongly recommend you try RahXephon a show that often gets overshadowed by Eva.

          • Etrangere says:

            That might be the case, though I still there’s something different in Xam’d that does indeed speak more of humanism compared to Eureka 7 (at least based on what I’ve seen of it).

            Though Xam’d, too, is flawed, IMHO. I trust Bones will eventually get there, though, they’re a very good studio.

            Adding RahXephon to the list of shows I’m going watch! 🙂 (well, if BakaBT ever starts working again one day)

  2. crazydave says:

    Yeah one of the only moments from E7 that stuck with me was when Renton goes on a killer rage and is if I remember correctly violently stomping down on a crash mecha or w/e they are called and he sees a dismembered hand with a ring on one of the fingers. It is not until he see this manifestation of love if you will that he finally snaps out of it and realizes what he is doing.

    • universalbunny says:

      Or does he? As I said to Etrangere, if Chan is right and Renton doesn’t kill after that incident, then that appears to vindicate my point that he is a child that doesn’t love life, just himself and his own comfort. A very childlike thing to do – have someone else bear the burden, yet share the rewards. And yes, I am aware that my argument here and in other replies is very shaky, but that makes it all the easier to counter, right?. 🙂

      • crazydave says:

        The same thing also happened in Gundam Seed I believe. Kira kills to survive i believe(granted its been awhile so i don’t remember everthing), and later he starts only destroying weapons and such. Is that what happens what renton again? I remember him going on his adventure and stuff but did he really not kill after that?

        • Chan says:

          First of all I seeing a general double standard being pulled here. Second of all yeah Renton stops killing but that’s really because he doesn’t chance to do it again because the plot starts moving along by then.

        • universalbunny says:

          I would have to draw on Chan again and say that going Kira’s path – i.e. chopping off weapons – is rather unrealistic and as far as I can remember, this does not happen in E7.

          • Realism is a false god. Verisimilitude is better, especially for this medium, genre, and sub-genre. Renton resolved not to kill and started literally disarming (chopping off arms) of enemy LFOs.

            Charles Beams remarked that Renton’s behavior will get himself killed sooner.

      • FhnuZoag says:

        I, like many others, rather completely disagree that Renton and Eureka’s love is least deep. I think the point I want to make is that Renton and Eureka’s relationship actually illustrates multiple types of love, and the development between them.

        At the start, their love is certainly childish. Renton blinds himself to killing, and Eureka deludes herself that Renton is like her and can hear the voice of Nirvash. Renton loves Eureka because she’s an accessible pretty girl. Then, by ep 20, they start falling out of love. Renton misunderstands Eureka’s distaste at his killing. Eureka starts to believe she is no longer needed. The result of that is that Eureka attempts to return to the scrub coral, Eureka is scarred and falls unconscious. Eureka loses her beauty, so the original reason for Renton loving Eureka is GONE.

        Renton runs off from Gekkostate in self-hate and disgust. Enter love type 2. Renton now loves Eureka because Renton feels guilty for Eureka’s suffering. Eureka loves Renton because of the effort he is putting through, thankfulness that he saved her from being reabsorbed, plus her original reasons. Renton idealistically pursues a route where he thinks no one would die. This is strengthened with Ray and Charles die by a friend’s hands, and so Renton wishes to prevent this from ever happening again.

        Ep 38, or so, though, Renton starts to relax from this view. Renton and Eureka discover new connections through Renton’s father, and they develop a deeper sort of love through mutual need. And then it’s this sort of love that lasts until the end, where Renton risks his life to save Eureka, on his own.

        • universalbunny says:

          I’m frustrated with the way the discussion went and, of course, this is entirely my fault. I think I failed to stress enough that I do not view E7 as poor in absolute sense, rather I view it as poor – by now only is some respects – relative to the other two shows. “Relative” is the key word. I rate E7 as poor relative to Xamdou and RahXephon, but I still like it a lot.

          Another reason for my frustration is the attention paid to Renton and Eureka. I will concede – to use my own words – that my understanding of Talho was shallow. I will concede that I began to doubt my understanding of Renton and Eureka.

          Notwithstanding these, E7 still remains poor – a personal opinion – relative to Xamdou and RahXephon. Why? Because there is a lot more to love in these two shows. The way the characters show their love of life -especially in case of Nakiami -, the love parents show for their children and for one another, the love the authors have for episodic characters – these eclipse similar aspects of E7. (Side note, I rather enjoyed the Norb and Sakuya story)

          Again, the focus on Eureka and Renton is my fault as I could have abandoned the romantic love altogether, but without it, the article would have been incomplete.

          Lastly, let me assure you that none of the above is a criticism of you. In fact, I quite like way you split the relationship between Renton and Eureka into stages and should I be rewatching E7, I will keep your words in mind. Rather, in this response I have tried to highlight certain aspects of the article that – to my regret – have probably gone unnoticed.

  3. Chan says:

    Like the others said there was actually a moment in Eureka Seven where Renton did realize that he was killing people. After that happened he actually left Geckko-go for a while and started to wander around the world. Interestingly enough when Renton actually goes to confront Eureka about his epiphany Eureka asks him why it took so long for him to realize that. While Renton does eventually return to Geckko-Go he doesn’t ever kill again.

    Eureka also had a similar epiphany much much earlier (before Holland escaped the military with her she lived a life similar to Anemone), which is essentially what lead her to saving Maurice, Maeter, and Linck. She is a child soldier, and has essentially conditioned to kill. Though she too stops after the deaths of Charles and Ray.

    Also most if not all the characters in Geckko-Go are ex-soldiers who are essentially running from the military, after they refused to stay and commit genocide. The reason why they currently kill is because they are being attacked. Geckko-Go actually doesn’t seek out people to kill either. They only really fight when they are unable to run, and only do so when they are themselves are attacked by soldiers who are out to kill them. Unless you just expect for them to roll over and allow themselves to be killed.

    • universalbunny says:

      I’ve addressed the issue of Renton’s epiphany in my reply to Etrangere – by the way, thank you making it easier – so let me respond here to your other points.

      First regarding the Gekko-Go crew being fugitives. A simple and non-constructive response is that there are better ways of being a fugitive than having a huge armed airship and
      regularly appearing on the cover of a glossy magazine.

      A slightly better response is that Gekko-Go consciously acts in a manner that forces military to respond. Episode 4 where they fly by a military base is one such example.

      A response that comes closest to being satisfying – though still a bit short of mark – is that the cast like their lives as rebels and act in a manner that protects that lifestyle; “style” here is the key . Murder, for them, is quite acceptable.

      Unlike Renton’s I do remember Eureka’s epiphany. After it, I felt confused why she continued to kill. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that she kept killing in itself is not the inconsistency. The problem is that, unlike characters of RahXephon and Xamdou, Eureka didn’t use murder as last resort and didn’t give her victims a chance to bow out like Akiyuki on the bridge. In my – rather faulty – memory Eureka’s moment didn’t make her love life. Instead, it separated her world into “US” and “THEM” where her children must be protected and hence others can be killed.

      Second point you – didn’t really – made is about Charles and Ray. I wonder, how do you explain their reason – and do you find it satisfying or consistent – for attacking Gekko-go?

      • Chan says:

        Well remember they were not only army fugitives they were army fugitives who knew too much. They knew about the corruption of their government, and wanted to let others know, but to do that they would have to get the attention of people. It just happened that reffing was really big amongst the general population. Not only that but everyone in the Gecko-go knows something about the subject matter (having either reffed professionally in the past or as a past time), so they would use the magazine’s general subject matter as a cover up for divulging the corruption of the military to the general public. That was how everyone became informed at the last episodes of the military’s crimes and also why quite a few of the soldiers ended up abandoning their posts.

        There is also the fact that hiding said political magazine as just another reffing magazine, also made government overlook it.

        About the ship it was the one that they were originally piloted when they were in the military, and it was made from a special material which made hiding themselves much much easier. From what I understand the ship also wasn’t so much built as it was found, but that’s horse of a totally different color. The reason why they ran away with the Geckko-go is simply because it was the only ship they had on hand.

        The crew of the Geckko-go also never attend any public functions or things that will draw attention to them, from the military. In fact there was a scene where Renton suggested that they perform in a reffing contest, because he knew they would win, but they reminded they couldn’t because they were fugitives.

        The magazine never showed their location just their images, which the military anyway.

        Remember all of them are trained soldiers so they know how to kill. And like I said before we’ve seen them try to run away from the military to avoid fighting them many times. When you see them get surrounded by the military it actually because someone reported them, something happened to call attention, or the military which is actively searching for them ran across them.

        The reason why they ran across the military base in episode 4 was the ride the Trapper geyser next to the base and made to perform a delivery. They were also shown to have just chopped of the arms of the soldiers that chased after them.

        Charles and Ray were ordered to kill them, by the government. They were mercenaries who worked for the government. Following orders was a side effect of their way of life. They attacked the members of the Gecko-go, on orders with the intention to kill everyone except Renton. They attacked and were killed in self-defense. Its as simple as that.

        As for Eureka still killing after realizing what she did is still justifiable considering that, that was she trained to do. She can’t exactly do any better, considering that she doesn’t gain the ability necessary to make the suits malfunction until she meets Renton. She can’t do any better.

        Eureka’s “victims” are out to kill her, they are also not going to listen reason. The characters of Rahxephon have a certain luxury that Eureka doesn’t have, and that’s being backed the government. Also this claim is incorrect with Rahxephon as even after Ayato found out there were people in the Mechas he was fighting it didn’t stop to find out who was in it. This was how his killed his friend. In Bounen no Xamdou the main character is a civilian whose enemies can be reasoned with. Your taking actions into account but your ignoring difference in setting, and circumstances of the characters.

        The characters of Gecko-go are not always honest, their are not always Just, but aren’t most humans that way?

        • Chan says:

          I just wanted to add to what I was saying.

          One could also say that the members of Gecko-go do in fact try to reason with their enemy they just don’t do it on the battlefield. They actually try to reason with their opponents and the populous in general through their magazine.

          It was established in the series that the soldiers and the general populous read Ray=Out (the name of the magazine). And why not it has fashion and reffing the two biggest things in their world. However, it also exposes the governments lies, lies which the people never believed (and even mocked) up until the last season when events start to make them reconsider it. The final issue of Ray=Out was just the final nail in the coffin so to speak and the soldiers decided to either leave the military or join Gecko-go in their endeavor to stop Dewey Novak.

          True in most anime series a character tries to reason with their enemy in the middle of battle, but lets just be realistic here. Say there are two soldiers on a battlefield and one is ordered to kill the enemy soldier. The enemy soldier tries to reason with the other soldier, citing all the corruption done by the enemy soldier’s government. However, the enemy soldier has no reason to doubt their orders or their superiors’ decisions, they will think that the enemy is just spewing bullshit and they won’t listen to them. There is also the chance that said soldier who is trying to reason with the other soldier may be lying through his teeth, especially when there is no real evidence on hand.

          The people of Gecko-go’s way of reasoning with their enemy is such that it makes the enemy draw their own conclusions, sure it takes longer but it’s a heck of a lot more realistic. They know its stupid to try and reason with an enemy whose out to kill you (having been soldiers themselves) so they don’t try to do it on the battlefield, instead they find another way to their enemy to understand them.

          Also Eureka was the one that suggested that they try to reason with Anemone because she felt as though Anemone would actually listen.

          • universalbunny says:

            What you said is a very valid and for that reason painful critique. Because the world authors created needs to be accepted, I will take that as true – i.e. assumption – that the crew of Gekko-Go only fought in self-defence. While this assumption does not refute my claim, the assumption makes my initial logic problematic – or plain irrelevant.

            The problem I now have on my hands, is how to evaluate the claim “cast of E7 don’t have love is broad sense” if I cannot use most of the crew’s actions to support my argument – their actions cannot reflect their motives because the actions are predetermined by the world’s set-up. Make no mistake, I don’t have a predetermined conclusion in mind, so either one of “false” and “true” pair is fine. But how to construct the logical chain “Claim is false (or true) since given the assumptions ‘a’ leads to ‘b’ leads to ‘c’ that leads to etc.”

            I will try to come up with a proper response soon.

            In the meantime, I would like to go back to Ray and Charles. As I did remember the episode quite clearly, I was looking forward to hear if you thought it was logical and consistent in the following sense. Killing everyone dear to Renton, but living Renton alive is hardly a kind act. Boarding Gekko-Go against high odds is hardly a rational act. Acting on order is hardly a reasonable excuse for murder especially when threat – firing squad – does not back the order. These acts – for me – conflict with the characterisation Ray and Charles’ presented by E7 authors. Any thoughts?

          • Chan says:

            I think that a lot of people might feel compelled to compare Rahxephon, Eureka Seven and Bounen no Xamdou because they’re from Bones and they “feel similar”, but they couldn’t be anymore different from one another. While you can find similarities here and there on the surface its only cosmetic similarity. It looks the same but it really isn’t which is why when reviewing a show setting and context should always be top priority, because while its easy for us to say that X character should have did Y or Z or acted a certain way the context and setting of the show might make that impossible for the character.

            Ray and Charles were kind people outside of their work. They could best be described as merciless soldiers. They also had a personal vendetta against the members of Gecko-State especially Eureka, who they thought of their own son (kinda helped that he looked like Charles). While they were in fact acting on orders it was also personal to them too. Though their thoughts of revenge were misplaced.

            It was logical considering what had revealed to the us the audience at that time. Charles and Ray are interesting because they are a foil to Gecko-State in general, in that the only reason it seems that they didn’t cut off all ties with the government like the Gecko-State (even though they left the military) was that they simply didn’t know as much as the people in Gecko-State.

          • universalbunny says:

            ghostlightning raised “Verisimilitude” – i had to look up the term – which brought me back idea I raised in the article. The characters are the medium through which the authors speak. I assume that the actions of the characters reflect not the characters themselves. The characters do not have a will completely independent of the authors. To paraphrase the main proposition behind the article, the authors of E7 do not imbue their creations with the depth of love comparable to Xamdou and RahXephon . Of course, “depth” is a rather poor choice of word. But I hope it communicates what I have in mind.

            I tried – as rigorously as I could at the time – to argue the above proposition. My arguments do not rest on “X character should have done Y or Z or acted a certain way”, because the actions of the characters are decided by authors.

            You might say that authors could not have characters do anything else. In response, allow me to make a distinction between the limits authors impose on themselves and their free actions within those limits.The limits are the mythology and presentation of the world: certain governments exit, Holland has an LFO and is a very skilled pilot etc. These things are fixed from the very beginning.

            The authors construct their story within these limits, but these limits may only restrict, not preditermine the actions authors can force upon the characters. Thus, my argument was not a criticism of characters of the E7, rather it was a wish for authors of E7 to have done more. When I watched E7, I wanted to believe in the love between the characters, but except for Anemone and Dominic, I could not for the reasons I have described in the article. Make no mistake, I don’t wish E7 to be a copy of Xamdou or RahXephon; E7t had aroused the same level of empathy as Xamdou and RahXephon, but as I said: “I envy the characters in Xamdou and RahXephon, I pity the ones in Eureka Seven.” E7 does not fail to stir emotions and thus as a narrative it is a success, but I’m uncertain if the emotions I felt were the emotions authors wanted to share and convey.

          • Chan says:

            Setting has a lot to do with everything, you can say that X character should have done X thing but if the setting doesn’t allow for it then the writers cannot put it in. Writers are also limited to this and they themselves are influenced into not writing events that go against the setting otherwise the whole story will suffer.

            When it came to comparing the love that existed in E7 you actually dropped the ball there too. You ignore way too much for your argument to be legitimate.

            You called the love between Renton and Eureka a shallow love but that is untrue. Consider what Renton went through just to be with Eureka. He was beat up, humiliated, kept out of the loop, and trolled on a constant basis. True Renton fell in love with Eureka at first sight, but what happened after that? He found out she had three kids, that would be enough to make any guy turn tail and run, but he stays because he loves her. Then after that he is hazed by the Gecko=state, but he stays. He only leaves after he finds out that he knows nothing about Eureka, and because he’s tired of treatment he has received from the members of Gecko=state.

            He later on returns at a later episode, but only because he wants to be with Eureka. Meanwhile in his absence Eureka tries to move Niravash so that she can go after him, she has also taken to wearing his clothes because it smells like him, doing things like he would because she wants to feel closer to him, and then finally steals Gidget’s reff board herself to go after Renton because Holland certainly isn’t helping her.

            After that Renton finds out that Eureka is an alien, but doesn’t care. And after her arm breaks out in boils and Eureka thinks that she is a monster and Renton shouldn’t love her because of it, Renton takes a rock and tries to smash his own arm so that they would match, and she wouldn’t feel insecure anymore.

            Also remember about setting important, you comparing the loves between the different main comes with a glaring problem. The other two main couples from Rahxephon and Xam’d have known each other than Eureka and Renton. They were also in an established relationship before the beginning of the series. So the awkwardness that comes with having your first love, or meeting someone new in general wasn’t there. This barring how factually incorrect it was, along with the ages of the characters and the fact that the obstacles they faced to be together makes your whole comparison very weak.

            Your comparison on a whole is just way too biased, to be taken seriously by anyone who has watched all three shows. Your post makes one wonder if you were actually paying attention to Eureka 7 when you were watching it.

  4. I pose to you a question: can you love a cold blooded murderer? A murderer that has no justification for one’s actions other than uninspired “mamorism”? “Yes” is my claim, but the love for such a person is shallow and meaningless.

    You have conflated ‘love’ for ‘approval.’

    I wouldn’t approve of murder and the murderer, while the qualification ‘cold blood’ is problematic as well. Nonetheless, a love that is predicated on the condition of one’s approval of the qualities and behavior of the beloved is the shallow and simplistic love.

    • universalbunny says:

      True, I missed this. But in retrospect, if instead of implied “approval” I said explicitly said “conscious acceptance”, would you have agreed with the statement “the love for such a person is shallow and meaningless if it lacks conscious acceptance of the sins of the loved one”?

      • Let’s remove the term ‘meaningless,’ since it is a very clumsy and poor word to describe things. Meaning is almost entirely subjective and love is rather irrational as a form of emotion and behavior. Qualifying love to make ‘meaning’ of it is a rather meaningless exercise.

        Now, if it lacks conscious acceptance, is it then shallow? If depth is qualified by an amount of conscious reflection and consequent behavior, then it is shallow.

        However, murder is not the only consideration.

        Renton went past Eureka’s alien nature. This is extremely critical. Love that accepts a difference so huge as to encompass race and even species indicates a significant degree of depth. This is Capulets vs. Montagues on a genetic and meta/extra-terrestial level. It is also consciously accepted by both parties (and to a degree, by the children).

        Talho went past Holland’s many transgressions, but none more significant than his obsession with becoming Eureka’s ‘chosen’ partner. Holland was a complete choad for a very long stretch. Talho didn’t just quite bend over and take it. She worked with him, dug him out of the hole he put himself in. Not like a martyr, but more like a hero. If you fix your frame of reference on Holland you will miss the depth you’re interested in finding. See the love affair through Talho’s eyes and you will find a deep reservoir of character and love.

        To limit the consideration of shallowness and depth in love to the circumstance that the characters kill people is problematic. It would invalidate a whole lot of flawed, evil, compromised, or desperate characters and people who love and are loved in return.

        • kadian1364 says:

          Agreed. Characterizing love based solely on “do they murder/not murder?” is an extremely narrow lens to make such judgments on, especially in complicated settings like war.

          • universalbunny says:

            In my defence, I did not expect that “murder” would become the focus of discussion as my goal was to try and explore many aspects of love.
            I wanted to dedicate much more time to parent/child relationship as the love displayed by parents in RahXephon and Xamdou is much greater than what Eureka shows in E7, but of course, Eureka is a child herself and more broadly, E7 has the “missing parent” trope.

            I also think that relationships between episodic and main characters are very indicative of the care the authors put into thinking their characters through; though I may well be mistaken on this. In E7, most the episodic characters do not stand out as real, which is contrasted sharply by Xamdou and RahXephon.

            Also, and relating to my responses to ghostlightning, in both RahXephon and Xamdou exists a persistent theme that protagonist must think for himself. In RahXephon, Quon in the one who forces Ayato to think and in Xamdou Nakiyami and Madam Tenshin do the same for Akiyuki. The characters in both Xamdou and RahXephon often come to realise their love not through dramatic experience, but through reflection. This very important achievement is absent in E7.

            I hope you agree that I did not make “murder” my only or even my main point.

        • universalbunny says:

          Good point about Holland and Talho. He is a natural character to focus because of his importance for the narrative as well as the screen time he gets. But – as you said – perhaps Talho was meant to be the embodiment of and driving force behind love for this pair. Interesting.

          I will, however, disagree wth your view on significance of Eureka’s alien nature. My Romeo and Juliet is rather rusty – like my E7 – but if I recall correctly, the relationship between Romeo and Juliet developed before the different nature of lovers was revealed to them. There is no guarantee that the relationship would have developed had the difference been known from the very beginning. Thus, I will claim that Renton overcoming Eureka’s alien nature- I can’t recall if he even struggled with it – does not demonstrate his “conscious acceptance” of Eureka in all her aspects.

          At one point in RahXephon, Haruka – female lead – says that had she and Ayato met only now, there would be no way they would be in love and named their 12 years age gap as one of the reasons.

          Another – more recent example – is the latest episode of Beat Angels were Otonashi – male lead – says to Angel that had she not killed him in the very beginning, they may well have been friends.

          Both of these illustrate the importance of the initial encounter. In case of Renton, he was sold on Eureka when he saw her emerge from Nirvash.

          • This is good stuff.

            Falling in love is important, and contingent to the initial impression. Renton was sold the moment Eureka climbed out of the Nirvash that crashed in the garage — just as Romeo found Juliet fetching in the masked ball.

            But if this is going to be the foundation by which you will argue depth and shallowness, then no character’s love will be deeper than a puddle.

            I’ve been married almost four years and I’ve known my wife at least three years before we got married. Don’t think that we don’t discover things about each other every month that would have raised red flags, and all sorts of alarms had we found out about it when we just started going out.

            Love is work, acceptance, and forgiveness. This is the kind of digging that makes our love like an ocean trench. But like Juliet’s, and Eureka’s our love started out like a puddle so shallow but clear that we got infatuated by our reflection on the water.

            Renton finds out Eureka isn’t human. He gets past this because his love for her is strong.

            Eureka disobeys Holland — the person she trusts the most that she could not help but doubt (as she told Maurice, Maetel and Linck “Holland has never broken a promise to Mama”), in order to find Renton. Why?

            Both characters had to choose. Their choices reflect stretches — things they wouldn’t have done before if they weren’t growing in that moment, when they were digging their puddle of love into something deeper.

  5. vendredi says:

    A great post. Absolutely fantastic. This post helps a lot in really highlighting the difference between the Bones big three originals. I’ve had a hard time getting into Eureka and I think this post really highlights why: Eureka 7 feels so very “young” – there is a stark blackness and whiteness to the characters, a youthful exuberance and passion in their relationships. Excellent example screenshots too. How often in this medium do we get such deep calm in declarations of love, or of enemies crying out “Mother!” It’s a very humanizing touch that’s so very rare – many series (*cough*Gundam*cough*) attempt this but often the attempt is very ham-fisted or overly exaggerated.

    Also, I support the adoption of “Mamorism” as an official literary term. It sums up the phenomena rather aptly and accurately, unlike some other terms I can think of (Moe, anyone?).

  6. Robert Weizer says:

    one thing you should remember is that gekko state is a counter-culture. they’re kinda like hippies if hippies had military strength and skyboarding mechs.

    i kinda slogged through this article, though. it felt too long and contingent upon having seen all three shows. i’ve only watched about 16 eps of E7 and I like it because of the whole package being appealing to me. i’m one of those people who watches an anime or tokusatsu production for the overall picture for the most part.

    sadly E7’s on semi-hold because I’m really into Irresponsible Captain Tylor and I just discovered INCAN SUPER SCIENCE (Kamen Rider Amazon)

    • It is contingent on seeing all three shows. I had trouble remembering my RahXephon since I haven’t seen it since 2005. I need to rewatch this in a big way.

      • Robert Weizer says:

        Yeah see, I’m not a fan of articles contingent on seeing more than one show, especially when two of the shows I know jack and shit about. All I know about Rahxephon is what I’ve seen from the early parts of Super Robot Wars MX- squat.

        • Understandable, but I’m even less of a fan of compromising the analysis. When people make posts like this (sometimes I do, I have a post comparing three Imagawa Yasuhiro directed shows) they know they can count on far fewer readers, but they do intend to engage precisely those people who have seen these shows.

          When I was new in the anime blogosphere as a reader I ran into quite a few posts that I couldn’t really get into but the discussion was pretty intense. I could only address this over time after watching more anime as I didn’t want to take my own inexperience against the editorial choices of the bloggers.

          That said, I appreciate you taking time and initiative to participate in the discussion here. Thank you.

    • universalbunny says:

      As ghostlightning said, I did write the post with hope of engaging those who have seen at least two of the shows. I apologise that you had to read through such a long and, without knowing the subject, confusing article.

      • Robert Weizer says:

        it felt long BECAUSE it was contingent

        i used to be an english major in college and I wrote a detailed book report on don quixote in 8th grade

        the length of this article pales in comparison to many other things I have experienced

  7. kadian1364 says:

    Please clearly define “mamorism”. It’s not critical to what I have to say later, but I don’t want to be putting words in your mouth.

    It seems to me the evidence supporting this whole essay is based on selective memory and personal preference of how to declare love. Also, I take issue with how grossly you reduce E7’s main players to “cold blooded murderers” with little consideration of their unique circumstances.

    In RahXephon, we see characters as agents of two well-backed powers. In Xam’d, the main crew are outsiders caught between long-warring sides. Gekkostate was merely a ragtag resistance against a very powerful and demonstrably corrupt and oppressive military organization, which forced them to behave in ways conducive to their survival, moral high ground be damned. I contend against the idea that they fought to ‘protect their lifestyle’; while Renton was the exception and didn’t know much because he was the newest to the crew, Holland and co. knew they organized Gekkostate explicitly to oppose a government that practiced religious cleansing and human experimentation. Changing/saving the world was the point from the very start.

    I agree that E7 is the least complex, most black-and-white of Bones’ Original Three. I also agree Renton & Eureka’s relationship was very simple, founded on naive puppy love. But I have to disagree with the sharp degree you characterize these works with, which reads like a particularly harsh indictment of E7. This post is as black-and-white as you try to make that series out to be.

    • universalbunny says:

      I agree, I had displayed some bias against E7 despite my wish to the contrary. Through yours and other responses, I have become aware that my memory of E7 is indeed very patchy, but allow me to use something I said in response to Chan. I want to distinguish the limits authors impose on themselves and actions authors impose on characters. To say that characters in E7 did not have the luxury of acting like characters of Xamdou or RahXephon is to miss one of my points. The characters acts as authors want them to act. Through these acts, authors convey a characterisation and narrative. Thus, I cannot accept the idea that characters “had no other choice”. Unless the mythology of the world completely precludes any other actions – character is inside an empty concrete box with now doors or windows – whatever characters do is authors’ and thus characters’ free will.

      In Xamdou, Ishu is a former rebel leader with considerable reputation. I have no intention to exonerate her of the acts she did as caption of Zanbani. There is a moment in Xamdou when Ishu kills a girl very similar to Nakiyami – an act that does not go well with anyone. Thus, I don’t think that Xamdou devoid of darkness; it has plenty of it. But the way the authors construct the narrative is by having the characters wish and strive – through difficult choices – to “live along side others”. The finale of Xamdou is not Akiyuki killing the Emperor -even though the narrative indicated that it is possible – but giving him a name. I very much want to hear what you think that means and why authors have chosen this way to end the battle instead of more traditional “dying enemy reconciles differences with the protagonist”.

      The circumstances of E7 and Xamdou may seem different, and indeed they are, but the avenues open to crew – with authors behind – of Gekko-Go, these same avenues are open to the characters in Xamdou.

      I’m not certain what you implied by “In RahXephon, we see characters as agents of two well-backed powers”, so I will skip RahXepon while you have a chance to elaborate.

      • kadian1364 says:

        Firstly, thanks for taking your time to respond to all these comments. I think they illuminate your points where I lacked comprehension from in the original post.

        The bigger idea I was getting at was that each of the three series have characters in very different circumstances and points in their lives, so we shouldn’t expect their relationships and ‘way of love’ to mimic each other at all. Saying Akiyuki’s love was deeper than Renton’s seemed only like a difference of preference to me. To each their own was the general idea.

        I’ll admit my interpretation of the climax of Xam’d is a bit fuzzy, not because my memory is lacking, but it’s just an egg I haven’t cracked i.e. intellectual laziness i.e. “I just don’t know.” 😛 Thus, thinking deeply about it (or rewatching it) could well alter how I view Xam’d’s overall themes.

        I really didn’t want to come in here and make a hissyfit all over your post, it was certainly thought provoking and full of effort, and at least all of us came to understand our analytical limits of these 3 works better. Thanks for your time. 🙂

  8. Jack says:

    Without reading any other responses (I will get around to it, later) I have to agree with your thesis. I had not laid things out in such a rigorous format, as you have, but it was perhaps a thought stuck at the back of my mind that I had yet to express.

  9. Chan says:

    I’m replying here because the thread with you up there is too small and I can’t see it on my laptop.

    Even if you were to talk about the writers for the series and how they limited themselves, you’ll have to remember that the demographic for each series is also different (E7 being made for young boys). In your comparison you’re basically putting down E7 because the characters are more outspoken about their love than the ones from Xam’d and Rahxephon. Ghostlightning is correct in saying that in your comparison failed to realize that not all love is the same, or rather no two people love the same. Whether its parental or romantic love is not uniform. Two people could be married for 6 years and known each other all their lives, and still have a lot to learn about both themselves and each other. Also both Xam’d and Raxephon were much more idealistic in their views on love than E7 in general. I could actually make an argument that both Renton and Eureka as well as Talho and Holland are more mature than the others due to their level of understanding of one another, their own individual flaws, and also their ability to confront and address the adversities or weaknesses both from themselves and outside sources that may get in way of their relationships.

    You could say that it is the writers fault but consider this. Writers when they write a story are limited to three things: setting; individual character personalities; and plot progression. So there actually isn’t a way to properly analyze a series without taking plot and setting in to consideration, at least not with this subject.

    Your article in and off itself actually shows not the weakness of loves within the E7 but your own inability to understand love, and its many forms. Adding with with the fact that you made many mistakes, your obvious bias, and the general lack of understanding of the topic makes your analysis very weak.

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  12. Alex Mac says:

    Hmm, a good read – and fantastic exploration of one of the key themes explored by Bones – love. However, I do have a slightly different take on the love explored and contrasted between E7 and Xam’d.

    Much like you, I agree that the portrayal of love differs between E7 and Xam’d. However, I don’t believe one is greater than the other – each creates a unique emotional response with the viewer – purely down to differing character progression. Let me explain.

    Much like you put it, E7 in generalisation portrays the fickle and unpredictable nature of adolescent love. Put simply, “love naivety”. Renton for a large portion of the series is in a dangerous state of innocence – whereby, the naivety of his years prevents him from realising the true nature of his plight: war, terrorism, death and the nature of love. However, upon rapidly descending into the realities of him and the Gekkostate (when he sees the decapitated remains of an LFO, the indiscriminate hate created by terrorism, and the loss of filial love – between son and parent) he grows and develops (coined the term “boy” not child upon his return to the Gekko). Hence, at this moment, his love for Eureka also changes – from one of initial personal desire due to physical attraction to one of emotional connection – which grows until the end of the series. I don’t believe the attraction is purely physical anymore, as Eureka carries the scars and deformities of her depression and both characters longing for the other stemming from their need to “talk to the other”. Despite the love still remaining naive in its expression, it is no longer naive in its form.

    That being said, I believe much like Bones, love has taken a more matured form – but not necessarily better or worse. Just different. Love in this series (perhaps owing to a halved series time compared to E7) is far more rapid and easier to express and realise. Haru’s development of her feelings towards Akiyuki rapidly reaches its climax – but this is due to a more mature approach to love. The added struggle of the jealous and soon twisted form of Furuichi (beautifully symbolised by the joust between “light” and “dark”) – further develops the need to love in this case to be more to the point – as Haru blurts out he love of Akiyuki in the midst of battle. The love between Haru and Aki, the mother and the father, etc. both show this rapid realisation in contrast to the elongated expression of love in E7. This is also probably due to Xam’d’s shorter series and more complex character interactions – where several characters take up key axis’s within the series and interweave with one another like a finely woven tapestry (a fantastic progression here from Bones).

    So to be to the point, I believe love in each case bears good fruit – I just believe the fruit in this case (love in E7 and Xam’d) are different. In the end, which is better, an apple or and orange?

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