Eureka Seven: Volume 2 (ep.6-10)
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As the sci-fi adventure-comedy Eureka Seven continues, 14-year-old Renton Thurston relentlessly pursues two goals: winning Eureka's heart and becoming a full-fledged member of the pilot-mercenaries aboard the Gekkostate. The former proves easier than the latter, although Renton's desire to join the cadre surpasses his understanding of who they are. Good-hearted and naive, Renton does whatever he's told, even when the crew hazes him mercilessly. Eureka is more of a problem: She's saddled with three obnoxious orphans who delight in tormenting Renton. Her traumatic past proves an even greater burden as a series of flashbacks that recall the mecha battles in Neon Genesis Evangelion reveals dark secrets the crew of the Gekkostate strive to conceal. As the story picks up steam, Eureka Seven begins to demonstrate the potential the first episodes suggested. (Unrated, suitable for ages 12 and older: violence, nudity, minor toilet humor, tobacco and alcohol use) --Charles Solomon
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Episode Six: Renton is hounded by Eureka's adopted children, whose main goal seems to be to drive him off the ship. A naive, but selfless action taken on his part helps him form a bond. It basically lands him in the brig, but at least he's coming to some understanding.
Episode Seven: Now that he's bonded with the children, what about the other crew. They send him on a fake mission to test his mettle, or perhaps just make a fool of him. In getting their jollies, they come to know more about his character, and he becomes closer to being a real member of Gekko State.
Episode Eight: Can a friendly old woman really be a terrorist? Apparently so, and will the Gekko State profit off of turning her into the government? Renton sees some of the more disturbing sides to the business in this episode.
Episode Nine: Eureka revisits an undesirable past, and it comes back to haunt her went confronted with a place she's known before. For some reason the people of a destroyed town know her well, and don't seem very friendly about it.
Episode 10: Feelings would be an appropriate title for this episode. It explores, Renton's, Holland's, Eureka's, and other characters motivations to some degree. On the enemy side, a strange girl is introduced. Could she have some connection to Eureka?
Now that I've summarized this, realize that we've not progressed very far at all when it comes to the real plot of the series. Fans of other series might call these filler episodes, but to call them fillers in Eureka 7, you may as well designate 90 percent of the series as filler. These are episodes that develop the story and the characters. Like a good book you need to know what motivates people to become the way they end up. People are not just Superman like heroes that stand for, truth, justice, and... well you know the rest. They don't just run off to battle without reasons, and those in themselves can be very complex.
The production values of this second group have not fallen off one lick from the first five episodes. As mentioned in my review of the first five, the path does not really become clear until a major element is revealed in episode 29, which is actually the third season of this series. This series is one to just sit back and enjoy the development and gain an understanding of the motivation that drives the characters. There will be action to come, but Evangelion, this is not, so don't look for the mecha battle of the week here.
My personal recommendation here is that after buying the first box set, wait and watch this on the CN till more episodes are played. If you still like the series after you're halfway through, then start to fill in the spaces the first box has allotted for DVDs. I'm guessing that since this is a 50-episode series, at some point around episode 25 or 30, there will be another box set released with spaces for the final DVDs.
The purpose and motives behind all the players still isn't entirely clear, but there's no doubt this volume has some important developments that really shed some light on just how much depth this story potentially has. We also get a brief introduction to a major antagonist at the end of the final episode on this disc.
When it comes to technical merits the series stays consistent. The animation and art and music and performances all meet the quality standards set by the 1st volume.
Later, it's time for Renton's initiation as a a member of Gekkostate and who better than Hap and Stoner to help him? This extremely hilarious episode will leave Renton embarassed, but accepted by the crew. At the end of the day it will be Hap and Stoner that have to face -- absolute defeat.
Later, Renton meets a seemingly nice old woman with Eureka and the kids, but little does he know that she is wanted and the Gekko is after her. Afterwards, Renton starts to learn of Eureka's past and the horror's she committed while in the military. The two begin to understand each other a bit better. Finally, the Gekko takes a trip higher than the sun for a brief time of rest and thought. The disc ends with a mysterious red haired girl welcoming back Dewey, the main villain of the show.
This disc is terrific, containing 5 great episodes of Eureka Seven. The first two episodes are just really funny. The next two involve emotion and we get a glimpse beneath the surface of some character's personalities. The final episode is basically for further thought on the previous ones, as well as what to do next. These episodes are all good, though I like almost all episodes of this show. Still, I recommend this DVD to all anime fans, though if you are new to Eureka Seven, get volume 1 first.
The disc starts with some typical (read: annoying) anime shenanigans in ep. 6 but quickly improves.
The rest of the disc is full of really significant character development, and not just "good for an anime" but better than 99% of TV shows. Eureka and Holland's past is very intriguing, and Holland's unwillingness to communicate with the starstruck, naive Renton is believable and a good early setup for their intense conflict in discs 4 and 5.
I especially love Ep. 9 because it starts with Holland being told that Ciudades Del Cielo is "destiny's gate" and as he tries to avoid spending time there, he inadvertently makes the place destiny's gate for Renton and Eureka. Just fantastic storytelling.