|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Eureka Seven AO
This proved quite disappointing considering how much I enjoyed the original Eureka Seven series, though I'm not completely condemning it to hellfire and brimstone as many folks presently are as there have been worst messes I've seen in anime. Eureka 7 AO gave us the promise of Eureka's son, Ao, trying to discover his mother's whereabouts by trudging through some complicated conflicts between military factions and Generation Bleu. While this idea showed its potential for much of the first half of the series, while also digging into the complicated issues surrounding affairs between the mentioned factions and monster threats, later episodes get increasingly messy with the title's writing and its exploration of characters.|
Let us first talk about the choices of writing for AO. The original series had a clear direction for what it wished to accomplish with Gecko State's motives, revealing Eureka's origins, some pretty shocking secrets surrounding the origins of the world and Dewey Novak's manipulations to bring forth his own twisted plans. For AO though, the series starts getting messy towards the middle of the show when we come to learn of Eureka's whereabouts as it introduces a convoluted plot device, that I won't spoil here, that makes things rather hard to follow with what exactly is happening to her and how this element to the plot affects things for later events in the series. The series also gets in the rather obnoxious habit of creating twists in the direction of the plot that you would assume would be relevant for later events of the show or unveiling details on characters yet in many cases, these twists aren't quite as relevant and were mostly there to swerve the audience. The final two episodes that were hyped up to just recently were noticeably more fast paced than earlier episodes of AO as a major character from the first season of the series finally made his appearance and the resolution to the series will have one questioning what the entire point of it even was with how mean-spirited and contradicting AO was from how it presented itself in the earlier episodes.
Characterization was another issue effecting AO. Relevant characters in the original series got a good amount of fleshing out with their personalities and backgrounds so the audience would learn to care for the issues faced by them throughout the series and see how they eventually grow throughout the series. Even among the supporting characters, the first series still gave them enough personality where they were entertaining to see in serious and light-hearted moments. In AO though, many characters who were relevant in the major events of the series get limited development and don't have much in the way of personality, limiting any kind of connection one could get from them. Those characters who do get reasonable fleshing out are still limited in their development and growth thanks to the mentioned messy writing. Any chemistry between characters that would have one think there is a significant bond between them, like friendship, family or love, or there is development of one is snuffed aside for the most part thanks to larger focus being on the advancement of AO's plot.
The only thing that AO seemed to genuinely land right were the visuals. Eureka 7 AO retains the same animation style used from the first season of the series while having a more vivid color palette and smoother details. The fluid and intense mecha fights are also retained here as well and make for some of the best animated moments I've seen from a TV anime this year.
Overall, Eureka 7 AO made for one of the year's biggest disappointments for me in terms of expectations. While I was expecting a title that would retain the spirit of the original Eureka 7 in exploring Ao's search for his mother from its earlier episodes, AO became quite a mess in terms of writing and characterization in later episodes as it had trouble deciding on a proper direction to follow with its elements compared to the original series. Diehard Eureka 7 fans may want to avoid AO lest they want to fume fan-rage over what they will inevitably see.
Last updated Wednesday, November 21 2012. Created Wednesday, November 21 2012.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://eurekaao-prj.net/|