If you're a anime fan in any capacity, then I'm sure you've heard of a little show called Eureka Seven. Upon it's release, Eureka Seven garnered critical acclaim for it's production values, the characters and their relationships with one another, and the fact that this is an original and unique story that had no source material, often being heralded as the greatest love story in anime history. Does Eureka Seven deserve all of the hype?
Eureka Seven starts off with a young boy named Renton Thurston (voice of Johnny Yong Bosch.) Renton's life sucks (as he proclaims on a consistent basis), he has no real family other than his crotchety Grandfather, Axel Thurston, and he's stuck in a backwater town as a mechanic's apprentice and is quickly going nowhere with his life. Renton has dreams though, he wishes to be live up to his deceased father's reputation and become apart of the infamous Gekkostate, a band of rebels led by the charismatic Holland Novak (voiced by Crispin Freeman), Renton's personal idol, as he is the number one ref board lifter in the world.
One day, things are going especially bad for Renton. He gets beat up in school, he finds out his mechanic is closing up shop and is scorned by his grandfather. To cap this day off, a giant mech crash lands in his back yard, and out steps a beautiful, enigmatic woman named Eureka (voiced by Stephanie Sheh.) Holland arrives as well, unbeknownst to Renton, as he has a past relationship with Axel. Shortly after helping Eureka, Renton joins the Gekkostate.
At first, the Gekko is not all that it's cracked up to be. Renton is constantly abused by Holland and hazed by numerous members of the Gekkostate including Talho, Holland's girlfriend, or Eureka's "kids", whom hold a connection to Eureka's dark and mysterious past. The only thing keeping Renton aboard the Gekko, are his feelings for Eureka, and soon he begins to connect with her.
The majority of these first twenty six episodes are meant to establish our characters and exploring the relationships between them. A lot of the episodes on this first collection are episodic, for example the Gekko crew takes on different missions to make some extra money, or Talho takes Renton shopping the city. Despite these simple plots, little by little more is revealed about the mysterious pasts of Eureka, Holland and the Gekkostate.
+ The relationship between Renton and Eureka is beautifully done.
+ Holland and his backstory.
+ Fantastic character development for the majority of the characters on the Gekkostate.
+ The animation is outstanding.
- Starts off a bit too slow, so stick with it.
Video and Audio:
From Bones, the studio behind popular series' like Wolf's Rain, the FullMetal Alchemist franchise, Darker Than Black, Soul Eater, and the recent smash hit, Space Dandy. Bones has always been one of my very favorite animation studios as all of their productions are aesthetically absolutely gorgeous and unique, Eureka Seven is no different. The production values are obviously very high and the artwork is at times, astounding. The character designs are all unique and original with each one standing out. Everything about the artwork is beautiful with a rich and vivid color palette.
As for Audio, we have two options, the first is a traditional English Stereo and the second is the original Japanese stereo track. As usual with my reviews, I watched a few episodes in it's original Japanese, and then as a whole in it's English dub. For Eureka Seven, I personally preferred the dub, it's flat out fantastic. The box sets audio was crystal clear throughout with no signs of distortion or any kind of dropout.
- Episode 1 commentary with Yuko Sanpei and Kaori Nazuka whom portray Renton and Eureka, respectively.
- Episode 7 commentary with Yuko Sanpei, Kaori Nazuka, and Mamoru Miyano, whom all portray Renton, Eureka, and Moondoggie, respectivey.
- Episode 13 commentary with Yuko Sanpei, Kaori Nazuka, and Shigenori Yamazaki, whom all portray Renton, Eureka and Dominic, respectively.
- Episode 15 commentary with Yuko Sanpei, Kaori Nazuka, Akio Nakamura, and Mayumi Asano whom all portray Renton, Eureka, Mattheiu, and Hilda, respectively.
- Episode 20 commentary with Yuko Sanpei, Kaori Nazuka, and Keiji Fujuwara whom all portray Renton, Eureka, and Holland, respectively.
- Episode 26 commentary with Yuko Sanpei, whom portrays Renton, the character designer for the series, Kenichi Yoshida, and the storyboard artist for the series, Masayuki Miyaji.
- Textless opening songs #1 & 2
- Textless Ending songs # 1 & 2.
- Trailers for various FUNimation shows such as Fairy Tail, Psycho-Pass, and Jormungand.
Making up all of the extra on disc 5 are 6 different voice actor interviews which range anywhere from 10 minutes to more than 30.
- Interview #1: Yuko Sanpei and Kaori Nazuka, whom portray Renton and Eureka respectively, Part 1. Their first interview is about 15 minutes long. They're asked various questions such as what they like most about their characters, the most challenging aspect of their characters, what makes Eureka Seven different from other shows etc.
- Interview #2: Yuko Sanpei and Kaori Nazuka, Part 2. Their second interview is approximately 32 minutes long and some of the questions asked are what inspires them the most about their characters, compare and contrast themselves to their characters, their personal favorite scenes or episodes, and they both give personal messages to the fans of the show.
- Interview #3: Stephanie Sheh, whom portrays Eureka in the English dub, and the interview is about 16 minutes long. Some of the questions she is fielded are what she finds most interesting about playing Eureka, how a typical recording session is in the US, and what are some similarities between her and her character.
- Interview #4: Johnny Yong Bosch as the English voice of Renton, and the interview is approximately 11 minutes. Some of the questions that are fielded include if knowing about Renton's past effect his performance as the character or not, what he thinks is the main theme of the story, his favorite scenes to perform, his favorite thing about the relationship between Renton and Eureka and the relationship between Renton and Holland, what would his ideal ending for Renton be.
- Interview #5: Keiji Fujiwara and Michiko Neya whom portray Holland and Talho, respectively. The interview is approximately 15 minutes long and some of the questions tackled are what they think is the most important aspect is when playing their characters emotions, if they could play any other character who would it be, their favorite things about their characters, and they both give special messages to their fans.
- Interview #6: Crispin Freeman whom plays Holland in the English dub. The interview is about 16 minutes long and Some of the questions he's asked are what his favorite thing is about Holland (his answer is Holland's ascot!), what the most challenging aspect of Holland is the hardest to portray, what kind of anime/animation he watched before he got into the business, he also talks about the mythology in the show.
Eureka Seven is one of the more unique anime on the market. The best aspect of the series is easily the focus on the character development in a world where there are at least 12 lead characters, and every single one of them is fleshed out. The series does take a little bit to get going, but that's OK, even the slower episodes are chalk full of development for the characters. These first 26 episodes of the series is packed with us getting to know our characters, some great action, and a nice lead in to collection 2. After having watched both collections, Would I call it the greatest anime love story ever told? or even one of the all time greats? I'm not sure, but it is an exceptional series.Highly Recommended.