Side note: This review contains spoilers. Slightly updated as well to reflect new scoring system.
BONES is known for churning out widely acclaimed series such as Fullmetal Alchemist, Darker than Black and Ouran High School Host Club. Another series is also widely considered to be in this group of acclaimed series. Yes, none other than Eureka Seven. I’ve always had an interest for this series. I’ve grown to appreciate BONES’ work in Fullmetal Alchemist and Ouran High School Host Club wasn’t that bad at all. It’s fair to say that BONES is a very creative studio with a lot of talented people dedicated to bringing the best they can. Unfortunately, Eureka Seven was not one of these series.
The reviews I’ve heard from many people were unanimous in approval; “A timeless classic” says one friend. “A touching story of teenage romance at its finest” says another. You can get the gist of it (or i can list the entire reviews if i have to.) I admit i’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to anime: If there’s a show that clearly looks like it’s going to disappoint, i steer clear. But what i heard and what i first saw for Eureka Seven was none of the above: It had promise, it was composed of a talented staff (Dai Sato, mainly.) and it really seemed to make a name for itself in the mecha genre.
For 29 episodes, Eureka Seven was a treat (If i could write a separate review for eps 1-29 it’d get somewhere in the 80/100 range). It wasn’t groundbreaking in much aspects, but it knew how to balance the fun and the overarching plot without much difficulty. The characters, while flawed, were nowhere near annoying as they would soon get in the last 21 episodes It was more or less character buildup, the beginning of the overarching plot and a couple of throw-back episodes along the way.
But then, after the Charles and Ray Beams saga, things just started to spring a leak reminiscent of the Titanic. Episode 30 was alright, but it alluded to many big things to come. Episodes 31-33, 35, 39-41 were the weakest of the Eureka Seven episodes. From drawn-out angst, random unimportant aspects of the series like Sakuya and Norb’s story and that soccer game episode…wtf.
There. I could have spent another 5 paragraphs just to talk about what i said above. How the internet works today is amazing..Anyways, i’ll finish my thoughts here. Instead of the pointless Norb/Sakuya arc, those episodes should have been used for Anemone and Dominic build up or a better introduction to Diane’s appearance and the whole Limit of Questions debacle. Then use the remaining 1 or 2 episodes beginning Eureka and Renton’s journey to the uninhabited Earth. It’s the pacing that kills this show: It has great ideas but implementing them is a whole other story. Every fault with this series – bad characterization, weak plot devices – all comes from the pacing. Nevertheless, i did enjoy Eureka Seven still even though the faults were clear as the blue sky. The best parts were anything involving Holland (beating the shit out of the most unlikeable character AND crashing his suicidal LFO into Dewey’s ship), Anemone and pretty much the first half of the series.
Animation – 8/10: Really solid from BONES, it doesn’t even look like it’s almost 8 years old. Very consistently high quality for 50 episodes, that’s a big plus.
Story – 6/10: Strong at first, but things tended to be weaker towards the end. Anemone and Dominic were just thrown out of the story until the last 10 episodes for very rushed character development. The decisions the staff made here were just mindboggling. Bad pacing for a 50 episode series? That’s pretty bad.
Characters: – 6/10: Amazing development for Holland, Anemone and Dominic (to a degree). I just wish i could say the same about Renton and Eureka: One is annoying and immature for most of the series, the other is so boring I’d rather watch PBS infomercials. They slowly grow as characters, but it’s really not enough.
Music – 8/10: Very cool mix of tunes that appropriately fit the situation of any scene. Really, it’s the best part of this series. The OP/EDs bring the score down a bit, they’re largely forgettable.
Enjoyment – 7/10: Eureka Seven was promising from the very beginning. Unfortunately, it sputtered in the middle half of the series. Problems with pacing are the true downfall of the series. Had there have been better pacing, i could see myself rate this series higher. This series had really big highs and very steep lows, even though the ending was cheesy it was pretty decent and for Overall, this series is okay but the potential to be amazing was there. What could have been..
TL;DR – Great start, horrible middle, weak but decent ending.
Eureka Seven Score Tally:
Animation – 8/10
Story – 9/15
Characters – 12/20
Sound – 8/10
Enjoyment – 31.5/45
Total – 68.5/100