The Truth is out there.
One thing stands out for me especially, and that’s the issue of consequence. In a funny way the original Eureka Seven felt like several interconnected series rather than one seamless whole, and as such suffered from a lot of inconsistency, but pretty much throughout its run E7 never lost sight of the fact that actions have consequences – physical consequences and emotional, too. When things happened it had an impact on the cast, we saw the cost paid for risks taken, and the damage caused to relationships when people treated each other badly. When I talk about a maturity to the writing here, that’s part of it – even as something as basic as Ao being rushed off onto a mission as soon as he arrives at HQ is part of the story, as his lack of sleep causes him to pass out in Chloe’s hospital room. It extends to the larger issues, too – and Bruno was clearly someone who was very aware of the consequences of the job he held, and tried his best to make sure Ao was aware of them too.
The two most important elements of this episode are Bruno’s sacrifice and the emergence of a new force on the scene. We first meet a mysterious shapeshifter at the beachfront palace of a miscellaneous dictator, and later at the mountaintop hideout of what looks to be a drug gang. I’m not sure who this person is – indeed, it seems likely not to be a person at all, as they have the aforementioned ability to take on the form of anyone they see, as well as to destroy IFOs with the flick of their finger. The motives for the wanton destruction this entity causes aren’t clear, though there seems to be a “cleanse the Earth” vibe – “Why isn’t the world listening?” - but what is clear is that this entity has a connection to The Nirvash, which they recognize on sight. The most obvious guesses would be either some sort of anthropomorphized form of The Secret or – much more in-line with the mythos of the first series – the human form of a Coralian. That doesn’t totally fit either, but until something or someone convinces me otherwise, it seems the least unlikely of all the minimally educated guesses I could make. What we do know is that “he” is referred to as “The Truth” – and that he’ll be played by Inoue Kazuhiko, a seiyuu so unfailingly excellent that I won’t even bother praising him further – his career speaks for itself.
The Truth is clearly going to be an important part of the next run of episodes, but the more impactful portions of this one surrounded Ao and his continued education as to just what he’s gotten himself mixed up with. Pied Piper’s initial mission doesn’t involve taking on The Secret hiding in the hurricane so much as recovery & rescue, and they are able to retrieve the three Goldilocks pilots – the two older girls being seriously wounded, and Chloe moderately injured. But Bruno has sacrificed himself, apparently crashing the Medon into The Secret to reveal its full form and to buy time for his pilots to be rescued. By the time the IFOs have been salvaged and Goldilocks brought to hospital, Ao is so exhausted that he falls asleep in Chloe’s hospital room, and misses the departure of Fleur and Elena to take on the Secret.
We learn a lot about Bruno after his death, and about Chloe too – who refuses to cry when she learns of his passing from Rebecka after Ao had tried to keep it from her (some fine work by Rin herself, little Matsuura Ayu, in this scene). Even 11 year-olds understand the consequences of the task they’ve undertaken – but it was something Bruno himself never accepted, as demonstrated so powerfully by the “Never Let Children Die!!” written in bold letters on the memo Ao finds in his room after his death. I still sense the truth of Generation Bleu is even uglier than what we’ve seen already (which is hardly pretty). When Chloe wakes him to find his teammates gone to attack the secret, Ao does what he always does – exactly what he has to, without complaint – reasoning that the ones who love him would be sad if they knew he’d let others suffer because of his inaction.