Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean - 23-24 (End) and Series Review

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Only one thing was certain about these last two eps of Eureka Seven AO – they were going to be controversial.


It’s a real shame that the idiocy of TV scheduling caused these final two episodes to be delayed for close to two months, because irrespective of how you feel about a series, having to wait that long for a conclusion is undoubtedly going to dull the impact.  And if you’re as big a fan of this show as I’ve been, it’s tantamount to torture.  Already facing an impossible task in pleasing its audience, the last thing in the world AO needed was to be left hanging for two months after a classic cliffhanger.

I think it should be pretty obvious by now that Astral Ocean has split the audience in a big way, and it’s fair to say a good chunk of the original fanbase was disappointed with the show before these two eps even aired.  I’m not going to rehash all those old arguments, tempting as that is, because they’re circular – I don’t see any minds being changed.  Suffice to say I’m a big fan of AO and I think Aikawa Shou has delivered something bold, challenging and faithful to the original while daring to be very different.  That was based on the first 22 eps of course, but I think the best thing to do is to try and judge the finale on its own terms.

I’m actually writing this portion of my post before having watched the final episode, because if I’m going to be try and be even-handed I may as well go all the way and give the penultimate one a chance to impress in its own right.  By its very nature this is mostly a setup episode, but often the next to last ep of a series – especially a multi-cour one – is actually better than the finale.  I can’t say yet whether or not that’s true here, but I thought this was an outstanding setup episode – it certainly didn’t create any anti-climaxes for episode 24, because almost nothing got resolved.  It leaves a lot of work for a very busy finale, but it’s plenty action-packed in its own right.

What we can see based on episode 23 is that “our” world does indeed exist, and appears to be running in a sort of parallel to the ones we’ve seen in the series.  As for Truth, he’s on what amounts to a suicide mission to bring reality back to reality – as he sees it, anyway – a reality where the Scub and Secrets don’t exist but nuclear annihilation and the cold war does.  This, of course, is where his path finally diverges with Naru’s, and he turns on her and shoots her out of the sky (she’s rescued by Nitorin Rajkumar) before turning his sights on Ao.

For Ao’s part, his path seems to have come down largely where I expected it to.  He’s seen the fallacious nature of the choice being presented to him – Secrets or Scub – and realized that in order to achieve happiness he needs to try and find a third option (though we still don’t know if that’s possible).  Ultimately Ao ends up having to use the quartz gunexactly what Truth wants.  As to the world that’s created by the use of the gun, it’s clearly not ours – but a lot has changed, including the political landscape.  Truth seems to have disappeared from existence altogether.  Ao has apparently won a great victory – over Naru, in part, who’s been fighting with the Allied forces against the Secrets.  Ao can clearly sense that things are still very wrong here, and when he sees what he thinks is Eureka’s arrival, he races to her – only to find a Nirvash that looks like his own, yet different.

Without any question Renton’s appearance is the highlight of the episode, and I was quite pleased with the way it was written.  Eureka has appeared too, in astral form, and it’s interesting to note that Renton was quite surprised to see her in that form – “You had no other choice?” is his question, and the implications are obviously crucial.  Eureka tells him that Ao has grown up well, he’s “Such a good boy – and much more upfront than his father was.”  How true that is – and when she disappears again to continue her vagabond existence wandering through time, we’re going to find out at last how father and son relate to each other.

And now, to try and sort out my feelings about the ending.

To be honest, I’m not especially looking forward to publishing this post because there have been so many people shitting all over this series since somewhere around episode 4 (though not everyone gave it even that much of a chance) that there was no way this finale was going to avoid a shitstorm of mockery and derision from those people, no matter what it did.  And since it declined to deliver a happy ending tied up with a pretty bow, I can only imagine the reaction is going to be tantamount to torches and pitchforks.  Certainly nothing I can say is going to change that, but I long ago decided that I was going to let the criticism of AO be water off a duck’s back – in the end it’s a case of Anthropic Syndrome.  The only opinion that matters is your own.

I’ll throw a little bloody meat into the water, just for fun.  This final episode did have problems – as 97% of final episodes do, and about 90% of those have similar problems to this one.  Namely, this would have been a great 24th episode in a 25 episode series.  It frustrates me that shows leave so much plot left to resolve in a finale that they aren’t able to give a proper coda to the characters, yet I see it happen over and over and over, even in multi-cour series where there’s really no excuse.  A really good ending is getting most of the plot heavy lifting done in the penultimate episode (I’ll refer to my shining example of anime greatness, Seirei no Moribito) and allow time in the finale to properly wrap up the character arcs.  The arcs of those connected to the original E7 did have a well-defined conclusion here – whether you liked it or not – but the “new” characters were largely shortchanged, and that’s a shame.

As to the mechanics of the plot itself, as convoluted as it was it largely holds water in terms of the mythology as far as I’m concerned.  Effectively you had the Scub traveling to different times to avoid the Secrets, who viewed them as antithetical to “correct” existence and pursued them to exterminate them.  Renton and Eureka fought to protect the Scub, but they paid a heavy price for it – and so did the universes they interacted with.  Ultimately a lot of what happened in Astral Ocean comes down to Eureka and Renton’s decision to have a child despite being told it was unwise and selfish to do so – and to have a second, despite the tragic way the story of Ao’s older sister ended.  It was really from that – and from the activities of GekkoState and the notion that it was possible for human and scub to co-exist – that the conflict that drove AO sprung.

Yet, strangely, I can’t view what Renton and Eureka did as a mistake because I can’t see Ao himself as a mistake.  He is, as his Mom says, a good boy – brave and empathetic and in many ways a combination of the best in each of his parents.  Isn’t that what any parent would want their child to be?  In the end Ao’s decision – which I’ll dig into in more detail in a minute – validated his parents’ decision to have him, because he sacrificed himself to create a better world for the friends he left behind, and to keep the mother he loved and the father he learned to love at the end from having to endure any more suffering for what they’d done. 

As to why things were exactly the way they were in the “Third World”, after Ao used the gun the second time, I’ll freely admit that there are certain aspects that I can’t explain. For example, why Truth re-emerged as an Archetype powering Ao’s Nirvash after having been erased as a Secret in the prior world. Given his unique nature and the fact that Secrets are basically physical manifestations of the universe itself given a will, it certainly isn’t impossible within the confines of the premise. I would argue that the larger superstructure holds up. It casts a rather pessimistic view on the open-ended way E7 concluded - If I could pick a song to summarize the message of E7 it would be "What's so Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding" while Astral Ocean might be "You Can't Always Get What You Want" - but it was always a distinct possibility. Simply put there are limits to existence that no beings, no matter how advanced, are exempt from. Ultimately what the Scub Coral believed was possible was impossible, and someone had to pay the price for that.

The lack of a 25th episode to fully wrap up the arcs of the new characters cast a shadow backwards, and suggests that in hindsight it would have been wiser to trim the world-building back by an episode or two and spend that time at the end, on the world-deconstruction and the impact it had on the characters.  If that world was important enough to construct in such detail despite its impermanence – and I’d argue it was – than I would have liked to have seen more focus on it as the series concluded.  Everyone was absolutely necessary – Elena was a crucial character, even if she acted mostly as a misdirection in the end.  Characters like Ivica, Stanley and Hannah were vital in shaping Ao’s view of the world and presenting the different aspects of responsibility – and culpability – among adults.  Gazelle and his crew were the central pillar of the political sub-plot that gave the story much of its impact in the early and mid-game arcs.

Fleur, I think, most deserved more closure.  Even her father had a GAR death at least, but Fleur was destined to be left behind – I think that was obvious as soon as the second ED aired (much of the ending was, in truth) but she was always secondary in Ao’s heart to both his mother and to Naru.  Naru’s ending was another that needed more attention – her importance in the story was obvious from the beginning, but after a strong comeback in the final stretch she was largely forgotten in the last episode.  This might very well have been intentional and it’s a defensible choice, but not one I fully agree with.

In the end though, things came squarely down to Ao, Eureka and Renton – and no one should be surprised by that.  The themes that drove much of the series – the failure of adults to provide for the children, and Ao’s evolution towards escaping the box his circumstances had placed him in and finding his own path – were the focus of the finale, as they should have been.  Ultimately father and son each chose to sacrifice themselves, but Ao believed that Renton’s decision to do so was based on a faulty premise.  He took matters into his own hands – literally – and chose to act without deferring to or waiting for the adults around him.  For Ao, the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the one.  Both he and his father wanted to “end it” in their own words, but only Ao’s way would definitively do so in such a way as to protect both the world he was born into, and his parents.

The question for me, then, is not whether the ending is consistent with the series – it is – but what to make of it emotionally.  There’s no doubt that Ao did what he did out of love, but he’s a child – and perhaps, because of that, didn’t fully understand that his parents would probably have sacrificed themselves rather than go on living knowing their son sacrificed himself for their happiness.  That was the crux of the situation, and the effect of the selfish decision Eureka and Renton made, though admittedly for the right reasons – Ao shouldn’t have existed at all, and something had to be sacrificed to restore the balance.  I think Eureka and Renton might have been able to prevent Ao from doing what he did – it’s hard to say with certainty – but in the end they realized that it was due to their judgment that Ao was in the situation to have to make the decision he did, and they had no right to take that decision away from him.  In short, Ao had the moral authority to decide the future that they lacked.

It’s a bit of a heart-wrenching thing, really – those scenes of Ao and Eureka together, the beautiful mother and beautiful child, achingly call to mind how unfair it is that they could never have a normal life as a family.  Eureka and Renton made so many mistakes but they made them because of love and faith, and that’s the tragic aspect of their story.  As for Ao himself, it appears that he found himself “outside time” in a somewhat similar situation to the one Eureka exiled herself to, with only the Archetype Truth for company - though he was able to see the visual proof of Renton and Eureka's love for each other in the end.  He managed to go back to save his mother – and to clue her into his own eventual existence – and return eventually to the world that was the same as the one he’d left, but different - changed for a third time by the firing of the quartz gun, and two years into its future

Indeed, I see many similarities both between what Ao did and what his mother did to save a universe, and between their fates for doing so.  Rather than dying Ao became a wanderer in time, as Eureka did, and it seems in the end he reverted back to “his” universe – though presumably now one that has forgotten he ever existed in it – and with the disappearance of Nirvash and Truth, it seems trapar is likely to disappear too, and Ao is coming back to a world without Scub and Secret.  So he can continue to exist in this world, now as a long-haired (possibly) 15 year-old – though he’s going to need to learn how to surf in the ocean, seemingly.  But he at least has a clean slate, and can now forge his own path and even his own identity – and one suspects that path will take him back to Iwato Island (now part of a fully independent Okinawa, with Gazelle as head of its Department of State), and to the girl he loved since he was a toddler.  Given that Ao is a boy who should never have existed in the first place, this was his loophole – the universe found a way for him to exist after all, by erasing his identity and starting fresh.  In that sense it’s a happy ending for Ao, and one that’s richly deserved.

That’s certainly the longest episodic post I’ve ever written, so that gives me even more imperative not to wade at length into the question of this series’ worth on the whole.  You believe what you wish, and so will I.  I think Astral Ocean stands up as a daring and risky sequel, one that was altogether more subtle and difficult than its predecessor.  BONES certainly didn’t take the path of least resistance here and no doubt they’ve paid a price for it commercially, but I dismiss out of hand the carping about this not being a “legitimate” sequel.  It expounded on the mythology of the first series, and answered many of the questions that show punted on in the end.  I loved E7, for all the glorious mess of contradictions and indecipherable BONES plot twists it left tangled, but ultimately it became a very narrowly focused story at the end and left its larger plot unfinished. I won’t deny that the answers AO found were more pessimistic than hopeful in many ways, but they were answers – and ones that were philosophically and logistically in-line with the mythology.

I have no illusions that this finale is going to escape the negativity that’s been a constant in the fan community, but that was inevitable as soon as the series laid out the type of sequel it was going to be.  There were certainly flaws, as there almost always are with endings of multi-cour series, but it was true to the series and to the franchise, and emotionally it hit the mark for me.  As indeed did Astral Ocean as a whole.  Ao was one of the best main characters of the year, the music was excellent and while there were some inconsistences in the visuals, it delivered some glorious hand-drawn mecha animation in a way we rarely see it in this day and age.  I’m very glad that the only opinion that matters when it comes to art is our own, and mine is this: Astral Ocean is one of my favorite series of 2012.

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27 comments:

  1. hmmm. you're a fan all right, judging by the sheer length of this post (and all that written before watching the final episode). This must be the one of the lengthiest blog ever!....As I've never had any desire to watch this show nor do I feel now, so unfortunately I don't have much to add to the discussion though.

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    1. I’m going to be honest with you, when the ending came if left me feeling a mix of emotions. I felt closure – yes but it was with anger, pain, sadness and joy all bundle into one. It left me to go to various forums to sort out my feelings.

      After watching it again, I can say now that while I can accept Eureka Seven Ao … I do believe that they can be so much more.

      Part of the problem I think was the length. I’m sure that if it was a 50 episodes worth of story, I believe that they can deliver a story that is more satisfying, comprehensive – one that we can be emotionally involved. But it wasn’t so and because the pacing was design as if it was the whole thing was left to fall apart. And it’s a shame because this was not a bad story from the start – it was a good story that became such a mess because they couldn’t make it even longer. The problem I think was so crucial that it cause other problems as well – because the story was only 24 episodes despite a pacing and plot that is worth more than that the resolutions was solved with half-ass execution. Plots became murkier, confusing and in some instance meaningless. I don’t think this can be call an excellent story if the audience was left to wonder the internet just to figure out what the heck is going on.

      And then there was the time travelling. Time travel is complex – presenting it was a task in itself because people had to stop thinking about time from a linear stand point. Using time travel as a plot device was even more challenging because it opens up cans of worms that is both hard and difficult. In Eureka Seven Ao, the viewers are left to ponder just how it all makes sense and when they do arrive at an answer they discover that the answer itself doesn’t make sense but they accepted it anyway because they was no better alternative. It is frustrating, difficult and I don’t think it’s fair to expect from viewers to know time travel theories – sure, I do but what about those who don’t? I’m not surprised if a few had drop the show simply because it actually takes an incredible effort just to try to enjoy a story that they may not necessarily enjoy.

      Ao’s sister was another can of worms. I admit it – I felt tearful that time when Eureka and Renton was left mourning their daughter’s death. I love the couple and seeing them lost their child breaks my heart. But I do think it’s kinda cheap to kill the child at this point in the game – and when I thought about how the story’s pacing and length was at fault, I start to get this idea that the child died less about the incompatibility of two different cells (a point that deeply bothers me) but more on the fact that Bones was simply incompetent. They had to fill all the plot holes while making us feeling emotional so what they did – they killed her, they killed Eureka and Renton’s child so that they got a few emotional points. And yeah they got it, it was a good ending but I was unhappy and miserable and frustrated because instead of a mere good ending they could have a GREAT ending and they mess it up!

      … Sure a slice of pizza is great and all but is not a box of pizza even better? That is the best analogy to express my disappointment with Bones. I love Eureka Seven Ao, I want to love it but why is it that my heart hurts so much?

      TQ

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  2. supposedly there is gonna be one final ova packaged with the last BD of Eureka Seven Ao: can anyone confirm this...if that's the case we may get some closure as to what happens to Ao and his relationships with the other cast

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    1. At this point I think it's only confirmed that it's going to be extra material - not necessarily an extra episode.

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    2. Oh...well that's a shame...it would be really interesting if we get to see just how Ao copes with the consequences of his actions in the new world..plus the shipper in me wants to see who Ao really wanted to be with...the finale definetly teased a fleur ending despite how important Naru is to Ao

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  3. Sadly, I felt kinda dissapointed with the whole series, since the beggining. I wish that the plot was more well-developed and the characters were more well played. Some of them really just went in to die and others didn't just made their appearances enough to be remembered and that's a shame. It had much potential to be a great series, enough to make it worthy the Eureka Seven name, even more after the 5th~6th episode. Although, it didn't go as much as I could've hoped. The ending itself wasn't very clear to me, since it looked very like everything that happened was in vain, like Ao's birth was just a way to set things right, working as a tool, and it's not a very nice thing to do to a main character (even more to Renton's Son!!!). I trully wish that if there are going to be OVAs, they be able to fix this, because I think it's still possible to fix the problems in this "sad ending". Even though some things might be a little bit cliche, they might be essencial to the making of a "good ending" to the series. Although, it's my opinion XP

    Shiaku-san

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  4. One thing to note, Naru should have a happy ending (judging by the fact that the scub burst that she was in WAS NOT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE).

    Though I would have to question how the timeline would be fixed after Ao helped transported Eureka that one last time (and started his own paradox).

    ...I might be nitpicking it, but I do like how it ended in general, unlike the negative comments I've seen in the Animesuki forums.

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  5. I already ranted on RC and MAL, so I won't repeat myself again. It's unfortunate how much hate this show is getting. I applaud Bones for taking as much risk as they have to bring this series into existence. They could have easily taken the safer route and came up with a more conventional story that would no doubt fare better commercially, but I guess that wouldn't fit Bones style. When it comes down to it, this is not Eureka Seven season 2, but Eureka Seven: AO. We perceive what we want to perceive. Thanks Enzo, for this wonderful review. =)

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  6. Thank you for blogging this Enzo; I followed these posts every week on Random Curiosity and was so happy to find at least one person in the world who loved this series as much as I did. As flawed as it was, the original was as well, and I think we have the right to love it as much as we did no matter how much everyone else thinks we're insane. It was intelligent, it was emotional, and it was fun. As rushed and somewhat inconsistent as the ending felt, I felt that it was perfectly in line with the original mythos, and truly captured the implications of Eureka and Renton's actions. As much as we as viewers wanted to see everyone happy, the harsh truth is that naivety and faith can only carry us so far, and that life doesn't end in happy endings unconditionally. Ao suffered for their decision, and they of course suffered just as much, but Ao stepped up and took matters into his own hands because it was the only way he could do so. This was very much a personal story, and it was also one about love and how action speaks louder than words; the things all three of them were willing to do for each other harkens back to the original's motto "Don't ask for things, do it yourself, or else you won't get anything," as well as to the idea that responsibility must be taken for one's mistakes and actions.

    I'm slightly disappointed in the lack of closure for the rest of the cast, because as flat as they could occasionally seem, they were all still important; however my general feeling is that this was a very unconventional ending (how many times do you see the child sacrifice for the parent rather than the other way around?) and I can honestly say I truly loved it and felt it worthy of the rest of the series as well as the original. I've never been so heartbroken by a series before, and I have to say that if and when this is released in the states I'll definitely be getting myself the entire set to match the predecessor.

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    1. Thanks, Genesis. I agree the lack of closure for the new cast is the single biggest flaw in the finale, and also that this is a very unconventional ending to an unconventional series.

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  7. What's ironic is that AO provided closure to the first series' mythology at the expense of its own characters, since the focus was widely believed at first to be more (literally) down-to-earth and invested in its own cast and politics than on its predecessor's mythology. I'm not saying the show ultimately betrayed its own identity, setting, and characters and resurrected E7's main couple in penance. I'm actually saying... well, exactly what Enzo said.

    That is, it's a bloody shame there wasn't more time devoted to AO's own closure amidst all the E7 closure. But it's too early to count the OVA out altogether, right? :-)

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  8. Oh yeah! Time to marathon this this :)

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  9. I think that AO failed both as a sequel to Eureka 7 and as a standalone series.

    As a sequel, it shat all over the central message of the original series, which was the possibility of coexistence between Humans and Coralians.
    Dewey was right! They should have exterminated the Scub once and for all! At the end of E7 the Scub apparently understood humanity and decided to partially leave Earth in search of a new plane of existence. Turns out that they just went back in time and tried to assimilate the Earth all over again! :(

    The second fault of the sequel is that it nullified all the good that Renton and Eureka accomplished in the first series, even denying them their deserved happy ending.

    As a standalone series, AO had a lot of problems too, particularly with the development of its characters.
    Truth was one the worst villains I have ever seen on screen. He was so overpowered that the only way to lose was to make him act stupidly. In the end he even pulled a "karma Houdini" by becoming the archetype of the Neo-Nirvash (WTF?).
    Naru was another problem. She constantly flip-flopped between being Ao's best friend/romantic interest and the ally of the Scub Coral, enemy of humanity.

    The other characters were simply forgotten in the ending. What happened to Fleur? Did she get back her father? (in theory, if Truth never existed he should be alive). Did Elena die in 1981, since Eureka never saved her from the Scub burst? We'll never know.

    I am pretty sure that there are other inconsistencies tied to that huge plot device called "Quartz Gun", but I don't have the will to search for them. The only thing I agree with you, Enzo, is that the ending was rushed and that it needed at least a 25th episode to tie all the loose ends.

    I am a big fan of the original Eureka Seven, so I am sad that the sequel turned out so disappointing.

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    1. I think you are confusing the concept of time and space. They didn't go back in time in the same universe/space, that would disrupt the continuum and but still not solve the question of limitation. Precisely because the scubs understood what humans wanted, at the end of of E7, they went to other universes that are parallel to Eureka Seven's universe. But one of the universe/space they travelled to (namely the distant future of Ao's planet) activated its defense mechanism – the secrets – in order to destroy the scubs. The scub corals then went back to the past of Ao's planet to where there were no secrets, but the secrets travelled through the time portal left behind by the scubs, and the phenomenon known as scub burst began.

      The loophole in this whole thing isn't what the scub corals did, but how Ao ended up in the universe he was in. I guess somehow Renton and Eureka found a way to travel to other universes, that would explain how Eureka, who was pregnant with her first child at that time, appeared in Ao's universe with the gekko. When their first child died, I think Eureka realized who Ao was and also realized the scubs have traveled to Ao's timeline (the distant past of the planet that is parallel to the one in E7). Then later we see Renton and Eureka, who was pregnant with Ao, trying to destroy the scubs in the distant future so they don't travel to the past in the first place. This is when Renton sends Eureka to the past of this planet so she can give birth in the trapar-less environment, where scub burst happened 10 years later when Renton apparently failed to prevent the scub corals from the distant future to travel to the past. (This explains why he said he should be the one to apologize in Ep23, after he meets the apparition of Eureka. Because of his failure, she had to take it upon herself to protect Ao's timeline and by doing so, she was stuck in time/space limbo.)

      So the idea is circular, Eureka who finds out she will give birth to Ao after meeting Ao, and Eureka being sent to the past to give birth to Ao. We don't know the if the past determined the future or the future past.)

      I might have missed a couple of details and someone can fill me in, otherwise this is the best explanation I can provide. Confusing eh?

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    2. yea you pretty much got most of the plot points figured out. Ao blasts all the secrets out of existence. Because the secrets dont exist anymore, the scub never had to transport to the past, hence why the first scub that was in okinawa disappeared. It is believed that the scub will eventually return to Ao's world, but it will be at a much later time.

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    3. @GlassShadow and Anon: thank you. Really :,).

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    4. I have a question: Did Ao have the option to return to the E7 timeline with his parents? and if he had, would he have turned to stone upon arrival?

      Also, when Ao saw the world where he returned Eureka and Renton to, did that world change in any way, cause I couldn't tell.

      Does this mean that Eureka and Renton can never ever become parents and live with that?

      Sorry about all the questions but I feel like I need to understand what happened. last one haha: Ao erased all of the secrets, meaning that the scubs never had to go to Ao's timeline, does that mean there is no trapar in the 2 years later world?

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    5. I think those questions are pretty much open to interpretation, though I strongly feel that the answer to #1 is "no", and so is the answer to #3. Their decision to have Ao in the first place was a selfish one done out of love, and everything that happened in Astral Ocean was an offshoot of that decision.

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  10. Well, isn't this post a labour of unwavering love Enzo :). Thank you for keeping up with this series till the end.
    My feeling about AO as a whole are still a bit mixed really. I don't regret watching it one bit though, and I intend to rewatch it again.
    Both during the series and in these final episodes there were single characters and scenes I grew attached to and that affected me deeply, I like the aptly 'oceanic 'color palette and the bgm was especially effective.
    The cons: the aforementioned lack of closure for some of the mains and pacing (and more TIME also allowing the new characters to make a deeper impression on me) , plus the Scub coral implications here cast a retroactive shadow on the original EU7 optimistic mood and ending. I really, really loved the positive mood it had. Loved it to bits. One of my fondest anime memories. It just brings me a smile whenever I recall it, that triumph of peace love & understanding, joy and hope. It was a pretty bow on that happy ending. But hey, if you're going to have an happy ending, may as well go all out with it :D. Thank you BONES for daring to embrace the happy-happy feeling in a mecha series. What an amazing grace.

    The main pros:
    Renton and Ao bonding - if oh too briefly - via soccer. Eureka.
    In general Naru and Ao, whenever they managed a relatively calm conversation.
    Ao. Ao a million times. Even when the bad pacing and the plot evolved into switching side & byzantine politics he was my emotional anchor, my darling, my baby 2D child growing into a little man :,).
    I can swallow Bones dropping his aborted sister bomb on us in the very last episodes, I can accept this manipulating me into crying for Renton and Eureka's loss, and for the sacrifice both them and Ao are ready to make. For Ao, I can do it. Because he's so worth it. And I could almost taste the mix of pride joy and despair of being the parent and the son in their situation as they part forever.
    I remember bawling at the screen for him to live. Please Ao don't die. Please Bones, let him live. <------- yep, embarassing. And my camembert dinner turned wet and salty.
    On the rational side, the chain of events and world resets consistency doesn't really gel too well together for me still.
    At present I can ultimately enjoy the bittersweet ending and AO as as sequel as it is because Ao lives, and he smiles as he glides in the sky with well-wishing blue birds of happiness to an unknown life, not fearing who and what may await him - or not -. But this 'new' world of his shines blue and green so brightly :).

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  11. Oh well, a little let down but over a month of waiting has let to being over hyped in my brain i guess. I kn oew the whole time paradox thing was going to hit home, just wished it would have given more closure. Disappoint with the Renton meeting AO, I was hoping for some more bonding he just seemed to be giving him the cold shoulder treatment call me a pussy but i wanted some tears and hugs for the poor kid. I don't get why we spend some much time on characters that aren't even worth they're own ending, and now possibly never even existed in the new timeline. Oh well good series overall, let hope for a oav!

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  12. It shows that this show changed its writer after a couple of epsisodes. Fortunately the new writer was a master in his domain and wrote a marvel of a story.
    Unfortunately, I think that the early artifacts of the original story bog E7AO down a bit. Naru's involvement has now ended in a largely irrelevant plotline, Fleur's role deteriorated the second her father died.

    All in all, I think that this show would have been a lot better if it wasn't related to Eureka seven and if there had been one writer. Preferably the later one, because he also wrote un-go(<3).
    The big issue with relating this show to the original Eureka seven is that they don't actually share a lot of the ideas behind the different shows. Eureka seven was all about the power of love and all the shonen goodness that made it the fun adventure that it is. Eureka seven Ao tells a story of child soldiers fighting an enigmatic and very strange enemy while the world's political powers struggle for control. The difference in tone can easily wreck the experience.

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  13. Wait... so Gonzy wasn't the sloth after all?

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  14. I finally got around to these last two episodes, and I can say that I agree with you on all points, Enzo. Sure there are structural issues or pacing, which made the show far more busy and cluttered than it could be, and that could've affected the emotional payout.

    I enjoyed Eureka Seven, but not to the point of dogma, that I faithfully believed in its shounen message, becaues that mindset prevents me from enjoying the sequel, Eureka Seven AO.

    The difference in tonality was no reason to favor one over the other. It would've been an inferior sequel had they stuck to the same message, no question, and recycled everything but with a different cast. Moreover, I applaud the creators' balls in taking the franchise in a different direction. It may not be a commercial one, and may not satisfy the majority of fans of the original, but that is their problem, not some limitation of the show.

    Bottom line: Due to its ambitions, Eureka Seven AO qualifies for my "Best Anime of 2012" list.

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    1. Couldn't have said it better myself, Awet.

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    2. Thanks, Enzo. :)

      That comment inspired me to do my "Best Anime of 2012" on my blog!

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  15. After just finishing the show there are certainly some questions I'm hoping to get answered. I really loved the original, so I'll admit that I'm not looking at AO in a wonderfully positive light, but I'm certainly not hating it too.

    My first question is why do the Scub Coral leave the original E7 universe in the future anyway, half of them already left to avoid the Limit of Questions at the end of E7? The only thing I can think of is they're trying to replenish losses, but for a very intelligent species it seems ridiculous to leave an almost perfect co-existence to a universe that rejects your existence.

    Second is, if Ao travels to the Okinawan Scub burst and reunites Eureka and Renton, fires the gun and disappears, what happens to his two year old self at the time? I'm confused because I thought Renton's intentions were to eliminate the Scub from that universe completely, so did Ao just remove the Scub from that point on? In which case, should there not be two Ao now because rather than negating Eureka coming to this universe, he helps her return home two years later.

    I apologise for my ignorance if some of these questions are blatantly obvious, I just want to understand it better so I can enjoy it.

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  16. This is one thing im not understand if truth became the neo nerivash y did he call eurecka mother for one. second he is a secret but he is mix with the corals that i understand. At the end of ep 24 it shows he goes bk and saves her after Ao shots the gun off. But to some digree thec secret under human contral refers to the scrubs a type of storage inteligents am i right. For some reason i get a werid feeling that the scrubs are the secrets but a primitive verison they both can travel though space and time and create trapers, and for some reason if truth becaume part of neo neravash thats kinda more prof. But when Ao shot of the gun on truth he didnt disapear he was point blank on the shot with him. I believe the reason nether of them vanished is truth and AO are the same being caused from the space time fk up. In otherwords truth is Ao becomes my point. SEc shot from gun hits truth he becames neo neravash k 3rd shot is on mass of secrets he wakes up two years later no memory could have became truth in that time space. after truth save eurecka and disapeared he became Ao again at the end of Ep 24 meaning that the secrets are Ao's decendents protecting the earth. i know it sounds very far fetch but in a way it fits after all the loop holes sec show is one big loop. I hope someone reads this and can give me critisism on this idea its 1-23-13 now i have no idea if anyone still uses this page please give me ur thoughs please no bashing or trolling at gogeta_bigbang@yahoo.com

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