(Recommended, once again, by a complex rodent.)
Should I ever do a [REDUX] version of my Top 10 Anime That Crashed and Burned article, this series would definitely make the list.
I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a series that outstays its welcome quite like Eureka Seven. Not that others don’t, but this is a case where its welcome stretches on far longer than most. The last fifteen episodes of its fifty-episode runtime felt like an everlasting gobstopper of suffering. I cannot stress enough how horribly this anime ends, and even its lackluster, happy-go-lucky ending feels like a spit in the face with all the good it had done prior. By itself, there isn’t too much to complain about. The real issue is that it devolves from its former state to satisfy the ultimate clichés of a world-bearing adventure flick full of action, complexity, and THE POWER OF EMOTIONS!!!
Simplifying it to its core essentials, the last fifteen episodes does what three or four episodes could’ve done if it had ever just gotten to the point. Eureka Seven is filled to the brim (not just in the last fifteen episodes) with filler, episodes that pass off as something substantial in terms of character development or plot progression, but mean next to nothing to the big picture. The way it’s done is also fairly contrived, courtesy of characters never being honest with each other or themselves and lots of random side-character shenanigans. It feels like, and I type this with as much dismaying irony as possible, shounen. Because it is, very much so, a shounen. Just not the worst kind.
What makes the disaster of the finale so unbearable is that the series has good qualities to it—many good qualities to it. I would recommend this series in a heartbeat if it were, say, cut in half. Trim the series of its unnecessary fat and it could satisfy even the pickiest of consumers. The series plays favorites, unfortunately, but those who are favored certainly get the full front of development, including Renton, Eureka, Holland, and Talho (best girl). Still, many characters aren’t ever truly ignored, sharing screentime every so often if only to showcase their one-note personalities. And the animation! Oh, the animation is splendid, especially for something made in the mid-2000’s. I find the designs fascinating and fairly fresh, especially with Eureka, who looks more than meets the eye. There’s also a diversity of different characters that give something for everyone, even if all of them don’t flourish.
Again, Eureka Seven almost gained a quick recommendation from me, if not for a wavering and cliché-filled ending bunch of episodes. They take an episode to play soccer for no discernible reason, right before a hugely important showdown with the main antagonist… who appears only episodes before. Basically, this series is pretty good until it eventually becomes trash. The end. Too abrupt? I wish this series could be.
Personal Score: C
Critical Score: C+
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.