Eureka Seven [TV]
The series was directed by Kyoda Tomoki and is produced by Studio Bones, known for the production of many hits such as Wolf’s Rain, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mob Psycho 100, and Boku no Hero Academia. In Japan, it is known as Psalms of the Planet: Eureka Seven, and is stylized simply as Eureka Seven internationally. Eureka Seven began its run on April 2005 and continued showing on MBS until April of the succeeding year. The anime has a total of 50 episodes and addressed multiple themes throughout its story. It was well received as a series winning multiple awards by the end of its original run. In the 2006 Tokyo International Anime Fair, it won Best Screenplay, Best Character Designs, and Best Television Series. The series also received the awards of Best Television Series, and Best Female Character at the Anime Expo 2006 SPJA (Society for the Promotion of Japanese Anime) Awards.
Eureka Seven is set in a world following the events of ten years prior, coined as the Summer of Love. This event caused the calamity that brought about a surge of Transparence Light Particles, termed as Trapar. The possible destruction of the world during this time was stopped by Adroc Thurston who abruptly disappeared. With the lasting effect of this event being an atmosphere full of Trapar waves, large robots capable of lifting or surfing on the Trapar called LFOs, short of Light Finding Operations, were made.
The story follows Renton Thurston, a 14-year-old boy, who dreams of a life outside of the one he currently resides. Son of the hero that prevented world destruction during the Summer of Love, Adroc Thurston, who disappeared during the said events, Renton now lives with his grandfather. While his sister once lived with them as well, she too disappeared soon after departing to search for their father during the earlier days of Renton’s life. His only keepsake from the two is a compact drive, a key used to activate the mecha units called LFOs. The compact drive serves as his last connection to the two who never returned and his source of memories of the times when they were not away. Occasionally, the compact drive displays the word EUREKA.
Renton explains this life in town as being the “worst life”, living in an area where success can only come from leaving to join the military. He spends his days attempting to surf, termed as lifting, on the weak Trapar waves of the atmosphere in his area. He does this hoping to acquire lifting skills on par with his longtime idol and head of Gekkostate, Holland Novak.
His wishes for a better, more interesting life are answered one night when a unique LFO crash-lands directly into the Thurston home. Renton’s grandfather immediately recognizes the LFO as the Nirvash TypeZERO, the prototype and blueprint for all LFOs. When the dust from the crash settles, the pilot is found to be a young girl with purple eyes and aquamarine hair who asks for the assistance of the two in repairing the Nirvash TypeZERO.
While repairs are being done, the house is suddenly attacked by military LFOs causing the mysterious pilot and the Nirvash TypeZERO to engage the group. During this encounter, Renton’s grandfather gives him the Amita Drive and tells him to deliver it to the Nirvash TypeZERO. In the midst of all the chaos he manages to lift past an LFO to deliver the Amita Drive straight to Eureka. Shortly after inserting it into the compact drive of the unique LFO, he causes a surge of Transparence Light Particles dubbed as the Seven Swell Phenomenon similar to the surge seen during the Summer of Love.
With the assault being over and the Nirvash typeZero functioning thanks to the Amita Drive, Renton is offered the chance to leave his life behind and go with the mysterious girl. After being confronted with a line that his father used to tell him in the past, he resolved to leave his “worst life” behind to start his journey of growth and self-discovery in the outside world.
Formed by Holland Novak, Gekkostate is a group made up of people who followed Holland when he left his post at the military. They are a renegade group directly opposed to Dewey Novak’s military group, the United Federation, who wish to eliminate and eradicate the Scub Coral that inhabit the world.
The group publishes a magazine entitled Ray=Out that follows their various activities as a group. This media outlet has garnered them mixed status with their reputation growing as outlaws of society. Renton looked up to the group and their leader eventually joining them with high expectations of going on adventures.
Much of the story revolves around the time that Renton spends with this group and his relationship with the individual members that form Gekkostate. Particularly, much of the focus is on Renton’s interactions with Eureka, the titular character, and Holland Novak, the idol who failed to meet his expectations.
The series protagonist. 14 years old at the beginning of the series, Renton lives an unsatisfying life regarding his daily activities as boring, making up the worst possible life. He is initially resigned to the fact that he has to live life this way but hopes that one day, he might be able to find something that will lead to a more interesting life. His desire is abruptly addressed when Eureka crash lands her LFO, the Nirvash typeZERO into his and his grandfather’s home and inadvertently leading a group of military LFOs to attack the house leading to its destruction. Faced with the option of relocation with his grandfather or leaving with the group and accompanying the mysterious Eureka, he chooses to do the latter and swears to protect Eureka from harm having formed a bond with her and the Nirvash during the military encounter.
Throughout the story, Renton faces challenges that force him to change his paradigm of the world and open his eyes to the reality of what goes on during war. He experiences many hardships with Gekkostate that eventually leads to his maturity and growth as a character throughout the series. The themes of love and loss are pivotal to his evolution from the Renton of the pilot episode to the Renton of the final episode.
One of the founding members of Gekkostate, Eureka is originally thought to be the partner of Holland Novak and is thought to cause a great change in the world. Her change in character begins when she encounters Renton, crashing into his home. Her first encounters with the series protagonist leads her to smile, something that she was noted not to do before encountering Renton. Her character sees a large leap in maturity parallel to that of Renton.
Many of the series’ themes are explored through Eureka’s experiences. Her experiences and her struggle of understanding what it means to love are explored making her character and her moments with Renton feel genuine as the series progresses. The idea of family is also seen in the series through her eyes as she takes up the role of mother to three children who were made orphans as a direct consequence of the actions of the military and the war that is taking place in the series. Parts of the series follow her struggles to understand what it means to play the parent role and how to handle three growing children as she herself also grows up and matures.
Founding member and leader of Gekkostate and a former member of the military. He is the face of Gekkostate and a talented lifter. He is particularly resistant to Renton’s role in Gekkostate and is particularly opposed to Renton and Eureka forming a deeper bond. As the series develops, more of his past is revealed and a recurring theme is his desire to escape from the expectations that come from his relationships in the past. The theme of love is also explored in his case following a different set of circumstances than that of Renton and Eureka.
Also one of the founders of Gekkostate and current pilot of the Gekko-Go, the iconic airship of the group. She eventually steps down from her position as head pilot and has Moondoggie succeed her when due to certain circumstances. Talho was a close companion of Holland even during his time in the military. As the series progresses, her feelings for Holland become more apparent. She undergoes drastic changes throughout the series and grows in maturity, growing out of her short temper and learning to embrace the responsibility of being an adult among the members of Gekkostate.
Maurice, Maeter, Linck
The three are kids who were orphaned during the events of the war that began before the series opened. The children are a testament to the effects of war and slaughter having experienced the pain of loss and death at a young age. The children become figures of what it acceptance. They are initially one of the main forms of resistance to Renton joining Gekkostate. The three are shown to try and get rid of Renton on multiple occasions. After some time, they eventually grow to accept him as a member of Gekkostate and as a suitable partner for Eureka.
Head of the United Federation military group and brother of Holland Novak. Dewey serves as the series antagonist and leads the group that is in direct opposition of Gekkostate’s objectives.
Father of the series protagonist, Renton Thurston, Adroc was directly involved in the events surrounding the first Summer of Love that caused devastation throughout the world. He is regarded as a hero.
Coming of Age
The series follows Renton as he grows up away from home, discovering independence and learning about himself and the world. As the events of Eureka Seven unfold, Renton is seen having to make tough decisions and learn from his many experiences. Renton particularly grows in maturity and the contrast between his character during the events of the pilot episode and that of his character at the end of the series is markedly different. His confidence in himself and his own abilities grow and his stance on love and family also expands from a childish, narrow-minded point of view to a more holistic and realistic understanding of the two.
Eureka also sees a lot of growth throughout the series. Towards the middle of the series, she undergoes a lot of changes as she begins to open up to Renton and to the rest of the Gekkostate crew. Initially a stoic character, her heart eventually softens and her actions begin to reflect more of her own feelings and interests.
The effects of war are scattered across the entire series. The predicament of the three children is a direct consequence of the war that Eureka was involved in during her military days. Having lost their parents during an assault on their town prior to the events in the anime, they have been orphaned and are living a life onboard the Gekko-Go with Eureka and the rest.
Early on in the series, Renton is portrayed during the moments when he realizes that war involves taking lives. During an attack, Renton mentally and emotionally shuts down from the guilt of having realized that defeating enemy LFOs effectively means ending the lives of the pilots within the mechas.
The reasons behind the current war are also explored throughout the entire series. Both sides argue over what makes war justifiable or otherwise, unjust and unnecessary. The idea that alternatives to war exist are also explored during the events of Eureka Seven. The possibility of ending a war through peaceful means and the repercussions of choosing otherwise are tackled.
Conflict and Unity
Unity is a theme that comes up in different forms in Eureka Seven. Renton for instance joins Gekkostate and is initially regarded as an outsider. Despite their inviting him to join, he is treated as someone outside the group and is shunned at the beginning of the series. He spends a lot of time finding ways to gain the respect of the individual members of the group and to find his place among them as an equal.
Gekkostate itself sees rough days at some point in the series. The group comes close to dissolution when members begin to disagree and their internal conflict begins to escalate. Their ability to unify under the same cause is challenged due to these conflicts and the group is forced to find a reason to stay together and a cause to rebuild their bonds.
The bulk of the story revolves around Renton and Eureka and their love story. Many moments earlier on build on a cliché idea of love at first sight and the idea of puppy love. This love grows exponentially in maturity parallel to the growth of both Renton and Eureka. Their love evolves into one of understanding, acceptance, and support rather than being built on fleeting feelings of affection.
Renton loses his family before the series even begins. His father disappears, saving the world but abandoning his son. His sister leaves to search for their father, never to return. Renton struggles to find a family after he leaves his grandfather behind to join Gekkostate and live out his dream.
He looks for a family in Gekkostate and tries to learn the role of a father when he begins to help Eureka with the three children that she adopted.
During the middle of the series, he also lives out the role of son, the role that he was never really allowed to experience, when he meets Ray and Charles who take care of him. He experiences what he was robbed of earlier on when his father disappeared and eventually sees the two as parent figures who accepted him and cared for him.