I’m pretty sure this shapeshifter should have aptly named himself Troublemaker than just Truth.
Eureka Seven: AO is a solid, well written show. It’s by far, much more interesting than its predecessor, but if there is one thing I feel like it’s lacking, it’s a solid “villain.” While Truth comes to dominate the last half of the episode, his presence seems…..absent. I get the same vibe from him as I would from Amon from The Legend of Korra. So, he’s cool, he can shapeshift and he has very destructive powers and speaks in riddles. What’s so new about that? Nothing. The one thing I feel that Truth is different about when it comes to the face of being a typical shounen villain is the fact that he goes through so much work to intervene in geo-political affairs. Instead of killing everyone the old-fashioned way, he stirs up trouble with political tension and social strife. That still doesn’t change the fact that so far, Truth is ironically this show’s weakest point- something I hope will change, because everything else is shaping up to be so good.
When I mean everything, I mean the rest of this episode, where once again it’s another “Fight a Secret of the Week” episode. Pied Piper is sent to destroy a Secret that is in Japan now, which stirs up some political mess once again. Turns out that the Japanese, for some reason or the other, want to revive the Scub Burst that, oh I don’t know- nearly destroyed their country years ago, using damaged Quartz, which seem to be the “seeds” of Scub Corals. These are the same Quartz that (I think) empower Generation Bleu’s mecha robots, so the President is obviously after them as well. They also happen to be the stuff that Gazelle smuggled to the Japanese government in the first place (I guess we know why they wanted it now). Also central to this plot is Nakamura, a Japanese officer who is intent on reclaiming Japan’s pride, through violence/manipulating the Secrets (which we all know, is a plan that ultimately fails because it does in every anime every single time). Little does he know that there is- or was- a spy in his group who leaks out information to Generation Bleu. So not only do we have political tension here- we have a web of conspiracy. Generation Bleu is as much of a threat as any other nation. It differs because it doesn’t belong to a nation. It’s like the United Nations of this E7’s universe, except more morally ambivalent.
This is just so great because Eureka Seven did a good job of tackling political semantics, but I feel like Eureka Seven: AO does an even better job of dealing on the opposite sides of this coin. On one hand, we have a political war and power struggle with these nations which is far more detailed than Eureka Seven‘s and on the other hand, we have an emotional struggle with a generation or age gap. If the “Bleu” in Generation Bleu stands for the Ao- the sky and the sea (where Generation Bleu truly lies as it has no nation/land it pledges allegiance to) then the “Generation” stands for the struggle between youth and the old. Fleur’s uneven relationship with her father, as with Gazelle and the group’s uneven relationship with their parents, Ao’s mysterious past with Eureka (and perhaps Renton), along with Nakamura and his desire to create a sort of “new” Japan- all of this is at the heart of the show. The clash of the new and the old is something I feel that will become a greater and more serious topic in episodes to come, tying in with these political nations vying for power.
While we have all of this conflict at the center of the series though, the show doesn’t skip great character interaction. Fleur, Elena and Ao are much more friendly and open toward each other- perhaps united by their shared irritation toward some of the adults, though Fleur and Elena are more okay with it than Ao. After all, it’s Ao who once again, defies the President’s orders and goes out to destroy the Secret instead of going to excavate the repaired Quartz (which ends up not being the sort of Quartz that Bleu wants anyways). Forced to fight his opponent underwater, Ao nearly dies alone, unable to see the Secret until Fleur and Elena willingly go to help him. It’s a step from them helping him but only on orders rather than actual motivation. The talk about Ao’s eyes a few episodes ago comes into use here as it seems Ao can actually see trapar waves; something he inherited from his mother Eureka, the Coralian. While it’s still debatable as to whether Coralians even exist anymore in this parallel universe, Ao has this power and it’s a pretty handy one, though nothing empowering like Truth’s godlike powers. Ao and his gang save the day and the episode concludes that story with Ao finally laughing with his friends (though no doubt, he’s still very determined to find Naru, as seen when he complains about not being able to get any new information about her whereabouts).
The other half, as said before, goes back to Truth and whatever he’s up to. Something that struck me as odd was when Truth says that the “Nirvash is his.” It’s very unsettling because it makes me aware of two things: one, that Truth is extremely possessive of what he desires and has- he ‘steals’ Naru, he steals appearances and he also apparently, controls the Nirvash. Two, it makes me think that Eureka’s disappearance, or kidnapping, whatever it is, has to do with Truth and his actions. That combined with his desire to stir up some serious trouble, as seen with him helping Nakamura out at the end of the episode. The question is, what is he really up to? In my book, he’s certainly an ambiguous foe, but that’s the point. We don’t really know anything about him. And while I’m fine with a mysterious villain, when I’m getting very little from him in the past three episodes, it’s frustrating. Speak some actual truth already, dude!
Next week seems to be very intense as Truth stirs up some more trouble- this time, with the Americans, and I’ll be intrigued with how Ao and the Pied Piper group has to deal with these sort of consequences. Judging Ao’s face in the preview, it’s certainly going to be a bumpy, emotional ride. But I’m still excited! Let’s hope that Truth reveals some actual information- while I’m a fan of “show not tell,” it’s certainly time for this guy to speak up and give some clear hints rather than just making us even more confused. We already have enough to deal with, trying to figure out the chronological setting of this universe as it is.
Enjoyment Level: 9/10