I won’t lie; I did wait for some other reviewers to post their thoughts on this episode because in all honesty this episode confused the heck out of me. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen the original Eureka Seven so I’m not completely well known with the concepts and terminology of the show and it’s a bit of a downfall for me with this episode since for the first time, AO pulls a heavy and reference to the original series.
Haters can hate; Aikawa Shou has pulled his hat off again with excellent script- a reason why I still have so much faith in this series. He does a great job of exploring identity issues, along with political and war narratives and themes (as seen in Fullmetal Alchemist and of course, UN GO) and it really, really shows strongly in Eureka Seven: AO. This week focuses on Elena, but in a twist I didn’t expect. It’s already been acknowledged that Miller could have been related to Elena earlier on, but to think that Elena is Miller; or rather posing as her as a spy is just mindbending for me. Confused? You’re not the only one. Let me try and separate fact from fiction in this trippy episode.
Miller is an agent, or was; she worked for the American government and leaked information out of Generation Bleu. At one point or another, Miller left Bleu and disappeared. It’s around here that Elena started posing as Miller the Spy (not Miller the Idol) and leaked information to the American Government like Miller originally did. The information is pretty valid too- Miller (Elena) is shown to have even gone ‘underneath’ the surface and point to the depths leading to the END (seen in the original series). Now whether Elena’s conscious of this action is arguable, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It turns out that Elena might not even be Elena Peoples. She was picked up at a facility where children whose brains were exposed to trapar were experimented on, because apprarently these types of kids are suited to pilot IFOs. What gets weird however, is when Gazelle and his team try to figure out Elena’s origins and find out that the actual Elena Peoples died five years ago- three years before the Elena we see got picked up by Generation Bleu and was trained to pilot an IFO.
Not only that, but this week’s Secret also seems to target kids whose brains have been exposed/enhanced/altered by trapar particles, creating hallucinations of what they want the most or feel the most regret about. For the Goldilocks team, it’s about seeing Bruno again. For Fleur, it’s about saving her mother, as she explained to Ao sometime ago. So when Elena and Ao get this mysterious Secret into their systems, what do they see? A world to journey to together. They see the same thing- almost. It’s also here where Elena’s other persona of Miller manifests and they both converse about “death flags”- something that hints that Miller (the Idol/Original Agent) might have been dead long time ago and that this creature, or Secret took her place (or maybe Elena took her place- could Elena be a Secret?). Ao and Elena wish to see the other side of this “boring world” which seems to me that the show is suggesting that this world or timeline is not a continuation of the original timeline but rather an alternate sort of reality- except something has gone awfully wrong and its related to the Secrets/Scub Coral. But why do Ao and Elena see the same hallucination (though at the end, Ao sees Eureka and Naru in Elena and Elena!Miller’s place)?
Elena is also connected to Eureka. It might be that she is Eureka’s daughter, or a girl Eureka adopted, or even Anemone’s kid- she has the Coralian eyes to show it (just like Ao’s). But the most impressive thing is that in her hallucination and in the past, Elena has/had the ability to pass through the ZONE which was in the original series and travel to Eureka Seven’s universe. It’s here we see something highly reminiscent of Neon Genesis Evangelion where the sea is red and the beaches are ash white. Is this the remains of Eureka’s world? Or is it really ours? Is Elena from Eureka’s world- what might lie on the other side of the mirror, as this episode’s title suggests?Hallucination or not, it’s a solid link to the original series: something I’ve been waiting for since day one.
As Ao and Elena take to the electrical car, Generation Bleu finds out what exactly is the source of these hallucinations- the sand particles that are Secrets themselves. Ivica is ordered to contain Ao and Elena- something that intrigues me because when the Director speaks of the kids, he ‘separates’ Ao and Elena from Fleur and the rest which gives me the impression that they are different (especially when Rebecca says that Ao is “genetically different” and I’m guessing that means more than just the eyes). A disturbing factor is the idea that so many soldiers are lined up to apprehend children- children, I add, which gives me the sense that once more, there’s more to Generation Bleu than what meets the eye, and it’s something dark. Back in the electrical car, Miller shows herself to be the Secret- a bunch of sand particles. What’s strange then, is that the persona Elena adopted as Miller , or just trapar/Secret!Miller, might have been the original Miller all along- oh, I don’t even know. But it’s interesting that no one but Elena (and perhaps Ao) can see this “Miller,” which would suggest that either Elena is directly linked to the Secrets, or that the Secrets like Truth are trying to aid information to other political nations for some reason or the other.
So who is Miller? Who is Elena? Don’t look at me for answers; this is all high speculation but nothing more. I guess in time, we’ll find out- but if there is one thing I’m certain about, it’s the fact that we will get our answers. AO has set itself up for following a sort of Penguindrum format, where the first half devotes itself to building up the setting, characters and asking the questions, whereas the latter half devotes itself to the action and the answers. We just have to be patient- but something tells me that with AO entering midway episode next week, we might finally get some of those answers we’ve long been waiting for, as Naru makes a return (and thus Truth, I guess) and our Bleu crew takes to the outer space and beyond.
*Also, an added note: If you guys can, I would highly recommend listening to the first soundtrack of AO that released this Thursday. It’s a beautiful mix of strings and I’m absolutely in love!
Enjoyment Level: 9/10