AO just keeps getting better and better as answers are possibly revealed, only to give way to a major breakthrough that sets up a darker and more serious tone for the second half.
I can applaud AO for being packed with as much energy as it is with questions to the point where despite being confusing, it’s also highly addictive. Considering that last episode and this one were written by Sho Aikawa, it’s enough to say that the past two weeks have been really engaging, both to the eye and to the mind. We start off with an unexpected surprise: the return of Naru, who happens to be sitting comfortably on a Scub Burst. Naru seems well- more than well, as it turns out that she’s able to breathe properly around Scub Bursts because there is a Scub Burst growing in her lung. Apparently Truth is something similar, as shown later when he was the child of a famous (but apparently hogwash) scientist who probably got experimented on with the Scub Bursts. Either way, the two seem to have gotten close- too close, as Naru says that Truth is a kind person as he blatantly massacres the Brazilian people who were in charge of maintaining the Scub Burst (Yeah, what a nice dude, Naru). I’m not sure if she’s been brainwashed or if she’s just ridiculously unaware of her surroundings. Or maybe she has seen the Truth; just one side of it.
Meanwhile, Ao and his team are being sent to outer space to go deposit Quartz that have been collected. I’m still confused by the terminology of this show; we understand that Quartz are perhaps the ‘heart’ of a Scub Burst or can be found in them and fuel the IFOs, but other than that, we don’t know much about them. Nevertheless, everyone seems pretty happy about the journey, except Ivica, who seems to harbor some grudge against packaged drinks and food.
We’re also introduced to two new characters: “Mama” and a dark skinned IFO pilot. Mama harbors a somewhat shady interest in Ao, when all is revealed that Ao is actually an alien and has the ability to see trapar particles. I’m not really sure why everyone is so shocked by this message considering that we’ve discussed it well before, but I am glad that Ao seems to handle the identity issue well enough. He’s been made fun of it for the past so he’s obviously gotten some tougher skin when being called an outsider. What the main issue is what Ivica and Generation Bleu had been really hiding from Ao: that Scub Bursts seem to be a portal into another world, as it was Eureka who came out of one when the first one appeared, and the one that Ao instigated in the first episode. That, along with the issue that Ao ‘rides’ his Nirvash through these trapar waves, which don’t exist in outer space, creates a pretty tense atmosphere.
The fun really starts when the Secret appears, this time a sort of Jack in the Box figure that has the ability of ‘shutting’ Ao inside, but luckily he defeats it pretty easily and everything seems ever so smooth until ‘Nice Guy’ Truth comes in, manipulates the satellite, and shoots the Scub Burst onto a new vector path. “Am I nice?” he asks, and I’m itching to slap my laptop screen in frustration and roll my eyes. Truth is really starting to get on my nerves. Despite his trolling, Naru somehow awkwardly saves the day by vanishing- my hypothesis is that she did a ‘transfer’- and manipulates the Scub Burst from Brazil to the Scub Burst in outer space to create a hole. Ao goes inside and is shocked to find that there’s another Nirvash and a rather familiarly shaped ship inside….
OH BOY. Well. That’s one heck of a ride. NIRVASH TYPE 0 and Gekko smoothly take Ao back to the planet’s surface, and our favorite heroine is back. The problem is, she doesn’t remember Ao, or doesn’t even seem to recognize him. I could offer a possibility that she just doesn’t recognize her son with aqua green hair, all grown up, but combining the preview for next week’s episode, I’m definitely sure that this isn’t Ao’s “Eureka” or at least, not his Eureka yet. Whereas I speculated that Ao’s timeline and universe were an alternate one from the original’s a while back, this episode has me guessing that we are in an alternate universe- a universe where something has gone wrong, where the actual timeline is ‘faster’ than Eureka Seven‘s universe. Eureka was able to get through here via the Zone, or Scub Bursts, but the Eureka we see now is a younger version of the one who had fallen and given birth to Ao. Is there a possible time loop going on? I don’t know. It seems that next week is where we’ll really get our answers, and to tell you the truth: it’s about time. The first half of Eureka Seven AO has been set, and now it’s time for a very serious second half to begin (along with a new OP from FLOW!) All things considered, this show has been doing really solid so far for me. Now, can it give me the answers we’ve all been waiting for, with just the same amount of energy it’s been using to raise those questions in the past? We can only hope. There’s no doubt in my mind though, that this is going to be one heck of a ride. It’s time to buckle up those seatbelts, folks.
Note: I’m also not sure why it took me 3 months to understand it, but the fact that every episode title is referenced to an actual song title is interesting to me. Is it for any particular reason? I’m not sure. All I know so far is that I’m pretty bad when it comes to music culture references, it seems….at least I got it right on The Rolling Stones for next week.
Enjoyment Level: 9/10