“What is it inside of you that makes you hate me?” or in other words, Truth and his continuing hilarity of asking ridiculous philosophical questions.
If we thought last week’s episode was emotional, then this episode was pure, solid adrenaline, because the entire 23 minutes was a matter of holding one’s breath and releasing it in shock, one after the other. We start off with where we left- Truth for some reason or the other trying to kill Eureka, and Ao deciding to save her and take her safely back home. But how? Luckily, a Scub Burst with no Scub Coral comes out of nowhere, but so d0 the Japanese Federation, the Allied Forces, and whatever political forces exist in this universe come as well. Not to mention that a Secret that looks uncannily like the one from 13 years ago is there too. Luckily, Eureka knows how to flip some deus ex machina into the equation and both the Secret and Truth are gotten rid of .
From there on, emotional tension become haywired. Eureka goes back to her homeland..or timeline… but that’s the least of Ao’s problem, especially when he realizes that the child she’s carrying is actually a girl (Congratulations Ao!) and that he’s being labelled as a traitor from the Allied Forces and every other political organization/country for killing Endou. Which he obviously didn’t do, but of course everyone is going to expect that an alien kid did it for reasons. Naru comes back too, and has seriously- seriously– changed (a problem I’ll get to later in this review), but at least we get some partial answers. Answers! I release a sigh of relief.
Luckily I’ve had time to think about what this episode said. And it seemed to say a lot. I’ll try and break down my theories and points into a bullet point format (bolded points are the main theories)
- Ao’s universe and Eureka’s universes are the same; Eureka came to the very past and gave birth to Ao, so this is the timeline where Scub Corals are just beginning to take over earth and create the landscape that E7 takes place on.
- The Scub Corals are from the future aka from Eureka’s time, where they spread and take growth here so they take over the earth and become the Scub Coral Planet that is in the future. It’s a time loop.
- Based on the Secrets information we got in this week’s episode, I’ve hypothesized that the Secrets are also from the future or from another time and for some purpose are not out to destroy the Scub Coral. (they appear after the Scub Burst, so they come from the portal)
- The Secrets’ forms are based on the objects that the Scubs consumed in the future; thus the merri go round, the jack in the box, the snake, and the Nirvash looking one in this episode.
- The Nirvash that Ao saw in the Scub Burst was his own in the future; this means that either Ao will go to the future and his Nirvash will end up like that or in the near future in Ao’s timeline there will be a huge conflict and the Nirvash will suffer a lot.
- The Nirvash Naru takes is prenatal Eureka’s Nirvash whereas Ao’s Nirvash/Mark I is Renton’s Nirvash that Eureka took 13 years ago.
- The Scub Coral seek to thrive and take over the planet (a good thing, the Scub Coral are our friends, remember) but the Quartz are the heart of their system; by taking out a Quartz, as Eureka demonstrated, you destroy the Scub Coral.
- Naru’s and Truth’s plan are different from Eureka though they both want the same thing. Eureka’s plan seems to be idealistic- that the Scub Coral and Humans can coexist, but it seems that Naru and Truth might harbor a hatred toward the humans and want the Scub Coral to take over humans completely. This may have spurred the conflict that makes humans leave the Earth (and then come back to it 10,000 years later, before E7 takes place) which Ao might be a central part in/the show might be about. In that sense AO might be a sequel but it also is a prequel in setting up the history of what happened before E7.
- Ao’s older sister might be Fleur who wants to kill Eureka for some reason (it’s interesting that Truth, Naru and Fleur all hate Eureka)
- I don’t think the Secrets are out to hurt the Scub Coral like Nakamura said, but I certainly don’t think their intended targets are the Marks. I thought they were a simpler (pre evolutionary) form of the Coralians but I might be wrong.
It’s a lot of food for thought, but luckily we have a good 10 episodes or so to see what kind of answer BONES decides to give us.
In terms of plot and pacing otherwise, I once again thought that everything overall was relatively smooth. That’s the good thing about AO– no matter how intense it gets, nothing feels too awkward or misplaced. I will admit that Ao’s journey back to his island felt a bit off but otherwise, everything went pretty nicely. The new music was great too, and I’m already looking forward to OST #2. There were some major plot holes here and there though. For instance, how did Naru even learn how to pilot an IFO? And how did Nakamura ‘communicate’ with the Secrets? Hopefully these are some other questions the show will answer later, but the pile of questions is starting to get a bit high. I’m still reassured that AO will be able to answer them, but on the other hand, I did, and still do, have one major problem: Naru.
It’s not that I necessarily have a problem with Naru, but more of the way that she’s written. Eureka Seven: AO is utterly fantastic so far but as far as flaws go, I’d say that Naru and Truth are the biggest weak points of the show right now. It’s not even about Naru turning antagonistic- in fact, I do enjoy that aspect because not only does it stem from conflicting views about Scub Corals but also about the nature of Naru and Ao’s relationship (I don’t want you protecting me, I wanted you flying with me).
But the way Naru has been written is so inconsistent- she’s been pushed off to the back of the show for a good half, but here, she comes out of nowhere, gets angry at Ao, speaks as cryptically as Truth and just takes off again? What happened to the old Naru, who was slightly impatient and tsundere, but loving nonetheless and willing to put up with Ao’s flaws? And that’s the problem. The writing is inconsistent. We don’t see Naru’s growth and so the change is so drastic, that it becomes odd and…out of character. But the main problem here is that no one communicates in this show. Which in essence, is understandable-miscommunication is an important theme that ties in with Eureka Seven, because Renton and Eureka also had really bad communication problems which led to a lot of misunderstandings, but here, we have Naru mercilessly killing people and yelling at Ao, who doesn’t even know anything, poor kid. And Naru knows that! But she refuses to spell anything clearly out for him, or for us, the audience. And it’s not only that. Another problem I have with her and Truth (then again I have a lot of problems with Truth)- is that she’s suddenly overpowered and has the capability of interacting and taking control of ALL of the Scub Coral, as well as piloting an IFO. It’s like Truth is the God of Secrets and Naru is the Queen of Scub Coral. The show seems to be wanting to make me to hate her, and I clearly don’t want to, but it’s getting harder and harder to really love her. I’m always a fan of female characters, especially ones who decide to kick the damsel trope in the face. I like Naru and she obviously shows potential growth for a complex character. But this? This isn’t the way I wanted it to be done. It’s messy and I’m not a fan of messy.
I know we’re going to get our answers and I’m not worried about that- there are a lot of questions about Eureka Seven: AO and the timeline and the time loops etc but if anything my main concern is how they’re going to pull that twist of making Naru and Truth being in a ‘okay’ light. I like the idea that it is hard to tell who is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ at the moment as we also are trying to gather our facts as an audience and get a clearer picture of what is actually going on, but I’ve come to be so irritated with Truth- and now, Naru- and their crypticness that even if they seem to be working on the ‘right’ side, I won’t care. I’ll still dislike them because they were written so poorly.
Luckily, it seems that next week we’ll be calming down the tension a little bit, which is probably necessary considering that if they kept this up, we’d be falling off our sofas and getting heart attacks. The show appears to be focusing back on the adult-children theme that had taken a back seat in the last couple of episodes. I don’t think AO has the time to be going back to the regular “Secret of the Week” format unless it starts delivering solid answers this time. But there’s always time for readjustment, and if anything, AO definitely has the energy and potential for that sort of readjustment. The only thing is- can it use that energy to get some better writing for our antagonists? I certainly do hope so…
(Extra Note: The new opening by FLOW certainly had its own little spoilers here and there- SPEC 3 mixed with the movie, anyone? And RENTON!!!! Also, the tune reference to the first Eureka Seven opening? Keep pulling at my heartstrings BONES…. The ending was nice too, I did enjoy it.)
Enjoyment Level: 10/10