Eureka SeveN: Psalms of Planets begins one boring Blue Monday when the the large Nirvash typeZERO literally crashes into 4 year old Renton Thurston’s life. His first look upon the stoic pilot, Eureka, forever steals his heart. As the son of the late legendary savior of mankind, Adroc Thurston, Renton unknowingly contains the means to unlock the full potential of the first LFO (“Light Finding Operation”) found the same Nirvash typeZERO.
Little does he know, however, that the leader of Gekkostate, Holland Novak, has plans for him.
The series follows Renton Thurston, the strange Eureka, and the quirky crew of Gekko State. Eureka SeveN primarily focuses upon the developing love between Renton and Eureka (which is either pronouced El-rekka or Ee-you-re-ka) set against the larger world changing events swirling around them.
E7 is yet another entry in the mecha genre. You have all the usual elements, giant robots, mysterious abilities and world shattering events. However, in E7 you don’t see the tired “zero to hero” motif. Well, sure the main characters become the hero, but Eureka SeveN offers much more.
Eureka SeveN’s main focus is upon the development of Renton and Eureka’s love for each other as they are forced into adulthood by the war that the Gekkostate sparks. Gekkostate is an anti-government organization. Renton’s early teenage self pity makes the viewer wince at the memories of their own teenage years and cheer when Renton finally clasps Eureka’s hand
Did I mention surfing or rather Lifting? In the world of Eureka SeveN, the atmosphere is fulled with energy called Trapar, that allows LFOs and Lifters to surf in the clouds. Beautifully animated and vividly colored, the dizzying air battles streak the screen.
The larger conflict in the series centers around the military’s efforts to purge the mysterious Coralians, also called Scub Coral, from the planet humans are attempting to colonize. Ironically, the military uses the same Coralians as the foundation for their LFO squads. Nirvash typeZero was the first Coralian discovered. In their work, the military forcefully subdues anyone who stands against their work to wrest control of the planet for humans. Against this war and genocide Renton and Eureka are forced to come of age.
Eureka SeveN’s characters range from the highly developed Holland Novak and Gekkostate pilot Talho Yuki to the roughly sketched characters of Gonzy and Jobs. While it is understandable, the greatest weakness of the series was the lack of development for some of the supporting cast.
However, each of the supporting members have at least one memorable scene where their personalities shine. The main characters of the series are complex and human. Holland has anger and jealousy issues, particularly toward Renton, and in one scene breaks down and cries on Talho. Talho also have jealousy issues toward Eureka’s relationship with Holland.
Even the villain, Dewey Novak, is likable or at least identifiable. Like his younger brother, Holland, he is tormented by the past and expectations. Both firmly belief their decisions are right.
Finally, there is a third love story. Anemone is Eureka’s polar opposite. Conditioned by the military and an orphan of genocide, she and her LFO, The End, faces off against Eureka and the Nirvash. Her caretaker, Dominic Sorel, finds himself falling in love with the poisonous flower.
Now this isn’t the say the series is just tears and soppy emotional stuff.
While love is the central theme for the series, the story also wrestles with religion, genocide, and mankind’s role in the environment. Eureka SeveN has a flower child or surfer view of the world. We live in it and enjoy the Trapar and Lifting. If we fail to take care of it we will lose what we love. Likewise, the series deals with the fallout of genocide. One large city, Warsaw, was leveled and all but a few orphans and people survived the ethnic cleansing. Among the survivors: Anemone, Dominic, and Captain Jurgens.
Finally, religion plays a role throughout the story. A religious sect called Vodarac believe humans and Coralians can live together in peace. They are a mixture of Christianity, Buddhism, and earth religions. In response, the military level’s their version of Jerusalem. Eureka, at the time was part of a special forces squad lead by Holland. The actions they are ordered to take haunt them throughout the series.
E7 isn’t perfect. The series begins in a very ‘mecha’ way and proceeds slowly for a few episodes. Like all mecha, the storyline itself often falls into the silly and incoherent, but not to the same extent as many series in the genre. The dialogue has it’s painful moments, but over all it is well done. The development of Renton, Eureka, Holland and Talho, leaves ever decreasing amount of screen time for the supporting cast, but most of the characters come alive with their limited appearances. The children in the series, Mater, Link, and Maurice, can quickly become annoying. But then that is pretty realistic for children in their age range.Obviously a lot happens across the anime’s 50+ episodes. I don’t want to spoil events, but I will just say this is one anime that actually brought tears to my eyes, from laughter and sadness. While often considered a lesser cousin to the (overrated) Evangelion series, Eureka SeveN explores what it means to be human, the dark and the light.
I am a bit biased as I write this article. E7 is my favorite anime. The vivid colors and silky action coupled with excellent character development sets it apart from the crowd. The love story between Renton and Eureka tugged at me as few love stories can.