(Massive spoilers for Eureka Seven)
I virtually grew up on anime. Voltes V was a cultural phenomenon here in the Philippines, and it still appears on TV every now and then. My main course of anime in my elementary school years was composed of World Masterpiece Theater shows (Tom Sawyer, Cedie, Princess Sara, A Dog of Flanders, Romeo, etc). There also was the occasional Sailor Moon on Saturdays, which I’m still afraid to admit to have watched IRL. As I grew older, I saw four Gundam shows, a Witch Hunter Robin here, DBZ, and Cowboy Bebop, which I thought was a darn good cartoon but never really grabbed me by the balls. Perhaps a rewatch is in order.
I didn’t watch fansubbed anime until 2006, when I was finishing my 1st year at uni and having just acquired my laptop. Enthusiastic to fill it with something substantial other than boring schoolwork, I turned to my blockmates–then my senpai of anime–for anime to abuse our uni’s bandwidth for.
Then there was my soft-spoken friend, who gave a shrug and casually said, “Eureka Seven.”
That was how I got acquainted with the anime that changed my life, just the title. And it was more than enough to get myself a few episodes of it.
Understand that I was a mecha fan since my younger years when I had stumbled upon Daimos, Voltes V’s less-known cousin. I had seen Robotech up until Pineapple Salad, and could tell each of the Gundams apart. But nothing prepared me for the LFOs. The mechs were lithe, graceful and Nirvash’s eyes were all too human. They were surfing. SURFING IN THE SKY. And they could transform!
I got into the show easily. Eureka, glorious blue-haired Eureka, crashing down on Renton’s place with the sexiest robot I had seen since Nobel Gundam and its her gaudy ribbons. I. Can. Fly. Renton’s spontaneous confession. Seven Swell. I had entered E7 without expectations, and it set the bar for everything I have seen, and will see.
I watched smoothly, a few episodes here and there, without any rush. I was enjoying the ride, simply put. Episode 13 came along. My heart felt something unexplainable when those two teenagers, enemies before and yet after, banded together in a cranky bike to get medicine for the girls they loved. Renton and Dominic were true BROS. I then knew that something must be done–watch more of this show, until I had caught up with the airing.
The appearance of Ray and Charles was something I cherished. But the moment Renton buried his face in Charles’s chest hair, I thought that this will not last, and that something would come to deal Renton a bad hand again. I remember not being able to sleep after seeing episodes 27-28. It was that hard–they were the ideal parents that Renton could never have, just because.
And then suddenly, the subs stopped. I found myself stuck at episode 33, unable to go further. There was nothing I could do, but wait it out and watch other shows. And so I watched many anime. Good shows, bad shows, I watched everything that my friends told me about, that /a/ was talking about. I started my exodus to /m/ around that time.
A year passed. Despite how much love I felt for the show, I had all but forgotten it, mired deep in my ongoing mecha education. The subs finished, I had my DSL at home, and it would only take me a few clicks (and half a week) to be back on track. I recommended the show to friends, and they finished it earlier than what it took me (more than a year).
I realized how much of a failure of a fan I was. Come on!
One fine day, when my torrents were all properly seeded above the ratio of 2.0, I started the journey back to my first anime love. I never realized how much I missed E7 until then, and I blazed through the exposition in the mid 30’s that was long overdue. I met Norbu and his past, and ronery Anemone. I cheered during the soccer match, a well-placed filler episode that served as rest not just for the cast but for the audience, as well.
The last OP (Sakura) appeared and the show kicked into overdrive. I was introduced to the Devilfish–which combined the sexiness of an LFO and the extreme piloting conditions of Tallgeese. Everyone became better, even the animation. Especially the animation. Shit blew up prettily, and in the midst of them all Dominic shed his adult pretensions and admitted his love to a group of strangers. I was laughing at him the whole time, and mourning my own inability to be as honest as he was.
And then I finished the whole thing. GOD, I thought. It’s been so long! I’ve changed so much since then. I have seen quite a lot of shows already, but after finishing Eureka Seven, I still felt I had a lot more to go. My watching habits have eaten up a great deal of my life, and I was ready to start the next show I was planning to watch. It is a strange and crazy love that compels me to do such things, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.
I’m not a critic or a scholar or an expert (hohoho). I’m just a consumer of entertainment who happens to post on a blog. On a busy day, I want nothing more than to slump in front of the computer and watch the sort of anime that would prep me up for the next day and keep me hopeful for the next windfall in my life. Finally working now, I’m looking at the consumption of anime for productivity. And in the end, Eureka Seven conveys to me exactly what I want out of anime, a life-affirming message.
I have a lot more to say about me and Eureka Seven, but that would probably be too self-serving and incoherent. Again, I’m very thankful to have been introduced to anime through such an awesome gateway.