Eureka Seven, known in Japan as Psalms of Planets Eureka seveN (交響詩篇エウレカセブン, Kōkyōshihen Eureka Sebun, literally "Symphonic Psalms Eureka Seven"), is a Japanese mechaanime TV series by Bones. Eureka Seven tells the story of Renton Thurston and the outlaw group Gekkostate, his relationship with the enigmatic mecha pilot Eureka, and the mystery of the Coralians.
Bandai produced three video games based on Eureka Seven; two of them are based on events prior to the show, while the third is based on the first half of the show. Both the original concept of the anime and the video game Eureka Seven vol. 1: New Wave have been adapted into manga series as well, although with many significant changes primarily at the end. The TV series has also been adapted into a series of four novels and a movie.
A sequel anime and manga series, Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean, was released in 2012.
Synopsis and themes:
See also: List of Eureka Seven episodes
Eureka Seven consists of fifty episodes which aired from April 17, 2005, to April 2, 2006, on the Mainichi Broadcasting System and Tokyo Broadcasting System networks. Almost all of the show's episodes are named after real songs, composed by both Japanese and foreign artists.
The series focuses on Renton Thurston, the fourteen-year-old son of Adrock Thurston, a military researcher who died saving the world. He lives what he considers a boring life with his grandfather in a boring town. He loves lifting, a sport similar to surfing but with trapar, a substance abundant throughout the air, as the medium. He dreams of joining the renegade group Gekkostate, led by his idol Holland, a legendary lifter.
An opportunity to do so literally falls into his lap when a large mechanical robot, called the Nirvash typeZERO, and Eureka, its pilot and a member of Gekkostate, crash into Renton's room. Renton's grandfather orders him to deliver a special part to the Nirvash called the "Amita Drive", which releases the immense power dormant within the typeZERO called the "Seven Swell Phenomenon". Afterwards, Renton is invited to join Gekkostate, where he quickly discovers that the behind-the-scenes life of Gekkostate is hardly as glamorous or as interesting as printed in the glossy pages of their magazine, ray=out. Only one thing makes it all worthwhile for him: the presence of Eureka, the mysterious pilot of the Nirvash. Renton, Eureka, and the Gekkostate embark on an adventure that will shape their future as well as the world's.
Eureka Seven works on a wide variety of themes throughout its story. One of the most obvious themes in the series is racial integration, presented via the relationships in the series, e.g. Renton's with Eureka, who is not entirely human. Religious tolerance and harmony is presented in the characters' relationships and also the series' conflicts. Allegories of real world conflicts and wars, current political climates from Japan and abroad, depictions of surf culture and other subcultures and related musical movements that span several generations, and ties to environmental movements. The series also covers other more personal themes such as parenting, and family, along with a very innocent view of puppy love/love at first sight from Renton and Eureka.Personal identity and protection play a huge role for Renton and Eureka, as both of them say, "I am me" in the series multiple times, and Renton has sworn to protect Eureka. Continuing with themes addressed in previous series, responsibility and guilt manifest most explicitly with repeating the phrase, "You're going to carry that weight." The series works these themes, as well as the theme of growing up and change, into the journey of Renton Thurston.
Eureka Seven takes place 10,000 years after humanity has made a mass exodus into space, due to the arrival of the Scub Coral (スカブ・コーラル, Sukabu Kōraru), an intelligent, sentient life who merged with the planet, forcing the humans to abandon it. In the current timeline, the remnants of humanity are now settled on an unknown planet (actually a terraformed Earth) known as the Land of Kanan, but the majority of the surface of this planet is now covered by a rock-like surface formed by the Scub Coral. The Scub Coral inhabited the Planet until the return of humans. The theory that the Scub Coral is an intelligent life form was proposed by the scientist Adroc Thurston, who also claimed the Scub is looking for mutual co-existence with humanity. All theories and information about the Scub Coral being a sentient being are kept from the general population. In addition to being the surface of the planet, the Scub Coral has several physical manifestations, called Coralians (コーラリアン, Kōrarian), that are observed throughout the series. These manifestations are either natural occurrences or a response to attacks from humans. The manifestations are:
Command Cluster Coralian
The Command Cluster is a large concentration of the Scub Coral which acts as the central mind for the rest of its "body". It stores all the information the Scub has collected over the last 10,000 years, and keeps the rest of the Scub Coral in a dormant state.
A Kute-class is massive sphere of concentrated energy that materializes suddenly in the skies. Though it is a rare natural occurrence, they can be artificially triggered by causing heavy damage to the Scub Coral. The disappearance of a Kute causes a massive release of energy, ravaging the surrounding landscape and lowering the Trapar count in the area to almost non-existent levels.
Antibody Coralians are, as the name suggests, creatures created by the Scub Coral to destroy anything nearby that might be causing it harm. They are unleashed in massive swarms through a Kute-class Coralian when the Scub Coral is threatened or attacked. These antibodies can range in size from as small as a wheelbarrow, or as large as a bomber plane. Their shapes vary wildly, from eyeballs to flying slugs to giant hovering flower-like objects. Most forms are based on the sea creatures they absorded when they just started their 'growth'. Their powers are: sending lasers in profusion from their bodies, thus being able to destroy large aircraft, burrowing into a victim's body and imploding it(unconfirmed), and creating a spherical void, which makes anything within its surface area to vanish. Antibody Coralians generally appear in response to deliberate attacks on the Scub Coral. They appear for 1246 seconds (20 minutes 46 seconds) - which is the amount of time the Seven Swell phenomenon is active. After those 1246 seconds, they crumble to dust. Their appearances are that of basic invertebrates such as flat worms, mollusks, and cnidaria. One of each kind appears in Another Century's Episode 3 and Super Robot Wars Z.
Human-form Coralians are beings created by the Scub Coral in the form of humans. They are regarded by scientists as emissaries of the Scub Coral, sent to learn about humanity. Humans have attempted to create their own artificial human-form Coralians, but the results are often less than satisfactory. As shown with Eureka in the sequel series, human-form Coralians are biologically capable of reproducing the same way as humans do; she gave birth to a daughter and son. However, due to her children being Human-Coralian hybrids, the high level of Trapar would be too dangerous for them.
Trapar waves and lifting:
In Eureka Seven, as a result of the Scub Coral covering the planet, the atmosphere is permeated by an enigmatic energy known as Transparence Light Particles (トランサパランス・ライト・パーティクル, Toransaparansu Raito Pātikuru), dubbed Trapar (トラパー, Torapā) waves for short. Norbu, the Vodarac leader, states that all thought carries with it energy. As a result, a sentient life form on the scale of the Scub Coral produces a tremendous amount of energy. The most important use of Trapar energy is its use as a method of propulsion for flight-capable vehicles.
Though Trapar-propelled airships are relatively common, using Trapar waves for "lifting" (リフティング, Rifutingu, or "reffing", according to some fan translations, as well as official translations in some countries) is their predominant use. Lifting uses surfboard-like devices called "reflection boards" ("ref boards" (リフボード, Rifubōdo) for short) to ride Trapar waves in a manner similar to surfing, and is a popular sport in the series. The most grandiose use of Trapar--massive humanoid fightercraft--are a recent development, made possible by the discovery of bizarre alien life-forms within the Scub Coral.
LFOs and Compac Drives:
The mecha of Eureka Seven are called "Light Finding Operation", commonly abbreviated to LFO. LFOs are humanoid alien skeletons excavated from the Scub Coral that have been fitted with armor and control systems. Military LFOs are known as KLFs (for "Kraft Light Fighter"). LFOs are able to fly by exploiting the same principles of lifting--Trapar particles. An LFO is composed of a giant organic base, called the Archetype (アーキタイプ, Ākitaipu); armor; a ref board; and a Compac Drive (コンパク（魂魄）・ドライヴ, Konpaku Doraivu), a device that allows humans to interface with the Archetype, as well as other machinery.
Ageha Plan (アゲハ構想, Ageha Kōsō)
The Ageha Plan is the theory first proposed by Adroc Thurston that the Scub Coral is an intelligent, sentient life form that is trying to communicate with humanity, as well as the plan for humanity to seek out co-existence. The report was locked away after his death, but later appropriated by Col. Dewey Novak, a move aimed at gaining public support by associating himself with Adroc Thurston, despite Dewey Novak's true aims being directly opposite to the aims of co-existence proposed by the original Ageha Plan.
Desperation Disease (絶望病, Zetsubō Byō)
Desperation disease is a coma-like condition in Eureka Seven. Those suffering from it become near-vegetables, save for a fixation on a Compac Drive. The sickness is related to the relationship of the Scub Coral, the Trapar, and the Compac Drive; all three together drive the victim deep into a trance which leads their consciousness to the coralian command cluster. It is often said that the disease affects not only the victim but those involved with the victim (i.e.: family, friends, loved ones), hence the "despair" is felt by them, not the victim.
The Great Wall (グレートウォール, Gurēto Wōru)
The Great Wall is an example of the effect of the Limit of Life being passed. It is a large, unstable area of whirling Trapar winds visible from outer space. It was created at some undefined point before the beginning of the series when a large portion of the Scub Coral was abruptly awakened from its dormant state. The Scub Coral managed to put itself back to sleep before the Limit's consequences engulfed the entire planet. Common physical laws no longer apply in the area encompassed by the Great Wall.
The Limit of Life (件の限界, Kudan no Genkai)
"The Limit of Life", called the "Limit of Questions" in the English version of the series, is the theory that too much sentient life in a given space will collapse reality, resulting in a black hole-like tear in space that would absorb the entire planet. According to this theory's developer, Dr. Greg "Bear" Egan, the Scub Coral itself had already reached the Limit of Life, but avoided total collapse by going into a dormant state.
Pile Bunkers (パイルバンカー, Pairu Bankā)
Pile bunkers are rod-like objects driven into the ground to suppress the tectonic shifts in the Scub Coral, which otherwise cause humongous, mushroom-like coral formations to erupt from the ground with little to no warning.
Skyfish (スカイフィッシュ, Sukaifisshu)
Skyfish are creatures that have adapted to float upon the Trapar waves that fill the atmosphere. They are harvested to create a substance known as "reflection film", which is what permits the machinery of Eureka Seven to fly without the use of fuel-based propulsion. It is said that skyfish gather where positive emotions are emitted by humans in the presence of a Compac Drive.
Summer of Love (サマー・オブ・ラブ, Samā Obu Rabu)
The Summer of Love is an event that took place approximately ten years before the events of Eureka Seven, sparked by the first use of the Amita Drive with the Nirvash. An enormous, non-stop generation of Trapar waves resulted, and the confusion and chaos that resulted from this disaster sparked conflicts around the world, leading to civil wars that left tower states completely destroyed. Adroc Thurston died putting an end to the effects of the Summer of Love, or rather, became one with the Coralian Command Cluster as learned in episode 48. The name 'Summer of Love' is a reference to Japanese rave culture. It may also be a reference to the cultural phenomenon known as the Summer of Love and Second Summer of Love.
Vodarac (ヴォダラク, Vodaraku)
Vodarac is a religion with many believers in the world of Eureka Seven. Their peculiar views and beliefs clash with modern science, especially in regards to treatment of the planet. This, coupled with the existence of extremist factions in the religion, have led the government to classify the Vodarac as a dissident faction, and it has on more than one occasion engaged in military campaigns against them. The prominent conflict depicted in the series is the attack on Ciudades del Cielo (Spanish for "Cities of Heaven", although literally it translates to "Cities of the Sky"), the city seen as holy grounds for the Vodarac, where the SOF troops stormed a supposed Vodarac extremist stronghold.
The Zone (ゾーン, Zōn)
The Zone is a visual effect produced by extremely high concentrations of Trapar particles and dust, which result in the mind seeing an endless corridor surrounded by brightly hued colors. Typically, the effect of the Zone is seen when trying to penetrate a Kute-class Coralian, but it may also manifest if a high enough concentration of Trapar happens in a closed space. The Zone is often depicted as a gateway, either between mind and matter or physical destination.
The Amita Drive is a special attachment to enhance the Compac Drive and allow it to communicate with the typeZERO. It was created by Adroc Thurston.
Most of the characters of Eureka Seven are part of either Gekkostate or the U.F. Force.
Gekkostate is an anti-government militia and counterculture collective led by Holland, who also pilots the LFO Terminus typeR909. Eureka, an aloof, pale girl, pilots an LFO called the Nirvash typeZERO. After joining Gekkostate early in the series, Renton co-pilots the Nirvash with Eureka. Stoner is a photographer who writes Gekkostate's illegal magazine, ray=out. Talho is the head pilot of Gekkostate's aircraft, the Gekko (月光号, Gekkō-gō, lit. "moonlight"; "Moonlight" in the English manga) and also ray=out's covergirl. Hap is Holland's childhood friend and the second-in-command of the Gekko. Ken-Goh is the weapons specialist and owner of the Gekko. Jobs and Woz are the ship's engineers, for hardware and software, respectively. Mischa is the resident doctor. Moondoggie is a secondary pilot and operator of the launch catapult. Hilda and Matthieu are the pilots of the Gekkostate LFOs Terminus typeR808 and Terminus typeR606, respectively. Gidget is the communications operator. Finally, Gonzy is a fortuneteller.
The U.F. Force is a military under the command of the Sage Council (or The Council of the Wise), the main authority of the United Federation of Predgio Towers. Serving under the Sage Council is Lieutenant Colonel Dewey Novak, who directed a special operations force called the SOF prior to his imprisonment at the beginning of the series. Dominic Sorel is an intelligence officer under Novak and the chief handler of Anemone, who pilots the LFO Nirvash type theEND.
The series was made by Bones and co-produced by Bandai Entertainment. Bandai Entertainment provided the title and handled the creative aspects of the series. Bandai had originally proposed a mecha anime series to the animation studio Bones. The studio had initially rejected it, but later reversed its position because it had already planned to create an anime using mecha designs by Shoji Kawamori. With the appointment of director Tomoki Kyoda and writer Dai Satō, Bandai's proposal was more or less scrapped and the staff began work on their own series that would become Eureka Seven.
While conceptualizing Eureka Seven, director Tomoki Kyoda wished to design the series as one that would at first focus on the personal elements and conflicts of the characters, then subsequently move the framework into a broader scale and perspective. The series' two halves each have their own very clear focus that reflects this design choice.
Licensing and broadcast:
Distribution of the English version of Eureka Seven was handled by Bandai Entertainment and its affiliates. The U.S. and Canadian distribution of the show was handled by the main branch while Beez Entertainment, Bandai's European branch, handled the show's release in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. Madman Entertainment handles its release in Australia and New Zealand. The first translated Region 1 DVD volume of the series was released on April 25, 2006 in the US, while the European Region 2 version was released on September 25, 2006. The English version was produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment in Burbank, California. Following the 2012 closure of Bandai Entertainment, Funimation (who also licensed the sequel series) had announced that they have acquired the rights to the TV series and will re-release the series on Blu-ray and DVD in 2014.
During its premiere run, Eureka Seven was available for online viewing on the Adult Swim Fix, Adult Swim's online video service, the Friday before its premiere on the channel proper. The series made its televised debut on Adult Swim on April 15, 2006, and ended on April 28, 2007. Beginning with episode 26, Adult Swim began airing an additional parental advisory warning for violence before each episode. In keeping with Adult Swim's practice of making jokes in such warnings, the warnings claim that they would rather air the episodes uncut since they are "American Cowboys." Adult Swim traditionally cut down the opening and ending themes from each episode to fit the series to American television's time restraints, which resulted in the final episode's first airing having actual content cut from it as the episode originally had no theme song sequences; it was re-aired properly the following week. Adult Swim aired Eureka Seven reruns for the last time in May 2008. In Canada, Eureka Seven premiered on YTV's Bionix block on September 8, 2006. Reruns were shown for a short period after March 23, 2007, returning to regular airings on June 1, 2007, and ending on November 16, 2007. It re-aired on Adult Swim's Toonami from 2012 to 2013.
Yuri Lowenthal had at one point been contracted by Bandai to provide the English voice for Renton, but after recording thirteen episodes he was replaced by Johnny Yong Bosch because the director of the English dub felt that his voice was too low for the character. All of Renton's lines were subsequently redone for consistency (although Yuri Lowenthal can still be heard as Renton when Holland is watching a video at the end of episode 7), though Bosch himself admits it took him a while to nail down the voice.
The music of Eureka Seven is available on three different albums composed by Naoki Satō and a variety of other artists who composed insert songs used in the series. The first soundtrack titled Eureka Seven: Original Soundtrack 1 (交響詩篇エウレカセブン ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK 1) was released on November 2, 2005. The second soundtrack titled Eureka Seven: Original Soundtrack 2 (交響詩篇エウレカセブン ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK 2) was released on April 5, 2006. The third soundtrack, Eureka Seven: Complete Best (交響詩篇エウレカセブン COMPLETE BEST), includes the full-length versions of the opening and ending themes for both the series and game, as well as the insert song for the final episode.
"Days", by Flow (episodes 1-13; insert song episode 32),
"Shōnen Heart" (少年ハート, Shōnen Hāto), by Home Made Kazoku (episodes 14-26),
"Taiyō no Mannaka e" (太陽の真ん中へ, "To the Center of the Sun"), by Bivattchee (episodes 27-32, 34-39; insert song episode 33),
"Sakura", by Nirgilis (episodes 40-49; insert song episode 50),
"Himitsu Kichi" (秘密基地, "Secret Base"), by Kozue Takada (episodes 1-13, 26),
"Fly Away", by Asami Izawa (episodes 14-25),
"Tip Taps Tip", by Halcali (episodes 27-39),
"Canvas", by Coolon (episodes 40-49),
"Storywriter", by Supercar (episodes 1, 2, 6, 10, 15, 26, 33, 39),
"Niji" (虹, "Rainbow"), by Denki Groove (episode 50),
"Space Rock", by iLL,
Towards the end of its original Japanese run, Eureka Seven won multiple awards at the 2006 Tokyo International Anime Fair, including Best Television Series, Best Screenplay for Dai Satō, and Best Character Designs for Kenichi Yoshida. Yoshida, the series' main animator and character designer, also received an individual award at the 10th Animation Kobe Awards in September 2005. The series also won an award at the 20th Digital Content Grand Prix in Japan in January 2006. At the Anime Expo 2006 SPJA Awards, Eureka Seven won the award for Best Television Series, and Best Female Character for Eureka.Anime Insider voted it "Best DVD Series of the Year" in 2006. During a conference in 2010, writer Dai Satō claimed that many anime fans dismissed Eureka Seven as a clone of Neon Genesis Evangelion without even watching it.
A manga adaptation sharing the same name of the anime was based on the same story from the anime series and was created by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou, however the manga's storyline differs from the anime and the ending is completely different from the anime's as well. The manga was published by Kadokawa Shoten and began serialization in Monthly Shōnen Ace from the March 2005 issue and ended in January 2007 issue, with a total of 23 chapters. The chapters were later compiled into six volumes.
A second manga adaptation titled Eureka Seven: Gravity Boys and Lifting Girl (エウレカセ ブン グラヴィティボーイズ&リフティングガール, Eureka sebun guravuiti bōizu & rifutin gugāru) by Miki Kizuki, features the protagonists of the video games New Wave and New Vision. It was published by Kadokawa Shoten and serialized in Comptiq magazine. Two volumes were released in Japan on November 7, 2011 and September 26, 2006 respectively.
Eureka Seven was also adapted into a series of four light novels written by Tomonori Sugihara and illustrated by Robin Kishiwada. The light novels, much like the manga, differ from the TV series in various ways. The titles of the novels reference musical works much like the series--in particular, the bands New Order and Joy Division. The light novels were published by Kadokawa Shoten under their male oriented Sneaker Bunko label. A novelization of the new Eureka Seven film sharing the same name was also written by Tomonori Sugihara and illustrated by Hiroki Kazui and Seiji has also been released in Japan on May 1, 2009.
A theatrical adaptation, Eureka Seven: good night, sleep tight, young lovers (交響詩篇エウレカセブン ポケットが虹でいっぱい, Kōkyōshihen Eureka Sebun: Poketto ga Niji de Ippai, subtitle literally "Pocket Full of Rainbows"), was first announced in the May 2008 issue of Newtype; it was publicly released on April 25, 2009, during Golden Week, with the animation production handled by Kinema Citrus. It contained a new mythos in an alternate universe, despite still featuring Renton and Eureka as the main characters.Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers screened at select theaters nationwide in America for a one night only special event on September 24, 2009. The movie also played at the Fantasia festival in Montreal on July 28, 2009.
Eureka Seven has three video games, all developed by Bandai or later Namco Bandai Games. The first to be released was Eureka Seven vol. 1: The New Wave (エウレカセブン TR1:NEW WAVE, Eureka sebun TR1: Nyū uēbu), which was released in Japan on October 27, 2005, and in North America on October 24, 2006. The game features a different cast of characters and takes place two years before the anime.
A sequel, Eureka Seven vol. 2: The New Vision (エウレカセブン NEW VISION, Eureka sebun nyū bijon), was released in Japan on May 11, 2006 and in North America on April 17, 2007.New Vision takes place two years after the events of New Wave. Both games were released on the PlayStation 2 and feature the theme song "Realize", sung by Flow. A PlayStation Portable game sharing the same name of the anime, was released on April 6, 2006, in Japan. This game is based on the events from the first half of the show.
Eureka Seven made its debut in the Super Robot Wars franchise in Super Robot Wars Z, released in 2008. Pocketful of Rainbows is also featured in both chapters of The 2nd Super Robot Wars Z, released in 2011 and 2012.
On December 22, 2011, Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine announced that a sequel manga titled Eureka Seven: AO would be launched in their January 26 issue. Yūichi Katō is drawing the manga based on the original story by BONES. Later that same day, an anime adaption of the manga was announced, and it began airing on April 12, 2012, and concluded on November 20, 2012, on the Mainichi Broadcasting System and related channels. It contains a total of twenty-four episodes and one OVA.
AO tells the story of Ao Fukai, a thirteen-year-old boy who "sets destiny in motion again when he held the power". He lives in the year 2025 on the island of Iwato Jima and has been in the care of his adoptive grandfather ever since his mother disappeared 10 years ago. When a mysterious organization attacks the local Scub Coral, Ao somehow gets mixed up in the battle and manages to activate a different enigmatic mech, also called Nirvash, while it is being transported by the military. Ao later finds out that the Nirvash belonged to his mother, Eureka, and embarks on a journey to find her and learn the origins of his existence. It is later revealed that Ao is the biological son of Renton and Eureka, who had been forced to make heart-breaking sacrifices in order to protect their son from a tragic fate.
The sequel was met with overwhelming negative ratings from fans and critics, who criticized the series for being too contradictive to Eureka Seven. Since the sequel's conclusion in November of 2012, fans have demanded a second adaptation or a third series, that revolves around Ao being able to live with his family in the E7 world and having a happier ending like Eureka Seven did.