After what seemed like an eternity, this week brought us the conclusion the Eureka Seven Astral Ocean. This sequel, which in being set in the past felt like a prequel, was not without it’s faults. Most of us that were Eureka Seven fans came in with high expectations. And rightly so. Eureka Seven was, over the course of 50 episodes, a balanced and beautiful show. Growth and conflict, aliens and mecha, love and loss, a hero rescuing the damsel; this show had it all.
AO was a chance to continue this legacy. A chance to invigorate the fan base once again, and bring a new audience into the fold. And with it’s first four episodes, it did that. Sure, it left us with some questions, and made us wonder what was going on. But the potential was there. But as we worked our way through the series, more things were, seemingly randomly, thrown our way. And all we could think was, “Bones won’t do that to us”. And with this last hiatus, my thoughts were, “here is a chance for Bones to finish this the right way”.
Quite frankly, it sucks to be disappointed this way.
Truth was always a wild card player. His existence represets the true world timeline, and the desire to restore it. But his insanity left you always wondering what his true objective was. And left him as the perceived villain. But like so many other things in this series, it represents another voice that Ao will choose to ignore. Truth speaks the truth, but no one chooses to listen. Ao wields the power to set things right, and refuses to use it. He feels as if he his rewriting history, not restoring it. And in an act of suicide by Truth, does Ao get one step closer to realization of what he must do.
Renton’s appearance is supposed to bring a sense of relief. I assumed, like many others, that his arrival, and subsequent reunion with Ao, would bring a dynamic team together to restore the timeline. And at first, it does seem that way. Renton takes the time to Explain to Ao what the Scub have done, why Eureka ends up in the past, and what his fight is all about. But his goals are in conflict with Ao’s. He is willing to sacrifice the past, the past that created Eureka, and everything he knows, to remove the Scub from the timeline.
This goes against everything Ao stands for. His struggle with the Quartz Gun has been his unwillingness to sacrifice anyone, even Truth. Countless times, Ao was faced with the decision to shoot the gun before. But this is too much. He is unwilling to sacrifice Eureka, his mother, in the interest of saving the world. It really does represent the difference in nobility between the child and adult. Renton knows the only way to correct his mistake in saving the Scub Coral in the future, is to remove them from existence. Ao is resistant against any plan that puts Eureka at risk.
The solution to the future, always lies in the past. Ao gets the idea to use the pole light as a portal. Ao, followed shortly by Renton, travel to the past, to the fateful moment when is mother chose to sacrifice herself to stop the Scub Coral. And in a haphazard fashion, we find the solution to saving the world, and convenient answers to a series of timeline related mysteries. Honestly, I don’t buy into the thought that “I was born to save the world”. Ao decides that he must be the sacrifice that sets the world back on track. But in a story where the plot device is alternate timelines, why not.
I find this ending all too convenient. Much in the way I gripe about how the ending to Madoka ruined how dark and despondent the story had been, this story wraps up all to easily. Note how I don’t say “well” or “good”. Because Bones decided to make this show about twisting time upon itself, they had no other way than to end things like this. It feels like they decided to take the original canon and emotion and throw it out the window. If you’re going to reset history, it should come with a price. It just feels cheap.
But there is no going back. This is what we are left with. The original series will always hold a special place for me. This series will always be an afterthought; the sequel I really didn’t need.