Anime Reporter takes to the skies for Part 2 of Eureka Seven AO (Astral Ocean), the sequel series to the acclaimed series Eureka Seven.
Eureka Seven AO is based in the future (and an alternate earth) to the original series and focuses on Ao Fukai (voiced by Yutaro Honjo in Japanese and Micah Solusod in English), the teenage son of two of the original series’ main characters, Eureka and Renton. Ao has spent most of his life growing up without his parents and it’s a recurring feature of the series that he finds family in the friends and teammates he meets. Similar to the original show, the action revolves around the piloting of aircraft which can also transform into battle ready robots (one of which may or may not also feature a giant-rocket surfboard). These are mainly used in the fight against Secrets, powerful invaders from another dimension, whose motives are a great source of mystery throughout the narrative.
All of this sounds like fairly standard sci-fi action anime fodder, and it is, but not for long. A hefty dose of time-travel gets thrown into the mix and Ao is soon face-to-face with a familiar, maternal face from the past.
Yep, correct, his mom.
It’s not much of a spoiler considering that her name is in the series’ title. The time travel spanner give the story a pretty high dose of tension and drama as this version of Eureka hasn’t given birth yet and has no idea who Ao is. Keeping her safe as well as trying to keep his head from exploding under the Back to the Future style ramifications of putting her in dangerous situations are what occupy quite a lot of Ao’s time.
The series focuses a lot on Ao’s exclusion, partially owing to his discoloured hair and eyes which make him something of an outcast, but it also focuses on the bonds he makes and the strong friendships that are formed. That said, once Part 2 of the series rolls around, there are enough time-travel shenanigans going on that Ao’s present may no longer be the one he remembers.
It’s a little more complicated than it needs to be and while certain moments are touching, the characters don’t have as much personality or humour in them to make Ao’s newfound family feel like anything more than the typical anime super group.
The animation is astounding, with action in particular being lightning fast without sacrificing quality or sharpness at any point. Secrets are incredibly badass as far as autonomous villains go and characters appear full of emotion with sleek lines.
Eureka Seven AO is a decent follow up series, though it feels like it has little in common with its predecessor. Aside from one or two brief appearances, there’s very little of the original show’s supporting cast and flashbacks are occasionally used to create relationships that hadn’t originally been there. The time-travelling concept in play for the series feels like a cool concept, but maybe one that belongs in its own series, not tacked on to a sequel. Ultimately, Eureka Seven AO feels a little bit more like Eureka Seven: The New Class than an organic continuation of the series.
Eureka Seven AO is currently available on DVD in the UK and Ireland on from Manga Entertainment UK. For more information, check out the Manga UK Twitter page, or you could of course just stick with us here at Anime Reporter and browse to your heart’s content.
Fitting Sequel: 5.5
73% – “Strong Effort” Somewhat convoluted plot aside, Eureka Seven AO is a decent and action-heavy series which should definitely find its fan base. Plus it has a sloth!