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Episode 1: Blue Monday

 

Review by Tony Myers

April 1, 2013

 

Summary

 

An LFO called the Terminus typeR606 flies through the skies. Stoner, the Gekkostate photographer aboard the LFO, is telling its pilot, Matthieu, about the memories people associate with music and movies. Matthieu asks their leader, Holland Novak, if they can clear out yet. Holland yells at them to shut up and says that a giant trapar wave is coming. Matthieu spots several explosions below. Stoner, readying his camera, continues by saying that memories are controlled by their environments. Seconds later, Holland's Terminus typeR909 and three Mon-Soono type10 KLFs fly past the 606. Holland executes a "cutback drop turn" maneuver and destroys one of the KLFs. The other two enemies retreat. Matthieu relays the situation to fellow Gekkostate member Talho Yuki, who is aboard their home ship, the Gekko. Talho confirms that the Nirvash typeZERO is proceeding as planned. Holland is reluctant to travel to the town of Bell Forest, but Talho convinces him to go. He looks at a photograph of an old man, a young boy, and an older girl whose face is scribbled out. Down in Bell Forest, 14-year-old Renton Thurston listens to a weather forecast, excitedly bursts out of his room, and hops on his motorbike with his ref board in tow. Renton thinks to himself that his life sucks because nothing exciting has ever happened in his life. He talks to his salesman friend Uno about learning to do a cutback drop turn like his idol Holland, but Uno says it's impossible for Renton because he doesn't believe in the waves. Renton says that Holland pulled the move off when he was 14 years old, but Uno says that Holland is a genius and grew up in a different environment anyway. Renton, still optimistic, quotes Holland by saying that where you were born doesn't matter much. Uno repairs Renton's board as a parting gift because he's moving to another city with bigger waves and more customers. Renton thinks there's no way to escape his boring hometown. At school, the teacher is giving a lecture on the "Summer of Love" disaster ten years prior, in which a massive generation of transparent light particles-trapars for short-caused the human-machine interfacing devices called Compac Drives to malfunction. The chaos was ended by the self-sacrifice of Renton's father, Adroc Thurston, who was dubbed a great hero by the military. The students start laughing at Renton, who is reading a magazine and grinning to himself. A large coral-like formation called scub suddenly bursts from the ground outside the school. Two boys bully Renton, reminding him that no one saw Adroc save the world and that Renton's sister ran away to prove he did. Later, as Renton sits on the school roof, three girls nearby gossip over the newest issue of ray=out, a magazine devoted to Gekkostate. One of the girls says she heard that Gekkostate were a group of criminals. Renton, looking at his Compac Drive, remembers when his sister left and told him that they would see each other again as long as he believed in her. Renton is about to leave school when his grandfather, Axel Thurston, shows up. Renton's teacher tells Axel that if Renton's grades don't improve, he won't be able to enter the military academy. Axel firmly rejects this notion, saying that Renton will inherit the family's mechanical repair business instead. Renton keeps lamenting his situation and visits his favorite lifting spot, only to watch it get demolished by the military. As Renton sits in his room at night, he fantasizes about joining Gekkostate. The word "eureka" appears in his Compac Drive, and he wonders if it's a secret message from Gekkostate. Axel enters Renton's room and asks how Renton can hope to be a good mechanic when his room is filled with junk. When Renton protests about not having a choice, Axel says that those who believe in dreams and ideals are idiots. Renton accuses Axel of being selfish and says he'll make enough money to put his grandfather in a home. Enraged, Axel grabs Renton's board and runs off to throw it away. As Renton chases after him, an LFO swoops into the area and flies around wildly before crashing into the Thurstons' house and destroying Renton's room. Axel identifies the LFO as the Nirvash typeZERO, the ancestor of all LFOs. A turquoise-haired girl emerges from the cockpit and tells Axel to take a look at the Nirvash because it isn't feeling well. Renton remarks to himself that the girl is cute.

 

Axel talks to a man on the phone about the recent scub burst. After hanging up, he takes out a box from a drawer and wishes Adroc hadn't found the object inside it. In the garage, Renton decides to check out the Nirvash and is surprised to find it has no Compac Drive, only an empty socket. The girl comes up to Renton and asks if she can borrow the flamethrower behind the garage so she can make amends for wrecking Renton's room. Renton asks the girl about the empty socket, and she says that the Nirvash never had a Compac Drive because there was no need for one. Renton tries to explain why it needs a Compac Drive and plugs in his own as an experiment. He says that mechanics like him can sense that machines have feelings, but the girl says that's just common sense and walks off to fetch the flamethrower. Renton starts swooning over the girl until he realizes what's going on. He runs outside to find that she has torched his room and belongings to hold a "funeral." As Renton tries to save his things, the girl giggles at his hysterics. Holland, Stoner and Matthieu watch them from atop a nearby cliff. Stoner and Matthieu tease Holland about not wanting to ask Axel to repair the Nirvash. Back at the Nirvash's cockpit, the girl asks Renton to remove his Compac Drive and tells him that just believing in something won't make it happen. Axel comes and tries to give the device in the box to the girl, saying that it brought ruin to his family. The girl senses some missiles speeding toward the garage and starts up the Nirvash to get away. Aboard the United Federation of Predgio Towers battleship Izumo, information officer Lt. Dominic Sorel scolds its captain, Jurgens, for firing upon the Nirvash. Jurgens counters that air force officials like himself have higher authority in the sky. Axel tells Renton to deliver the device he was keeping, an expansion part for the Compac Drive called the Amita Drive, to the Nirvash. While the Nirvash battles KLFs, Renton speeds toward the battle on his motorbike, determined to tell the girl what he couldn't say earlier. Clutching his ref board, Renton drives his bike off a cliff. As he falls, he wonders whether he'll really be okay.

 

Commentary

 

Right from the start, Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven presents an interesting take on the mecha genre with its sky-surfing machines. There's a lot to absorb in this first episode, but most of the focus is spent on establishing Renton's acquaintance with the mysterious girl who literally crashes into his life. Despite appearing to be a typical wide-eyed young protagonist who yearns for a more exciting life, Renton is uncomfortable with the attention that comes with being the son of a military hero. Holland's sour demeanor clashes with the pedestal Renton puts him on, so it will be interesting to see what happens when the two meet. Aside from the argument between Jurgens and Dominic, we don't learn much about the antagonists or their conflict with Gekkostate. Finally, there's the question of what the Amita Drive is and why Axel was so keen on getting rid of it. We'll find out soon enough.

 

Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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Eureka Seven Episosde 1 Eureka Seven Episode 1

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