Eureka Seven AO ep8: dodge lightning, punch thunder and respect your elders. Or not.
I was wondering how Ao was going to recover from last episode’s defeat. And things started out predictably enough. Give a kid a ton of power, take away his girlfriend and what do you expect? He’s gonna take his giant flying robot and bomb that other dude’s house. It’s a good thing this show is a little bit smarter than most shows that followed it. I don’t know if I could live through a never angst and depression filled arc in a giant robot anime.
How come more giant robot weapons of mass destruction don’t have a simple kill switch on them like the one on the Nirvash this episode? I suppose that would make it harder for lazy writers to justify suits and pilots switching sides so often (*cough* GUNDAM *cough*). Regardless, Ao is on the wrong side of a dumb decision and expect the Generation Bleu staff would have busy afternoon verbally undressing him. Nope. Mr. Blanc is a clever, charismatic… and somewhat surprisingly deceptive guy. He lets Ao off the hook with a verbal warning, but then has the three clowns from Okinawa tail Ao in an obvious way so at to teach him a lesson.
In the meantime, we learn that Fleur has a beef with her dad, Mr. Blanc. And she learns from one of the clowns that Ao is the same way.
This week’s Scrub Coral drops into what everyone calls a “troublesome spot”. Faisal Arabia or something. Regardless, the situation is ripped right from the headlines. The arab country hates America (probably still calls it “the great Satan”). The Triton and its IFO team is sent to take care of the situation before the Secret shows up, or of course to destroy the Secret before it has a chance to detonate the Coral.
Not so fast. Because of the America’s backing of Generation Bleu, the situation gets real political and the Triton is ordered to fall back. This doesn’t sit well with Ao, and he flees the ship in anger, Fleur follows. I guess feeling a stronger bond with him over the knowledge that they both have daddy issues, and their disgust with the decision to let the people of Faisal Arabia die over political interference.
We end up seeing them hold a conversation at some local bar/restaurant. And Fleur starts to talk to Ao about what she’s learned, and let’s him know her own situation and how her hate for her father grew. From that point on though, I don’t believe her and Ao saw eye to eye, but you could tell something did form.
The Chief comes in and turns on the TV, it looks like the Secret’s meer presence is doing huge damage to the locals. The Chief informs them that this bad news has convinced the higher-ups to rescind the retreat order and they’re entering combat.
Fast forward to the engagement with the Secret and we have a real interesting Evangelion-esque situation here. The Secret is a beautiful, but intimidating one. All it seems to do is float around, charging the air with electricity and causing random, powerful lightning strikes. The trick was getting close enough to damage the monster, but that soon changes when it discharges all that electricity and attempts to slam the Scrub Coral from high altitude. It looks hopeless, but Fleur and Ao are against retreating. To my surprise it’s Fleur, not Ao who breaks off on her own attempts to play hero. Seeing that Fleur is intent on throwing away her life no matter what, he attempts talk some sense into, but then they both decide to go for broke, cling on to the Secret as it drops from the sky and destroy it through brute force just before it hits. Pretty dramatic, and stupid.
In the end, we learn that the news report that changed everyone’s minds was a ruse greenlit by the Mr. Blanc. It was certainly effective, but knocks the bluster and wind out of Fleur and Ao’s sails as they were intent on pointing out how dumb he was, and how right they were. They end up at exactly the same spot and situation that Ao found himself in at the beginning of the episode. But instead of Ao sitting alone and brooding, everyone see him and Fleur laughing together. It really is a nice moment.
What a nice transitional episode. I fully expected Ao to be a royal and truly annoying pain in the ass. But somehow all that was redirected with no real damage to anyone. Mr. Blanc is proving to be a very effective and interesting variation of the infamous Gendou Ikari of Evangelion fame.
I’m very interested in a few things that were brought up in this episode. Ao’s hatred of his father is one (Renton?). Mr. Blanc’s comment about the Nirvash and the Mark I not being the same thing being another. Could the “secret” underneath HQ be the actual Nirvash? And Mr. Blanc himself is one hell of a mystery.