Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 1 – Review

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Ride the trapars and take to the skies once more! The revolutionary mecha anime, Eureka Seven, from studio Bones returns for the first movie in a high-flying trilogy.

It all begins with the story that was left untold—the earth-shattering incident where Renton’s father disappeared. With the mysterious pilot Eureka by his side, only Adroc Thurston could undo his own mistake, sparking the event that changed everything and earned him the title of a hero. Now, ten years later, Eureka lies in critical condition as Renton leaves the crew of the Gekko. But when he finds himself in the care of his father’s old friends, he has a choice to make. Either stay with the loving family he’s always wanted, or earn the love he seeks.

Review

If you are a mecha fan, or just an anime fan, Eureka Seven is one of the classics. The series had a very complex story that you could get different meanings from every time you watch it. The 50-episode original series is now being re-told in a trilogy of recap films called Hi-Evolution. The first film is set to hit US theaters thanks to Funimation films on February 5th (sub) and 7th (dub). The films promise new story never before animated for the series. The first film delivered by giving us our first look at the “First Summer Of Love” incident. This incident occurred 10 years before the start of the original series and shows us Renton’s father and how he died.

After a long look at meeting all of our characters years before the original series, we jump into recap footage from the original series. The aspect ratio of the film goes from wide screen to 6:9 which is little jarring after watching the full HD pleasure that was the new backstory. For most of the rest of the film we spend our time jumping forward and backwards in time watching the evolution of events for Renton and Eureka in a slightly different order than they occurred in the original series. It felt like perhaps this was the order they wanted to tell things in originally. Some have said it changed the way Renton’s character is portrayed. However I feel that Renton and the others were basically the same in the end.

Since this is only the first of 3 films, we end the first one with more new animation not seen before that stops us shortly after Renton leaves the Beams’ ship. The film wraps up what I would call “Renton’s soul search”. He decides to no longer run away and is heard narrating the ending in a way that leads you to believe he is telling the story to a future character. The creators have hinted that the new footage in each film will lead to a new ending that “nobody has ever known”. So the first film raises questions about who Renton was narrating to and just what new things we will learn. Since we know that Time Travel does exist in this world, anything is possible.

My biggest caveat to the Eureka Seven film is the time jumps forward and backwards. If you are new to the series, it will be very confusing and dis-jointed. You will be very confused and possibly annoyed. I would recommend watching the original anime first. If you are a fan of the series, the new film is a refreshingly fun dive back into the world. Each little piece of new story is just as fun as watching the important plot points all over again. And being that its Studio Bones, the animation is outstanding. We even get a catchy new end song.

We give the film a B+: The first film of the Hi-Evolution ‘rebuild’ of Eureka Seven delivers a gut punching and exhilarating addition to the story cannon while leading us on future new story that has never been seen. However, the film might leave new fans behind with its time jump sequences. The first film is set to hit US theaters thanks to Funimation Films on February 5th (sub) and 7th (dub). Visit FunimationFilms.com to find a theatre near you.

Robert Prentice