Anime: Eureka Seven - Hi-Evolution
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: February 5th and 7th, 2018
Eureka Seven isn't your average anime, let alone your average mecha - which has helped the series to blossom into an elaborate and successful franchise among anime lovers. Eureka Seven has been divided into several manga adaptations, over 50 episodes of the anime and even several films, leading us to the newest installment, Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution. The three-part film project takes a unique approach by announcing it as a film series event, that manages to divide separate stories from the past and present in regards to the timeline of events in the original Eureka Seven anime. So just what can Eureka Seven fans expect from the films? For starters, there's a whole lot of conflict and an array of intricate sky-bound battles.
To familiarize those who need a refresher or those who are looking to give the anime a try, Eureka Seven follows the character Renton Thurston, a young boy who actively reminds us he's only fourteen years old. At the very beginning, Renton tells the audience that nothing interesting has happened in his life so far - in such a nonchalant way that you can't help but feel frustrated by how naïve he is about the state of the world. Renton's father plays a big role in the history of the series, but interestingly enough isn't a character we experience very much of in the series.
Renton soon forms a partnership with the pilot of a ship (more like a machine of mass destruction) named Eureka. The human-ish woman and Renton develop an instantaneous bond that truly begins to alter Renton's life with some slight nods towards a maturity on the horizon. Renton is then shown what exactly a family could be when finding comfort from his father's comrade and his wife - which was a new feeling for Renton because of his lack of familial relationships. The film itself takes a major focus on those aspects, going back to moments in the anime series from his perspective and shows the importance it has had on the teen. The film tends to prove its best moments come from the point of human connection trying to be made with parental roles, friends and even potential love.
At moments, I had a feeling that the constant back and forth of events could get confusing, but by including the narrative of Renton it feels more like someone setting up the scene for what's to come. Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution truly is a story that initiates a history lesson on the detailed world. In the anime, we hear so much about the war that took place before the series but haven't received a proper idea of what actually occurred - until this particular film that really focused on shedding light on Renton's father and his ideology. By giving viewers that chance to see who his father was is a pivotal moment that is crucial to the entire narrative. Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution may not have a general plot of its own, but is a great companion to the franchise by giving it a chance to explore Renton much more than the series made accessible.
The early moments of the film make a point to show how strong the animation is - an all-out barrage of intense battles takes to the sky with countless explosions from an increased animation budget. The voice acting requires a lot from Johnny Yong Bosch in particular because at that character's age a certain carelessness is expected but he also experiences love, loss and growth. The voice actor's transitions make it yet another standout role for the veteran and it is one of the successes of the film. This cinematic chapter of Eureka Seven definitely caters to the diehard fans of the franchise and has some exciting action in the midst of Renton's evolution.
Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution will be hitting select theatres February 5th and 7th, so make sure to check out the popular anime's companion film courtesy of Funimation.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Aedan's Final Thoughts:
- It appeared to go through a lot of the series early moments but shined when detailing other plot points of growth that were new to the franchise.
- If you are unfamiliar with Eureka Seven it is still a great jumping on point for newcomers.