Episode 19 of Rahxephon is the end of an arc – the moment where Ayato’s impulsive heroism is finally put to the test as he must come to terms with what “saving” someone actually means – and whether, in this world, it is even possible.
Note: Episode 19 is a particularly unique episode, and probably one of the best-written episodes in mecha animé purely because of how it sits within the wider plot of the series – as a result, the remainder of this article will be placed after this tag so readers may choose not to read it and see the episode without being spoiled.
While the A-plot of Eureka Seven episode 38 continues the story of Dewey’s coup d’etat and how it has put Stoner and Holland on the back foot, the more interesting story is the B-plot of Renton and Eureka trying to reconcile after an argument. In a recent article about Captain Earth I discussed how a real high point of the series was its treatment of the alien child Teppei’s relationship with his biological father, who he had never seen in his life. Teppei was presented as so alien he could not comprehend why it mattered that he met his father, and why this man was so attached to him. It was a strong episode, approaching a stock mecha plotline (of the alien prince, or the half-alien half-human such as Eiji from Layzner – with whom Teppei’s father shared a name) from an interesting, more human perspective. Eureka Seven 38 approaches the same plot with the benefit of almost 40 previous episodes to build up its concept of a relationship between the human and the alien; it is by now the most important theme of the story, and that finally it comes to the foreground in plain terms continues to drive on a steadily-building sense of tension.
After the “invisible” fifteenth episode of Rahxephon, the story returns to its main narrative after some time has passed; Elvy and the Vermilion are conspicuously absent, and the focus is still on the Bahbem children, now adults. Episode 16 is a dense episode, focusing on the delicately collapsing relationships of the main cast and culminating in a series of examinations of how the characters react to arguments and efforts to finally set the past lies aside. There is a constant tension between the expectations of maturity and openness that the younger cast have, and the ease with which adults – being positioned as authority figures – can lie, and need to lie. At its core, the episode’s actual progression of the story is minimal; it does not clarify anything about the conflict with Elvy, and its actual forward motion occurs entirely in the final scene. However, as a more self-contained episode, it shows in great detail the tiny events which all motivate the characters to move the plot on.
Note: This article is also available at Super Fanicom HERE
With the death of Ray Beams in episode 28, presented unglamorously and graphically, the second arc of Eureka Seven is over. The allusions to Mobile Suit Gundam that have become increasingly apparent in this section come to a head would appear to have established Holland’s behaviour as driven by a desire for closure with the past; not a perfect act of acceptance of his wrongdoing but instead a desire to drive forwards and move on.
The most notable thing about the Aria franchise of animated series is that it uses the narrative ideas of the school-set coming-of-age anime, but does not set its action in a school. Yet despite this, there is more of a focus on the role of education and maturation in its overarching plot than in many school-set stories because of this grounding in the adult world. This is made possible because of its science-fiction setting.
NOTE: This article is also available at Super Fanicom HERE
If Episode 21 marked the release of tension that Eureka Seven so badly needed, episode 22 should be a fresh start. The manner in which the plot continues is going to be defined by what has gone before in that both sides have reacted rashly to a conflict and now must face the consequences, but now there are two distinct stories that may come to intersect again in the future and until they do the focus can be more tightly kept on each in turn. From the ending of the previous episode, the focal story is going to continue to be the Gekko and Eureka’s story; it ends with the recurring antagonist and foil to Holland, Dewey meeting with the mysterious Ray and Charles; two ex-soldiers who have a history with the two men and are tempted back into action with the chance for some payback.