Well, folks, it’s my last post of the year. Seems appropriate it would end on one of these, doesn’t it? In Striking The Right Note, we talk about beginnings, and how they shape our views of what is to come. With the new year only two days away now, it just feels right that this is how we close out 2016 on this blog, by talking about starting things up.
God, has this year sucked, too. The loss of such figures as David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Ron Glass, Florence Henderson, and Muhammad Ali, just to name a few, the election of sentient bag of toxic slime Donald Trump as President of the United States, Brexit, Aleppo, and more horrible events, has left us all feeling pretty dirty, sad, and shocked.
It feels important somehow to end the year talking about new beginnings, and starting things off the right way. That’s why I’ve chosen the OP for Eureka Seven as my final post of 2016.
For those who have never seen Eureka Seven, first I want to question your life choices, then I want to tell you it’s a 2005 sci fi series from Bones, who at least isn’t Madhouse again, but still shows up really damn frequently. It’s an anime original series, so it had no manga source material, which is pretty rare, and ran for 50 episodes, which is even more rare for original stories.
Set far in the future, the series follows 14 year old protagonist Renton Thurstan, who is obsessed with a group known as the Gekkostate, kinda sorta rabble rousers and according to the government, anarchists, lead by world famous sky surfer, Holland Novak. When Renton suddenly finds himself pulled from his boring life into the midst of the Gekkostate, he quickly learns they are not at all what they seem, and Holland himself may really be just what the government claims.
Regardless, he stays, drawn to the mysterious woman, Eureka, and finds himself on a journey that will change the world forever.
One of the big things about Eureka seven that makes it such a standout is the sky surfing, or lifting. More than just a neat thing, it’s actually an integral part of the story, and has everything to do with the plot, giving it a purpose in the show beyond being a cool visual. The other big thing is the background animation, which features a world that is both alien and beautiful.
Both of these things play a big role in the OP, with the sky surfing being one of the most attractive elements that draws in new viewers. The sight of people surfing the sky, intermingled with images of giant mecha having intense mid air battles aboard giant surfboards is the sort of thing most anime fans simply can’t resist.
The more important elements of the opening is the chance Bones took in showing off the rather unique looking animation style used for Eureka Seven, ad the even more out of the box character designs. All of these get plenty of time to really sink in to the viewers mind, and the differences from the usual are attention grabbing enough to keep most people watching for at least a few episodes.
The real star of the OP, however, has to be the music. “Days” by Japanese rock band Flow, is such an easy piece of music to listen to. It soothes, calms, and yet excites. It’s hard to define, as well, because while it is a rock song, it also feels like an easy listening piece, while having a bit of Caribbean beat to it, sort of. I’m not sure how to define it, but it’s a really great song, and it draws you in perhaps more strongly than the visuals do.
Flow, by the by, has done a ton of anime music, including the fourth and eighth Naruto openings, Code Geass, Persona: Trinity Soul, more for Naruto: Shippuden, Dragon Ball Z, Samurai Flamenco, and Seven Deadly Sins. Basically, they are the sound of Naruto.
With this year of hell now closing out, I wanted to focus more on an opening, and a song, that is uplifting and encouraging. Nothing manages that like Eureka Seven. So, let’s all hope it strikes the right note for 2017.
See ya next year.