Eureka7 + Gurren Lagann

October 28, 2009

I just started watching this anime and I cannot get enough of it. Basically it is part love story, part mecha battle, part conspiracy intrigue. The story follows 14 year old Renton who has always dreamt of being a “reffer” which is pretty much a person who surfs in the air using a ref board; the most famous reffers being an organization called Gekko State. One day Renton is drawn into the organization by a girl who pilots one of those mechs and the story then begins.

The characterization and personal development is what really interests me, because the main characters feel so real and fragile. Renton isn’t your typical shonen protagonist who grows stronger piloting the mecha; although he does become a better pilot, the focus is on his character growth and on him growing up and learning about people and the world he lives in. Most of the time he is a weak boy who tries to be strong for the girl that he loves, Eureka. Oh how he tries and luckily succeeds in protecting her in times of need. Where most shonen series show the main character defeated by the bad guy, Renton is more easily defeated by his own emotions and his relationships with his allies than anything else.

In contrast, Holland is the one who is portrayed as being the strongest mecha pilot, but for me he becomes somebody who I love to hate even without trying. His character is arrogant and callous yet charismatic; it is his selfishness that easily brings him down. It seems that he only cares about himself and is continuously running away from his personal problems. Being the leader of Gekko State he seems to be using his crew for his own purposes which have yet to be revealed in the 23 episodes I have seen so far.

Another anime which I have grown a liking for is Gurren Lagann. It is quite an epic anime full of over the top action mixed with some interesting themes of sacrifice and perseverance through adversity. The first 8 or so episodes only build up the rest of the story and I didn’t like the protagonist Simon very much since he was so damn whiny. But after that it gets better as he goes through a change. There are some things which weren’t developed very well in this series (namely the character relationships) but generally it was great in that the action never let up all throughout the 27 episodes. I’d like to watch the movies to see what they did differently (if anything), but that will have to wait for another day.

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