Eureka Seven AO Episode 16: “Guardians Hammer”/ Next Phase
“You are not Eureka.” -Ivica Tanović
Summary: Christophe explains Operation Polaris. He plans on putting all the Quartz that Generation Bleu has gathered into a capsule and setting it into orbit. As it circles the globe, all the Secrets will be attracked to it instead of the Quartz in all the Scub Coral that has reactivated. In this way, all the Secrets will be lured to the North Pole, which is where it will then explode, taking them all out at once. Many governments around the world approve this plan and join in to help. Ao (still sleep deprived), Fleur, and Elena are assigned to fly after the capsule and protect it from the Secrets and to make sure it’s not sabotaged. Ao has weird dreams every time they have a rest period, mostly involving the Secrets and Naru. Truth, using his hacker alias Firecracker, sets off some Russian missiles that blow the capsule off course.
Gen. Bleu reorganize and it’s decided that Fleur and Elena will carry the capsule until they run out of fuel at which point Ao will have to take over, since his 3rd engine is the only one that works (it runs on Trapar, not fuel). Elena and Fleur quickly run into trouble, and Generation Bleu seems resigned to let the capsule detonate earlier than planned, even if that means sacrificing a part of the Scandinavian peninsula. Ao steps up and takes the capsule, determined to (basically) save the world. Echoing the actions that his mother took 10 years ago, Ao breaks the Quartz out of the capsule and flies with it up into space, with the Secrets close behind. The Third Engine inside the Nirvash triggers the Quartz, which changes and takes shape as a huge weapon. Ao uses the newly formed Quartz Gun to set off a massive explosion that wipes out all of the Secrets. But using this weapon has dire consequences for Ao, and for the world.
Impression: WOW. This episode was just…wowwowwowwow. It did everything right. Right from the beginning, it was clear what they were building up too. The suspense of “Is this crazy plan actually going to work?” was built on in a natural way, even if the episode might have been a little slow in the middle when the three of them were just following the capsule around and Ao was having those super surreal dreams (more on those later). The climax was great, it was an Oh My GOD WTF?! moment but in a good way, not a way that makes you want to slam your head into a desk. It even had a good cliffhanger type ending with Ao being the only one that remembers Team Goldilocks, all of whom seem to have been erased from history.
I think this episode succeeds because of the relative absence of Naru and Truth. Generally when those two are in an episode, it just makes everything too complicated. Both of them are written in such a way as that they can do whatever they want without any set boundaries and seem to have absolute knowledge of all events that have taken place, past, present, and future, which to me just reeks of a deus ex machina type situation (the same could be said for the Quartz Gun). It’s good when they stay in the background and influence events in a more tangible and realistic way, like by hacking into a computer or just defending Iwato Jima. I also think it was to the episodes benefit that it didn’t introduce a metric shit ton of new questions. I have a couple, but they mostly revolve around the Quartz Gun, and since it was only in the episode for about 5 minutes, I’m perfectly willing to wait till next episode to find out more about it.
How cool was the Quartz Gun though? SO. FREAKING. COOL! Let’s just ignore the fact that it came out of no where (can the Quartz now magically turn into things too?) and that it seems to erase parts of history. Just from an animation standpoint, the explosion/shot/thing that came out of it was just jaw-dropping and amazing. That was probably one of my favorite pieces of animation from this show so far.
Final thought: Man, have Ao’s dreams gone of the deep end. Dreaming of his mom whose face melts and then she’s Naru who kisses him? That’s some very weird stuff going on right there. It did give us a good view of all the different Secrets that have shown up so far.