Eureka Seven AO Episode 18: “Don’t Look Down”/ Third Engine
“Otaku knowledge is really just a circlejerk” -Fleur Blanc
Summary: Since Ao’s off hangin’ with the Allied Forces, this episode focuses a lot on Fleur and Elena and the relationship between them. They’re both unable to get the Third Engines in the IFOs to work during a test run. It’s obvious that they are both a little confused/angry/sad that Ao left them (Fleur’s doing that stupid “Well fine, we didn’t need him anyway” thing and Elena’s just…communing with dolphins/doing typically strange Elena things in Fleur’s bathtub. It was weird.) Ao’s left with a mountain of contract to go over before he can join the Allied Forces, but it’s pretty clear that he wants to go through with his decision to leave Generation Bleu with the Quartz Gun. The commander of the Allied Forces also tells Ao that his mother did the same thing, deciding to fight with them during the Scub Burst that took place 10 years ago. Back in his bunk, Ao calls Ivica, to explain why he made the choice that he did, but hangs up when Ivica asks if him why he doesn’t trust them (to not let something bad happen like when Ao used the Quartz Gun before and changed the past? That part’s kinda implied.)
Fleur and Elena have a huge argument about why Fleur is afraid to ask questions and find out the truth. During the fight Elena digs up Miller’s wig and basically admits that she killed her and took her place (Elena kinda snaps during this fight. Just a bit.) Fleur runs to Gazelle and Co.’s place, but Gazelle just provokes her into running out again. In the mean time, Elena has gotten into her IFO intent on going and getting Ao back. Fleur appears, they continue fighting (both verbally and physically in their IFOs), there is some airing of dirty laundry, and everyone comes out feeling much better about things. With the newly engaged Third Engines (it’s the power of friendship!) they rush off to get back Ao. After confessing that he really does want to go back with them, he tells the Americans thanks but no thanks, and flies off into the sunset with his home girls. Generation Bleu is denounced as a terrorist organization, so now it’s them against the world (sound familiar?)
Impressions: Where to start, where to start…Let’s go with ladies first. Fleur and Elena have obviously been friends for a long time, as we see in this episode, and have been through a lot together. Fleur loves Elena for accepting her, scars (literally, she has a huge on on her stomach that she’s very sensitive about) and all and Elena loves Fleur for being her friend, even though she doesn’t even really know who she is, and putting up with her weirdness. But even when you’ve been friends with someone for a long time, every now and then, you still want to slap them in the face. I liked that Elena called Fleur out on always running away from her problems and never wanting to face the truth of the situation.
In my opinion, when they were arguing, it wasn’t just about Ao and whether they should go get him back. They were also arguing about their feelings towards each other. Because sometimes, you just need to talk shit out and fight each other with giant robots at the same time. Fleur is the type of character who is very reserved and doesn’t like to butt into other people’s business (even though she herself might desperately want too) and Elena was just telling her that it was okay to ask because they’re friends (and friends tell friends when they’ve KILLED SOMEONE AND THEN ASSUME THEIR IDENTITY FROM TIME TO TIME.) When the mechanic guy tells them to go get Ao, I think it was just him not fully understanding what the argument was about. It was good to see them at the end too, when Ao tells them that he does want to go back with them and be a part of their team. Friendship really is magic guys! (god, I can’t believe I just referenced that. I’ll show myself out.)
Ao’s storyline this episode was also good. He had to face some hard facts and make some tough decisions. I understand why he decided to try and leave Generation Bleu, both to try and protect the others from being erased by the Quartz Gun, and to have somebody who he perceives as stronger make decisions for him. Let’s just remember that Ao is what? 13? and not only does he have this incredibly strong Mecha, but also this gun that can change the very fabric of space and time. Ao needs the gun to get back his mom, but he also despises it, because it’s unpredictable and using it comes with some very heavy consequences. Those are some very heavy burdens for a kid Ao’s age (remember back to when you were 13; would you have wanted people to trust you with possibly saving the world? the correct answer is probably not).
“With great power comes great responsibility” seems an apt quote for this, because I don’t think that Ao was ready to take that responsibility yet. He ran to an organization that he though was stronger than himself, and Generation Bleu, (because what could be stronger than the American military system?) so that somebody else could make those choices. I think he comes to the realization, probably sometime while sitting in that little bunk with just a sloth for company, that maybe, just maybe, it would be better to trust the people who care about him instead of letting some sketchy faceless institution (who would make him read and sign 1,000 page contracts no less!) take him and hide him away from the world.
Final thought: Those scenes with Noah and the jelly beans (OF COURSE the Americans would have jelly beans and energy drinks at hand, but that’s a different topic) and how he just CAN NOT STOP STUFFING HIS FACE, I swear it was like looking into a mirror and seeing a part of my own soul. Noah is me and I am Noah and we are one. Clearly I should have been born a sloth.