Eureka Seven – A Pocket Full Of Rainbows – Review
This is the script-writers desperate attempt of letting the movie have an emotional impact on the audience: By letting Renton piss himself as he realizes how helpless he is. I really want to know what the writers thought making this scene. Was it something like “Oh, let’s have the hero piss himself in the first five minutes of the movie. I bet that will leave an impression!”? Well, at least this scene reminded me why you do NOT show characters piss himself – except if they are babies.
Eureka Seven is a popular Shounen Series and when I say ‘popular’ I mean ‘Someone somewhere will probably think about how to make more money out of this’. This movie is someone somewhere trying to make more money out of Eureka Seven. But they didn’t wanna do a simple recap of the series. They wanted to tell a new story – more or less. So they faced the challenge of making a recap – that’s not a recap. The first Macross Frontier movie did a fine job of doing exactly that. Pocket Full Of Rainbows meanwhile does try to recap a slightly different Eureka Seven which means that it’s still trying to cram a 30+-episodes-plot into a 2-hours-movie. The results are disturbing, not only because of the pacing but also because some of the new ideas actually made the story worse than the original.
Running Time: 115 minutes
Synopsis: Renton, son of scientists, and Eureka, a girl who can’t live under the sun, are raised together when very young and become very attached to each other. One day, Eureka is taken away. Powerless at the time, Renton vows to rescue her. He enters the military and is soon assigned to the Independent Youths Unit 303 of the First Mobile Forces thanks to his exceptional performance alongside his Nirvash, a bio-mechanical armor/control system. Unknown to Renton, there is a plot to extinguish the alien invasion that is currently happening. It involves not only him, but Eureka too.
In this movie Nirvash becomes a moeblob constantly babbling ‘Mokyuu’ and Renton’s the only one who can understand him. But even he’s sometimes at a loss what the hell Nirvash is talking about.
The Eureka Seven movie makes one obvious mistake: It believes it has to tell a story – although it can’t. This is a two-hour-movie retelling the story of a 30+-episodes-series in a different way and like often with risky endeavors that seem stupid when you hear them this movie was a rather stupid effort.
A Pocket full of Rainbows is a disaster-movie. Of course it can’t tell you everything the series could tell you about its story due to the difference in length but still they both try to tell the same story in terms of how many characters, plot-elements and world-building it wants to have. Eureka Seven wasn’t a perfect series but it was certainly good enough to be entertaining but this movie makes everything wrong the series did wrong – and the rest too. Like I said A Pocket full of Rainbows is a disaster-movie because the plot goes like this: Shit happens –> Everyone’s like ‘Whoa, tough shit…!’ –> Someone saves the world (PS: And don’t forget how important love is). That’s the story of the movie in a nutshell. But if it would be only this I’d have still respected it as an average but acceptable effort to squeeze money out of the Eureka Seven franchise, it’s other things that convinced me that this movie is really bad.
One thing that made me always cringe in this movie was its dialogue-style. Totally inappropriate because of the time-constraints of this movie the dialogue always had a certain ‘Blah, Blah, Blah…’-vibe to it. The basic story-idea isn’t bad, there is a good story hidden in this mess of a movie but the dialogue really is something that makes you wait for a long while to hear something worth-while. For example after the opening-scene settles that Eureka and Renton know each other since their childhood some scenes (and years) later they meet each other again and their dialogue goes like this:
(After Renton noticed Eureka and leans out of the cockpit of the Nirvash, both of them recognize each other)
Eureka: Is that you, Renton?
Renton: Is that you, Eureka?
Eureka: It’s really you, Renton!
Renton: It’s really you, Eureka! Come on, I will save you!
Eureka: No, go away, I don’t want to be saved! I don’t want to cause you any trouble!
Renton: Huh, what’s going on… I just want to save you!
Eureka: No, you don’t know what’s happening! And I don’t want to involve you!
(That’s the moment where the ground under Eureka gives up and she falls down)
Eureka: Renton! Save me!
(Renton saves her)
And you have to understand: This is a scene taking a couple of minutes to play out and I’m not really paraphrasing with the dialogue here, it’s really that bad. Most of the time you get more from a scene by just looking at it instead of listening to the characters flapping their mouth while saying either something stupid or something that obvious that it’s unnecessary to be said.
This is the only movie where imagination (meaning ‘thinking of the future’ in this movie) is a bad thing. Instead the movie’s message is a hippie’s drug-induced dream of telling you that just living in the present without a care in the world is the best way to live life.
The second thing that this movie does wrong is the way it handles characterization. Of course, even the effort to make solid stereotypes look acceptable becomes a challenge with how stupid the dialogues are but the movie still does some things that would’ve been stupid even without the retarded dialogues. The teacher of Renton and Eureka is the first thing you get to know as a character in this movie. Renton describes him as ‘strict’ but says that in the opening-sequence it was the first time he ever saw him acting that kind. The thing is, though: We never see him acting ‘strict’ in any scene of this movie. He’s always kind. So why should Renton mention that if it has no purpose whatsoever for this movie? Is it because of how the original series portrayed him? But that would be stupid because this isn’t mere retelling of the original story. This is supposed to be different. Despite that this movie throws in as many characters of the original series as possible and relies on us automatically thinking that they’re the same guys like in the original series – because they look the same… It seemed to me that this movie didn’t quite get what the ‘different’ in ‘different retelling of the same story’ means. Like the dialogues the way the characters similarity or difference to the original series is handled is either stupid or glaringly obvious. The fact that Renton and Eureka know each other from childhood isn’t only portrayed by the opening scene of the movie it’s also directly or indirectly said by various characters throughout the first half of the movie. But aside from the facts that Renton and Eureka share some childhood-memories and that they know each other from the very beginning there’s nothing different about the whole thing. There’s no depth to the whole thing. It’s just this really obvious surface-only relationship. By telling what it is basically you already have said everything you need to know about it. There’s no personality or characterization involved, it’s always just this scene of looking at an apple and saying ‘See, it’s an apple.’.
The plot also has a very jarring way of handling exposition and telling you exactly what is going on and for what reason. It’s basically done by having a ‘talking head’-character running around supposedly investigating the reason why the Gecko defected with Renton and Eureka. What really happens is of course a character standing in various places talking for a long time and explaining a lot of things. And this ‘talking head’ also has an assistant who’s dumb and asks dumb questions like ‘Why?’, ‘What is this?’, ‘How is that possible?’. And so they go through the movie telling us the story that way. It’s not done by actual things happening because it doesn’t really happen that much, most of the story-stuff is just told in a plain, direct manner. And because of the way the story is just ‘tacked on’ sort-of, there are moments where things in this series just don’t go together like the characterization of the Gecko-crew and the story. The story wants us to believe that the adult crew of the Gecko who act more or less like grown-ups are actually 17-year-olds in adult bodies. It’s not like they act childish or show some form of dysfunctional behavior. It’s simply the story and the story proceeds by making it the raison d’être of the Gecko to go to a world where they don’t die because since they age so fast they gonna die earlier. Again, the whole thing is interpreted by the plot in a very simple manner. The Gecko-crew just says ‘OMG, I don’t wanna die! Let’s do this!’ and that’s it. All the more baffling is the way the story tries to portray their dreams of leading an eternal life as something bad. One shouldn’t forget: Because of an experiment they ended up aging faster than your average dude and using this experiment again on a larger scale they wanted to enter a world where they don’t die. But the note the movie ends on is saying ‘Gee, let’s just wait for tomorrow, maybe it’s not so bad after all.’ which means – that they’re still gonna die early! This movie ends like every hippie-dream begins: With hallucinating about world-peace. There’s nothing resolved in this movie besides the fact that everyone’s on a beach enjoying the sun while the bad guys (those who didn’t understand that these man-eating aliens were just the earth’s nice way of saying to humanity ‘I really don’t like what you’re doing, buddy.’) are in space-ships flying away (how convenient).
This is the movie’s talking-head-character going around listening to people telling her (and the audience) what the movie’s story is supposed to be. But as she hears the complete truth of the movie’s story she accuses the guy who told her the truth (and the movie) of making too many leaps in its logic. Well, so at at least the movie knows how crappy its storytelling is, right?
Also another element that was rather stupid was the way this movie wanted to be moe. It tried, very had… Too hard for my tastes, that is. First it starts with Nirvash being a babbling idiot talking in some stone-age-language using a overly cute voice. He does that a lot during the movie but the thing is: He’s really talking. And the problem is: Only Renton understands him. So there are some really ridiculous moments of like Renton asking Nirvash what’s it saying. I mean, when even he doesn’t know what’s it saying, apparently nobody will ever know what’s it saying. And then every ‘dialogue’-scene in general where Renton is ‘talking’ to Nirvash and the movie is actually trying to make it look like a dialogue where Nirvash is babbling in his cutesy language while Renton responds like he actually said anything. Come on, if he actually has something to say then let him say it! These moments where Nivash is babbling for three seconds and Renton gives an eight-second-answer as if Nirvash had given a very long statement… This is just ridiculous. But the thing with babbling like that doesn’t end there because even though in the end Eureka is healed of her allergy to sunlight – she’s now babbling like Nirvash. But thankfully I had to endure this only in the last scene. I don’t even want to imagine how a scene would play out where Renton sits in the cockpit of Nirvash with Nirvash and Eureka babbling some Dadaistic nonsense the whole time. What also made me chuckle was how Nirvash’s ‘ultimate form’ didn’t kill these alien-thingys, no, it ‘turned them into clouds’. Now that’s a nice way of ‘not killing’ someone. They simply become clouds. Problem solved. Because clouds aren’t really dead, right? So it’s totally fine to turn someone into a cloud. So, starting at a certain point in the movie killing these alien-thingy isn’t a bloody mess but a cloudy mess. That’s really a ‘cute’ way of looking at fighting a man-eating alien-force.
Eureka Seven A Pocket Full Of Rainbows has interesting ideas to tell a story slightly but significantly different from the original series. But due to time-constraints and a flawed execution the movie ends up being a chaotic mess of ambitions that couldn’t be met. In the end it’s so chaotic that at best one can only guess what message this movie wants you take away from it after it has ended. And like that I can’t really recommend this movie as something worth anyone’s while – even if you’re a Eureka Seven fan.
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Posted on December 2, 2011, in Anime, Eureka Seven - A Pocket full of Rainbows, Reviews and tagged anime reviews, Eureka Seven: A Pocket Full Of Rainbows, Eureka Seven: Good night Sleep tight Young lovers, Eureka Seven: Pocket ga Niji de Ippai. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.