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.

Summary:
Release-Date: 2009
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.
– ANN

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.

Review:
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.

Rating: 3,5/10

Merriam-Webster: he’s definition: he is.

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About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on December 2, 2011, in Anime, Eureka Seven - A Pocket full of Rainbows, Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Well, at least this scene reminded me why you do NOT show characters piss himself – except if they are babies.

    Man, completely out of topic but there was a scene in the ’99 Hunter x Hunter where Gon gets beat up and paralyzed. He hides inside a tree, eats tree bark and pisses himself as thinks of his aunt and the times she used to sing him to sleep. THEN, HE TEARS UP. That scene will stay with me forever. It was pretty darn amazing, but I doubt most shows could pull it off.

    Now– I have never seen Eureka 7 or the movie but it sounds hilarious.

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    • Well, how does the focus go in that scene? What bothered me here was that it actually lingered for a few seconds on this image of Renton pissing himself. It was long enough for me to think “Okay, I get it. He’s shocked and he pissed himself. Can we go on?”. And that’s too long for the image of someone pissing himself…

      Well, I would say the movie is mostly really boring. It’s not really so bad that its good. I actually watched it being slightly drunk and I think that’s the only reason I didn’t give up watching it because the storytelling is crap, the dialogues boring and the characters kind-of retarded.

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  2. you didn’t understand the movie at all. It is set in an alternate universe from the one in the series, its not a retelling its an alternate universe. The neverland the kids speak of is actually the tv series universe you can tell by the engraving on the moon that was left there at the end of Eureka 7 when they created the alternate universes and the same with Eureka 7 Ao it is set in an alternate universe that Eureka ends up in during experiments Renton and Eureka were conducting. But I like that you went in depth on the horrible pacing the movie had and the sometimes confusing scenes or the jumping around for no reason. like near the end I was like “wtf happened to the beam from gods hammer did it somehow get wiped out of existence” because of how long it took them to get back to it. It would have been nice to put that scene closer to the end it would have worked better that way. This anime was made using stock footage so yeah its going to be a little bad. lastly you didn’t paraprase on that one part you did something worse what really happens is what you state but before the ground falls renton tells Eureka not to make the decision that she isn’t worth saving for him they go on to argue and confess each others feelings and how they don’t want to be apart then the ground gives way you didn’t paraphrase just cut the dialogue and used it out of context which was renton had just crashed into some random part of a tower because nirvash started flying itself towards it with no explanation and then finding Eureka not knowing she would be there and made it look bad. I wanted to come here to have the ending explained right after I finished watching it that is how I know you either waited to long to review it and don’t remember everything, you didn’t actually watch it or you are trying to smear it but the last on is illogical there’s no motive for that. I’m fine with bad reviews as long as the author has their facts straight and wow I just went back to that scene you paraphrased almost every bit of it now I feel like you were smearing it. just thought I’d give a review on your review from someone that seems to have actually watched the anime with an open mind even though I was reluctant to watch it instead of you that seemed to put it down from the get go.

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  3. also how can you properly review an anime drunk I think that has a big part to do with your bad review too drunk to put the pieces of the puzzle they were handing you through out the movie to put everything together instead of just telling you.

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  4. @Patrick: Thanks for your honest words, Patrick. It’s rather hard to get invested in any story if it’s rushed like in this case and doesn’t realize how rushed it is. In addition to that the movie introduced elements like Nirvash being a moe-pet wrecking my nerves with his “talking”. So in the end it hurried through the basic plot of the original series while at the same time trying to tell a different version of it. And Eureka Seven Ao definitely had a better grasp of how to build references to the original series that actually worked. This movie, though, didn’t reference the original series but instead rehashed it in a different form. I can appreciate movies who delve into their own setting and try to make it more complex. But just throwing around random mumbo-jumbo and explaining things won’t make me care about them. So if the confusion at the end of this movie didn’t leave an impression on me it’s because at that point I honestly didn’t care anymore. The movie had rushed at such a breakneck-pace through its story that there was hardly a story left to care about at the end of it.
    Now with all that said, you have to ask yourself: Who is this movie for? The fans of the original series? But they already saw one version of this story and this version has differences but throws them at you not in the form of a story but snapshots of one. Essentially it’s just a variation of everything they’ve already seen. And newcomers will get even less out of this, I think. Because they won’t even get the few referential stuff of this movie expecting you to know the original series and understand the implication.
    That, though, makes me think: In what way are you supposed to enjoy this movie then? It’s a rather dull brain-exercise if all the enthusiasm for the original series amounts to me “filling in the blanks” for this rushed movie. There are movies that want you to think about them but I think any depth found in this movie is a case of the movie expecting me to think for it. The greatest downfall of the movie is its simple raw nature lacking any sort of polishing needed to become an entertaining and interesting movie. And its story doesn’t really add anything substantial to the Eureka-Seven-universe so even in the fan-department I think this movie fails. You don’t need to see this movie for how insubstantial to the franchise its story is and you don’t want to watch this movie for how raw and rushed it is.

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  5. I wanna say thank you for this review X3 I couldn’t really figure out what this movie was, since it was at the end of the series. I appreciate you recapping events without taking sides before you voice your opinion!

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  6. Hi there, all is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is
    sharing facts, that’s in fact excellent, keep up writing.

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  7. Agreed

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  8. Thank you. I was completely unnerved when I started watching the movie. It irked me to no end, I kept thinking that Renton was just dreaming but i was terrified to know that someone actually thought that this was a good idea.

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  9. I am really delighted to glance at this
    webpage posts which contains tons of valuable data, thanks for providing these kinds of information.

    Like

  10. Deandra A. Sebert

    Fantastic post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Thanks!

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    • You mean about the movie? Or do you mean the topic of spin-offs in general? Or maybe even just some specific element of the movie like its pacing or the moeficaction of Nirvash?

      Like

  11. Stepanie D. Ellsbury

    Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed!
    Very useful information specifically the last part :
    ) I care for such information much. I was seeking this
    particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

    Like

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