Sunday, 5 July 2009

Eureka SeveN: Pocket Full of Rainbows

As a pretty big fan of the original Eureka Seven anime, I was more than a little curious to see what would be achieved by a movie version of the show, especially considering the assertions that it wouldn't simply be a stripped down cinematic version of said TV series. Well, now I know what this movie, subtitled Pocketful of Rainbows, brings to the table... To be honest though, I kind of wish I didn't.

The story begins with footage of Renton and Eureka together as children (a huge departure from the original series right there), together with their teacher Dominic (and another) and Renton's pet... "thing" named Nirvash (you get the idea by now - Same characters and names, hugely different story). Dominic shows them a wonderful flower that grows beneath the winter snow, and makes them promise to look after it together in the future. We learn that shortly after, Dominic dies as part of an experiment that comes to be known as "the Agony of Doha". It's this experiment which also effects "Holland" (not his real name in this series) and the rest of his crew, who are infact seventeen years old in adult bodies.


With Renton hired as part of Holland's crew, he soon finds himself reunited with Eureka, who had been snatched away some years previously to be experimented on by the government, and as the movie progresses so their destiny, or rather the way others would wish to shape it, becomes clear. The decisions that face them are set once again against the threat of the Image, with the powers that be looking to destroy them with a vast weapon that will most likely take any humans left on Earth with it.


In truth, the movies plot is far more complicated and layered than that - Entirely too complicated in fact to the point of tedium. It seems that in creating Pocket Full of Rainbows, the writers and producers have forgotten every single thing that Eureka Seven was about - Yes, Renton and Eureka's love story in the face of adversity was always the centrepiece, but the original anime was equally (if not more) memorable for its anti-establishment and in your face attitude, coupled with a plot that had room for action, character development and more light hearted moments without ever losing its sense of pacing or purpose.

In contrast, Pocket Full of Rainbows is an almost exclusively depressing affair, with death, injury and misery taking centre stage from the outset. Even Holland and his crew are obstensibly turned into selfish villains who will stop at nothing to meet their own greedy goals, leaving only the main pair of characters as anything approaching moral righteousness. Thankfully, this does give us the one positive of the movie - That both Eureka and Renton are far stronger characters here, that stand up for what they believe and aren't afraid to say what they think either. This is probably a necessity given the shorter running time and different focus of the movie, but it did add a little punch for me.

Unfortunately, that really is pretty much the only positive of an otherwise mediocre two hours of anime, which dwells almost entirely in the shadow of the far superior original series. Character designs aside, this movie is unrecognisable from that wonderful series, leaving us with a movie that gets bogged down in the minutiae of its own overly elaborate plot and leaves you with a strange feeling of abject disappointment by the time it finishes. It would probably be harsh to accuse Pocket Full of Rainbows of ruining the Eureka Seven franchise (it isn't quite that bad), but don't be fooled by the name into thinking that this is anything other than "just another run of the mill anime movie", because that's exactly what it is. Rather than "tasting the rainbow", I'm left with the taste of disappointment.

10 comments:

gp_72 said...

if you look at the movie at the point where holland is telling renton about their true objectives and remembering his experience in the tunnel of the great wall, he is clearly seeing the universe from the series, chisled moon and all. their myth has the series eureka and renton, wings and all. if you remember from the series acperience 4(ep47) renton and his sister discussing things and its revealed the scubs have experienced limit of questions, and it created a tear in the universe and the great wall where physics cease to function. this movie is what transpired on the other side. its divergent because its a divergent universe created with the limit of questions. 2 different coralians, one called image, two different realities, timelines and set of events concerning the same people with interconnected destinies. im a huge fan and i had to watch it a 2nd time to understand all of this, and i recommend you do the same if you havent already. everyones entitled to to their own oppinion, but from hat i can see, aLot of people have missed this fact as can be extrapolated from the info given in the movie. hope it helps ad i felt it as a beautiful movie and if it goes further, i think i may have an idea of where the story will go from there.

Leon said...

to: gp_72

thank god someone else got that. It's good to see that I'm not the only one who figured this out. I loved the movie (my only complaint is the reusing of some footage from the series) I don't think this movie ACTUALLY has plot holes or anything like that, it's probably just that it's kinda hard to absorb all info they give you in the matter of an hour and 55 minutes...that and they don't really line up the dots to form a picutre...the viewer kinda has to do it themselves.

Christopher said...

It wasn't a bad movie, but as others have said there was too much information in a 2 hour movie. In addition, the ending seemed to be rushed, and unfortunately this made the story even harder to understand

Anonymous said...

i can totally understand your point in the whole "another world" within the limit of questions, but my gripe with this is in the end there was no real closure to the series, in fact you are pretty much left with the same scenario as when the series ended. If anything i guess you can make a second movie out of what could happen, meaning what route will both couples take in each of their own dimensions.. in anycase i feel cheated.

Serena said...

A good animated tv series and favorite of everyone. Found this blog while searching Eureka Episodes. Thanks for this great show...

Anonymous said...

the movie was alright. i still prefer the series. at least in the end of the series renton and eureka end up together. at the end of the movie she pretty much lost all of her memories, so i dont think that it would be the same. all in all it wasnt to bad but wasnt great either. and i didnt think is was that hard to get the whole another dimension/parallel universe.

Anonymous said...

serena, your link is not related to the eureka(anime) series. lookslike you didnt even bother to read this blog at all. your link gets me to the non-anime eureka series. <.<

Anonymous said...

its not a parallel univers its set in the 21st centery. you find this out from an older version of Anemone towards the start of the movie. the series is set far off into the future.

Anonymous said...

Um hi, I just saw the movie and there are a few questions left in my mind. Such as where were Eureka and Renton where at the end, and if it the same "Holland & crew" from the series.

Taiser said...

Alright, i just saw the movie, and I felt kike a lead white drop in my stomach.

First of all, Holland and his crew seemed like real doosh bags. I hated the way thie personalities changed, especially Hap and Stoner.

Second of all, I dint know about u guys, but the Gekkostate people seemed more hostile than the military.

Third, The Nirvashes's new form(the cute and small one) freaked me out.

And last, I couldn't understand a single damn thing at the end.