The relationship between Renton and Eureka runs into more problems while Norb, the Voderac priest, offers important insights into the Coralians and how their existence is tied to humans and the entire planet. Meanwhile, Holland’s brother Dewey is using the Ageha squad to take the issue of the Coralians into his own hands. After the exposition concerning the Coralians and the frustrating lack of progress regarding Renton and Eureka, this volume moves things along nicely with only one (admittedly entertaining) filler segment that sends things off-track.
I must admit I was a little disappointed last time around to see the marvellous moment, in which Renton returns to the Gekkostate and meets Eureka in freefall at the series’ midpoint, seemingly forgotten when they go back to feeling awkward and being unable to open up to one another. These episodes start off in the same way but the learning curve enters something of a steep area when Renton learns how Eureka not only knew his father but also provides the truth he needs to understand the significance of Adroc’s sacrifice. Similarly, Holland drops the bombshell that he knew Renton’s missing sister and gives our young hero the opportunity to move on; and about time too, I might add.
Perhaps the football match episode is part of that development (I suppose it’s what people in our day and age call a ‘team building’ exercise) but in all honesty I was just as baffled as the Gekkostate were when Norb proclaims that having a kickabout is all par for the course in the mission they must undertake regarding the Great Wall and the future of the planet. It’s actually something of a filler episode truth be told but there are amusing moments which make it easier to sit through; I suppose we ought to make the most of jovial moments such as this, since I suspect the series is going to go all epic and serious on us in the final volume or two.
Norb by the way is a fascinating but remarkably comical character in this volume, having an air of mysticism that you’d expect from a religious visionary, but on board the Gekko he indulges in junk food, non-existent personal hygiene and the general lifestyle you’d expect from any ordinary middle-aged slob. It’s another one of E7’s trademark lighter moments that punctuate the heavier-going aspects, adding to the refreshing change from the genre conventions that the show has shown so far. The idea of entering parenthood is another issue that for whatever reason doesn’t turn up in anime very often so Talho’s and Holland’s important bit of news is yet another fascinating addition to E7’s rich array of character drama and development.
The combined efforts of Norb and Greg paint quite a complicated picture of the nature of the Coralians but amidst the jargon surrounding planes of existence and whatnot there’s the simple fact that Coralians and humans are struggling to co-exist, and that a harmonious understanding, of which Renton and Eureka are a symbol, is preferable to wiping the rival life-forms out; the race is on to reach the Great Wall before the Ageha Squad reach their goal.
At this point we meet some of the Voderac people who we encountered earlier on in the series, whose spiritual view on life is an island of serenity and tolerance when placed alongside the oppressive and relatively ignorant body of Dewey and the military alliance. I’m sure there’s a contemporary and political subtext that the writers of this show are trying to convey here, but as topical as it is E7 is really emphasising an age-old issue and portraying it in a powerful and competent manner. Whether or not these bigger ideas fly over your head, the series is on course for a far-reaching and moving conclusion.
The Eureka/Renton relationship encounters one or two hurdles but comes out strengthened as a result; the significance of this bond is becoming progressively clearer as Norb explains the Voderac beliefs regarding the place that humans and Coralians share in their world. Dewey and the Ageha squad are however threatening to bring a very different conclusion to the proceedings so I for one am looking forward eagerly to where the journey will take them all.