Most helpful positive review
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Decent anime, Terrible sequel
on October 9, 2013
Honestly, there are only 2 major sins this anime commits:
1) It doesn't even attempt to properly honor the message or style of original series despite being advertised as a sequel. This would've served better as a spin-off with brand new characters, only borrowing elements like surfing robots, trapars and surfing robots.
2) The first half tries to be a classic "monster of the week" show, but forgets the important fact that your monsters need to be memorable in order to succeed. Astral Ocean's monsters are faceless, colorless shapes that are all killed in a forgettable manner(with the exception of the first one).
People complain about lack of story direction, cardboard characters, and political nonsense but I've been a fan of the mecha genre for a long time and this is hardly the worst offender. I've grown to enjoy political mumbo-jumbo as its own form of storytelling. To be honest I even grew to like the characters in this anime despite their lack of development. It's all about the subtlety. I'm not saying you've got to be a genius or something to appreciate it. A lot of it is just implied, and that clicks for some people and doesn't for most. The story left lots of people bitter and unsatisfied, but this also something I've strangely come to enjoy in anime, as it really makes you realize how invested into the series you truly were.
If you're on the fence about the series, here's my advice:
Don't watch it as a fan of Eureka Seven, but as a fan of the mecha genre in general. I watched Eureka Seven back in middle-school so it wasn't a difficult feat for me to pull off. AO's got a fantastic soundtrack and above-average production values that will make it watchable at the very least. Personally, I found it pretty enjoyable.
Also, get into it through the dub, not the sub. Like I mentioned earlier, subtlety is key and the majority of character depth shines through their tone, word choice, and body language. Reading the dialogue on the bottom of the screen's not gonna cut it for most, and will likely dumb down the experience. That, and trying to read through the politics will just lull you to sleep.
Truth, arguably the worst character, also sounds 100000x better in English and actually ended up becoming one of my favorites in this lineup.
Buy it for the surfing robot(s), not 'cus you want something like Eureka x Renton
**If you do buy the entire series, be sure to watch the OVA episode located in Part 2 after watching episode 8. Watching it at the very end will likely incite rage.