‘Eureka Seven’ and Understanding Love

Back in October, I watched the entirety of Studio Bones’ Eureka Seven over the course of two weeks. The series, originally airing back in 2006, is about many things, but most of all, it is about emotion, as I discussed in my first article on Eureka Seven. The strongest emotion present in the show’s core cast of characters is that of love. The main protagonists, Eureka and Renton, slowly discover what it means to love over the course of the show’s fifty-episode run. However, they are not the only relationship integral to the story writer Dai Sato is telling.

Eureka and Renton begin the show as distant as two teenagers could be. Renton, after seeing Eureka for the first time, develops a crush on the unassuming girl. Eureka, who has never experienced love, let alone most other emotions, is completely oblivious to Renton’s flirtatious actions, brushing it off as him latching on to her in a motherly way the same way her children do.

It is only after Renton leaves Eureka’s side in episode 21, “Runaway,” that she realizes her true feelings for him. She does the jobs Renton is no longer there to do, attempting to fill the void he unknowingly left her with. Renton believed that his departure would spare Eureka with his presence, assuming she cared very little for him if at all. What he didn’t realize is that she needed him. Renton acted as her emotional balance, feeling everything she was never able to.

When the two finally reunite, it is only after Eureka realizes how deep her feelings go. Renton’s never dissipated; he just lied to himself because of the pain he suffered while aboard the Gekko. He was never going to come back for Holland, but he was always going to come back for Eureka. Their reunion is one of my favorite moments in the entire series, not just because of what it means for them, but because of what it means for the rest of the cast as well.

One of the biggest reasons that Renton left the Gekko was the amount of vitriol Holland gave him. As a protective father-type figure for Eureka, he was not ready to let her be with another boy. Holland, ever since he ran away from the military with Eureka, believed that he was meant to act as her partner in the Nirvash. This singular focus to stay with Eureka and protect her at all costs left him blind to the person he was meant to be with, Talho.

Talho had fallen in love with Holland long before he met Eureka. Despite serving under him in the military, the two developed a bond. However, it all seemingly disappeared after they left the military. Master Norb’s conversation with Holland before their defection led him to believe he was the one meant to protect Eureka. This was not false, necessarily, but his obsession over her safety leads Talho to prey for his affection at every possible moment, often latching onto Renton to attempt to make Holland jealous. This only leads to more vitriol from Holland, until Renton leaves as a direct result of the two neglecting him due to their own lovers’ quarrel. With Renton gone, they realize how deeply they care for each other, and how much the Gekko needs Renton around to humanize them.

When Renton does return, Holland almost feels like a different character. He realizes that the world is bigger than his own personal desires, and that his treatment of Renton alienated the rest of the crew, especially Eureka. Because of this, he realized what was most important to him: Talho. Talho was always there for him even when he didn’t notice it. However, their relationship doesn’t truly begin to blossom until after the deaths of Ray and Charles.

Ray and Charles act as a surrogate family during Renton’s time away, serving as a reflection of what Renton hopes he and Eureka will be like someday. The two are happily married, supportive of Renton (even after they learn about his true allegiances), and only want the best for him, something the crew of the Gekko never did.

After their deaths, Holland and Renton both seem to try to replicate Charles’ attitude, as they both wished they could be more like him. The episode following their deaths, Renton convinces Eureka to help him do simple chores around the Gekko, implementing the lessons Ray and Charles left him with. The simplicity allows the two to grow closer, showing that the relationship Renton envisioned was a possibility.

Similar to Ray and Charles, Norb and Sakuya also act as a vision of what Renton and Eureka’s relationship could be. Norb acts as a sort of relationship guru, constantly monitoring Renton as his relationship with Eureka takes shape. Similarly, Sakuya acts as a counterpart to Eureka. Like Eureka, Sakuya is also a humanoid Coralian, with Norb acting as her partner (similar to how Renton is Eureka’s). We see how the two fell in love over learning to communicate their feelings through Norb teaching Sakuya how to speak. Due to Norb being with Sakuya for so long, her emotions began to take shape, with her falling in love with Norb in the same way Eureka has fallen for Renton. Sakuya and Eureka’s conversation exemplifies this, with the two unable to truly describe their feelings for their respective partners with words.

Norb and Sakuya are a bright vision of the future for Eureka and Renton. Once Eureka and Renton reach their full potential, Norb and Sakuya disappear. Eureka and Renton are left to follow in their footsteps, which they eventually do upon entering the Coralian zone.

Most of the relationships in Eureka Seven act as a lens into what Eureka and Renton could be. However, this is not the case for Dominic and Anemone. Arguably the second-best written romance in the show, like Renton, Dominic has a one-sided love for Anemone. Anemone, similarly to Eureka, is blinded by her devotion toward her leader, Dewey. However, as Dewey’s true feeling are revealed, Anemone realizes how little he cares for her and begins developing feelings for Dominic.

Dominic, as stated, has harbored those same feelings all along, best represented by how willing he was to work with Renton to save Eureka and Anemone in episode 13, “The Beginning.” Through their time together, he realizes he and Renton are not so different from one another, with Renton allowing Dominic to better understand the connection he seems to share with Anemone. Due to their mutual realization of Dewey’s true intentions, Dominic and Anemone both, albeit separately, decide to defect from the military. Upon finding each other again, and after witnessing Eureka and Renton’s love, they realize that their connection is the same, resulting in one of the Eureka Seven‘s most satisfying moments. I’m usually not a fan of tsunderes in anime, and I was definitely not a fan of Anemone when she was first introduced, but the way her character develops alongside Dominic is beautiful.

Eureka and Renton’s mutual love creates unseen bonds between them and nearly every romantic relationship in the show. Either they learn from and build off of those relationships (like Ray & Charles and Sakuya & Norb) or they inspire others to blossom alongside them (like Holland & Talho and Dominic & Anemone). The characters themselves also serve as a greater commentary/comparison for Eureka and Renton. Sakuya and Norb are who Eureka and Renton’s future could be, while Dominic and Anemone act as who Eureka and Renton could have been if they had sided with the military instead of Gekko State. It is through the emotional freedom they find together that Eureka and Renton not only learn how to love, but teach others how to love as well. Eureka Seven truly is one of the greatest love stories ever told.

Published by John Wintroub

I am a fan of all things pop-culture related, especially film, music, anime, and comic books. Killer Queen has already touched this bio and King Crimson has obliterated the rest.

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